Our roundup of video reviews, breakdowns and reactions returns for House of the Dragon—a bit late, granted, as the show’s on its third week and episode, “Second of His Name,” but we’ll catch you up!
Let’s begin with the excellent Westeros History. You may find their coverage of the first and second episodes and more on their channel. They also had two wonderful, informative interviews: one with author George R.R. Martin; and another with co-showrunner Ryan Condal. I recommend this channel to everyone, but especially book readers!
Our friend Joe Magician discussed the episode with Chloe and Eliana from Girls Gone Canon. Very much like History of Westeros, these videos are conversational podcasts, unlike the scripted monologues below. There’s plenty of deep insight—it just takes a few hours of natural chatter to get all of it out. And worth every minute! Joe Magician covered episode one alone and two with History of Westeros’s Ashaya.
Gray Area also brings a book reader’s perspective. Her channel is largely centered on A Song of Ice and Fire, in fact, but I believe it’s accessible to everyone—barring any spoilers, which she warns her watchers about. More importantly: she’s as fun as she’s knowledgeable! Her easygoing style is such a breath of fresh air. Watching her videos feels like talking about the episode with one of your friends—if any of your friends knows a ton about ASOIAF! She reviewed the first and second episodes.
TwoTheFuture analyzes the show with a focus on judging its merits as an adaptation, comparing and contrasting it with the source material, Fire and Blood. His breakdowns of the first two episodes are here.
The folks at New Rockstars bring a more “easter egg”-centered style to covering the show, focusing on things the average viewer may not have noticed watching each episode and providing historical context for those who haven’t read the source material. It may not be as much of a book-readers’ deep-dive as the previous videos, but New Rockstars make fun, easy-to-watch videos which I’m sure will prove informative to many. They also made breakdowns for the first few episodes.
Last but certainly not least amongst the analyzers, there is Alt Shift X. He brings an exhaustive, almost academic approach to House of the Dragon, just as he did to the original show, citing his sources for each of his assertions and explaining himself in a clear, tranquil way. He’s very pleasent to the ear, too! Of course, he covered the first and second episodes—and I will bring particular attention to the latter, in which he went through the opening credits title sequence and scrutinized what each of the elements mean in that abstract family tree. Considering how confusing that opening sequence has been for so many viewers, including avid book readers, I would consider that one a must-watch.
We’ll finish with video reactions! These reactors may not be as erudite as the lore-hounds above, but I find that—as strange as this may sound to some of you—watching other people watch the show is quite fun, and a fine substitute for watching it with friends, which isn’t always possible (or desirable for a first watch, to be honest.) I must warn these are not book-readers—if you’re frustrated by people loudly getting things wrong, these may not be for you. But give them a shot!
Let’s start with Blind Wave, who I find to be a cut above the rest. They take their job seriously: taking notes, not speaking over the show, and having in-depth discussions after each reaction. You can also watch their videos for “The Heirs of the Dragon” and “The Rogue Prince.”
The Normies are popular too. There’s a lot of them, so they’re quite loud and frequently miss key lines of dialogue because they’re speaking over them… but if you learn to get over that, they’re a fun watch with strong personalities. They have reacted to episodes one and two as well.
Finally, there is the Burlington Bar reactions. Look, it’s a bar, so it’s a completely different thing, but I find these fun and a good way to scratch that ‘watching with friends’ itch. The embedded video below is part one of their reaction for “Second of His Name”—you can find the second part here, and Daemon’s suicide run against the Crabfeeder here. They also have covered the previous two episodes.
That’s it for this week! We let this classic feature slip for the first two weeks of House of The Dragon, but I hope today’s roundup is useful for you to catch up with the videos for the first two episodes, if you haven’t already. There are hours of good content here for your viewing pleasure, if you have the time—and of course you can always try them out and see which ones appeal to you most. Who are your favorites? Are there any other creators you would suggest for me to include next week?