HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel continues to defy gravity and grow week-on-week. According to Variety, House of the Dragon saw 3% more viewers tune in for the 5th episode than for the 4th. It now averages 29 million viewers per episode across channels and platforms. This is from a first episode that was watched by 10 million people.

So the prognosis is that word of positive word of mouth is spreading, and it is winning back some of the viewers who made Game Of Thrones such a juggernaut but were turned off by their disappointment of the final episodes.

It is easy to see why. Multiple moving parts with many plots and intrigue is punctuated by acts of bloody violence and battles. In my opinion it is hitting the heights that early Game Of Thrones did. That very quickly became appointment TV that drove a million conversations around the office watercooler the next day. It also drove Game Of Thrones to become the world’s most pirated television show.

Another sign that a show is hitting the mark extremely effectively is that it starts to annoy all the right people.

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From this week’s GQ magazine

The drumbeat of perpetual victimhood approaches with their rainbow colors flying. This is not the first time that House Of The Dragon, or indeed Game Of Thrones, have been the target of the progressive class. Game Of Thrones was frequently accused of misogyny despite having some of the most convincingly strong female characters holding their own in a feudal medieval society. House Of The Dragon is no different:

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From the Daily Beast

In Westeros, no good deed goes unpunished. Virtue is not a cloak of invincibility. Many people are on the receiving end of horrific acts of violence and nobody is safe. House Of The Dragon has two women, friends initially, at its core and many other female characters throughout the cast that are every bit as devious and scheming as the men.

So of course, therefore, atrocities happen to them. That would appear to be medieval equality!

The upcoming sixth episode will feature a major time jump. The cast will have grown up and moved on from the events in the last episode. Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke will take on the roles of the central female leads, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lady Alicent Hightower. A clip has been released showing D’Arcy in character.

What the future holds for these two women remains unclear after the events of the last episode left intriguing threads dangling. It is going to be a lot of fun finding out.

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