7 Essential Game of Thrones Episodes to Watch Before House of the Dragon

7 Essential Game of Thrones Episodes to Watch Before House of the Dragon
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It’s been a few years since fire and blood splattered our screens in Game of Thrones, but George R.R. Martin’s hit fantasy series is returning to our televisions on August 22 with the prequel House of the Dragon.

The series is based on the Targaryen dynasty, in particular, a period of history known as the Dance of the Dragons. House of the Dragon is set hundreds of years before Game of Thrones, so you can technically go into the series without having seen any of GoT (or you could watch it all which will take you roughly this long).

However, if you want to familiarise yourself with certain plot points before House of the Dragon, these are the Game of Thrones episodes we recommend you watch first.

Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.

Game of Thrones episodes to watch before House of the Dragon

Season 1, Episode 1: Winter is Coming

Image: HBO

If you’re going to start anywhere with Game of Thrones, the pilot is a good place to begin. Episode 1 does a great job of setting up all the noble houses we’ll be following in Westeros as well as establishing a lot of the history of the land, particularly the impact the Targaryen dynasty had.

Episode 1 also introduces us to the last surviving members of this family, Danaerys and Viserys, who escaped the wrath of Robert Baratheon by fleeing overseas, but are plotting their way back to reclaim their family’s throne.

Season 1, Episode 10: Fire and Blood

After a season of hearing about the Targaryen’s legacy of power riding atop massive dragons, we finally see the return of these extinct creatures in Season 1, Episode 10.

After Danaerys walks into the fire with her dragon eggs she leaves unscathed and holds three newborn dragons, heralding the return of the dragon era in Westeros.

Season 3, Episode 4: And Now His Watch Has Ended

house of the dragon game of thrones episodes
Image: HBO

In the fourth episode of Season 3 Danaerys makes a deal with an unlikeable slave trader, Krazynys, to trade one of her dragons for an army of his Unsullied warriors.

Things seem to be going in Krazynys’ favour until Danaerys reveals her true plan. She well and truly lives up to the Targaryen name when she utters the iconic phrase “dracarys” and sets her dragon upon the master, thus walking away with both her dragons and an army.

Season 5, Episode 9: The Dance of Dragons

The ninth episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones is relevant to House of the Dragon for a few reasons.

In the north, Stannis Baratheon visits his daughter, an avid reader of Westeros’ histories, who recounts to him the story she’s reading: the Dance of Dragons. There we have the most overt reference to the Targaryen civil war that will be depicted in House of the Dragon.

Elsewhere in the episode, we see Danaerys fulfil an important part of her Targaryen legacy as she rides her dragon for the first time in order to escape danger in Mereen. Dragon riding will be a big part of House of the Dragon, so it’s interesting to see it revived further down the line.

Season 6, Episode 10: The Winds of Winter

house of the dragon game of thrones episodes
Image: HBO

GoT’s Season 6 finale confirmed a long-held fan theory about the Targaryen’s history: that Rhaegar Targaryen did indeed marry Lyanna Stark and they secretly had a child named Aegon. Bran’s time-travelling visions revealed to him that his bastard brother Jon Snow was in fact this child, who has a legitimate claim to the throne as a Targaryen.

While these events take place decades after House of the Dragon it is still interesting to see where the Targaryen family line ended up.

Season 7, Episode 2: Stormborn

With Danaerys finally making ground in Westeros, Cersei looks for ways to guard the Red Keep against the might of her dragons.

Her Maester, Qyburn, demonstrates a ‘scorpion’ weapon they’ve forged which easily shoots an arrow through the only dragon skull the Red Keep still has, that of Balerion the Dread.

It’s a small reference to the Targaryen’s history but the episode is worth watching to help understand just how much of a force these dragons are to be reckoned with.

Season 7, Episode 4: The Spoils of War

game of thrones house of the dragon
Image: HBO

Another Game of Thrones episode that shows the Targaryen’s dragons in full force is The Spoils of War. It’s the first episode audiences really saw Dany use the might of her dragons as she rides atop Drogon and absolutely devastates a Lannister supply train.

It remains one of the best action sequences in Game of Thrones history, so if this is what we can expect from House of the Dragon we’re in for a treat.

You’ll find all these Game of Thrones episodes as well as the new House of the Dragon series streaming over on Binge.