Sharing the House of Drag-On

Published August 19, 2022, 1:22 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

The invite was a media event hosted by HBO Go Asia to promote the Aug. 22 premier of the HBO Original Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon. We were to be treated to a sneak preview of the first episode at one of the Mall of Asia’s Director’s Club theaters; with the promise of vivid storytelling, graphic violent and sex scenes, and a lot of dragons.

The miniseries takes place some two centuries before the events portrayed in Game of Thrones, so I could only imagine that there would be more dragons in the landscape, and a gripping narrative that would help set the foundation for what enthralled us in that very first season of Game of Thrones. And I wasn’t disappointed.

In an inspired marketing move, the House of the Dragon event saw us treated to a cameo appearance from the Drag Race Philippines contestants – DRP is an HBO property, so it was only fitting that we turn this into a cross-marketing exercise of The House of Drag On, and I hope I wasn’t the only one noticing this punning possibility.

As it was, given the viral popularity of DRP, the appearance of the contestants added spice to the proceedings, although I’m not sure whether many of the GOT faithful got the connection, or even appreciated the incursion. But in the name of total platform marketing, I loved this unexpected appearance.

Based on the companion novel Fire & Blood of George R. R. Martin, the House of the Dragon will be made up of ten episodes; kicking off with a Targaryen king, Viserys, choosing an unexpected heir, that leads to a civil war within this dominant and powerful family. So we can expect Targaryen versus Targaryen, dragon versus dragon.

Given the timeline of this new series, don’t expect any familiar faces to crop up. The likes of Matt Smith (who was Prince Philip in The Crown), young Australian actress Milly Alcock playing a Targaryen Princess, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, and Graham McTavish, will all soon capture our hearts and imagination as they essay their roles on this new series.

Episodes will drop weekly and I’m certain this will be a shot in the arm for all those GOT-addicts who have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms ever since GOT had its concluding season. As the first episode preview was to be shown in a theater, I hear it had to pass through the MTRCB, that at first had some reservations about the violence depicted in the episode. Methinks, they obviously aren’t familiar with the GOT series and just how visceral and graphic it can be – to the delight of its fanbase.

On a sidebar note, loved the merch tie-up with an Australian vineyard, and how there are bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon that are labeled after the new series.

So Aug. 22 is now the red letter day for Dragon watchers!