House of the Dragon still has fierce competition with Game of Thrones’ early seasons for critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. While Rotten Tomatoes isn’t always a reliable source for a program’s quality, it’s typically a good indicator of how critics and audiences have responded to a series overall. Since Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed dramas of all time, its Rotten Tomatoes score is hard to beat for both critics and fans. However, House of the Dragon season 1 has proven itself as a worthy successor due to the prequel’s impressive scores and positive responses.
While Game of Thrones’ Rotten Tomatoes scores decreased over its last couple seasons, House of the Dragon’s overwhelmingly positive response proves the franchise still has legs to stand on. Not only was House of the Dragon season 1’s viewership rivaling Game of Thrones at its height (via Vulture), but the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes indicated that the prequel could become as widely beloved as the original. Considering House of the Dragon primarily went into its debut season needing to redeem the franchise after Game of Thrones season 8’s divisive response, the Targaryen-centric story has assuredly delivered based on its popularity with both critics and audiences.
Critics & Audiences Still Like Game Of Thrones Season 1 More Than HOTD
Successor series don’t often outperform the critical responses of the original, with Game of Thrones being a Goliath in terms of its widespread approval. As such, House of the Dragon failing to beat the critical and audience responses of Game of Thrones isn’t surprising. Still, Game of Thrones‘ overall Rotten Tomatoes score isn’t much higher than the prequel, standing at 89% Fresh for critics and 85% for audiences. In comparison, House of the Dragon has an 86% Fresh critics rating from 861 reviews and an 84% positive score from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, the Rotten Tomatoes critic score for Game of Thrones season 1 is 90% positive (derived from 242 reviews), which widens the gap. Additionally, Game of Thrones season 1 holds an audience score of 96%, making it even more popular with fans. The difference between the two series’ inaugural season scores isn’t significantly large, so while Game of Thrones season 1 is more popular, House of the Dragon season 1 is by no means failing to live up to the original. Considering Game of Thrones season 4’s Rotten Tomatoes scores recorded a series-high of 97% positive for both critics and audiences, House of the Dragon may follow in the original’s footsteps by becoming more acclaimed as the drama progresses.
House Of The Dragon’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Is WAY Higher Than GOT Season 8
Despite the original series’ early seasons being undeniable hits, House of the Dragon season 1 was given low expectations because of the massive backlash to Game of Thrones season 8. The controversial final season of Game of Thrones holds a meager 55% critical score and a 30% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Considering House of the Dragon’s Rotten Tomatoes scores hover in the 85% range, the prequel is an enormous success compared to how the franchise last left off.
If House of the Dragon can learn anything from Game of Thrones’ Rotten Tomatoes score changes, it’s that the prequel must avoid repeating such a polarizing series finale. However, unlike Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon’s source material was already completed before the series premiered (George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book was published in 2018), meaning the prequel is already working up to a predetermined ending. Given House of the Dragon’s season 1 Rotten Tomatoes score is apt to change as more critics and viewers catch up on the series, the prequel could end up seeing an impressive early trajectory similar to Game of Thrones’ first four seasons.
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