House of the Dragon’s tagline spoken by Corlys Velaryon in the trailer is an insult to Game of Thrones and its spinoff alike. The highly anticipated House of the Dragon trailer gives further details about the long-awaited show, which is based on George RR Martin’s book Fire & Blood and takes place around 200 years before Game of Thrones. Unlike the original series, which followed several houses, House of the Dragon is built around House Targaryen and their famous civil war, the Dance of the Dragons – but this doesn’t mean that following and remembering the series characters will be any easier.
Among the confirmed characters in House of the Dragon are King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), Otto Hightower (The King’s Man star Rhys Ifans), and his daughter, Millicent (Olivia Cooke). The House of the Dragon trailer also shows Rickard Stark, and Boremund Baratheon in one of its opening scenes, further confirming the HBO series will follow in Game of Thrones’ footsteps regarding complicated names and relationships.
At the end of the House of the Dragon trailer, the Sea Snake says, “History does not remember blood. It remembers names.” While this is a strong tagline, it also carries ironic undertones. Game of Thrones is infamous for its myriad of characters and for its viewers complaining about remembering all their names. Inevitably, House of the Dragon will be the same – especially the first season – as it brings several new characters (as shown by the House of the Dragon posters) to the screen. There are even pairs of characters with similar names, such as Rhaenys and Rhaenyra. As a result, remembering names might make sense in the context of Corlys’ line, but it won’t be a reality for most of the show’s viewers.
Furthermore, “History does not remember blood” can be somewhat contested, too. Westeros is infamously obsessed with bloodline, legacy, and claims to the iron throne. In fact, the Sea Snake himself says in the trailer, “What is this brief mortal life if not the pursuit of legacy?” As a result, it is clear that even two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, the inhabitants of Westeros had similar problems when it came to proving their worth to be the land’s ruler. In House of the Dragon, there’s a civil war brewing, and although the Targaryens share a last name (and, of course, blood), they want their own name to be in the history books – which is most likely Corlys’ line is meant to be interpreted.
In this way, House of the Dragon’s tagline foreshadows the character-driven storylines in the show’s first season. However, taken out of context, the show’s tagline also very much contradicts a key characteristic of Game of Thrones and its prequel series and is insulting to the show’s inevitably complex lineage-based narrative.