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House of the Dragon introduces a new opening sequence that is a bloody family tree

Promo image of Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra in Season 1 of HBO's House of the Dragon
Promo image of Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra in Season 1 of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO

When HBO premiered its very first episode of House of the Dragon, many viewers noted that the opening sequence was missing. In its place, was a cold start and a shot of a title card.

In the original series, Game of Thrones, the iconic opening credits not only had a tune that people couldn’t stop humming but a sequence that helped lay out what was going on in each episode.

Using a giant stylized map, the credits would zoom in on each section of Westeros and Essos, giving fans hints as to which areas would be touched upon in the episode.

In addition to this, the House sigil would also be present, reminding people of who headed what.

Fans have been speculating since then as to what to expect when the opening credits played ahead of Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.

Now the episode has aired, let’s take a look at what showed up in the opening sequence — and why.

HBO reveals House of the Dragon opening sequence

The new opening sequence for House of the Dragon still features the same music used in Game of Thrones.

Some fans were expecting something different or, at least, a variant on the old tune. However, HBO has opted to keep it exactly the same for continuity.

Along with this, there is a certain stylization that reminds viewers of the original credits while introducing House Targaryen as the main player here.

But that’s where it all ends.

Instead of a map of Westeros and Essos, a stone replica of a town was shown. Those who watched the first episode will recognize this as the same one that belongs to King Viserys (Paddy Considine).

As the camera moves around the structure, blood pours out and runs between the streets as gold sigils turn, releasing more blood.

Finally, the credits close with the Targaryen’s three-headed dragon sigil and the title of the TV series.

So, what does all this mean?

What does the opening sequence mean?

Many tuning into Episode 1 of House of the Dragon might have thought that the stone replica that King Viserys was so fascinated with was King’s Landing. However, as pointed out by Entertainment Weekly, this is actually a model of Old Valyria.

In the mythology of House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, Old Valyria was an ancient city in Essos that ruled supreme for some 5,000 years before it was destroyed.

This is referred to as the Doom of Valyria but little is known about exactly what caused the downfall.

The Targaryens and Velaryons were central to Old Valyria as were the dragons and their reputation for creating high-quality steel.

Because of the Targaryen’s close ties to the doomed city, it is relevant that it also features in the opening sequence for House of the Dragon as a reminder that all great things must end at some point.

In addition to this backstory, the blood running throughout the sequence also indicates the blood — or family ties — of House Targaryen.

As pointed out by News.com.au, each golden cog shown represents an important Targaryen. When a crown is shown, this indicates a king.

The starting point for this tree is apparently Aegon, the Targaryen who conquered Westeros and started the Targaryen rule there. Then, the trail of blood moves through other key Targaryens.

As to whether or not this intro will change now as new Targaryens are introduced — or die — remains to be seen and viewers will have to tune in on Sunday night to find out if it does or not.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.

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