House of the Dragon finally flew in with its first episode. The premiere packed in a lot of information about the show’s time period and its main families. There are also a lot of nods to Game of Thrones from that Weirwood tree to other important lore mentions. The one thing that everyone couldn’t wait to see was the Iron Throne. It is not sentient but it is still an important character in this saga. As we all know, the Iron Throne is the most dangerous seat in all of Westeros, and it looks more ominous in House of the Dragon than it did in Game of Thrones. Let’s talk about how the Iron Throne shows up in House of the Dragon and who it actually belongs to.
Who Sits on the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon and What Happens?
House of the Dragon takes place 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen back when House Targaryen was incredibly powerful. King Viserys is the man in charge, and therefore the Iron Throne is his seat; however, there is the issue of his successor. Common sense would say it goes to this firstborn Rhaenyra, but—GASP—she’s a girl and women cannot do things! Well, except give birth and perhaps die while doing it.
Anyway, the first solid glimpse of the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon‘s present timeline is when Viserys’ brother (and the next male heir in line) Daemon Targaryen, Commander of the City Watch, strolls into town and decides to perch himself on the throne. As we see, this Iron Throne has a ton of swords not only on the seat itself (which makes it larger) but all over the surrounding floor and steps. It is certainly different from what we see in Game of Thrones when Robert Baratheon (and later Joffrey and Cersei) sits on it. And it is lowkey dangerous with Viserys cutting his hand on it. It is also where we see his ire grow as he decides to make his daughter the next heir after Daemon takes things a little too far.
Why Does the Iron Throne Look Different in House of the Dragon?
Well, there are a few answers to this question. First, House of the Dragon‘s Iron Throne more accurately represents the danger and fear that the seat was meant to elicit in the books than Game of Thrones’ version. The Targaryens had mad dragons and wanted everyone to be shook by their power. What better way to do this than have a killer-looking throne? And, as years went by, the Iron Throne would change with each King who wanted to make changes to it. We may see this change happen in real time as the next leader takes Viserys place. Also, at some point, a leader must wonder why the hell they want to sit on a sharp and uncomfortable throne anyway.
The end of episode one sets up a few brewing conflicts. Daemon will surely cause trouble after his brothel babble cost him the throne. Rhaenyra will have to face a sea of men who don’t want to see a woman in power. And the Velaryon crew is holding a big chip on its shoulder, so they will likely use their fortune/power to make something happen. No matter what, the Iron Throne will be at the center of it all.