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'House of the Dragon' Opening Credits Explained

The Targaryen family tree is soaked in blood for the HBO series' titles sequence.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read
King Viserys and Alicent Hightower sit next to a large model sculpture of a sprawling castle

King Viserys' model of the city of Old Valyria looks to be the backdrop of the opening credits.

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO

Episode 2 of House of the Dragon may have brought the dragons into action, but that wasn't its most exciting feature. No, the Game of Thrones prequel series finally revealed an opening titles sequence, after episode 1 surprisingly began on an abrupt, opening sequence-free note. Why did the showrunners choose to omit the iconic aspect of the original series?

Why episode 1 of 'House of the Dragon' didn't have opening credits

"It was a creative choice," Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik revealed last week to Entertainment Tonight. "It seemed important that once the curtain went up, so to speak, having a title sequence felt like an indulgence. We wanted to get on and tell the story."

It turns out that long-awaited title sequence shares the exact same music as Game of Thrones.

Why the 'House of the Dragon' opening credits are the same as 'Game of Thrones'

Ramin Djawadi, composer for both Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, touched on (but didn't fully explain) the similarities between the scores.

"I can say this much, we very much wanted to keep the DNA alive for House of the Dragon from the original show," Djawadi told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the show's premiere. "We will hear themes that we remember from the original show, but because it's all new characters, this is 200 years before, there is a ton of new material I've written, a lot of new themes that we will hear."

What else will be the same? Cellos.

"What was important to me was to keep the general sound alive. The big sound of Game of Thrones, the primary instrument was always the cello, and we will definitely hear the cello again in the show," Djawadi said. "Just the way I stylistically write the show, I hope people will hear it and go, 'OK, I feel familiar. We're back in Westeros.' That was always the idea."

What do the 'House of the Dragon' opening credits mean?

The opening titles contain insignia representing different Targaryens, including Princess Rhaenyra -- you can see the same insignia in the necklace Prince Daemon gave her. The blood signifies many elements: House Targaryen's obsession with maintaining the purity of their bloodline, their motto "fire and blood" and the destruction that will eventually befall them.

The backdrop of the opening credits appears to be the same as the model of Old Valyria in King Viserys' chambers. Valyria was once the capital city of a great civilization that was destroyed in a cataclysmic volcano eruption. Only House Targaryen survived, because it had established Dragonstone across the Narrow Sea.

New episodes of House of the Dragon hit HBO on Sundays.

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