The House of the Dragon trailer reveals that it is fixing Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne mistake. The trailer shows a number of brief clips from the greatly-anticipated prequel series by HBO, one of which is a shot of the iconic metal seat — but looking quite different to the version audiences saw in the original show. The new throne is much wider, splaying out across the steps leading up to it, with sword points jutting out from the molten metal like the teeth of a dragon. Even the central chair is larger, more jagged, and far more imposing.
The Iron Throne is the central seat of power in Game of Thrones’ Westeros. Created for Aegon Targaryen after conquering the six kingdoms, the metal throne is said to be forged with dragon fire from the thousand swords of his enemies. The books by George R. R. Martin describe the chair as being huge and unsightly with steep metal steps leading up to the seat that was so dangerous, rulers couldn’t lean back against the sharp blades. The throne in HBO’s Game of Thrones, however, is much smaller than described, a hunk of molten steel sitting atop a short stone pedestal, as many sword hilts as blades decorating the backrest.
The Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon is making an Iron Throne that is much truer to the books than the original show’s version. Not only is the new throne more accurate to the source material, but it does a better job of serving as the intimidating symbol that it’s supposed to represent. It’s still not quite the monstrous structure described in the books, but it comes a lot closer than the comparatively casual-looking chair in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
The Iron Throne is not merely a seat of power, but a symbol of the conquest it took to establish the Targaryen dynasty. The melted swords surrendered or taken from Aegon’s foes serve as a reminder to all the members of the great houses of what happens to those who oppose the aptly named House of the Dragon. It also holds a message from Aegon to the Targaryen rulers to come, a deliberately sharp and dangerous chair to remind them that conquerors can never rest easy. The Game of Thrones version looks hard and severe but not very intimidating, and although its lack of comfort is mentioned on multiple occasions, numerous characters can be seen lounging nonchalantly in it. The House of the Dragon throne, however, looks genuinely dangerous, posing a serious threat to any who approach it — much less dare to sit upon it.
Although the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon is a lot more similar to the version in the books, it still is not quite the grotesque structure described in the source material. The pedestal is supposed to be steep and tall, allowing the rule to tower over the rest of the court. The danger of the chair still seems less extreme than the Iron Throne of the Game of Thrones books as well. The source material almost personifies the throne, recalling the countless rulers and members of the council it has cut. It’s even rumored that a Targaryen king who was found dead on the seat had been murdered by the throne itself. While the version in the trailer is a vast improvement on the original show, the new Iron Throne still lacks the proper size and a certain sinister aspect.
There are reasons that Game of Thrones provides a somewhat lackluster seat: it may have been a deliberate creative decision to showcase the decline of House Targaryen, or the initial production budget just didn’t room for a towering metal monolith. It also could have been a safety concern for the actors. Either way, the prequel series takes place during the prime years of the Targaryen dynasty, and it deserves the symbol of power and conquest that the books describe. Although it’s imperfect, the Iron Throne in the House of the Dragon trailer is certainly a massive improvement on that of Game of Thrones.