the game of Thrones The universe may take place in a very different world than our own, but the franchise has never been afraid to reference the world we live in. Whether it’s in subtle ways, like confirming a long-standing fan theory, or inserting the full Ed Sheeran to show Arya that the King’s Guard are people, too: there’s always been room for our world to seep into theirs.
In the finale, this led to a great meta-moment, one that was oddly repeated in the house of the dragon premiere.
When Viserys names his daughter Rhaenyra as his heir, she talks to him about what all this means for the kingdom. This includes exclusive information known only to the rulers, about a prophecy that Aegon Targaryen once foresaw: a long winter and the end of the age of man, an event that would only be survived if a Targaryen were on the throne. Viserys says that Aegon called this prophetic dream “The Song of Ice and Fire”.
Yeah ha ha. What a meta reference to the original books. But… doesn’t it sound familiar to you in another way too? The last time we visited the game of Thrones universe, the series finale was tied for us in a nice little bow, with Samwell presenting a book to Tyrion called A song of ice and fire. Sam even claims that the title was his idea.
So how is it possible that there are two different Songs of Ice and Fire? Well, there are several different explanations, each with different levels of conspiracy theory. If you want to go the cynical route, you can simply write this as house of the dragon trying to tie into the original books without giving much thought to the first series.
If you want to see it as a snub, this could be more evidence that house of the dragon is looking to render the latest seasons of game of Thrones illegitimate. Seeing as how widely those seasons are vilified by the fanbase, that could be a legitimate explanation.
But perhaps the most lenient explanation is based on a tried and true fact of Game of Thrones: Samwell Tarly is a great history nerd. Perhaps, in his research into Targaryen history, he saw a parallel with the rise of the White Walkers and thought the name would be appropriate for present day events. After all, if that is what the prophecy predicted, why wouldn’t the actual events have the same name as the prophecy?
If you’re willing to give house of the dragon the benefit of the doubt or if you think this is all a covert ploy to rewrite history, there is clearly nothing more tempting than the idea of linking this high-fantasy world with our humble, mundane world.
house of the dragon Episode 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.