“House of the Dragon” episode one is free to watch on YouTube

“House of the Dragon” episode one is free to watch on YouTube

Season one of House of the Dragon consists of 10 episodes that’ll stretch out through the end of October. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan looking for some entertainment over the next couple of months and don’t mind appointment TV, House of the Dragon could be worth a look.

HBO has published the first episode of House of the Dragon on YouTube, giving scorned fans the opportunity to check out what the show is about sans financial commitment.

House of the Dragon is a prequel series set roughly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, depicting the decline of House Targaryen and the Targaryen civil war, more commonly known as the Dance of the Dragons.

Episode one debuted on HBO platforms on August 21, 2022, with subsequent episodes dropping each Sunday. Curiously enough, HBO shared the freebie episode on YouTube on September 1, which is the same day that Amazon’s fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered.

Make no mistake – this wasn’t a coincidence. Amazon reportedly spent somewhere in the ballpark of $465 million to produce the first season of its new show and the reception hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive. Over on Rotten Tomatoes, season one has an audience score of just 39 percent and Amazon even suspended ratings on its own platform to prevent review bombing.

HBO clearly saw this as an opportunity to capitalize on Amazon’s hardship. What’s more, the Game of Thrones finale wasn’t universally loved. Offering a free trial of episode one of the new series could convince some with a bad taste in their mouth to give the franchise another shot.

HBO Max commands $9.99 per month for the ad-supported plan or $14.99 monthly without ads. Prepaying for a full year up front nets a roughly 40 percent discount, bringing the cost down to just $69.99 / $104.99 for the ad-supported or ad-free tier, respectively.