House Of The Dragon: 10 Movies To Watch To Get Ready For The Series

2022-08-02 14:56:26 By : Mr. philip chen

Fans need to be ready for complexities of all kinds when House of The Dragon arrives, so what films can best hone their drama-watching skills?

If Game of Thrones fans are looking for movies to get their brain cells ready for complex story-crunching when House of The Dragon arrives, what films are best to prime their faculties for the prequel? Looking beyond obvious choices like The Lord of The Rings franchise, there's plenty of great stuff out there.

House of the Dragon will surely be as narratively multi-layered and complex as its predecessor (if not more so), plunging into dramatic storylines packed with political intrigue, family dynamics, clashes of arms, dragon battles, alliances, betrayals, and both grandeur and shabbiness.

Released in 2005, director Ridley Scott's epic historical fiction drama is set in the 12th-century Crusades. The story follows a French peasant blacksmith named Balian (Orlando Bloom) as he follows in his noble father's footsteps, traveling to the Holy Land to help defend Jerusalem from the armies of the Ayyubid Muslim Sultan, Saladin.

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Though this ambitious action film garnered good and bad reviews upon its release, it has since been regarded more favorably. For those seeking a classic-style adventure story with well-written characters, Kingdom of Heaven is hard to beat. The Battle of Kerak contains a superb cavalry charge sequence, and the defense of Jerusalem is a cinematic playground of brutal siege warfare much in the tradition of Game of Thrones' biggest battle set pieces. A booming score and a powerhouse cast including Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson and Edward Norton doesn't hurt, either.

Digging back in time for a masterpiece, there is no doubting that Charlton Heston's Ben Hur (1959) provides drama, romance, politics, action and a deep dive into a brilliantly realized, historical fiction setting of ancient Rome. An instant classic, director William Wyler's epic became the second-highest grossing film (behind Gone with the Wind) of its time.

George R.R. Martin has said that his genesis of Valyria, the House of the Dragon's story and its characters is partially based on ancient Rome and the legend of Atlantis. Anyone seeking to familiarize themselves with the glory and miseries of Rome as well as the lives of both its powerful and its weak, are well-advised to give Ben Hur a watch. The film also contains the greatest chariot race sequence of all time, an achievement unmatched even to this day.

The 1996 fantasy adventure film Dragonheart hit movie theaters in 1996 to mixed reviews (what's new?) but ended up as a success at the box office and as inspiration for many D&D players probably hooked on Game of Thrones. Sir Bowen (Dennis Quaid) is a knight-dragonslayer who has a change of heart upon discovering the last dragon, Draco (voiced by Sean Connery), and the two team up to scam villages of reward money by staging fake dragon killings.

Often ranked as one of the best fantasy films involving a dragon, Dragonheart provides loads of adventurous storytelling fun for Game of Thrones fans who can't get enough of those big-brained flying reptiles. House of the Dragon and the dragon-riding Targaryens will give their dragon-loving viewers plenty of dragon drama to chew on once they arrive on screen, and Dragonheart will provide fans with a decent dragon appetizer while they wait in the HBO lobby. A dragon voiced by Sean Connery? Say no more.

A two-part movie series running a total of 288 minutes, Die Nibelungen: Seigfried's Death and its paired sequel, Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilde's Revenge is an epic fantasy made in 1924 by visionary Austrian director Fritz Lang (Metropolis). An operatic masterpiece of myth, magic and amazing landscapes, the silent film is considered a masterpiece.

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This old, old movie will definitely not be every Game of Thrones viewer's cup of Dothraki mare's milk, but there's also no denying there will be artier-minded fans out there who can dig it. Atmospheric to the max with crazy castles and mist-shrouded forests, the hero Siegfried faces dragons, otherworldly wizards and wins a magic helmet of invisibility on his way to helping a lovestruck and devious king (and himself) win the hands of warrior women in marriage. It's different, but the mythical power of Die Nibelungen, as historically rich and symbolic as any Game of Thrones narrative, will reward those who watch it.

Ridley Scott's smash 2000 hit Gladiator needs no introduction to fans of epic historical drama. Following the experiences of wrongly disgraced Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russel Crowe), hell-bent on revenge against Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Pheonix), the film wowed audiences, critics and took no prisoners at the box office.

As a stunning narrative journey through the backwaters and provinces of the ancient Roman Empire before landing in Rome itself, Gladiator oozes sensational scope, terrific battle sequences and deadly political intrigue. Seen it before? As a must-watch for fans awaiting the Roman influenced House of the Dragon, Scott's movie is eminently rewatchable.

Starring the inimitable Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth the I, the 1998 film Elizabeth was a commercial and critical triumph. Following the young Elizabeth through the early part of her reign starting in 1558, the narrative chronicles her perilous position as she first takes the throne.

For the Game of Thrones fans who love dangerous cloak and dagger plots unfolding in the corridors of power and expect plenty of the same in House of the Dragon, Elizabeth provides a cinematic masterpiece of court conspiracies and calculated assassinations. Upon the early death of her Catholic half-sister, Mary I, the Protestant Elizabeth is released from prison (where Mary I had jailed her) to assume the British throne; she inherits a bankrupt monarchy overseeing a land in chaos and a court filled with treacherous nobles and assassins. Sure sounds like a George R.R. Martin storyline, does it not?

Released in 1968, The Lion in Winter won commercial success with a literate script and powerhouse performances from Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins in his first big movie role. Set at Christmas in 1183, the story follows the robust King Henry II (O'Toole) and his wife Eleanor (Hepburn) as they try to prepare their realm for the future.

Boosted by fine performances, The Lion in Winter is a theatrical tale of political intrigue and maneuvering amidst the touchy entanglements of succession and royal relationships. Though not as bloody as most House of the Dragon-ish shows might be, it captures the emotional turmoil, black humor and cold calculations that make the Game of Thrones universe as rich as it is.

A blockbuster sci-fi release of 2021, director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the legendary 1965 novel by Frank Herbert catapulted to the heights of box office success both in ticket returns and critical appraisals, being nominated for 10 Oscars and winning six.

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While drawing parallels between Game of Thrones and the sci-fi epic Dune may seem off-kilter at first, it soon becomes easy to see how both epic tales of military conflict, family and kingly betrayal reflect one another. Rich with various clans, kingdoms, giant sand worms, collapsing royal Houses and reluctant heroes, Dune delivers a plate full of the stuff House of the Dragon will be made of.

Directed by the passionately offbeat Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse), this raw, Viking revenge story underwhelmed at the box office despite much positive feedback from critics.

The Northman spends plenty of its running time chopping off limbs, plundering and covering its steely-eyed antihero Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard) with streaming blood. Unabashedly violent and stark, this legendary Norse tale channels the pure, gory bloodlust element of Game of Thrones which spawned many memorable death memes and will most certainly find a new playground in House of the Dragon.

Probably first performed in 1601, Macbeth stands as one of William Shakespeare's greatest tragedy plays. Director Justin Kurzel's dark adaptation shines with a perfectly cast set of stars, including Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and David Thewlis.

Shakespeare is always peering around the edges in Game of Thrones, which is kin to some of the Bard's greatest histories. A viewing of this epic, blood-dripping Macbeth in cinematic form provides a mesmerizing journey through magic, human frailty and the lust for power, all elements viewers expect to find in House of the Dragon. Shot as it should be on gloomy Scottish moors swept by ghostly mists, this version of Macbeth is more atmospheric than talky, with an eerie score that would tingle any fantasy fan's spine.

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An English literature major, Richard Preston wrote for film and TV before choosing a life of poverty writing historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels. He's currently working on the 4th book of his steampunk adventure series, "The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin." He saw Star Wars in the theater 36 times the summer it was released. You can keep up to date with his activities on his Substack Newsletter at