House of the Dragon premiered this week, and viewers learned that the new series is set 100 years into Targaryen rule of Westeros.
The show opens with King Jaehaerys seated on the Iron Throne and 10 dragons on their side.
But, in true HBO fashion, there is no obvious heir to the king, meaning this is a show all about succession.
The new series is already rewarding the most attentive Game of Thrones fans with Easter eggs, hidden references, and callbacks you might have missed.
While the final episodes of Game of Thrones were divisive, one thing virtually every viewer could agree on was how good the official soundtrack to the series was.
Fans will be delighted to learn Ramin Djawadi, who composed music for all eight seasons, has returned to work on the spinoff.
In scenes bound to rouse intense nostalgia, the theme that played so many times over has been included as images of Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) glides through the King’s Landing air.
In another wonderful touch, the episode closes with Djawadi’s 'The Children', which played over the original series’ last moments.
Rhaenyra Targaryen has been surrounded by many callbacks to Game of Thrones so far.
In one scene, Rhaenyra and best friend Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) are revealed to be learning about the legend of Princess Nymeria and her invasion of Dorne.
Game of Thrones viewers will know that, hundreds of years later, this is the same subject that had a profound effect on Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who named her direwolf after the princess.
Speaking of Arya, there was much debate before House of the Dragon premiered as to whether the Valyrian steel dagger, seen in the various promotional shots for the new series, was in fact the same dagger used by Arya Stark to kill the Night King.
With the first episode out of the way, that theory has now been confirmed by showrunner Ryan Condal.
Speaking to HBO’s Inside the Episode featurette, he said that Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) tight grip on the dagger ‘ties the two shows together’.
We also see Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) gift a pendant made of Dark Sister to Rhaenyra.
Dark Sister is the name of the Valyrian steel sword belonging to Visenya Targaryen, the sister-wife of Aegon the Conqueror, and in season two of Game of Thrones, Arya—while posing as a servant—mentions the weapon to Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) while discussing her role in the burning of Harrenhal.
But the moment that brought on perhaps the biggest chills in the season premiere is when Viserys briefs his daughter on the prophecy that gives George R.R. Martin’s book series its title: A Song of Ice and Fire.
Viserys explains Aegon’s dream that led him to conquest the Seven Kingdoms.
It was a dream in which he 'foresaw the end of men' and 'the beginning of a terrible winter'.
Viserys tells his daughter: “When this great winter comes, all of Westeros must stand against it."
He adds: “Aegon called his dream A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Featured Image Credit: HBO