*Warning: Full spoilers for House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1.*


The fan base of House of the Dragon has spoken, and it looks as though the anticipated crux of the season 2 premiere episode - Blood and Cheese - has gone down in quite a mixed fashion with viewers and book fans alike.

Of course, the new season of the hit fantasy series is based on George RR Martin's Fire and Blood, with many fans of the novel looking forward to seeing how the iconically dark storyline would play out on screen.

Well, it seems as though that excitement may have been short-lived for some.

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter) to air their discontent with how the storyline was adapted for the HBO series, one fan wrote: "Blood & Cheese was a step above Red Wedding level and they butchered it down to nothing. Why???? I need answers. Bc I'm starting to get GOT S7-8 vibes and I'm not feeling it."

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Another fan echoed this sentiment, writing: "Not gonna lie...the #HouseoftheDragon show runners really dropped the ball with Blood and Cheese. The scene in the book is horrifying and dark and such a horrific twist, and the scene was just...none of that. This should've been Red Wedding level of shocking."

Phia Saban as Queen Helaena Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2 sitting in a green robe looking angry
Phia Saban as Queen Helaena Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2. HBO

While both House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones are known for not shying away from blood, gore and shock horror, it seems as though many were banking on more when it came to Blood and Cheese.

Comparing it to the original book, one X user said: "Blood and cheese really was one of the those moments george r. r. martin does so well where my jaw just dropped as a read it the first time because it was so horrific yet so thematically poignant, while the show just… fumbled it."

Similarly, it seems as though book fans were looking forward to the moment playing out for much longer than the short window it was given in the episode.

One wrote: "That first episode of #HouseOfTheDragon was Horrible & Boring! I’m so disappointed! Blood & Cheese was so gruesome in the books! They didn’t even scratch the surface!"

The user added in a thread commenting on the disappointment of the episode: "They dragged that entire wack ahhh episode to squeeze Blood & Cheese into 10 minutes like that wasn’t a MAJOR EVENT/SHIFT in the books?!? They ruining this series like they did the last season of #GameOfThrones."

It's safe to say that there's been a lot of enthusiasm building for these new episodes, not least because of some of the surprise bloody events that unfold in Martin's novel. Many are hoping this disappointment from episode 1 doesn't follow them throughout the upcoming episodes.

Even so, some fans were complimentary of the new episode, and applauded the performance by Phia Saban as Queen Helaena Targaryen.

One X user wrote: "Blood and Cheese in the book and in the show ultimately accomplish the same thing. Why are some ppl complaining they wanted MORE. It was horrible enough. Like, Helaena will be forever traumatized by this. She still had to choose one. The point is very well made."

But also, perhaps there's a sense of desensitisation when it comes to House of the Dragon now?

As one fan wrote: "Okay like yes blood and cheese was a little underwhelming compared to the book BUT we literally just saw / heard a toddler GET HIS HEAD CHOPPED OFF so… i would say that it’s high up there on the list of the worst thing we’ve seen in thrones."

Nevertheless, there's no denying that it was quite the plotline development, and we'll just have to wait and see how the Blood and Cheese scene has repercussions throughout season 2.

Chatting exclusively to RadioTimes.com about filming the scene in which Queen Helaena has to make a decision about what child should be killed, Saban said: "I was trying to keep from overthinking it from an acting perspective, and working with them, Sam [C Wilson] and Mark [Stobbart], who play Blood and Cheese, they're so good.

"They both brought such different energies, but they were, like, intimidating - not as real people… they're just brilliant, and just sort of staying present with them and seeing what happened."

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She continued: "Helaena essentially kind of bought the of social agreement that she would do what was necessary for the royal family and return to sort of relatively being left alone. And that she'd be safe in her marriage to her brother, or that she'd be left to her own devices in return for, like, heirs.

"I think in this season, she's really realising that it's not true, and it's not a fair bargain. And she's slightly coming into her own and realising that maybe she's not willing to sacrifice what she has to sacrifice for this family of absolute wrong ‘uns!"

House of the Dragon season 2 airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK from 17th June – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV.


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