You Can Watch The First Episode Of House Of The Dragon Online For Free

Unless you've been living under an especially soundproof rock, you may have heard that we're in the middle of a genre arm's race between two of the biggest fantasy IPs around. "House of the Dragon" beat its competitors to the punch in terms of timing, premiering to incredibly positive word of mouth recently and quickly washing away the bad aftertaste left by the final season of "Game of Thrones." But in the weeks since, the fantasy property that made "Game of Thrones" possible in the first place has since staked its claim, attempting to prove that nothing can stand against the unstoppable might of J.R.R. Tolkien with "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

Who will prevail: the incest-ridden family of dragon-riders all vying for the same crown, or the operatic heroes attempting to stem the tide of returning evil in Middle-earth?

Well, the answer, as always, is the viewers who are watching both. In a bold move likely meant to wrest some eyeballs away from Prime Video and towards the HBO show, the premiere episode of "House of the Dragon" has been made available to stream for free on YouTube at the following link. This, of course, comes in the aftermath of "The Rings of Power" attempting a similar approach by dropping the first two episodes of the series a few hours earlier than anticipated.

What are the odds that this mini-cold war will result in one or both streaming services just straight-up making each series available to everyone for free? Not likely, admittedly, but we can dream!

Tell a friend: House of the Dragon episode 1 is streaming for free!

Well, that's one way to try to take back the narrative. While "House of the Dragon" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" are mercifully airing on separate days of the week while their seasons overlap with each other, it's plain to see that both franchises will be duking it out for all the pop culture oxygen that they can take for themselves. All the rest of us have to do is sit back and enjoy the spoils that come our way!

Not everyone may yet be subscribed to HBO Max at this point, so dropping the premiere episode for free makes sound business sense to try to lure new viewers who may have heard about the hype for "House of the Dragon" and are curious to see for themselves with no strings attached. Of course, it's worth pointing out that the premiere episode contains a fairly disturbing and possibly triggering sequence that sets the tone of what to expect from this new prequel series. For anyone looking to go in with as little foreknowledge as possible, be sure to take that the show's depiction of violence into account.

Otherwise, you can check out the premiere episode of "House of the Dragon" below. New episodes air every Sunday night on HBO.