You might find this one quite surprising.
Despite the absolute success of the 'House of the Dragon' premiere, the show does not seem to land perfectly in the fandom, with a lot of viewers deeming the series' cast… ugly.
Yes, that seems to be a problem for some fans: not the CGI (which, on the contrary, has been praised as unprecedently amazing), not the storyline, and not even the failure to grasp the spirit of the original show, 'Game of Thrones'. Fans took issue with the looks of the main characters – particularly Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and his sister Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).
While Smith is simply slammed as "not hot enough" for the role (as if there is an objective way to assess that), Milly is also being actively compared to Emilia Clarke's Daenerys, Rhaenyra's descendant who made history later in 'Game of Thrones'. Things on Reddit got really awkward really fast:
"It is hilarious, because people used to say Emilia Clarke wasn't pretty enough to be Dany and made fun of her eyebrows constantly." – /PirateRobotNinjaofDe
Regarding Matt Smith, there is a large group of people who celebrated his casting, saying that he was the perfect actor for the role of Daemon – precisely due to his unique appearance and otherworldly looks.
Do the actors' looks even matter when it comes to deciding whether a show is good or not? Well, according to some people, it does in this specific case.
"I think Rhaenyra is attractive enough. It's the rest of the Targariens that aren't so much. The issue with it, is that the readers know how they are described in the books. They are specifically supposed to be beautiful, male or female. The silver wigs just stick out like a sore thumb, because most of the actors are brunette. It detracts from the appearance of the actors who are reasonably attractive in real life. Rhaenyra is gorgeous in real life, with her brunette hair. I just wonder why they didn't cast people who are naturally blonde or more fair haired in real life." – /justmyluckyme
At this point, the debate seems to be tumbling down with different people trying to blast each other's beauty standards. With many critics decrying the looks of Smith and Alcock, others rise to the actors' defense, accusing the critics of "body-shaming".
Whether or not one likes the Targaryens' casting, it would be naïve to think that 'House of the Dragon' would receive no hate at all. Still, despite the occasional criticism, the show does outstandingly well as of now: shortly after the Sunday release of the first episode, 'House of the Dragon' became HBO's biggest premiere in history.