Video Games Tutorials and News - House Of The Dragon: Series Premiere Review
It's been three years since Game of Thrones ended and five years since its fandom started complaining bitterly about its final season spin-off. House of the Dragon, therefore, debuts to less hype than it might have had but really could restore our fascination with Westeros. Ryan J condell and Miguel Sapochnick work from the relatively bare bones chronicle of George R.
Martin's Fire and Blood, a quasi-academic account of Targaryen rule that has none of the first-person intimacy of a Song of Ice and Fire but does have loads of backstabbing in civil war, where men would take the realm to the torch and see a woman ascend the iron throne. The source material leaves them with room to embellish the record and its characters without breaking canon, and already you can feel them stretching the limits of the text to add heft to those new heroes and villains.
We return to Westeros at the height of the Targaryen dynasty, some 100 years after its founding and 172 years before Daenerys was born. As her family fell, the seven kingdoms were as united as they got following the long and largely peaceful reign of King Jiharis. It cannot surprise any viewer to learn that he won't get his wish.
He's played by Patty Considine, who adds layers as he goes from dirty jokes with his counselors to surprisingly tough edges with his family. The headbutting around Viserys so far has come courtesy of his ambitious hand, Otto Hightower. As for the younger brother, it's worth noting that he's the first person we see sit on the iron throne, but if that's foreshadowing, there will be a lot of bloodshed before he returns to it.
The king has an heir, Damon Targaryen. I will not be made to choose between my brother and my daughter. It's also important to keep an eye on teenage friends Rynera Targaryen and Allison Hightower, who at times look like a romantic couple, although they have other flirtations. They're played by Millie Alcock and Emily Carey at the moment, and both are excellent, showing enough chemistry that you worry for their future relationship.
If Renera comes into power, she can cut off any challenge to her succession. The king, though, is the most interesting character, if the least showy. Viserys gently teases his daughter and tenderly buoys his heavily pregnant wife, Emma, in between drinking like a fish and telling dirty jokes. Later, though, we see a darker and more ruthless shade of the initially likable king.
In such moments, the show establishes a feminist undercurrent with the Targaryen women, visibly straining against the patriarchal limits of Westeros society, and Viserys, who has directly benefited from that sexism, is slow to notice. Such blind spots and complexity make the character worthy of consideration and should make the power struggle around him less predictable.
All those tarkarian blondes bring us to the question of incest, which is going to be an undercurrent to this whole show. If you thought Jamie and Circe Lannister were a bit much, wait until you find just how closely related most of the principles are here. It puts a rather different spin on Uncle Damon's giving his niece a pretty necklace and on Queen Emma's difficulties carrying her children to term.
How much can we complain about real-world grotesquery when there are dragons flying through dawn's skies, knights brutally jousting, and glorious sweeping vistas of the king's landing and the whole dragonpit? One of the secrets of Game of Thrones' success was that there was really very little magic in it, at least in the beginning, lulling fantasy skeptics into a false sense of security.
House of the dragon arrives to a tv landscape fundamentally altered by thrones itself so this episode opens post-prologue, with a dragon in flight and it's red and black colors nailed to the mast, there's no beating around the bush this time house of the dragon is here to stake a claim to the original's title at the pinnacle of peak tv and this first episode makes a solid case.
The House of the Dragon's premiere marks a strong and well-cast start to the Game of Thrones spin-off. This feels very close to its predecessor in tone and content but immediately establishes a struggle for power around an amiable but weak-willed king and vivid new characters to fight those battles.
We also have dragons' inbreeding and resentment. It's so good to be back in backstabby Westeros.