The upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon will remind viewers why they fell in love with the fantasy series in the first place. After the tumultuous last season of the original series, many may be hesitant to return to Westeros.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet was provided with the first six episodes of House of Dragon to evaluate. With its emphasis on everything that makes Game of Thrones great, the program may reignite the series.
House of the Dragon transports viewers to Westeros 172 years prior to the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). However, despite taking set about two centuries before Game of Thrones, the show makes it easy to return to Westeros.
From the exquisite costumes to the detailed set design, House of the Dragon has all the small touches that made the original HBO series such a tremendous success.
Of course, it also harkens back to a significant part of the early seasons of Game of Thrones: all the nuanced political maneuvering, which is frequently carried out in tense conversations behind closed doors.
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Given that the show is leading up to a civil war among the members of House Targaryen, it’s probably not surprising that there’s not much action at the beginning. Instead, the characters dance around one another in preparation for the death of King Viserys (Paddy Considine).
King Viserys, who has no male heir at the beginning of the episode, names Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy) as his successor. This is not well received by his brother, Daemon (Matt Smith), nor by the majority of the realm. Most of the king’s adherents are startled that Princess Rhaenyra will still inherit the Iron Throne when he remarries and has sons.
And some characters within the Red Keep are eager to take action in response to their frustrations. Westeros can always be relied upon for one thing: ruthlessness.
House of the Dragon is filled with treachery among the great houses of Westeros, yet this would not work without such a captivating cast of characters. Even the weakest characters in this new season of Game of Thrones will intrigue fans, leaving them confused of whom to root for.
This was also a strength of Game of Thrones, which earned Jaime Lannister’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) sympathy in its later seasons. Fans will experience the same internal tension with characters like Daemon Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Despite — or perhaps because of — their imperfections, the newcomers’ paths are captivating.
This is mostly due to the performances, which are comparable to those of the original series. In House of the Dragon, there is no shortage of talent, and this includes writing. As season 1 progresses, the implementation of this tale is fluid, with few noticeable glitches.
House of the Dragon never minimizes the misogyny inherent in Rhaenyra’s life, making her path one of the most interesting. The show’s political message is more timely than ever. Game of Thrones has always emphasized the challenges of women in Westeros, but House of the Dragon digs in its heels, particularly in terms of marriage and motherhood.
House of the Dragon is off to a strong start based on its first six episodes, but the prequel has large shoes to fill and much ground to cover.
The series’ source material is Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, which describes the Targaryen civil war, The Dance of Dragons. This conflict alone lasted for two years. And season 1 appears to focus more on the buildup than the actual battle.
Consequently, House of the Dragon will likely have a broad reach. Several time jumps have already occurred in the first few chapters. And while they may not fully derail the story, too much jumping around might be distracting.
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Fans will want to see the characters digest events during the show’s calmer periods, which are among its greatest.
Major developments occurring off-screen may not necessarily permit this. House of the Dragon will hopefully find a way to strike a balance between its individual narratives and the larger retelling of Westeros’ history.
And hopefully, this history will be as appealing to fans as the original Game of Thrones was. Undoubtedly, the prequel will have to work to establish its own legacy. Initial episodes are encouraging in this regard.
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