Show name: House of the Dragon
Release date: 2022
Starring: Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock
Created by: George R R Martin, Ryan Condal
Studio: HBO/Warner Brothers
Length: 10 episodes of 54-68 minutes
House of the Dragon is a spin off series set in the same fictional universe as Game of Thrones.
Is it really more than three years since we all sat down to the finale episode of Game of Thrones?
George RR Martin and HBO draw on his book Fire and Blood to take us back another 200 years, to the Targaryen wars of succession.
House of the Dragon aired this summer and is already out on DVD so no time has been wasted.
After a few years without Game of Thrones, I was eager to see more of the Targaryens doing what they do best: marrying each other, riding dragons and running into madness.
A whole new cast was used, helping to sustain the cinematic universe and showcasing even more acting talent.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) ascends the throne as the nearest living male relative of the current king, his grandfather. His cousin Rhaenys (Eve Best) is overlooked because she is a woman.
Partly to see justice done a generation later, Viserys (who lacks a son) decrees that his oldest child (a daughter) will be his successor.
He remarries after his wife dies and conveniently fathers two healthy boys and another daughter, but he holds firm to Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) as his chosen heir.
As time passes, Rhaenyra (played by Emma D’Arcy as an adult) mixes duty with pleasure and manages to produce three illegitimate sons.
She’s also accused of helping to murder her first husband.
Personally, I didn’t hold either of these things against her, but by the time Viserys is dying almost none of the issues relating to the Targaryen succession have been resolved and many more new ones have arisen.
This bodes very well indeed for drama in season two. It is easy to see how the plot is being paced to produce multiple seasons.
Almost everyone has a reason to hate one another and by showing us so much of their lives before war finally breaks out that we are able to fully appreciated the deep-seated and long-lasting resentments that are festering away.
The pace was good. The complexity of the fictional world and the depth of characterisation meant that the action never flagged.
I enjoyed every moment of House of the Dragon, and I can’t wait for season two.
Thank you for reading my review.
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