Criticism of the first episode of House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel that HBO Max launches on August 22, 2022 as its big bet.
Game of Thrones has left all viewers with a brand of fire, so it was lawful that at some point it would try to replicate its success with a series derived from that one, which brought together large masses in front of the television, and it is even more logical it stars Kings of Flame: House of the Dragon .
Several circumstances are combined to make it an optimal decision: only a blockbuster can take advantage of the dragons in House of the Dragon, in their splendor at the time of the Targaryens‘ reign; there is a long book, “Fire and Blood“, in which the deeds of the noble house are narrated (and it is a closed story) and the circumstances concur so that the epic fantasy is living a happy moment .
Do you remember the feelings you had when you started watching the Game of Thrones : House of the Dragon series ?
What opened your eyes wide were not the great shots, the massive sequences or the media boasts: it was that you had grown fond of the characters and you were constantly seeing them face danger , die in the most brutal way possible or start a long and uncertain road.
In short, the presentation of the characters and the emotional involvement with them was much more important than the spaces in which the story unfolded or the magnitude of the scenery.
The House of the Dragon grew and with it its ambition, until it reached a hasty outcome that destroyed some of the plot arcs that had been gestating for years.
The anger is still very present among the fandom of the series House of the Dragon and everything indicates that the wound has not fully healed.
Going back to this universe now has something joyous and something painful : on the one hand, every time the soundtrack returns us some of the musical passages of Game of Thrones , our hearts shrink; for another it is impossible not to be comparing them almost unconsciously .
Criticism of ‘House of the Dragon’
The writers, Ryan J. Condal and George RR Martin himself , present us with someone to love and someone to hate, but the characters don’t have the charisma of the original series and the story doesn’t go to the open grave like that one.
There is also not much room for maneuver to surprise the audience, who have the feeling of having already seen everything in this fictional universe.
Take for example the first joust, the battles that we remember as something completely new or the physical and sexual violence.
Until the first flight of a dragon or on the back of this fantastic creature in House of the Dragon.
Be that as it may, House of the Dragon starts off showing muscle and giving an account of how careful the production is with very high values in all departments.
It is clear that the bar is very high and there is a real desire to satisfy the spectators by putting in front of them a very juicy dish in which nothing is missing.
We miss, yes, something new and genuine.
The good news is therefore for the laymen who enter this world now, that there will be some.
For them, being everything new, it will be easier to be dazzled.
House of the Dragon : Chronological clarifications
The first thing is that we place ourselves in the timeline: those of you who have read “Fire and Blood” will know that the chronicle (jokingly called “The GRRMarillion” in reference to Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion“) extends from Aegon’s conquest to the end of the regency.
That is, it begins 300 years before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
So if you handle the volume of Plaza & Janés and want to be documented before the premiere on HBO Max on August 22, you can go directly to page 419 and read “The heirs of the dragon: A succession issue“.
The story starts from that point, just at the moment when Jaehaerys is compelled to name his successor after meeting the Council of Harrenhal and opts for his grandson Viserys Targaryen to the detriment of Rhaenys Targaryen, nicknamed from that point on “the queen who never was” moment.
Succession tensions come to a head again as Viserys begins to have serious problems with his fickle and violent brother Daemon, and also to father a male heir.
His only daughter, Rhaenyra, is emerging as the ideal candidate for the position despite her initial reluctance because she is a woman. And until here we can read to avoid incurring spoilers.
Blood on blood: when repeating a master move is impossible
The worst enemy of House of the Dragon is Game of Thrones .
The characters, the story and how new and exciting it was to experience a trip to Westeros for the first time… It can’t be repeated, just like you can’t bathe twice in the same waters.
Although it is reasonable (and even desirable) for there to be continuity between the two series, it is very difficult for the latter to overcome the ghost of the first and find its own tone.
Already in the first episode there are bloody deaths, explicit sex and the plot core is raised, but it lacks grit , despite the more than correct main performances and having Miguel Sapochnik as showrunner and director.
He, who had just shot some of the most celebrated episodes of the series, such as “Battle of the Bastards“ or “The Long Night” , among others, does an excellent job composing very well choreographed and colorful sequences, but this first episode It doesn’t have anywhere near the impact that “Winter is Coming” had.
It’s also not fair to judge House of the Dragon purely comparatively, of course, but he makes it hard not to.
They say that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin.
HBO has launched it and we are clear that they want it to be expensive again, but it has barely started its journey and it is starting to turn.
Next week, we will continue to report on the progress and we trust that it will continue to consolidate: the foundations are very good.