House of the Dragon: an all fired return in Westeros
After the huge success of Game of Thrones, HBO comes back strong with a new series about the enigmatic family Targaryen.
Airing this Sunday on HBO and available online since August 22, the first episode of House of the Dragon has met expectations. Telling the story of the glory and fall of House Targaryen, the series has already broken a viewing record. In the United States, nearly 10 million viewers were gathered in front of their screens to follow this new adventure. A very good start for the adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood.
The events of House of the Dragon take place during the king Viserys’ reign, 172 years before Daenerys’ birth. Just as the showrunners announced, it is not necessary to have watched Game of Thrones to go for it. During this first episode, the king (interpreted by Paddy Considine) is worried for the future of his throne: having no male heir, his succession is threatened. Daemon (Matt Smith), Viserys’ brother who is therefore Lord Commandant of the King’s Landing watch, worries the king’s advisors. It seems that he covets the famous Iron Throne…
Blood, Sex & Throne
The CEO of OCS – the channel that broadcasts the series in France – promised that House of the Dragon would bring together “everything we love about Game of Thrones”. Different characters, same stakes. The protagonists are once again caught up in the intrigues of the Court and in the race to the Throne. If, like Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), some of them seem to be uninterested, others – like the king’s brother – are eyeing it without bothering to hide it. We understand from the start the role that this charismatic and evil character is about to play in the coming war. This war called “The Dance of the Dragons” is responsible for the loss of the Targaryens.
Many viewers had complained about the sex scenes in Game of Thrones, which they felt were too numerous. The showrunners of the spin-off, Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan J. Condal had announced that House of the Dragon would have less sex scenes than its elder sister. This is not necessarily the case for this pilot episode, Daemon having a reputation of notorious debauchery. Accustomed to the brothels of the city, the brother of the king delivers to the screen various scenes of nudity.
This first episode also comes with its package of violence – you don’t change a winning team. A brutal jousting tournament, bloodshed, punishments with macabre ends… blood is already flowing in Westeros. Notably during the polemical scene during which the queen gives birth under… extreme conditions. And this, shortly after stating that women “fight more battles than men who have never known war”, while she gives birth in suffering during the tournament which is a fake war. The Targaryen dragons are not left out of the violence to come: the series announces 17 of them, for a season… on fire.
In 1 hour and 5 minutes, House of the Dragon sets the stage for the rest of the series in an impressive pilot. The long-awaited return of the struggle for the Iron Throne promises to be just as bloody as Game of Thrones. Something to look forward to in the next 9 weeks.
HBO has also already announced that the series will have a second season. A success that should encourage the channel for the upcoming spin-off about Jon Snow’s adventures.