A fiery return to Westeros

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 1.]


Dragon HousePerhaps HBO’s most anticipated show of the year, it’s here to ask the question: After the polarizing finale that aired in 2019, do we really want more? Game of Thrones In our lives? Well, if the series premiere is any indication, the answer is “yes.”

The best of Dragon's Eve

(Credit: HBO)

In many ways, comparing Game of Thrones Because it seems unfair Dragon House It doesn’t feel like a spin. The events of the show are set two hundred years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and while there are plenty of Targaryen here (and of course, dragons), the characters and stories are vastly different and don’t feel derivative at all. With the exception of a few well-known music icons and household names, Dragon It’s doing its thing in the known world – and like the creatures mentioned in the title, it rises.

To open the story, as always, there is a crisis of succession. And not just one. Dragon House The premiere begins and ends with such a problem, solving both in ways that mirror each other. The first is in a scene narrated by an elderly Rhaenyra Targaryen when Rhaeny (Eve Best), his firstborn son, is named Jaehaerys Targaryen Viserys (Paddy Considine), not the heir but the firstborn. After a short jump, we’ll get to the second one…but first there’s a little more history to discuss.

As with any first class, Dragon HouseThe premiere should take its time to introduce us to the main players. And like any other Game of Thrones Property, there are a lot of from them. We first meet young Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), daughter of Viserys, as she soars above King’s Landing on a dragon and gives the audience a glimpse of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Rhaenyra, thankfully, does not burn the city, although she has a good Dany’s rebellious spirit and heart. Along with Raniera we also meet Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), her best friend and daughter of the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Alicent doesn’t do much in this episode, but what she does—without giving away source material spoilers—looks great.

Home of Dragon Matt Smith

(Credit: HBO)

We also meet Rhaenyra’s mother and Viserys’ wife Emma Arryn (Cian Brooke), who is pregnant (with a boy, she’s sure). That’s important, because a son will prove the case for the Targaryen succession. After several infant deaths and births, Rhaenyra is Viserys’ only child, and sadly, the realm has little faith in the belief that a woman should sit on the Iron Throne. But even though she has no desire to be queen, she would make a better ruler than the arrogant Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Viserys’ brother and commander of the city’s guard, if they were really motivated. He has a passion for both profit and violence and uses both as he roams the city with his army and butchers on the eve of the king’s tournament.

Competition, you say? yes. Good room DragonThe premiere sees the King’s Landing tournament Viserys prepares in honor of his wife’s pregnancy and soon-to-be-born heir. watch out Game of Thrones Season 1 Flashback! Familiar names have been tossed around as bloodshed in that race—Baraton, to name one. But as Rhaenyra and Alicent witness the Daemon being defeated by the young knight of Dorne, Kristen Cole (Fabien Frankel), the king is taken away from the festivities and given a tomb (but predictable, if you’ve seen these kinds of shows) news. His wife is unlikely to survive the birth and he must decide whether it is worth cutting her womb in order to save the child or, as the saying goes, “leave it to the gods”. In the end, Viserys tells his doctors to perform the procedure… and both his wife and his newborn son die.

It’s a terrible tragedy for the kingdom, Viserys, and young Rhaenyra, who was close to her mother. As she tells Daemon at the queen’s funeral, despite her father’s need to comfort her, “You’ll never be a boy. Damon, on the other hand, is much less heartbroken by the news; In honor, he rents one of the brothels for himself and his golden robe and laughs about the king’s “heir for a day.”

Home of the Dragon Season 1 Paddy Considine

(Credit: HBO)

Viserys was saddened by this word, and angrily called his brother before him as he sat on the Iron Throne. He orders Daemon out of King’s Landing and back to his wife Rhea (which Daemon doesn’t tell him he doesn’t like), making it clear that he is not the heir to the throne. If not him, who is?

Rhaenyra, who is that! After an argument with Daemon, Viserys meets Rhanira and asks her what she saw when she saw the Targaryen dragons. “I guess we saw it,” she says. “Everyone says the Targaryens are closer to gods than humans, but they say that because of our dragons. Without them, we’re just like everyone else. After stressing that the Targaryens can’t control their dragons (“Men are a force not to be trifled with”), he tells her he’ll give her an heir. In 100-ish He also gives Arya (Maisie Williams) the dagger that some fans may recognize as the one she used to kill the Night’s King.

After that, the issue of succession will be settled. Dressed in beautiful royal regalia, Rhaenyra stands before representatives of the Great Houses as they pledge their allegiance to House Targaryen and her. But if Alicent’s expression is any indication, she’s not necessarily thrilled with her best friend’s rise to power—and her father’s insistence on wearing one of her dead mother’s gowns to “comfort” the king doesn’t seem very friendly to her, and she wants to move on. A chess piece in the power game. And of course, there’s still Daemon to consider, who’s riding a dragon away from King’s Landing with one of his harlots. The successor may be on the loose, but trouble is brewing for House Targaryen… and as Rhaenyra says in the first voiceover of the episode, “The only thing that can bring down a dragon house is itself.

Dragon HouseSunday, 9/8c, HBO

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