The highly anticipated prequel series to HBO’s hugely successful Game of Thrones, Game of Dragon, is finally here. This Sunday’s first episode aired with just over an hour of running time. The story takes place 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen.
This was when Targaryen riders and dragons ruled over Westeros. “House of the Dragon” has a much higher budget and more hype than Game of Thrones’ first season in 2011. It immediately gets into the marvelous. The politics, violence, and scheming (also infamous) that the core of “GoT” fans loved to see is preserved without sacrificing.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (SEASON 1), EPISODE 1 RECAP:
THE QUEEN THAT NEVER WAS
When King Jaehaerys makes a mistake and overlooks Princess Rhaenys, the older descendent of Daenerys, in favor of the younger Viserys (Paddy Considine), it sets in motion the wheel that Daenerys dedicated her life to breaking down in ‘GoT.’
Rhaenys wed Lord Corlys Velaryon, who would later become one of the most important members of King Viserys’ council. Thus, Princess Rhaenys is ‘The Queen That Never Was.’ It is obvious why.
It has never been Westeros’ queen, and it won’t be. It is not necessary to say that Rhaenys will harbor a fair amount of resentment moving forward.
THE HEIR PROBLEM WITH SERIES
Then we move on, and Viserys, although plagued by the same problem with his heirs, is a pretty successful ruler in his ninth year. It is not because of inefficiency.
Viserys and Gemma (Sian Brooke) have not had a son. Gemma has been unsuccessfully pregnant several times.
Their only child is Rhaenyra, their daughter (Milly Alcock plays the younger version), who has enjoyed riding her dragon from an early age.
Like Jaehaerys, Viserys feels the need to ignore the female heir, and even though he loves his daughter, he is compelled by this desire for a son. Viserys is hopeful that Gemma will get pregnant again.
THE HEIR APPARENT DAEMON TARGARYEN
Viserys’ brother, Daemon (“Matt Smith”), is shown to be ambitious but also ruthless. His violent and uncompromising approach to leading the city’s watch to stop crime is met with harsh criticism, particularly from Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).
Daemon and Otto are not in love. Viserys is, however, not hostile to Daemon. Viserys is affectionate towards his brother; he’s quite the opposite.
The tourney was organized to celebrate the birth of the King’s son and heir (Viserys was certain of the baby’s gender).
Daemon displays his skills as a soldier. He seemed to be on his way toward becoming champion after defeating many knights during the joust. He is defeated by Ser Criston Cole, a young knight from House Cole, which is a lesser-known house.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (SEASON 1), EPISODE 1 REVIEW:
The riveting pilot episode of House of the Dragon promises to be all that Game of Thrones was. Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones alumni, directed the pilot episode entitled ‘The Heirs of the Dragon. This episode sets the tone for the series in the same glorious, gory manner that its predecessor.
“House of the Dragon” does not seem to be made from the same cloth. Ryan J. Condal wrote the script and identified the key characters and their key weapons. Game of Thrones relied on the following pillars: politics, scheming, and backstabbing.
Game of Thrones later seasons saw the rise of visual spectacles. CGI is excellent, and the dragons are prominently featured. The tourney joust was a stunning spectacle.
House of the Dragon, like Game of Thrones, has a cast that could win many acting awards. Paddy Considine has begun to prove his worth as Viserys. Matt Smith looks like the Jaime/Tywin charismatic villain.
The show’s young Rhaenyra, Milly Alcock, is rumored to be its protagonist. “The Heir of the Dragon” is a pilot that fulfills the hype of its predecessors and keeps us excitedly awaiting the next episode.