‘The house of the dragon’ is not ‘Game of thrones’ nor does it have any interest in being a river story in a war between dozens of houses, each with its different ups and downs and nuances. And that’s perfect. The biggest fears that many of us had about the new HBO series have been dispelled throughout the season: using the same setting and tone as the original series, the spin-off has completely spun off and become a standalone series which shows that you can still surprise in Westeros.
From here, obviously, there is spoilers for episode 7 of ‘The house of the dragon’. But not a few or buried, no, we are going to go deep. You stay warned.
For six episodes, ‘The house of the dragon’ has been dedicated to placing the pieces on the gigantic chessboard, little by little, worrying that the viewers knew the kinship and relationships of all the characters with each other so as not to have to ask, as many did in ‘Game of Thrones’, “And who is this?” It has been hard work, sometimes somewhat tedious, but It has finally paid off.
In episode 7, and after the ten year time skip, the Targaryens begin to move the pieces preparing for the, predictably, great war between Rhaenyra and Alicent for the iron throne. And what a start to the game: the first confrontation between the old friends was anything but pretty. The image of Alicent, letting go for the first time and forgetting decorum and tradition, knife in hand, makes it clear that Viserys’s daughter does not have everything done to take the throne (far from it).
‘La casa del dragon’ has taken a while, but it has found its own tone and rhythm: although It lacks the charisma that ‘Game of Thrones’ did have thanks to characters like Tyrion, Hodor or Joffrey, the much more limited cast suits him well because he can dedicate himself to giving different layers to the personalities and that, when something wild happens, it doesn’t seem to come from nowhere. You can’t simmer any slower or cook a more delicious meal.: The HBO series is making a lot of right decisions. Not all, but most of them.
The rigid against the lively
Every dollar the channel has spent on the show’s visual effects is well spent. Dragons are absolutely spectacular in every shot they appear: Seven episodes later they continue to impress with every shot, every low-flyer and every dracary. It is true that sometimes it seems that the script forces them to appear to wake up the viewer who cares little about political intrigues, but it is a small price to pay for the majesty that each chapter shows: a real luxury.
In return, night scenes get worse (and I suspect that it will be the runrún seriéfilo of the week). True: if they are seen at night or with a projector in a movie theater they are perfectly understandable, but in any other light condition there are times when it is difficult to understand what is being seen. The sharpness of the sex scene between Rhaenyra and Daemon is practically a black screen followed by the appropriation of the dragon, which is also difficult to distinguish. What happens is great, but, as happened in the night scenes of ‘Game of Thrones’, their desire to show the most realistic conditions possible makes them sometimes forget that there are spectators on the other side who want to see what is happening.
They are minor flaws, in any case: for the first time since this new journey began, the series based on the books by George RR Martin had me on the edge of my seat with the trial out loud after the stab in the eye, the accusations on both sides and the lines of support for both factions already drawn in the sand, before any war conflict begins. If some contenders from the original series entered the war without their motivations being fully understood, here they are very clear: tradition against modernity, divine right against cattle, conservative against progressive. In a certain way, and like the best fantasy series, ‘The House of the Dragon’ speaks of our world and of political polarization better than many thoughtful analyses.
If they know how I get, why do they invite me
There isn’t an episode of ‘House of the Dragon’ without a (supposed) death., and in this case it is one of the fat ones: we say goodbye for now to Laenor Velaryon, and with him, to the last son of Corlys and Rhaenys (on whom the buzz of his coronation that never came continues to fall). The consequences of this situation, at least for those of us who have not read ‘Fire and blood’, can completely turn the table. As has already been shown more than once in this series, The love (and pain) of a mother should not be underestimated.
I recognize that in the first episode I did not give a penny for this series: I thought it was just another repetition of the narrative schemes of the original, including some photocopied characters. But after this first contact that creates familiarity with the viewer, he has decided to create his own environment, away from the streets and avoiding showing two hundred new places and eight important houses, but instead focused on the court of the Targaryens. The political intrigues have been increasing with the passing of the episodesand we can only hope that the final stretch of the season blows everything up.
But deep down, no matter how spectacular, ‘The house of the dragon’ is a series of characters broken inside for the loss of a loved one, their unattainable ambitions or a lifestyle that does not fit with that of the time. And it is very nice that a series that could have gone down the lane of simplicity and made a copy-paste to get away with it is dedicated body and soul to being an original, unique and devilishly entertaining product.