If you are a Game of Thrones fan, like me, then I guess you also were in shock and utter devastation when the series ended the way it did, and even proclaimed that you would never watch anything related to that universe again. I did, and therefore, I had serious doubt when the news of the new series, House of The Dragon, started appearing. What if it was just another follow up, to squeeze out some more juice from the dragons before they were totally dry? My open wound has not really healed yet, even though three years has passed, and so I approached the new series with a lot of suspicion, treading gently and keeping a distance, so that if it was really that bad, I would be able to run away. But instead of running away, I was sucked in the moment, the dragons flew above King’s Landing, and I was immediately transported back to the world that I loved so much and held so dear not long ago.
After the wonderful start, the story unfolded in a way that could not be more impressive. The characters started appearing, and they were all wonderful, no matter which side they were on. Each character left their mark on the flow of the story right away after they got onscreen. The script was really solid, it left enough room for character buildup, but not so much that the plot became thin and the audience feeling bored, which was no mean feat given the huge amount of characters to introduce in one hour of the first episode. I was especially impressed with Daemon Targaryen. He was part Jon Snow, part Jamie Lannister, part Tywin Lannister, all in one, and he was riding a badass dragon. What more can I ask for?
Even though we have a king sitting on the Iron Throne, the show was very much about women and their fight for power, sometimes overtly, but most of the time covertly through their male counterparts. And although it was a noble idea to name a woman as heir to the throne, that fateful decision proved deadly in the end, as it set the stage for conflicts to brew and finally blow off, burning everyone in the process and leaving nothing but carnage in the end. It was applicable in medieval time, and it is still applicable right now, despite all the efforts to bridge the gap between men and women.
Right in the middle of all those scheming and political calculations are two young women, two innocent girls who grew up as best friends, who trusted each other so much and understood each other so much that nothing seemed to be able to come between them. But power corrupts people, and it was very sad to see them torn apart, following different paths, which would very soon cross each other, turning friends into enemies and making them lunge at each other’s throats (literally and figuratively).
And the dragons. OMG. Talk about the dragons. Unlike the original series, where the dragons were more of a cameo-like appearance, and sometimes gone MIA for a few episodes straight (we cannot blame them either, as CGI does not come cheap, and there were only 3 dragons anyway), dragons were front and centre in this new show, which was great. And they look great, distinctive, recognisable, and absolutely fearsome. Caraxes is red, with scary long neck and tail, just like her rider Daemon. Syrax, on the other hand, is almost golden, and much more proportionate, perfect companion for the heiress Rhaenyra. Moreover, we can feel the very strong bond and deep relationship between the dragons and their riders in this series so far, which will be pivotal in time to come.
Oh yes, the king. Since you have an iron throne “the most dangerous seat in the Seven Kingdoms”, you need someone to sit on it. And more often than not, the one who is chosen to sit on it is either not worthy to own it, not able to hold it for long, or suffer a not very desirable fate. Plus, how more pathetic can it be than to get cut by the throne, and suffer one injury after another. Viserys was not a bad person, he was just an awful king. He was the mirror image of Robert Baratheon, just a few hundred years earlier, and with a different color of hair. But both guys were equally weak, indecisive and got fooled by their small councils. And that is the perfect setup for disaster to happen and for chaos to erupt, the very moment they were out of the scene. They were great puppets, which was the reason why they could Iive out their days, but once they were gone, that was when the real power showed up and the war for ultimate power began.
So far, my favorite character in the first part of the series is none other than Daemon Targaryen. He was a great fighter, and fighting scenes are always great fun to watch. He had a devil-may-care attitude, did not succumb to bullshit, and was never reluctant to speak his mind, even though that might step on some serious toes. Plus, he looked great on his dragon, Caraxes. And he had a ruggedly handsome look, not so perfect like Jamie Lannister, but he had a flair for power and an aura that nobody could underestimate him. I don’t know if he would be a great king or not, he did not even seem much interested in being king or wearing a crown. I think he just wanted to bring his house back to its former glory. But I may be wrong, dead wrong. Let’s wait and see.
My next favorite character is none other than Rhaenyra Targaryen, the heiress to the throne. Despite her young age, she was determined, sharp like a Valeryan blade, and smart as hell. She also knew how to talk to people, to convince them, threaten them, manipulate them or just will them to her own way. She had a splitting image of Cersei Lannister, but she also had the Targaryen blood, the blood of the dragon. Daring, strong will and stubborn, she was even more hard headed than her uncle Daemon. And she knew her way around the court, she knew how to play with power. That made her someone very interesting to watch. It’s a pity that we will not see the actress Milly Alcock in the second part of the series, as she will be replaced by the older version of the character. She was not the prettiest girl on set (probably on purpose, her childhood friend Alicent Hightower was played by a much more dazzle looking actress Emily Carey), but her character really shone brightly everytime she appeared onscreen. And my favorite screens were always those the she were with his badass uncle. They were simply great. Together. Period.
Just some random thoughts on the new series, in no particular order. I really love it so far, and I am looking forward to each and every episode. Let it burn.