It's time for more fire and blood on the 'House of the Dragon' season premiere

It's time for more fire and blood on the 'House of the Dragon' season premiere

Updated on August 23, 2022 13:03 PM by Dhinesh

A new era has begun in Westeros. It finally premiered Sunday on HBO, and there are many dragons in "House of the Dragon," along with violence, sex, and palace intrigue in the highly anticipated prequel.

A slice of the "Thrones" world, mostly in the Red Keep of King's Landing, the fictional nation's capital, if you've forgotten since it ended in 2019.

One of many possible spinoffs HBO developed after the finale of "Thrones," the show's first episode, is still very young, setting the scene 172 years before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke in the original series) was born in Westeros. In the first episode of the series, HBO establishes the players in Westeros, the ruling Targaryen clan, and their courtiers.

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A lot of exposition occurs, many names sound very similar (Rhaenyra and Rhaenys, for example), and hints of more drama and dragons to come in this episode, much like the first episode of "Thrones" back in 2011.

While not quite as bombastic as fans would expect, it doesn't do much to establish the characters as sympathetic or intriguing, a problem that persists in the first six episodes.

Having watched the first hour of "Dragon," I think it doesn't quite have the daring that "Thrones" displayed when Jaime Lannister pushed Bran out the window with Nikolai Coster-Waldau. Although the pilot does not quite grab you the way the first episode did, fans may still be drawn back for Episode 2 with all the dragon flying, nudity, and dismemberment the pilot provides.

Also Read: An exploration of the Targaryen's dragon-taming empire in 'House of the Dragon'

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Look at the Targaryen

There are a lot of platinum blonde wigs in the entire show. The first episode spends much of its time laying out the Targaryen court's players: the schemers, dreamers, and gamblers.

As a preface for "Dragon," we will introduce Jaehaerys, king of the Targaryens, who ruled Westeros for 50 years in peace, but no sons are available to succeed him.

He calls a great council to choose his heir, which decides between Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) and Prince Viserys (Paddy Considine), his oldest male descendent. There is no problem in a patriarchal society if the man wins the vote.

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Westeros is rotten to the core

After meeting the cast of mostly very blonde characters, we should have been worried about Aemma's upcoming delivery when she ponderously tells Rhaenyra that "the childbed is our battlefield."

Amidst the tournament, Viserys calls in the name of Aemma's child, and the woman goes into labor, but everything does not go according to plan. There are two options available to Viserys: Lose them both or save the child.

During a bloody Caesarean section, the medical "maesters" butcher Aemma, leaving her bloody and dead. One of the heavy-handed metaphors the show's writers employ is the imagery of Aemma's almost-naked body being held down and torn apart.

A very handsome Dornish knight, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), defeats Daemon in that tournament. A graphic depiction of the pain and suffering of women, but by switching births for sexual assault, it's clear that "Dragon" will not shake its love of depicting women's pain and suffering.

Also, Read: The House of the Dragon crew kept a close eye out for Starbucks cups.

How will the Iron Throne be inherited?

Even though the baby is a boy, he only lives for a few hours, and Rhaenyra is furious at her father's grief at his funeral.

Following the meeting, Otto brings up succession at a small council meeting of the king's council, expressing concerns about Daemon's temperament and his hatred for his younger brother.

It is agreed amongst the councilors that the heirs should be Rhaenys, Corlys' wife who was bested by Viserys when she claimed the throne, or Rhaenyra, the young girl.

It is clear from the men's room that they are not in favor of a woman taking the Iron Throne, but Viserys does not want to hear any of it. However, Daemon hears it all while hiding there.

His son, Alicent, 15, comes into the king's bedroom to offer him company. Otto pushes Viserys to cast Daemon aside, but he has other plans.

Viserys asks Alicent to wear a more revealing dress, and she obeys. Viserys takes a liking to the child his best friend prosecuted to him, even though they haven't done anything but chat for now.

Also Read: 'House of the Dragon' Release Date And Significant Characters Are Revealed

In the role of the heir for a day

After Otto heard that Daemon had rented out a brothel to celebrate the death of his nephew and rival, he ran to Viserys to inform him.

Viserys strips Daemon of his role as heir and sends him away because the king cannot tolerate his brother's shenanigans. Daemon had been referred to as "the heir for a day" by his brother, but the king cannot tolerate that.

When Rhaenyra passes his leadership tests, he can feel good about naming her his new heir. He takes her down to the Red Keep's bowels to gaze upon the skull of Targaryen's greatest dragon.

Moreover, he mentions a prophecy their ancestor Aegon saw one hundred years ago, predicting a terrible winter a thousand years later. Even though he's referring to "Thrones," his dire warning is lame, considering how that story goes.

Rhaenyra has formally crowned Viserys's heir, and everyone bends the knee and swears allegiance to her, including two Baratheons and a Stark in apparent fan service. Rhaenyra's succession is not going to be as straightforward as that, however.

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