HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (2022) – A more that worthy addition to the Game of Thrones universe


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

HBO TV series House of the Dragon is the ambitious follow-up spin off series from the hugely successful Game of Thrones. It covers the history of the mighty Targaryen dynasty that dominates the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and is set a few hundred years before the events in Game of Thrones. It’s no surprise that the Targaryens held such a tight grip on their subjects given that they possessed dragons that could breathe fire! As in the case of Game of Thrones (at least in the earlier seasons), the material is based on the novels by George R.R. Martin, in this case, on his novel Fire and Blood. Since this is set so many years and generations before the time of Game of Thrones, there is really little need to try and link the characters here with that of GOT. Perhaps the main familiarity lies with the geography and sets of Westeros and the familiar music score by Ramin Djawadi. It would appear much of the buildings we saw in Kings Landing in GOT were already in place way back then including the infamous iron throne made up of swords.

Many fans of Game of Thrones were let down by the final two seasons’ directionlessness and noticeably worsening writing. When House of the Dragon was announced, it was met with some level of skepticism. I’m delighted to announce that House of the Dragon now feels like a revitalising and genuinely thrilling reboot. The writing is smart and faithful to the GOT atmosphere, with its many plot twists, political intrigues, and backstabbing. Each character has been extremely carefully crafted and feels distinct thanks in part to the consistently excellent performances by the entire cast. The writing is clever and true to the spirit of GOT with its multiple plot twists, backstabbing and political intrigues. If you are here for the dragons, don’t worry, there are lots of opportunities to see the mighty dragons in action this time. What can I say? This series is just yet another “must watch” production in an already jam-packed year of superb work

One other thing that is noticeably different this time is that unlike GOT and the recent Lord of the Rings TV series, where we have several stories being played out in parallel each week, House of the Dragon has only ONE storyline. This is a refreshing change and makes the whole flow feel so much better without the usual interruptions as the stories jump around the exploits of different sets of characters.

House of the Dragon Season One may not have as much gratuitous sex, nudity and violence as GOT, but its theme is no less violent or devilish. Some of these take place in the dark so you will not really be able to see anything clearly. In fact, this is perhaps my one and only gripe I have for the series. Too many scenes are shot in low light conditions making it extremely difficult to make out what is happening sometimes or who the characters were! I am not certain whether this was a deliberate strategy by the film makers so that they do not need to be bothered by the set and computer-generated effects. I hope not and will look out for future releases particularly on bluray to see if there are any improvements to this aspect. I’ll admit that I occasionally looked up reviews and summaries of the episodes on Google to get more information. There is no shame in doing this, and I implore you to do the same. As the show progresses, it will help you better comprehend what happened, especially in those situations where it might not have been conveyed as clearly.

The final episode of Season One has an epic fight between two dragons in midair and is a real show-stopper. The repercussions of a few of the main characters’ acts set the stage for a highly anticipated upcoming season, where we can anticipate seeing a full-fledged battle!

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