House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon

Ladies and gentlemen, now that it’s been weeks if not months since the finale of House of the Dragon, the hype has died down, I’ve finally caught my breathe after watching the first season, and I believe it’s time to give it a review.
However, before I begin my review on House of the Dragon, I think it’s only fair that I mention that after a last couple of disappointing seasons of Game of Thrones, particularly season 6, 7 and 8, even I had my own reservations about it and there’s no doubt about the fact that HBO had a lot of work to do in gaining the audience and fans love back of George R. R. Martin’s novels all over again.
Because if we’re being honest, the execution leading to the season 8 finale did not live up to all the hype and buildup that the series promised us from the beginning of the series, leaving the audience with a sour taste in their mouths that they’ll never forget.
Now here we are, years later and HBO has decided to take another chance on a George R. R. Martin novel, this time following the events that happen 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Which means, we’ll be seeing a lot of dragons.
See if there’s any credit that should be given to the author of Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon, George R. R. Martins, it has to be his talent for world building, which in truth cannot be compared to any other series at this very moment, and especially Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which I might to a review on sometime in the twilight of 2023 but for now I digress on the matter.
One aspect that proves to anyone out there about the amazing world building that George R. R. Martins has is simply in the reference of using one’s name whether it be in Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon.
When you hear the name Lannister, you immediately remember them as the main villains in Game of Thrones, when you hear the name Targaryen, you instantly think of the mother of dragons, Daernerys Targaryen who without a doubt dominated the series.  
I know what I’m about to say may sound ridiculous, however, in all honesty, I only came to understand which castle is which in Game of Thrones after watching House of the Dragons.
Before House of the Dragon, I didn’t know how Dragonstone, King’s Landing or The Red Keep looked like. Whenever I saw the young tyrannical king Joffrey Baratheon, I simply thought we were in King’s Landing.
And this is precisely why I say, George R. R. Martins world building is amazing. Names don’t only remind you of a person but a place, same could be said if it were otherwise. Castles reminds you of faces, remind you of events that happened, whether it be plans of treachery, or to prove one’s love. Everything is connected.
Now that I’ve spoken highly enough about the author, let’s talk about House of the Dragon, Season One.
How can I describe the first season in just one word? I guess the word I’d use is gripping.
Straight out of the bat, House of the Dragon doesn’t waste any time at showing its dark side to the audience, when they introduce to us, King Viserys played by Paddy Considine. Whose pregnant wife is going through labor pains and has to make the rather difficult decision of either losing the baby or losing both his wife and child.
King Viserys is in many ways, an honestly good person, however, not was not meant to be king. The man cared so much about his daughter Princess Rhaenyra as he did not have a son, going so far even to place matters of the kingdom only after her wellbeing.
He couldn’t rule with an iron hand, he wanted peace built on blood and mutual understanding for the prosperity of the Targaryen name.
Normally this wouldn’t be anything to bother about in our days, but this is about the seven kingdoms we’re talking about. The lands united by Aegon I Targaryen – The Conqueror, these lands are ruled by men not women. So naturally when King Viserys chose his daughter to become heir of the kingdoms after his passing and not his hot blooded brother Daemon Targaryen, this would set to motion a bunch of events that would rock the kingdom to it’s very core.
If we’re being honest, the star of this series is probably going to be Daemon Targaryen played by Matt Smith. From the very moment we see Daemon on screen, you can tell there’s something different about this man, he wants all the smoke, and you he wants everyone else to know it.
Not only is he a dragon rider of Caraxes, the Blood Wyrn. He is the younger brother of King Viserys, uncle to Princess Rhaenyra and also has ambitions to become king. The man goes so far into plotting his ascension to become king that he begins manipulating his niece and leaving her in a brothel virtually naked. He kills his wife without even blinking an eye all before getting remarried about.
In just one season, the man has had three wives, nearly in all the scenes he appears in, you already know something is about to go down. Daemon is a true menace to society and yet he has the most character development throughout the first season. It’s mind-blowing because you don’t know what to expect from him.
Princess Rhaenyra on the other hand, resembles a lot of Arya Stark personality in a way. She’s rough around the edges, doesn’t want to be tied down to a husband, believes she can do the same things as men can and is quiet the enjoyable character in the sense that you can relate to her a lot in the way she does things and views the world.
As a classic George R. R. Martin novel, there are some unsettling moments within the season that throw you back like what just happened, or what am I watching.
One example of this, is when King Viserys was required to look for a second wife and a little 12-year-old girl from the Velaryon bloodline was saying things such as “I will give you healthy children” etc. This is a 12-year-old girl, what was her education like, how to keep a marriage-101?
Or how about we talk about a father asking his only daughter to seduce King Viserys, and to wear her late mother’s favorite dress on top of that to spice things up. Which worked like a charm if I must say and this is the perfect contrast between a loving father like King Viserys who’d do anything for his daughter and Otto Hightower played by Rhys Ifans, who sacrificed his own daughter for the sake of the kingdom.
I think I’ve spoken enough about some of the characters, now let’s talk about the story.
If I’m being completely honest with you, a huge reason as to why I was looking forward to this series has to do with the mythical creatures that are Dragons. Not only did we get two or three these majestic creatures but we are promised to see a total of 17 dragons throughout the course of the series.
Dragons during this time aren’t what I’d necessarily call abundant, however, comparing it to Game of Thrones, you come to release that this is the time that most of the dragons almost go completely extinct.
This feud between the Greens and Blacks for whether the first born son of King Viserys or his chosen heir – Princess Rhaenrys should be the true ruler of the seven kingdoms is laughable to an extent. Their all fighting to keep the Targaryen bloodline at the helm of power whilst killing one another and lessening their numbers.
Sadly enough, it’s the dragons that pay the highest price of this conflict because from what we know 200 years in the times of Game of Thrones, dragons have become myths like the books in our stories, of course true that’s until Daenerys Targaryen comes into the picture.
Corlys Velaryon played by Steve Toussaint said it best that “People don’t remember blood, they remember names”. This quote for me hits hard because what really besides name do you know about history as we’re told? There was no DNA tests back so how many bastard children out there have been elevated to positions of King all to perverse the name.
Alicent Hightower is no Targaryen of blood so her sons are only half Targaryen, same can be said about the children of Princess Rhaenyra who have no Velaryon blood in them yet they still fight. Two women who grew up as best friends but torn apart by politics and responsibilities.
On that note, I must applaud casting director Kate Rhodes James for her incredible choice of cast. I mean I had no problem with the cast before the time skip, referring to Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, I believe they played their roles exceptionally well without critic pre-time skip, although I did not expect to be amazed as I was when first laying eyes upon their elder selves.
Everyone had a glow up besides King Viserys, who unfortunately had the worst of it. The man lost an eye, an arm and lip. He certainly did not read about ageing like fine wine, he aged like fruit from within, rotting away by the years but at least he still had a genuine heart.
Overall, House of the Dragon is everything and more that we loved about Game of Thrones, storytelling phenomena that will have you captivated from start to finish. The beautiful scenes and plotting from the royal members leave you feeling like it has this tight grasp around you that won’t let you go until the episode is over.
HBO premiered House of the Dragon at 3AM in the morning for all ten episodes and I was up for every one of them. Keep in mind this is just the beginning, the finale is what I call a cliffhanger, which is sure to bring back season two with an even bigger bang and serious consequences. I cannot wait.
With this, I give House of the Dragon a 5 out of 5 rating. Certainly one of, if not best series for the year 2022, but let’s see what 1899 has to say about that.
Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts on House of the Dragon season one was like for you, I’d love to hear your opinion on this incredible series.
Thank you for reading another review from, LSR.
Have a wonderful festive season.House of the Dragon
Star Ratings

George R. R. Martin

"I would've begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would've called 'The Heir and the Spare. Jaehaerys' two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive, and we see the friendship but also the rivalry between the two sides of the great house. Then Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth, then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir. Is it the daughter of the son who's just died, or the second son who has children of his own and is a man where she's a teenager? You could've presented all that stuff, but then you would've had 40 more years, and even more time jumps and recastings. I was the only one who was really enthused about that."

The reign of House Targaryen begins with this prequel to popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” “House of the Dragon” is set nearly 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” telling the story of the Targaryen civil war with King Viserys I Targaryen’s children battling for control of the Iron Throne.
Milly Alcock
Matt Smith
Emma D’Arcy
Olivia Cooke
Paddy Considine
Emily Carey
Ewan Mitchell
Fabien Frankel
Eve Best
Rhys Ifans
Graham McTavish
Tom Glynn-Carney
Sonoya Mizuno
Steve Toussaint
Ryan Corr
Phia Saban
Jefferson Hall
John MacMillan
Bethany Antonia
Nanna Blondell
Matthew Needham
Gavin Spokes
Wil Johnson
Phoebe Campbell
Kurt Egyiawan
Leavesden Studio
10 Episodes
Sky Deutschland

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