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House of the Dragon Episode 1: The Heirs of the Dragon

Source: HBO

Overall: 9.0/10

Story 9.1/10

The story starts 173 years before the events of Game of Thrones. There is a great council to determine who the successor of the ailing King Jaehaerys should be. Prince Viserys comes away with it. He is the next to sit upon the Iron Throne. But he has the same issue as his predecessor: no heir. He names his brother, Daemon, to fill the slot. And so it begins.

The writers do an incredible job with the continuity of the show. House of the Dragon is a prequel. The writers deftly tie it to Game of Thrones through the prophetic dream that leads to the invasion of the Night King.

And Just like Game of Thrones, there is no holding back on the realistic and graphic nature of the violence. The writers even draw a parallel to the lots of men and women on their respective and unique battlefields. But they shatter that same allusion later in the show.

Character 8.9/10

One of the biggest selling points of Game of Thrones was its characters. There may be fewer characters to latch onto in House of the Dragon. At any rate, here is the rundown of the characters that make the biggest impressions.

Viserys is a caring king with a big heart. He loves his brother and his daughter. This viewer doubts he’ll last the season. Men like him don’t last in that world. Just ask Ned Stark.

Rhaynyra is very likable. She’s ambitious and makes it known that she doesn’t want to suffer her mother’s fate. She would rather be a conquering hero, who rides dragons and sits on the Iron Throne. She’s a thinker. She’ll need to be to survive the game.

Prince Daemon is easily the most interesting character in the show. He is scary even without his cool black armor. Daemon is Joffrey on steroids if Joffery had been capable or brave. He’s more ferocious. He can fight. He’s a born leader. Men flock to him. And they are fiercely loyal. But Daemon is immature. And he is as rash as he is violent. No one should ever be fool enough to make an enemy of him. But…

Otto Hightower is sickening as the hand. He comes off as a weak and petty man, who thinks he is more intelligent than he actually is. But if nothing, he is scrupulous. He also strikes this viewer as an opportunist—the type of man who would capitalize on the king's grief by pawning his daughter off on him in the hopes of improving his house’s standing.

At the moment, all the audience knows of Lord Corlys Velaryon is that he wants to see his wife, Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, sit on the Iron Throne. He seems to follow the paths he believes are most likely to put her there. This viewer is sure that in the future the audience will see him do various less than moral things to insure it.

"The Queen That Never Was," Princess Rhaenys Velaryon didn't see much screentime this week. But this viewer predicts that the audience will see much more of her character in the future. She'll either tear Rhaynyra down out of petty jealousy or be the confidante that gets the girl Iron Throne ready. Only time will tell.

Alicent Hightower is far too meek. And her love for her friend, Rhaenyra, is too deep. Her weakness will cause her to become a pawn. But Game of Thrones did have Sansa start a pawn and end a queen. Will lightning strike again?

Final Thoughts

Excellent first episode. It sets the stage for what should be an immensely violent and entertaining first season. May the House of the Dragon stand a thousand years or at least for a few seasons.

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