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'House of the Dragon' review: 'Game of Thrones' spin-off is better than the original

When HBO first announced it would be moving forward with aGame of Thronesprequel series, It's clear they were playing with firepossible House of the Dragons could repeat the huge success of the 2010's biggest show. Fans who felt burned out in the final season of Game of Thrones, who gave fan favorite Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) a brutal heel turn, turned the realm into Did you leave it in the hands of ``Bran''?

But miraculously, theHouse of the Dragon was able to jump straight through the gate over theGame of Thrones. The new HBO series captures the late grandeur ofGame of Thrones, the elegant interpersonal drama beloved in the early series, and puts female characters at the heart of it like never before. No need to be wary of returning to Westeros. House of the Dragon is not good. The wonderful

House of the Dragons was set nearly 200 years before the events of the original Game of Thrones, when the Targaryens reached their peak power. Storm surge. The show opens with the Great Council of 101. There, the 'Wise King' Jeharis (Michael Carter) is summoned to gather the lords of the kingdom to solve a thorny family problem. Although his granddaughter Reynis (Eve Best) is technically next in line, the lord overwhelmingly votes for the male heir, Viserys (Paddy Considine). This cold open introduces us toHouse of the Dragon's central villain, the Patriarchy.

The Great Council of 101 in House of the Dragon
Photo: HBO

The first season of House of the Dragon tells the story of childhood is. Best friends Rainyra Targaryen (Teenage Millie Alcott, Adult Emma Darcy) and Aricent Hightower (Teenage Emily Carey, Adult Olivia Cooke) wonder who will succeed Raenyra's father on the Iron Throne. We had an argument over whether to continue. Neither had any glorious ambitions when we first met the girls, but the horrific death of Rhaenyra's mother in her birthing bed quickly changed their positions at court. Viserys decides to pass on his own male heir, Chaotic brother Damon (Matt Smith), in favor of Laenira. Meanwhile, Aricent's father, the politically powerful Otto Hightower (Rhys Effans), pressures his submissive daughter to "comfort" Viserys in a time of grief. After all, the king needs to remarry to find that coveted male heir…

Issues that haunt Rhaenyra throughout her six episodes that HBO sent critics The Realm, the same one who rejected Rhaenys, accepts her. Her position seems secure until her father's new bride gives birth to a healthy son. I'm afraid it means selling off to a rich lord. Will she be able to claim the promised throne? Or will she become a royal broodmare, just like her mother?

House of the Dragon
Photo: HBO

Early Dragon House, Mother of Rhaenyra Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) ) tells her daughter, "The birthbed is our battlefield," andHouse of the Dragon treats pregnancy and its ordeals like a brutal and bloody war. Game of Thrones used sexual violence to demonstrate the brutality of patriarchal societies, sometimes embarrassingly, House of the Dragons focuses on the fear inherent in breeding. House of the Dragon does not shy away from the brutal and crude parts of childbirth, but rather shows audiences how the quest to create a successor simultaneously gives the women of this world power and the deadliest test. Game of Thrones showed Lyanna Stark drowning in her "blood bed" like a beautiful martyr. House of the Dragons makes similar scenes feel like violent horror acts.

But House of the Dragons is not just about vying for power in a system set up to demean women. It's also a meaty political drama set in a lush fantasy world ruled by dragons, likeGame of Thrones. Unlike Daenerys' dragon hordes, which took years to mature,House of the Dragonshas a total of 17 fully grown dragons that can soar through the clouds and outsmart enemy legions. incinerate. The battle scenes that can only be described as "metal AF" and the gimmicks that make full use of the character's emotions and monsters will make your heart pound.

House of the Dragon has an incredible number of recommended CGI beasts. The real fire of this show comes from his cast of amazing ensembles of performers. Paddy Considine turns Viserys from a borderline buffoon in the works of George R.R. Martin into a tragic, haunted figure unleashed by her own capacity for love. Newcomers Millie Alcock and Emily Carey each command the screen in different ways. Alcock's Raenira are all brave and spiteful, but Carrie's Aricent is a carefully constructed hell of suffering. (We've only seen Darcy and Cook's version of the role in one episode of his, so far, it's a match for Alcock and Carrie, but it darkens both characters' souls.) But the standout of the series has to be Matt Smith's Daemon his Targaryen. Smith takes a character who is little more than an arrogant bully, making him an unlikely underdog. Demons are terrifying, seductive, and irresistibly attractive. A perfect dragon prince.

Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in full battle armor in House of the Dragon
Photos: HBO

That said,House of the Dragon is not without its faults. There is none. So far, the show seems to have given demon Targaryen low-born sex slave to spymaster lover Misalia (Mizuno Sonoya) a short temper compared to the rest of the characters. (It doesn't really help that the accent is a cranky patois.) House of the Dragons also makes heavy use of time jumps. Especially between episodes 5 and 6, some major characters make an appearance. Fully recast. Both casts are great, but these jumps may be jarring for viewers not fully embedded in the lore of the world of George R.R. Martin.

Speaking of lore, perhapsThe most striking part about House of the Dragonsis that it feels more likeGame of ThronesthanGame of Thrones} This show will delight its avid fans. It's full of great detail and greatly expands Martin's cosmic mythology. Tonally,House of the Dragonwas David Benioff or his D.B. Weiss adaptation. One of his reasons for that is that Martin himself co-produced House of the Dragon, and that HBO invested a huge budget in bringing the full scope of his world to life. is.

Overall House of the Dragon feels like a magical miracle. It's as if showrunners Ryan Condel and Miguel Sapochnik saw Game of Thrones and thought, "How can we make this even better?" Rather than "How can I do this all over again?" House of the Dragons is undoubtedly a coveted show for Game of Thrones fans, full of drama, fire and blood. A lot of dragons.

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, August 21st.