TV Show Review: First Season of House of the Dragon (2022-)

There will not be any major spoilers in this review!

This will be the first Sunday where I have no new episode of House of the Dragon to watch. If you have seen all of Game of Thrones, you will understand the importance of the Targaryen’s when it comes to Westeros in George R.R. Martin’s books. If you haven’t read the books or watched GOT, then you have no idea what I’m talking about in this review but keep reading and watch the show anyway. A person can watch all the ten episodes of HOD without watching GOT because it should be understood and viewed as a standalone show. It isn’t necessary to have already watched GOT. To give a little perspective, the House of the Dragon opens about 200 years before GOT and 172 before Daenerys Targaryen was born. Basically Daenerys, her two brothers (Rhaegar and Viserys) and her father (Aerys) were all descendants of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

As with GOT, HOD’s cast changes throughout the seasons especially regarding the children. Before I begin with the characters, the creators are Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin and there are ten episodes running 60 minutes long each. Now onto the main characters in this season. The head of the family, King Viserys I is played by Paddy Considine. He rules the Seven Kingdoms with the help of his brother Prince Daemon Targaryen played by Matt Smith and current wife Alicent Hightower played by Olivia Cooke/younger version played by Emily Carey. Other major characters are Viserys’ daughter Princess Rhaenyra played by Emma D’Arcy/younger version played by Milly Alcock, Ser Otto Hightower played by Rhys Ifans, Lord Corlys Velaryon (married to Rhaenys) played by Steve Toussaint, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Viserys’ cousin) played by Eve Best, and Ser Criston Cole played by Fabien Frankel. Then there are all the grandchildren of Viserys’ and the main ones that will have roles in season two so far are Prince Aegon II played by Tom Glynn-Carney, Prince Aemond Targaryen played by Ewan Mitchell, and Prince Jacaerys Velaryon played by Harry Collett.

Throughout the ten episodes, there is treachery among family members, a jockeying for power, deaths that aren’t what they seem, and dragons that are not all the same. The first episode begins with the introduction of King Viserys being the successor of the family dynasty, thus beginning the turmoil among family members regarding power and ownership of the crown. The second and third episodes include intended and unintended deaths and their consequences. The family members start to question their allies and foes among each other and those loyal to them as King Viserys finds his own rule being questioned by those closest to him. Rhaenyra continues to grow and cause trouble in episode four and five and continually drives her father crazy for her resistance to his requests. As with most past royal families, fictional or not, they marry each other to preserve their lineage and this family is no different. Also, there are notable differences among some of the heirs and this causes friction as Rhaenyra and Alicent’s children grow older. By the sixth episode, there are fractures within the Targaryen families and when episode nine begins not even Viserys’ dinner party can last forever. The tenth episode obviously leaves us on a cliffhanger (well sort of as I expected something bad to happen) and I’d say the characters most to watch in the second season for evolving are Prince Daemon and Prince Aemond.

The criticisms I have are the radical jumps of characters as Rhaenyra all of a sudden has three children and the lack of dragons although there was more of an appearance of them as the episodes went on so that’s good. They underutilized them as GOT progressed and hope the creators don’t do the same in HOD. Overall, the first season was great due to the acting and storylines and whenever season two is releases, I will be there.

I rate House of the Dragon Season One FOUR FINGER and ONE THUMB at 95%.

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