About the premiere of House of the Dragon

Criticisms are multiplying on all sites, Instagrams, and tik toks of life… so my opinion (will try) is to be brief because there is not much to add in the face of the world fever.

The debut episode of House of the Dragon, after an aggressive and even massive campaign in the month leading up to it, was challenged not to disappoint. The risk already existed from the weight of the franchise, from the disappointment of how Game of Thrones ended, and yes, because after years of secrecy the images, clips, and campaigns surrounding the return of the Targaryens created a dangerous expectation. In general, it justified the passion of the fans and did not disappoint.

This prequel’s stretch of history is one of the most fascinating imagined for the Targaryen Dynasty, a historical period of civil war in which the “game of thrones” nearly destroyed the family and certainly weakened it significantly. It is a period when brothers kill brothers, dragons are slain, and the true power that ensured them absolute dominance practically ends at the end of the conflict. In other words, it is the moment of the beginning of the decline.

For the uninitiated, the big challenge is overcoming the similarity of the Targaryens’ names and faces, all blond. The Velaryons, who in the books weren’t, changed the presentation to bring about inclusion and this liberty doesn’t hurt. They turned blond to emphasize that they, like the Targaryens, are of foreign origin, coming from a land called Valyria, where magic and dragons reigned. Furthermore, know that all families wear their flag colors and repeat their mottos ad infinitum (at least Starks and Lannisters use mottos as commas), so you will quickly learn who-is-who.

In this first episode it was clear that, unlike Game of Thrones, the intentions of the characters are clear from the beginning. No one doubts the Hightowers’ ambition, for example. Daemon Targaryen, who for historians was an unscrupulous villain, is also very direct: he thinks he’s better than his brother, considers himself heir and is inconsequential in his decisions. He has affection for Viserys I, as well as his niece Rhaenyra, but we know what he wants.

Rhaenyra is a little grayer, but it will be for a little while. Unlike the House of the Dragon series, in the book she has nothing of Arya Stark, who was one of the female characters who always questioned the patriarchy. The princess knows she is loved by her father, but is also aware that her gender compels her to keep trying to have a male heir, which eventually costs the life of the beloved Queen Aemma. So the admiration for Nymeria, the dialogue in which she alludes to being frustrated for not being a man… works to bring out Rhaenyra’s obstacles, but they are something of the series more than the book.

We only heard Emma D’Arcy‘s voice, but Milly Alcock handled it well. The two will be harshly compared to the popular Emilia Clarke, who was able to create a Daenerys independently but is now the benchmark for Targaryen women. Milly’s Rhaenyra is neither sweet nor innocent. Aware of her barriers in a male-dominated world, she also circulates with the security of being a princess adored by her father. It’s an interesting choice – not to portray her as a “girl” – because it will also be important in Rhaenyra’s “turn.”

The first episode can be considered a success. The formula of this first season is not in the innovation of the narrative. For those who don’t know the story, the surprises will be interesting. For those who already anticipate, it was clear that it will be delivered with quality.

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