‘House of the Dragon’ needs to be released more

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In the middle of the fourth episode of Dragon House, Princess Rhaenyra returns to her chambers, expecting to spend another night there. Instead, she discovers her ticket to a night on the town: a bag containing popular camouflage and a piece of parchment, the latter of which reveals the exciting (if somewhat unsettling) presence of a secret passage right next to her. bed. This X-marks-the-spot portal to the outside world – consistent with what George RR Martin Fire & Blood tells us about the “hidden doors and secret tunnels” installed by Maegor the Cruel – seems like a serious security risk. Yet for Rhaenyra, who smiles as she slips away, the drafty doorway offers literal and figurative respite from her stifling, court-bound existence.

Rhaenyra’s savior – and soon to be tempter – is her uncle Daemon, who locked her up in King’s Landing for much of her life. (Before his exile to Dragonstone, Daemon was known in King’s Landing as both “Prince of the City” and – more relevant to his journey with Rhaenyra – “Lord Flea Bottom”.) For Rhaenyra, such a seedling of oats n Wasn’t an option, but she shares her uncle’s “restless and chaotic” streak. In a previous conversation, the princess told Alicent that she had no intention of being married and “imprisoned in a castle”. True to her word, she stages a prison break as soon as her spacious cell is unlocked.

When Rhaenyra and Daemon descend to street level, the screen is full of evidence of everything she’s missed. The King’s Landing look living, its streets teem with fortune tellers and food vendors, troubadours and tightrope walkers, magicians and mimes. Sure, there are drunks and pickpockets and there is also public indecency, but unlike booze and court theft, these excesses of debauchery are not buried under a veneer of boring refinement. Among the masses, Rhaenyra can disguise herself as a street urchin, feel “free from the burdens of [her] legacy,” and — in the company of an orgy-certified dude — witnessed sex acts she’s previously only seen on the Red Keep’s NC-17 rated tapestries. It’s unclear when the final call to King’s Landing is, but the party still rages on long after the highborn lords and ladies go to bed.

For Rhaenyra, this is an eye-opening excursion, one that makes cloistered castle life so suffocating that upon her return, she seduces Ser Criston Cole into an act of rebellion against the genteel life in store for her. (A spontaneous desire for sex can conquer anything, including her bodyguard’s vow of chastity and her prophylactic armor.) Her exposure to the devious side of the city makes it clear how hemmed in by restrictions and restrictions. expectations placed on women. Westeros, especially a woman whose virginity could be crucial to the future of the Targaryen regime.

But the sequence in Flea Bottom and Silk Street also highlights a limitation of Dragon House. Through its first four episodes, the game of thrones The prequel largely focused on a setting, a layer of society, and even a family – an aspect of this series that sets it apart from its predecessor, whose vast set of locations and characters really explored studio space. set up by Martin’s imagination. Rhaenyra’s foray out of the castle is a late start for Dragon– and a relief for any fans who were tired of watching characters locked in one place.

Certainly the centerpiece of HBO on Sundays merely follows Martin’s lead as shown in his account of the preparation for the Dance of the Dragons. Dragon House is designed to do what it says on the tin: tell the story of the Targaryens, a ruling clan consumed by the pursuit and preservation of power. Power in Westeros revolves around the Iron Throne, and although dragons can cover great distances, the throne does not move. Dragon HouseEarly episodes of include detours to Dragonstone, the Stepstones, Kingswood, and Storm’s End, but like its main characters, its story must succumb to the gravity of the throne. Like an athlete who’s been playing in one place too long, the prequel could use a change of scenery, but at this point in the story, the series is squarely under the control of Team Targaryen.

In Fire & Bloodnarrator Archmaester Gyldayn observes: “So many stories tell of the deeds of kings and queens, great lords, noble knights, holy septons and wise maesters that it is easy to forget the common people who shared these time with the great and powerful. “It’s also easy to forget about them while watching this show. The little people certainly seem under Rhaenyra’s notice: “Their desires are of no consequence,” she tells Daemon, an ominous (if not surprising) sentiment for a would-be future ruler to express. Daemon replies, “They are of great importance if you ever expect to rule them.” But neither Fire & Blood neither Dragon House makes a lot of time for the little guy.

Certainly, game of thrones (and A song of ice and fire) is also much more aligned with the big man theory than the bottom story. thrones never skimp “great conversations in elegant rooms”, as Tyrion put it – and though Tyrion was a little guy in one respect, he was still a Casterly Rock spawn. To the extent that little people had a voice on the show, it was often expressed through someone else’s words. All roads eventually led to King’s Landing in this story as well.

Still thrones contained more cripples, bastards and broken things than Dragon fact, and many of his odd couples – Jaime (or Tyrion) and Bronn, Brienne and Pod, Bran and Hodor (or Osha), Davos and Shireen, Daenerys and Missandei, Jon and Ygritte, Tormund or Jon’s Night’s Watch bros, Arya and…almost everyone Arya bonded with – provided opportunities for discussion, conflict, and alliances that crossed socio-economic and cultural boundaries. Even the Targaryens on game of thrones had a wide range of associates. The Targaryens on Dragon House mostly talk to other Targaryens, and they usually discuss the same thing: how to stay at the top of the feudal food chain. “Is this whole show about?” my wife wondered aloud after the umpteenth exchange concerning the succession in “King of the Narrow Sea”. And, I mean…yes, sort of!

DragonThe ultra-privileged core cast of is much smaller – as Alicent laments, “I find I have few friends lately” – and, self-made woman Mysaria aside, much more homogeneous, if not downright incestuous. (Talking about that : DragonJaime and Cersei’s incest is so disgusting that Jaime and Cersei’s forbidden love seems wholesome.) As a result, it’s also far less spread out, which means the show lacks a lot of visual variety. thrones delivered while flying Free Cities at King’s Landing in Winterfell and the Wall. The respective title sequences of the two series encapsulate the difference: one took us on a tour of Westeros, while the other took us on a tour of the Targaryens.

That’s why it was so refreshing for Rhaenyra to venture outside the Red Keep, gaze at the whole of King’s Landing below her, and then get dirty there. Of course, she can’t entirely escape the questions hanging over her: even the city’s mummies are obsessed with inheritance. (Understandably, given that the safety and happiness of the little people depends on whether the current king – or, hypothetically, queen – is one of the more despotic Targaryens or one of the “good guys”. ) But his face and the show light up during his brief, heart-pounding rumspringa, which would have made a decent backdoor pilot for the Flea Bottom spin off which had been promised (then cruelly cancelled).

As Rhaenyra comes into contact with her mischievous and sensual side, Alicent lives more or less the future that Rhaenyra hopes to avoid. After ousting an heir, she works to soothe the bawling baby, then gives Viserys a sponge bath. Having his wounds cleaned seems to excite the king, as he soon calls the queen back to her room for a soulless missionary making babies. Surrounded by responsibilities and servants, and at the mercy of the king, Alicent does not even have the solitude that Rhaenyra longs for. From the dark building atop Aegon’s High Hill, she gazes stoically over bustling King’s Landing like a caged bird that has lost its song.

Dragon HouseGreat conversations always captivate viewers, but more excursions like this week’s – or journeys that take its characters even further – would make it more dynamic. Like the time jumps that have sped up and sometimes delayed the story so far, the series’ similarity in setting, character, and tone is probably a bigger issue now than it will be later. when dragons dance and breathe fire for real. , not just at funerals or in miniature models on the wrong side of the King’s Landing tracks. But the prequel’s Targaryen tunnel vision isn’t going away: the prequel is, and will continue to be, about Westeros’ first family fight(s) for the throne. And as we know since game of thronesAegon’s chair isn’t going anywhere.

Almost perfect prequel You better call SaulThe show’s characters almost never left Albuquerque, but the show’s rarely overlapping lawyer and cartel sides kept each sphere feeling fresh. It might be true of Dragon once his rival factions fully take shape or his comedic leanings develop. (This week’s Blackwood-Bracken feud was funny, though the series still lacks a type of mushroom to poke fun at the Targaryens.) What if Dragon doesn’t have as much of a story track as its previous series, well, what about? This series should last three or four seasons, not all eight game of thrones raced or the 10 or more Martin sought it to run. It doesn’t have to be as huge as thrones—in scope or cultural cachet—to justify its time slot.

As is, Dragon House is good. But to be big, he has to go out more. This is a daunting challenge, given Fire & Bloodthe dryness and structure of the story. But if Rhaenyra can get out of a room whose only obvious exit is blocked by a guard, surely showrunner Ryan Condal and Co. can write herself out of her Red Keep corner.



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