House of Dragons is a mixed bag


Myles Martin , staff writer

Game of Thrones is a show that if we’ve never watched, we’ve at least heard of it once.

For much of its history, this dark fantasy franchise has been regarded as practically a masterpiece. However many fans and viewers agree that the series’ quality dropped after the show’s fourth season. Though I have never seen past season 4, I’ve heard that the show ran out of source material and the plot became dull or horrible.

Personally, I’ve seen clips of the final season, and well I honestly don’t understand how to feel. I was angered that some character arcs ended the way they did, though overall I felt that the ending was mediocre and not the most memorable.

With the franchise’s return with “House of The Dragon”, many fans believe that the series has revived its old nostalgic feeling while still being its own show. To me, House of The Dragon captures the world of Game of Thrones perfectly while being its own thing.

So far, HOTD only has three episodes, all of which allow the viewers to grasp the show’s basic idea. The main plot centers around “Princess Rhaenyra” as she tries to prove herself as heir to the throne. Rhaenyra also has to deal with her father remarrying and producing new heirs that could possibly replace her. Her character reminds me much of Daenerys and Arya, characters from the original show. She is kind and gentle like Daenerys and fierce and wild like Arya.

There are many other characters who deserve recognition. Such as King Viserys, Rhaenyra’s father, played by Paddy Considine, a phenomenal actor who deserves an Emmy. He plays the wilfully ignorant king to such an extent that one can truly feel the character’s emotions. 

Other honorable mentions include the father and daughter, Otto and Alicent Hightower. Otto is the king’s hand and closest advisor, and Alicent is Rhaenyra’s handmaiden. Both characters play an integral role in the plot, as Otto manipulates the king to make decisions for his own benefit. Though I don’t consider either character to be one-dimensional. I believe characters like Otto genuinely care for the realm and its people, but he is blinded by his own ambition. 

More notable characters include Lord Corlys Velaryon, another advisor of the king who’s just as ambitious as Otto, though not as manipulative. His Targaryen wife, Princess Rhaenys, Viserys’ elder cousin, is a claimant to the Iron Throne who had given up on the idea of being queen. However, Corlys wishes for his blood to sit on the throne and tries to arrange a betrothal of his daughter Laena to King Viserys. In the end, his son Laenor ends up marrying Rhaenyra.

However, the show does have its faults. The plot centers around “The Dance of The Dragons”, a Targaryen civil war that occurs over twenty years after the start of the show. This means that HOTD can suffer from pacing problems. For example, some episodes will be calmer and move slower, and then the next will have a six-year time skip. While the show will have multiple seasons, the first had to, unfortunately, stuff twenty years of character development and drama into ten episodes. This means that as characters die, the viewers may not feel much as they perish. This can lead to the show feeling empty and hollow at times.

Another problem is that fans believe it to change or “whitewash” the actions of certain characters while making others more heinous. The biggest example of this would be in the finale. Though I won’t spoil what happens there.

All in all the show has proven itself worthy of being a prequel/spinoff of Game of Thrones. I would give it a 7.5 out of ten, as they still have room for improvement. However, to other fans, it has been mostly 50/50 on being a terrific or horrendous show.