TV Review: House of the Dragon – Episode 1

Credit: HBO

by Miller C. Lashbrook

Wow! In the first few minutes alone, House of the Dragon sends us right back to Westeros like we never left. I know many were apprehensive to tune in because of the mixed finale season of Game of Thrones, but this world is just too good not to come back to. This show does not just play on nostalgia from the original, however. The first episode cleverly sets up the fall of House Targaryen as the conceit of the show, which would potentially have the show end, where the first began.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The first episode has many parallels to the pilot and first season of Game of Thrones; even the dagger that was used for the attempted assassination of Bran, which will later kill the Night King, appears in this episode. I will be interested to see who becomes the fan-favorites of the show like Dany, Arya, Jon, and Tyrion.

Another small detail that I loved, that I know many have been discussing online, is the Iron Throne cutting King Viserys I. Not only is it metaphorical for the way that the seat of power itself is wearing down the king, but it also shows just how much more the throne means in this time as a symbol than it will during the time after Robert’s Rebellion.

Matt Smith is simply a gift to this show with his nuanced acting. He simultaneously crafts a character that can be hated one second, but in another moment we see the good.

The writing and direction are also top-notch. The pacing of action and drama keeps the audience’s attention, and the witty one-liners that make us “hmm” are back too. This premiere is exactly what I needed to get right back into this world and rest assured I will be tuning in right at 9:00 next Sunday.

I had not originally planned to write reviews for this show weekly, but now I definitely will. I am also tempted to discuss the show on the podcast.

5/5 Dragons 🐉

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