Spoiler alert: House of the Dragon Season 1, Episodes 1-3
spring 2011, game of Thrones, an epic tale about kingdoms of a distant land and their rulers, found its home on HBO. The series was successful and dominated the small screen. Seven Kingdoms (Nine Realms) – the Kingdom of the North, Hill and Valley, Iron Isles and Riverlands, the Kingdom of Casterly Rock (Westlands), the Stormlands, The Reach, the Principality of Dorne – and their rulers ruled the Aethers.
For eight years, the series prevailed with an iron fist. Hours of unfiltered content filled with conquest, betrayal, bloody violence, horniness and pure satisfaction were the hallmark of the series. Either you were Team Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Baratheon, Tully, Tyrell, Arryn or Martell. Or perhaps your loyalties were to the Targaryens, proclaimed rulers of the Seven Kingdoms and rightful heirs to the Iron Throne. But some spectators had no allegiance to rulers or their houses. But instead the drama of everything and whoever seemed to be the conqueror in any given episode.
It was May 2019, but it was winter in Westeros, and game of Thrones was at the end. For some, the ending might have been bitter because things didn’t end as hoped. The Night King’s defeat was too easy. Cersei’s end was extremely unpleasant, an extremely harmless ending given her heinous deeds. Some felt the Daenerys arc was too predictable or as crazy as she got. And for a large majority, the conclusion was unacceptable and disappointing. Bran Stark on the throne was just unsatisfactory. Finally, of course, there’s a chance that fans merely felt the loss of Martin’s touch in later seasons.
Despite the sentiment, the culmination of it all left fans with what remains undeniable. game of Thrones provided fans with unprecedented fulfilling content for years. However, aside from his conclusion, what was most relevant was what would become of the rumored sequels or prequels. On August 21st, all rumors were extinguished with the house of the dragon Series premiere based on George RR Martin’s novel Fire & Blood.
Praise from George RR Martin for House of the Dragon
For George RR Martin, writing was innate. And so writing has been his business since childhood. His first foray into writing was as a teenager, when he sold his work to peers for mere change. As we know today, writing has become much more. It has become Martin’s legacy. Martin began to cement this imprint in 1979 at the age of 31 when he devoted himself to writing. In 1986, he began lending his creative talent to Hollywood, contributing to shows like Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast.
Since then, Martin has written many novels, with The Game of Thrones series is one of his most notable. While the earlier television adaptation was based on a Song of Ice and Firethe latest adaptation house of the dragonbased on his book fire and blood, a 2018 publication. This book details the history of the rulers and descendants of House Targaryen. And as most will note, the HBO series is not only based on Martin’s work, it also carries the writer’s blessing. He proclaims house of the dragon is everything he hoped for. And in his biography, Martin makes an open statement of gratitude:
“Whatever happens from here, my sincere thanks to Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, to one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever been honored to work with, to an incredible crew, to an amazing writing team, to mine Friends at HBO past and present who have worked for years to make HOTD a success…and to the fans without whom none of this would be possible.”
Episodes 1 and 2 summary
King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), grandson of Jaehaerys, now sits on the throne awaiting the birth of his heir. He only has one real child, Rhaenyra Targaryen. But as Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) expresses before her turbulent labor, she was unlucky in the birth. She has given birth to as many who have flown her physical forms as she has successfully delivered. But traditionally, the birthright of sovereignty is not a role for a woman.
Despite being the proud father of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), tensions and expectations run high. Ultimately, however, a grueling job takes the life of the queen’s firstborn son and Viserys. Arrogant and outspoken, the king’s brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), mocks the heir’s death, calling him “king for the day.” And so a fierce and angry king banishes his brother for his vile remarks and the celebration of a tragic event.
Daemon is a remorseful and spiteful guy with a blackened heart and blueprints for the throne. And the only way to secure the throne is if Viserys dies and is left without an heir or suitable successor. Recent events put the king in a vulnerable position. So he makes the difficult decision to promise Rhaenyra the throne. This is of course controversial given the Rules of Procedure. And Daemon, embittered, pushes his luck. Rhaenyra is the only one to prevent undue bloodshed and the beginning of what could be anarchy.
However, this is only the beginning of the king’s worries as he is now beset from all sides. Pressure flows from Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) to Daemon and his advisors. But Daemon is muted for now. But the episode ends with Corlys upset and Visery engaged to Rhaenyra’s dear friend Alicient (Emily Carey).
Episode 3 Summary
The new queen gives the king what he so desires, a male heir he names Aegon. Rhaenyra is dissatisfied and bitter. Corlys and Daemon formed an alliance without the king’s will. They then moved on to taking on Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith), who makes sure the Stepstones are controlled. The pressure on the king is increasing. Viserys is pressured to uphold the tradition of appointing Aegon as his successor and addressing Daemon and Corly’s alliance. For the time being, Viserys promises to remain true to his original selection of heirs. But before Viserys can send help, Daemon grabs the bull by the horns and attacks.
With the support of Corlys, his army, and his followers, the tide is turning. What appears to be Dameon’s death run becomes his victory. It is secured until the end of the third episode. Things are looking ominous for Viserys.
Given the drama that has transpired so far, there is no shortage of theories for what lies ahead. But of all fan theories, three hold the most weight. The writing is on the wall; Peace will flee Visery’s kingdom. Demon will rise. And Rhaenyra’s future will be shocking.
Peace shall flee the kingdom of Viserys
Viserys has seen his last days of peace. His current feud with his brother and Rhaenyra, who wants to rule, is a telling omen. Rhaenyra has no interest in tradition or things required of a princess. She wishes nothing more than for her father to keep his promise. She is also keenly aware of the ceremony and the feelings of many of the kingdom’s other allies. Aegon’s birth puts a kink in her dreams. She is stubborn and not one to go down without a fight.
The question is whether their revolt will be an open challenge. Or will she subvert the king by other means to exercise her will and desire to secure the throne? Whether it’s Dameon or Rhaenyra, both pose a serious threat to Viserys. Rhaenyra, Dameon, or both could end his life.
Dameon becomes a festering thorn in Viserys’ side, tearing the kingdom apart. Daemon’s victory is a deathblow for Viserys. He has proven himself resolute, a worthy leader and a victor. His willingness to risk everything to help Corlys defeat an aspiring enemy and thereby eliminate a threat will earn him much respect and loyalty. He will rebel against Viserys as he already has extreme contempt for his treatment at the king’s hand. And Visery’s unwillingness to send reinforcements has him inflamed beyond measure.
It’s reasonable to conclude that whatever love he had for his brother has gone cold. The chessboard is set up and the pieces have been moved to where Viserys is in check, making his next move crucial.
Rhaenyra’s future will shock some
Rhaenyra is a central character in this series. She is Daenerys’ sixth great-grandmother and as such will continue to play a significant role throughout the series. Equally obvious are the many contenders for the throne. Viserys will not last until the end of the season. At some point he will be dethroned. This leads us to what will happen and what role Rhaenyra will play. If you think about what has happened so far, there are a few likely theories.
Targaryens are known for incestuous relationships to keep the bloodline pure. This will be an important plot point. Rhaenyra could become engaged to Aegon, which has been suggested. However, another theory would be more consistent with the novel. According to Esquire, Rhaenyra is the mother of Viserys II, who will eventually become king. Here’s the twist in the plot though, and a big spoiler for some. Viserys II’s father is Daemon Targyrean. And so both Rhaenyra and Daemon are the parents of Viserys II. So make of it what you will.
House of Dragon continues the success of its predecessor. And it kindles fans’ love for game of Thrones. The drama is robust. The build up is gradual but sparkling. But most importantly, the hook is strong. Game of Thrones has never been without its shock factors, so that’s to be expected house of the dragon will follow suit.