‘House of the Dragon’ Is a Boring Rerun of ‘Game of Thrones’ – House of the Dragon is a mash-up of HBO’s two most recent mega-hits, Game of Thrones and Succession, that acts as a prequel to the former that no one asked for and even fewer would consider essential.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, the cable giant’s highly anticipated follow-up, set two centuries before the events of its previous fantasy epic, is a remix of everything that defined that beloved triumph, from various houses and court players scheming to solidify their power and position to humdrum bouts of ultraviolence and gratuitous nudity to routine and joyless royal incest.
The program created by Martin and Ryan J. Condal is a high-budget production aimed to appeal to franchise fans. It has a classic blend of deceit, bloodshed, and complex drama. What’s lacking, though, is anything even vaguely original, making it dangerously close to being meaningless.
As with its predecessor, House of the Dragon (August 21) should include a dictionary due to its abundance of characters, locations, creatures, and conflicts. Despite all of its problems, it is a traditional story whose first five episodes serve as a prelude for the upcoming epic.
King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) claims the throne instead of his cousin Princess Rhaenys Velaryon (Eve Best) and is anxious for a male successor in the ninth year of his reign, 172 years prior to the death of the Mad King and the birth of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen.
His daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), who spends much of her time with her closest friend Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), the daughter of Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the trusted Hand of the King, is unconcerned by his belief that his wife’s unborn child will be a male.
King’s Landing is thrown into disorder as Viserys’s plans go awry, and a struggle for the Iron Throne, conducted not on battlefields but in council chambers, beds, and gloomy hallways, comes into view.
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