“House of the Dragon”: First Episode Review

The New HBO Max Series Seeks to Repeat the Phenomenon of "Game of Thrones". It'll make it? We tell you our Impressions of the First Episode of "House of the Dragon".

Still from the series 'The House of the Dragon'

Photo: YT-Game of Thrones

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: House of the Dragon: reseña del primer episodio

Game of Thrones marked a before and after in the history of television. First, because of its premiere format. In an era marked by series available on-demand, the fact that people "returned" to having weekly broadcasts on cable TV generated a unique phenomenon.

This, of course, added to the expectations that were generated season after season. After all, this fantasy series told a deep story, with hundreds of characters and parallel plots that unfolded according to the events of George RR Martin's books. No one knew how it would end!

The problem occurred when, starting in season 5, the series reached the books and the writers had to make their own interpretations of the future of the work. The result? Well, seasons 7 and 8, the last of the series, were the worst ranked in the series, because the production had an ending that almost nobody liked.

Under this background comes "House of the Dragon", a prequel to the original story, also based on a novel by George RR Martin, which seeks to repeat only the good of "Game of Thrones", learning from its mistakes. This is an essential point to start the analysis, since here too there are two different expectations.

The first expectation has to do with generating something similar to what happened with "Game of Thrones" in terms of audience value. The second, they are more related to avoiding the problems committed during the end of "Game of Thrones". Well, so far they have succeeded, albeit halfway.

The story is set nearly two centuries before the stories in "A Song of Ice and Fire," the series of books from which the series was inspired. More specifically, 172 years before the death of the Mad King and the birth of Daenerys. For this reason, we will learn about the reign of Viserys I Targaryen, played by Paddy Considine, but also his subsequent succession.

Read also: Everything We Know So Far About The Hunger Games Prequel

Episode 1: "The Dragon's Heirs"

One of the most outstanding elements is that this first episode, directed by Miguel Spochnick, has a spectacular production. It could have been one of the most outstanding episodes of "Game of Thrones". It has it all: political conflicts, epic fights and really raw scenes.

Furthermore, it is noted that HBO Max wants to repeat the phenomenon and that it has generated a production that lives up to expectations. And in narrative terms? Well, here is another success (kind of), since there are many fewer characters than in "Game of Thrones". Thus, 90% of the events take place in the Court of the Red Keep.

This, however, also works against the pacing, as it feels like the series is a bit more “rushed”. That is, part of the same mistake is being made as in the final seasons of "Game of Thrones", although on a much smaller scale. Here there is only haste, but without this affecting the narrative logic.

On the other hand, the expectation of becoming a series as epic and popular as "Game of Thrones" is also half fulfilled. Being a prequel, little room is left for theorizing, one of the strong elements of the series. But beware: if in the next episodes they achieve something similar to "Better Call Saul", which had links to "Breaking Bad", they can get it.

And how is it currently related to "Game of Thrones"? Well, they belong to the same narrative universe, although with some changes. For example, the Iron Throne appears, but from another era, main cities are also the same. Even, as its name indicates, dragons also reappear.

The problem in this case is that the comparison falls short, since we already know all those elements of its base series. For this reason, there is little room for surprise, since the appearance of a dragon does not generate anything special for us. Although it will be necessary to see if in the rest of the season there will be 100% new things.

In other words: if this series were the gateway for a person who wants to know everything about "A Song of Ice and Fire", it will undoubtedly be spectacular. For those who have already seen "Game of Thrones", they will find a production to match, although with few important "news" in terms of their own universe.

This does not mean at all that the series is bad. However, some "script twists" are missing, which were one of the most outstanding elements of the first seasons of "Game of Thrones". However, it must be recognized that, in general terms, the beginning of "The House of the Dragon" is really promising.

In conclusion, for better and for worse, it shows that "The House of the Dragon" has the heritage of "Game of Thrones" behind it. The start has been positive, but it will be necessary to begin to detach a bit from the original plot to achieve an even greater impact on the audience. You have to be optimistic: "Game of Thrones" got the hype after a few seasons, so with "House of the Dragon" the same could happen.

Now available for you to enjoy on HBO Max!

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