How Good Is The First 'GoT' Spinoff 'House Of The Dragon?'  Here's What The Reviews Say |  digg

“House of the Dragon” expands the “Game of Thrones” cinematic universe as its first official spinoff, and is set two centuries before the original series takes place.

The series chronicles the origins of the Targaryen House and leads up to their bloody war for succession. Here’s what critics thought after previewing the first few episodes. The show will premiere on August 21, 2022.

The Basic Premise

Where Game of Thrones was a tale of sprawling, even apocalyptic, conflict, House of the Dragon is the story of a familial struggle for succession, with fewer moving pieces that are more intensely intertwined.

[Screen Rant]

Instead, House of the Dragon is primarily the story of two young women — Rhaenyra (not to be confused with Rhaenys) and Alicent — navigating paths to power in a male-dominated world, being raised by fathers who don’t have a clue how. to raise them, while Matt Smith rides dragons and chews scenery. (Remind me to give you my explanation for how the entire show is about why stupid men shouldn’t meddle in female reproductive health after some of my key points become less spoiler-y.)


They Nailed The Aesthetic

If you’re more of a fan of big fantasy set pieces, House of the Dragon also has you covered. Celebratory tourneys and lavish wedding feasts are staged with the weight and flair of battle sequences. The show’s actual battle sequences are equally exciting: A plot involving the fight to regain control of islands known as the Stepstones results in an exceptional sequence centering Prince Daemon. Matt Smith nails Daemon’s cruelty and arrogance, but in this scene he gets to go full action hero mode — and it’s a pleasure to watch.


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The Showrunners Didn’t Learn From Their Mistakes

What it lacks is something much simpler: a heart. There is no shortage of inbred schemers—chief among them Matt Smith as Daemon, Viserys’ resentful and bloodthirsty brother—but precious few idealists, or even characters who seek anything higher than their own advantage. Viserys may have inherited a long stretch of peace and prosperity, but his reluctance to go to war with the kingdom’s enemies is parsed as spinelessness and not prudence. It’s a world of Cerseis and Littlefingers, with nary a Snow or Stark in sight.

In other words, House of the Dragon’s response to the backlash that greeted Game of Thrones’ final seasons seems to have been, somewhat inexplicably, to double down. Some of that negative response might have been from people who enjoyed the show without really paying attention to what they were watching—if you named your daughter Daenerys, that’s on you. But at least some of it had to with a turn towards grim determinism, with the characters behaving in atrocious ways mainly because the plot required them to.


While it would seem that there’s plenty of meat on these old dragon bones, the plot never takes a wing. Rhaenyra is not Daenerys. The wit that was always there to leave even the most mordant moments? Gone. The sex? Dry. Mostly, it’s unpleasant people doing unpleasant things to each other with less tension, less at stake and no breakout dragon adventures. In the end, with all the throne room soap opera, and elongated broody moments that resemble the video buffering, the prequel is more “Dark Shadows” with dragons, than a house ablaze.

[The Wrap]

I have small complaints, mostly with regards to an entire menagerie of CGI animals that could have been edited around or depicted differently, but the story itself is compelling enough to ignore the nitpicks.


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This follow-up series is louder, more direct about what it wants to say and how it wants you to respond. It elicits that response, and it will keep you wondering what will happen next to a family about whom, it turns out, there was still more to say. But it’s a blunt object, not a honed sword.


HBO’s long-awaited prequel series has the swords and the dragon flame, the Hand and the Iron Throne. But something’s missing.


Dragon doesn’t soar immediately, but no House was built in a day.


Watch the official trailer below:

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