OT: House of the Dragon (spoilers!!)

So I decided to go ahead and start a new thread, hoping that enough of you are now back all in after the first two episodes as much as I am.

Obviously Ep 1 big reveal was the Aegon I dreamed of the long winter and the doom of men on Westeros, calling his dream the "Song of Ice and Fire" which is a bit of retconning the end of GOT S8 with Sam giving it that name.

Ep2 was awesome with the scene at Dragon Stone. Rhaenyra has serious Danerys vibes so far through two episodes.

Anyway, hoping enough of you want to discuss the new series that it warrants this new thread.

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Let's just say if they stick anywhere close to the "history" as Martin has laid it out, this show could get rather bonkers

No spoilers from those of us that read Fire & Blood

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

I have definitely already read a few book spoilers so far (i.e. Viserys second wife). Kind of hard to ignore in some of the episode recaps, some of these writers will expose book spoilers but for the most part nothing too huge.

Either way, I am all in on this one so far, and as long as they only use source material we can hopefully avoid the shit show that was S7 and S8 of GoT.

We've alway ready seen this show pull a s8. You see GoT was best at the beginning where it had the most nudity. It was worse at the end when it had no nudity. So you see the writing is only as good as the nudity. There is a direct causation that nudity produces better written episodes in GoT. And we saw this with the first episode of this series to the 2nd episode. It's just all down hill without them hiring Esme Bianco to play an ancestor of Ros. /s

The show is good. The scene at Dragonstone was the highlight of the episode 2, but the conversations are equally as interesting. This is not a show you can "watch in the background", so to speak.

Watching Viserys struggle with being the king when you can tell he is a good man, but everyone keeps telling him to the effect of "you are the king and can do whatever you want" is an interesting twist from the rest of the Targaryens we are used to (even his own daughter lacks in this area).

Matt Smith is just good in most everything he does, and he is a great "villian".

Matt Smith is just good in most everything he does, and he is a great "villian".

most everything yes. cough * morbius * cough *

I said most :)

The scene where Rhaenyra rides Syrax in through the cloud cover at Dragonstone was brilliant.

agreed. that entire scene was damn good. I hope the actress they change to when Rhaenyra is older is as good as the one now.

Episode 3 was pretty good, finally some battle scenes and some serious dragon action.

Things are starting to ramp up so things could get crazy.

I basically want to talking anything but football. May start a Rings of Power thread too, first two episodes were amazing.

A simple "5yrs later" or something would help with keeping up with the timeline on my end lol

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

lol if you think its hard keeping track now, just wait, in 2 weeks a decent chunk of the actors and actresses change because of a more thorough time jump

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I've thought they've done a pretty decent job so far not so subtly telling you how much time has passed. Like in episode 2, I think Viserys said some line about it being 6 months since he talked to someone (I think his daughter), indicating that much time had passed since the last episode. Then in episode 3, Aegon is already at his 2nd birthday. Since he wasn't around in episode 2, not hard to put together how much time has passed. Also, they mentioned Daemon and the Sea Snake had been fighting the Crab Feeder for about 3 years when at the end of episode 2 they were just starting to make plans to start the fight.

not hard to put together how much time has passed

Yeah, well I'm not exactly the sharpest light in the toolshed, feel me?

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

The fact that it aegon was 'out of infancy' told us.

But, I also knew (from reading stuff) that the show would be spanning decades. I believe that they have a second actress playing Rhynera when she reaches late adulthood.

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both shows are pretty good. I would be in favor of a Rings of Power thread as well, at the very least to help keep the storylines of each separate in my head because I've noticed I am already starting to get them a bit jumbled.

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This show is just good. Watching Daemon just wreck the Crab Feeder...that whole scene was...*chefs kiss*

The dialogue is very strong as well. The scenes with Viserys and Rhaenyra were good television

Honestly hadnt noticed the fingers being missing after his little grub experiment went wrong I would assume.

Thing that threw me off the most in all of the show so far was a pug at the party kind of a wtf from me not thinking dogs like that were around in medieval fantasy.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Episode wasn't bad but was my least favorite so far. I liked the first half with the tension between Rhaenyra Alicent Viserys and Aegon. But the whole crabfeeder thing was weird. I know Daemon and the Sea Snake spend a couple years fighting him and it brings tension with the crown and gives both of them battle experience. But I thought the show would maybe flesh out the crabfeeder and the Triarchy a little more. We're moving fast because this story takes place over like 30 years, so I'm fine not spending too much time in the Stepstones on a side quest, but I didn't really enjoy the battle scene.

Who are the dragon riders? I'm guessing one is Rhaenys, but is the other Laenor? I don't have my book in front of me, but I don't remember him being a rider although he does have Targaryen blood.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

It was Laenor. And yep, he does have Targaryen blood via his mom, Rhaenys

I kinda had the opposite opinion - war tends to be a slow burn for those not living nearby the war zone, especially when the war drags on for years. The skipping head really resonated with me. Kinda like how a lot of American civilians forgot that there was a war going on in Afghanistan.

But I thought the show would maybe flesh out the crabfeeder and the Triarchy a little more.

Pun intended?

In all seriousness, I think the details of the war are being glossed over intentionally; the conflict is only important because it of its downstream political implications.

Edit: Grammar, phrasing, punctuation

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Episode 3 was great for me in terms of Paddy Considine's portrayal of Viserys and his struggles with the role of king. We've seen so many versions of kings that sit the Iron Throne, but his is perhaps the most tortured that we've seen. Spectacular work from him this episode, as well as all of the scenes with him and Rhaenyra; the tension they have is great. I also hope the new actors do as well as the younger ones, because I also think Milly Alcock is doing a phenomenal job as Rhaenyra.

Last nights episode was pretty good, but it felt like one of those "just moving the story forward" kind of episodes. Next week will probably the last episode before we switch to the older actors for Rhanerya and Allicent, who knows if they do it mid episode or not.

I know the book readers have noted that this series could get crazy, so I am still waiting for a "Red Wedding" type episode before too long here.

I feel like this past episode tried to be philosophically deep in ways that it hasn't yet earned. Its very much trying to live off the hype and memory of GoT to the point where I don't think it necessarily cares to world build for is current storyline. It just threw us into it and expects us to just connect and sympathize with all the characters, but the problem is that right now I just don't.

And while I do know there have been time jumps with this series so far (that's another thing, I don't particularly like that they've basically hit fast forward on the backstory with the time jumps over the first 4 episodes) but they haven't really done a great job on making the actors and actresses look older as the time has been passing. There was definitely a point in the episode last night where I wondered if they were about to show us an underaged actress having sex, which seems even more problematic given they haven't really tried to make her look older than 14 or 16 so far. Given what we know about Hollywood execs.... I dunno, just felt like we were watching someone's childhood sex fantasies playing out, which was a little gross.

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Yeah, for sure a little creepy with the young actresses (I think 19 and 20 when they filmed) but I think we have one more episode before it skips ahead again like 10 years or something and the older actresses take over. I get that the time jumps are a bit much but if the story happens over something like 20 or 30 year time span it is necessary.

So far I'm still in and will keep watching, but Rings of Power is definitely winning between these two shows for me right now.

Same. Still invested, but I find myself enjoying Rings of Power a bit more right now. I'm sure it'll ebb and flow if they really do go head to head for the next 5+ years like they expect, but it definitely feels like HoD is trying to gloss over some of the more nuanced world building aspects where RoP is diving head first into it.

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I'm a little split. It's definitely creepy that Daemon is grooming Rhaenyra. But that's kind of the point in the story right? It's sick and wrong that he's doing it and it's a total abuse of power. He's using his niece to get back at his brother. It builds Daemon's messed up character even more beyond his reputation as a rogue Prince and I'm assuming this will explain some of Rhaenyra's actions later on. And the intention is that we're supposed to feel very uncomfortable and a disturbed by it happening.

I also watch the clip that's included immediately after the episode and the director was a woman who intentionally shot that scene from a woman's perspective. She was definitely not shooting it from the perspective of "isn't it hot to be a man having sex with a teenager?"

Out of curiosity - did you have an issue with the Viserys/Alicent sex scene? There's a bigger age gap there, Alicent is a teenager, and there was actually a sex scene.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

People also need to keep in mind that in medieval times- pedophilia, incest, rape was common- women were property to do with what men wanted. Incest was very very common.

women were property to do with what men wanted

And that has been a very intentional theme with this series.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Out of curiosity - did you have an issue with the Viserys/Alicent sex scene? There's a bigger age gap there, Alicent is a teenager, and there was actually a sex scene.

I thought it was creepy how he sent a servant to her room to fetch her. Clearly she is NOT AT ALL into it.

I agree. We all should feel like this is totally messed up! They are really driving home the absolute lack of autonomy that women have in this world.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

They are really driving home the absolute lack of autonomy that women have in this world.

True, and also because that is exactly what this show is about. It is about to delve into a full on war over the line of succession in the next couple episodes over the right of a female to sit on the Iron Throne.

EDIT: Oh, and the fact they have medieval Plan B abortion tea in this universe is really bringing current events into the series. Not sure if that aspect was in Fire and Blood or not, I don't think so from what I have read.

EDIT: Oh, and the fact they have medieval Plan B abortion tea in this universe is really bringing current events into the series. Not sure if that aspect was in Fire and Blood or not, I don't think so from what I have read.

It's not really that. "Moon tea" was introduced in the original ASOIAF books, and is referenced a couple of times, at least once by Cersei in trying to determine if Margaery is being unfaithful based on Pycelle giving it to her.

I think a lot of people missed what actually happened in that scene.

Daemon started out to exert some dominance over Rhaenyra...and then it turned out she was actually into it. She was ready to go, and Daemon couldn't...perform. That's why he slammed the wall in frustration and ran out. His plan didn't work out because he doesn't actually have any power over her. He was impotent, if you will.

It was subtle, and as I've read a lot of reviews on the episode it seems to have been missed. It's also why the very next scene we see is her going back to the keep and making her Kingsguard break his oath, because she knew that she could. There was an element of her finally recognizing that she could take what she wanted. It was the point of the entire episode

You're absolutely right - and it's exactly what the director said about that scene. I should've addressed it in my comment, but I was too focused on the lead up to that scene in the Daemon/Rhaenyra interactions and how we were supposed to feel while watching that scene.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Best episode of the season so far tonight, one that got me into the show whereas before I was pretty "meh" on the series. I will say though, the decision to do time jumps has hurt the show. A lot of the events of the episode tonight and some of the relationships would have a lot more impact and meaning if they just spent season 1 spacing things out more instead of rushing to age everyone up.

Yeah, and it looks like the next episode is going to be the biggest jump so far since the new actresses for Allicent and Rhanerya will be taking over.

I know there have been a lot of complaints about the time jumps but It has not bothered me as much as others. They seem to do a pretty good job early in each episode letting you know how much time as passed. It really looks like things are about to start picking up in the next episode. Once Viserys eventually dies then I assume things really start to go crazy.

Another big takeaway from Ep 5, if you ever get invited to a wedding in Westeros go ahead and send your regrets.

I got that out of the Red Wedding episode of GOT.

Weddings be dangerous.

Especially if your name is Joffrey.

If there's one thing we've learned, it's "Don't be a Joffrey".

The other takeaway I am thinking we will see is that it is a bad idea to point out potential errors in lineage based on hair color.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

I thought this last episode (and the whole season) have been stellar.

  • I love the 'time hops'; I think they're genius. In the real world (especially once you reach adulthood/parenthood) time seems to pass simultaneously slow and fast (the days get longer but years get shorter, as they say), and I find that this show captures that phenomenon so well. 6 months can go by in the blink of an eye, and everything feels the same but also completely different.
  • I thought that there were so many subtle scenes at the wedding where you saw the alegences building. It felt like I was watching it in slow motion. It was very cool to see.
  • Finally, the acting and storytelling has been incredible. With each episode, we see Visyres worn down more and more by the responsibility of the realm and his family. Daeman's character has been amazing - going through a 20 minute battle scene without saying a word, but showing that much emotion is just incredible. Watching Alicent Hightower shed her naivety.

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For me, Game of Thrones was great.

HOTD has been a bit lackluster. It's OK, but it's basically a vanilla version of GOT.

From this episode:

Rhaenyra is really good. Her character has gotten deeper and more complex. I know they're getting ready to change actresses. Pity.

Alicent Hightower is becoming more prominent and bold, but I'm not still not sold on the character.

What was the point of Daemon killing his wife? Just impulse? He is interesting because he's pretty ambivalent about everything. The ultimate wild card.

Sir Cristan proved himself to be kind of a moron. I get high minded ideals, but they're dangerous when mixed with stupidity. He thinks the princess would run away with him? How old is he, again? Now he's lost respect of the princess. Does he have allegiance to his princess or the queen? Once he chose the princess, he should have stuck with his choice. I feel like they got a bit lazy on this one.

OK, maybe I'm hooked.

Pretty sure he killed his wife so he's free to pursue Rhaneyra. You can tell his wife is like "what are you going to do, kill her?", he shows no reaction, then she works out he's going to try to possess Rhaneyra instead and she grabs for her bow.

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Correct, but he doesn't kill her outright. She falls off her horse, and then it appears he's willing to just walk away, right up until she goads him into finishing the deed. Dispassion makes one a great warrior, but a poor politician.

Hence, ambivalence. He's not afraid of anything, but also not all that passionate about anything, and hence unpredictable. He does seem interested in being king - just not enough to do the mundane stuff (like caring what anyone thinks) that makes one fit to be king.

Quick clarification - is the Jason and Tywin Lannister supposed to be the same uncle / dad combo from GoT - isn't it about 75 years too early for them to be there? I find that one strange.

In HotD time, Jason Lannister is the Lord of Casterly Rock. He has a twin brother (played by the same actor) named Tyland Lannister, who is on Viserys' Small Council. Jason is something like the great (x3 or x4) grand father of Tywin Lannister, head of the Lannisters at the start of GoT.

Thanks - makes sense. Not a lot of creativity in names over 200 years in Westeros. Too many same / similar family names pass along to keep up with sometimes.

This is a couple of hundred years before GOT, so I don't think there's any overlap except maybe the trees.

Technically Melisandre would be alive during this time (in GoT she was supposed to be several hundred years old) but so far I don't think she is going to make an appearance since she did not appear in Fire and Blood.

That would be a nice little nod if she made a cameo though.

Good point, and yes, why not?

Maybe she does a cameo singing a campfire song with Ed Sheeran....

Because the night is dark, and full of terrors.

IMO I think the opening credits should have been some type of family tree/Ancestry.com kind of thing that could provide some details into the families and houses, similar to how GOT's map-style opening theme helped show context of the geography of Westeros.

I think there are some things like this online, but an exact family tree would be sort of a spoiler.

Right, but they could only show characters that have been revealed and that are relevant to the episode, similar to how GOT's opening map changed depending on the episode.

Not sort of. It definitely is. I didn't read Fire and Blood, but I could outline the high points of where this show is going just based off having seen the family tree. Which is kinda fine because I have no idea how exactly we get to certain milestones.

I feel like this latest episode is being slightly overhyped in reviews, but it was good. I think it was just the first real bit of shocking violence that GoT became known for so people thought it was amazing. Personally I'm wondering how Ser Criston could do such a thing and then be allowed to wander off and roam the Red Keep for hours lol. It would have been much more real and less plot-hole-ish if Laenor refused to go along with the wedding until Criston's head was on a pike and that was how the episode ended, but I get the need to drag out some relationship stuff between him and Rhaenyra.

Breakbones just wading into the mob of people during the madness and grabbing Rhaenyra out of it was pretty funny though lol. I like how he hasn't really had any big role yet but just keeps popping up here and there.

Breakbones just wading into the mob of people during the madness and grabbing Rhaenyra out of it was pretty funny though lol. I like how he hasn't really had any big role yet but just keeps popping up here and there.

So far this dude might be my favorite character. Based on the preview for the next episode, which will feature a large time jump this time (like 10 years) I think he will be playing a bigger role in the second half of the season.

Well, so much for my new favorite character. RIP Breakbones.

Seriously. A brutal murder happens in the middle of the wedding welcome feast with the entire Kingsguard there. By the princess's sworn protector. And somehow, not only is he allowed to take his time in the murder, but he just wonders off by himself afterwards.

This was the best episode so far, but it seems they took a bit of a shortcut there.

Just a side note, I enjoyed the music in this episode.

Episode 6...yeah...that was too big of a time jump. Way too much going on and to take in, especially considering how eventful the previous episode was

I'm back to "this series isn't grabbing me".

As much as I like dragons, this is far too predictable, and I'm not really endeared to any of the characters.

I know a lot of people hate the time jumps, but personally I like them. Reading about the series ahead of time I knew this was going to be the case, so maybe that is why I don't have an issue with it. I thought last nights episode was great.

I think both the time jumps and the wiping the board of characters quickly makes this a lot more simple than the original GoT. Daemon has lost 2 wives; the 10 year hand of the king and the father of the bastard heir gets 12 minutes of air time before burning up. Its really rushed and goes back to the same 4 characters.

One of the great things about GoT was the time it invested in introducing dozens of characters so that you had a connection to their outcome - its seems like the writers were concerned they were only going to get 1-2 seasons of HOTD so they wanted to make sure they could tell the entire story before being cancelled. And while its a good show its not going to get to the level of GoT because its a straight forward story about 4 people.