Home of the Dragon Overview

As a “Sport of Thrones” fan (and an eventual disillusioned “Sport of Thrones” fan), I spent a number of time within the lead as much as “Home of the Dragon” dreading it a little bit. Had been we actually going to do that once more? Did I need to do that once more? May a “Sport of Thrones” spinoff actually justify its personal existence? After watching the six episodes of “Home of the Dragon” HBO made accessible to critics, I can reply with a convincing sure. “Home of the Dragon” is nice tv.

The primary episode shortly introduces us to the 2 ladies on the coronary heart of the sequence: Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Woman Alicent Hightower. The 2 teenage ladies, performed in early episodes by Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, are the perfect of associates. They’re so shut that their bond, at occasions, feels romantic. They’re additionally nearly the one two younger ladies within the whirlwind political maelstrom of the Pink Maintain. Their bond feels doomed from the second you meet them, and Alcock and Carey do a masterful job of exploring all of the shades of emotion the 2 expertise. It is easy to check them to a few of the iconic ladies of “Sport of Thrones,” however they create one thing distinctive to their roles that lets them simply step out of their predecessors’ shadows. Platinum blond wig apart, Rhaenyra will not make you want she was Daenerys as an alternative.

The primary season of “Home of the Dragon” is closely invested within the battle of girls beneath patriarchy, but it surely would not have a simplistic “woman boss” message.

Between episodes 5 and 6, there is a 10-year time bounce, and we lose Alcock and Carey for Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke as Rhaenyra and Alicent, respectively. I regretted it a little bit; there are some occasions that occur within the interim that I might’ve liked to expertise firsthand as a viewer, but it surely appears the present needs to get to some large climaxes that come later of their lives earlier than season one’s end result. The 2 older actors do an excellent job of drawing a line from their youthful selves to their grownup incarnations and clarify shortly their new, even messier dynamic.

Then there’s Matt Smith. When “Morbius” got here out earlier this yr, the film’s one brilliant spot was Smith’s chaotic, enjoyable efficiency because the villain. Smith brings that very same power to “Home of the Dragon” as Daemon Targaryen, the king’s brother and Rhaenyra’s uncle. He could be evil, candy, considerate, merciless, sympathetic, and bloodthirsty at completely different occasions. He is the closest factor the present has to a transparent villain and, even then, typically you suppose, “This man’s received a degree.” Smith is magnetic, and it is nice to see him in one thing that deserves his skills.

Sure, there’s intercourse, and sure there’s violence. However as a result of the ensemble is not fairly as large because it was in “Sport of Thrones,” now we have an opportunity to sit down in these moments of ache — particularly within the early episodes — a little bit bit longer. We are able to really feel the characters’ grief, and season one explores how these moments of anguish can have an effect on folks for a lifetime — typically in methods they do not even understand. And virtually each intercourse scene has heavy, heavy penalties for the forged of characters. Because the season continues, the strain and stress ratchets up with every episode as issues slowly — after which quickly — collapse.

The primary season of “Home of the Dragon” is closely invested within the battle of girls beneath patriarchy, but it surely would not have a simplistic “woman boss” message. Each character makes main errors, and the present presents them as deeply flawed and morally complicated folks doing their greatest in an archaic system. It is not simply Smith’s presence that may make early episodes paying homage to “The Crown.”

The sequence is fairly trustworthy to George R. R. Martin’s “Hearth and Blood,” although, because the episode goes on, it performs round with the timeline and compresses occasions right here and there. “Home of the Dragon” additionally provides some main particulars to the Targaryen backstory that give their dragon obsession and thirst for the throne increased stakes. And we’ve not even talked concerning the dragons! The dragons are stunningly lovely — and no much less thrilling regardless of there being far more than three of them.

Total, “Home of the Dragon” is heavy, heart-wrenching, thrilling tv. Prepare for an additional experience.

Join HBO Max now to look at “Home of the Dragon” when it premieres on Aug. 21, 2022.

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