House of the Dragon review: where it all began

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The review of House of the Dragon, the new HBO television series. The breathtaking first season in the fiery Game of Thrones prequel; in a succession of power games governed by the thirst for conquest and unprecedented violence

ORIGINAL TITLE: House of the Dragon. GENDER: drama, fantastic. COUNTRY:United States of America. CREATOR: Ryan Condal. CAST: Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Matthew Needham DURATION: 10 episodes. ITALIAN DISTRIBUTION: Sky Atlantic. EXIT: 29 August 2022.

A few years after the last (disappointing) season of Games of Thrones (Game of thrones); here he enters the universe with his straight leg HBOthe highly anticipated prequel House of the Dragon. A fantasy-historical drama governed by the thirst for power, in which blood is ready to flow to keep honor high.

Set 200 years earlier from the events described in the mother series, House of the Dragon he was able to immediately conquer the clamor and attention of the most loyal and demanding spectators.

Designed by Ryan Condal; was distributed in Italy thanks to Sky Atlantic.

Among the protagonists we find Paddy ConsidineMatt Smith, Olivia CookeEmma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Fabien Frankel, Rhys Ifans.

House of the Dragon review: where it all began

Trama e Trailer | Review House of the Dragon

Inspired by the novel Fire and Blood from George R.R. Martin; as already anticipated, the story takes shape about 200 years before the bloody events seen in Game of Thrones, focusing on the fall of the House Targaryens until the civil conflict that broke out in the Seven Kingdoms, known as the Dance of the Dragons.

Viserys I Targaryen is the fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms, chosen by the Grand Council of Lords to succeed his late grandfather King Jaehaerys I.

Known for his goodness of mind, honesty and loyalty that distinguishes him; King Viserys I finds himself dragged into the difficult appointment of his successor. He found himself a widower and without a male heir; all his trust falls to his eldest daughter Rhaenyra Targaryen. However, the young girl’s accession to the throne is severely tested by a continuous succession of dissensions throughout her reign: by the furious return of uncle Daemon Targaryen; until the birth of her younger stepbrother, Aegon II (born from the union with Lady Alicent Hightower).

This is just the beginning of the harsh war that is about to come forward in the kingdom.

The struggle for power: the beginning of a new era | House of the Dragon review

Departing from the shadow of the parent series mentioned several times; House of The Dragon puts all its potential on paper, moving quickly and stealthily in the unique construction of tempos, rhythms and characters. Distinguished by a style and a raw and direct languagewithout veils and mysteries; he makes his one true identity sprout episode after episode.

The first cornerstone to emerge is the violent role-playing game taking shape in this new erain which the thirst for power and the weight of the crown, the protagonists move away from the duties and ties built up to that moment.

The solemn foundations of loyalty and union laid by Re Viserys I (interpreted in a sublime way by Paddy Considine), they crumble immediately breaking down every border between right and wrong, finding themselves wrapped in a hybrid sinful and lascivious scenario. The bitter deception makes its way violently like an avalanche on the lives of the protagonists, dragging them, willy-nilly, into a limbo governed by restlessness, anger, pain and ambition.

The thousand faces and inner disturbances of the protagonists reveal another central pivot of the narrative, brought to light with skilful mastery in the series. The power of the growing narrative pathos, supports the prismatic character revealed sequence after sequence, in a constant coming and going of plots and subplots. Everything is enriched by the articulated play between lights and shadows.

House of the Dragon review: where it all began

The sense of oppression and greed of soul that the viewer perceives unfolds in the high walls of the Kingdom, in a continuous exchange of light and darkness. The gray color, dark and persistent, he comes used as a constant voltage element ready to explode. Fierce attacks of anger, pain and resignation; as well as delineating the sense of loneliness, marginalization and inadequacy. On the opposite side, I thrill them deep in passion and violence, dominating the scene through the Red. From the fire spat out by the enormous jaws of the Dragons, to the gushing of blood. An ambivalent role, leading to the symbolic representation of domino death and liberation.

The regia thus manages to project the viewer into a constant dynamism of glances, panoramas and gory details; with a photograph of images clearly distinguishable from each other.

The icing on the cake, the musical interventions created by Ramin Djawadi. The soundtrack it proves effective and impactful in tying everything together on an immersive 360 ​​° narrative thread, marrying in great style with the emotions and actions of the series.

Women and the patriarchy | House of the Dragon review

Before starting to conclude, another solid element of the series to be excavated concerns the determination of the main female figures, represented by Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) e Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke). A relationship initially lived in a symbiotic and controversial way, their contemporary evolution will be fundamental in giving solidity to the two “queens”.

Complex and polar opposite characters in the narrative evolution of the series they will unhinge in different ways episode after episodethe dominant patriarchal model of the time. Like two skilled puppeteers, the two women will know how to move the threads of a dirty and gloomy theater of struggle with dexterity; using the frailties and weaknesses of others, as a weapon ready to be used.

House of the Dragon review: where it all began

For the more attentive to details it is easy to notice the clear link to the previous dominant figures in Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) e Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). The latter together with the main protagonists queens Rhaenyra and Alicent; they will be united by the total subversion of the rules. No more submissive women with a body symbolic of desire, but women stubborn with the need for definition and affirmation, ready to do anything to defend their honor and their family.

Conclusion

House of the Dragon is revealed in all respects as one of the most compelling productions of HBO, which does not fail in wanting to demonstrate its superiority over the previous series; almost wanting to change the rules of the “game of the throne”. The care and attention to every detail is the business card that does not go unnoticed. In fact, every single element described manages to shine and conquer its own light, revealing itself to be a fundamental piece in the composition of a large mosaic.

Without ever exceeding, the time leaps and generational changes are positioned within a true growing climax, able to maintain homogeneity in the narrative and high attention.

The only issue not yet fully explored is the hasty effect of not having delved into the deep devotion between the Targaryens and the dragons.

Points in favor

  • Excellent interpretation of the actors
  • Care in direction and photography
  • Sets and costumes

Points against

  • Special effects not always effective
  • The dynamics with the Dragons have not been thoroughly investigated

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