In The latest installment from HBO’s Dragon HouseLord Otto Hightower faces the King with some disturbing news. Princess Rhinera and Prince Demon were seen in the bowels of the fun den, engaging in some inappropriate behavior – coupling, to be more precise. But what his report does not mention is that the pleasure den is not a source of pleasure at all. It is a bleak graveyard of unknown and naked bodies where a demon suddenly abandons his niece, after suffering recurring bouts of erectile dysfunction.
Meanwhile, Aliscent Hightower shows us what it means to “serve the kingdom,” as the late Emma Targaryen put it: a duty that entails staring relentlessly at the ceiling, waiting for an elderly husband to reach his climax. Here in the most sexually charged HOTD episode to date, sex among Westerosi’s elite is remarkably frustrating, with even Rhaenyra’s seduction of reluctant Sir Criston Cole terribly unexciting. She lured him into her room through a lengthy game of helmet escape, courting lovers with no chemistry at all.
Is it wrong to watch HOTD and the length of the first four seasons of Game of Thrones? Her reputation may falter in scenes of extreme sexual violence, but GOT still gives her characters moments of tenderness and fun. The lifelessness of HOTD’s sexual exploits reflects the mood of the prequel as a whole. So far, it’s surprisingly harsh, gearing towards period drama of repressed nobility. Although it relied heavily on the world-building of its predecessor, and possessed the best resource – the close involvement of George R.R. Martin; the direction of Miguel Saposhnik, who brought us the excellent battle of villains; And an unprecedented budget – I have to wonder, how can a show about dragons and incest remain so boring?
Can we talk about something other than the throne?
Despite all the gratuitous nudity, dragons and sudden beheadings, the real X factor for Game of Thrones was the dialogue. Conversations had a way of humanizing the characters while dispensing with the details necessary to construct the world; They would tell each other stories that expressed their flaws and their virtues, while providing the audience with reasons to care about whether they lived or died. Take episode four, season one, when a shivering Samuel Tarly meets Jon Snow at Castle Black. Of course they talk about girls. Jon tells Sam that he is still a virgin because he is afraid of being the father of a child out of wedlock, at the same time unpacking the baggage of being a bastard and explaining the meaning of Snow. “So you don’t know where to put it?” Sam says. They laugh, and you think these people care about each other. You want their friendship to succeed.
Four episodes in House of the Dragon we’ve sped through nearly many years, one war, two Alicent Hightower campaigns – and yet we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of our heroes. Laughter is extremely rare here, and everyone in the world seems to have one mind. All speech born is the throne and the succession and the threat to the succession. This makes the party drier (would she have killed any of the nobles in the hunting tent to crack a joke?) and even the chemistry on screen drier. From Sir Creston’s debut in episode one to his pairing in episode four, he and Rinera had a total of one-and-a-half conversations, counting those the boar cut. We learn a little about his lineage but does he have a personality? We may never find out.
Lord Corliss, we hardly know you
HOTD blasts through the plot at lightning speed, with little difference in terms of mood or scenery. Imagine many colorful landscapes, characters, and clever jokes in Game of Thrones, then compress them into a uniform shade of gray. Effective storytelling is a feature of George R. R. Martin’s Source Material, Fire and Blood. Written through the eyes of the castle’s chief architect, it provides an account of the Targaryen dynasty 300 years after the incident. Thus, our characters tend to feel like distant historical figures. “Eel is a very proud man,” said the Grand Master, but there surely was more to him, right? Does he have vices? And who wore the pants in his marriage to Princess Raines?
As in the book, the show’s dialogue plays a routine role, directing the dispute to a quick resolution with the rhythm of a conveyor belt. The years-long estrangement is quickly fixed — “I missed you,” Rainera tells Alicente — and off-screen developments are succinctly taken into account. We may not have seen Lord Corliss in a while, but we are told he is marrying his daughter to Lord Braavos. This is a show built on absence – not just of Lord Corliss, but of laughter, texture or depth.
The princess is not a character
Understandably, the obedient Aliscent is angry at Rhinera’s excesses. The teenage queen completely gave up her sexual agency at the age of 15. She’s been working overtime these days, taking care of her young children and her sick husband while looking for a respected lord to marry her friend – that’s the thanks she gets? If Rhaenyra would bestainedIn the eyes of these lords, she screams, ‘This would ruin everything! “
The show goes to great lengths to portray itself as a struggle of femininity against patriarchy, bringing back the explicit sexual violence and complete nudity of Game of Thrones, only to be replaced by non-consensual C-sections, unwanted and persistent abortions. Discuss the birth of heirs. At the end of the day, this is still a show about two teenage girls who are defined by the “burden of inheritance,” as Reinera puts it, and a little extra substance. It might also be the worst in reality – a bitter brat who lies, unleashes a barrage of insults on the elderly, and kicks Otto Hightwer out of the small board. But when you play Game of Thrones, that kind of cruelty is a virtue. As a wise queen once said, you either win or you die.
It’s unclear if Daemon wants Rhaenyra, or simply wants to destroy her marriage prospects, but it doesn’t matter either way. Viserys tends to raise Daemon’s exiles every time he jumps, so he’ll feel like he never left.
Where is Princess Raines, the only adult woman to play the speaking role? Eve Best’s talents are wasted the longer she stays off screen.
Lannister’s ancestors, Jason, are from Small Game, and Thailand, the Small Board Manager, is shockingly inept. Tyrion, Tywin, and Cersei were mopping the floor with these clowns.
The Messaria dialect from a distant colonial land … is an interesting option.