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Home of the Dragon Overview


As a “Sport of Thrones” fan (and an eventual disillusioned “Sport of Thrones” fan), I spent quite a lot 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 powerful sure. “Home of the Dragon” is nice tv.

The primary episode rapidly introduces us to the 2 girls on the coronary heart of the collection: 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 instances, feels romantic. They’re additionally nearly the one two younger girls within the whirlwind political maelstrom of the Crimson 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 match them to a few of the iconic girls of “Sport of Thrones,” however they carry 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 ladies underneath patriarchy, however it would not have a simplistic “lady boss” message.

Between episodes 5 and 6, there is a 10-year time soar, 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’d’ve liked to expertise firsthand as a viewer, however it appears the present needs to get to some massive climaxes that come later of their lives earlier than season one’s end result. The 2 older actors do an important job of drawing a line from their youthful selves to their grownup incarnations and clarify rapidly their new, even messier dynamic.

Then there’s Matt Smith. When “Morbius” got here out earlier this 12 months, the film’s one shiny spot was Smith’s chaotic, enjoyable efficiency because the villain. Smith brings that very same vitality to “Home of the Dragon” as Daemon Targaryen, the king’s brother and Rhaenyra’s uncle. He will be evil, candy, considerate, merciless, sympathetic, and bloodthirsty at totally different instances. He is the closest factor the present has to a transparent villain and, even then, generally 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 massive because it was in “Sport of Thrones,” we’ve got an opportunity to take a seat 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 individuals for a lifetime — generally in methods they do not even understand. And virtually each intercourse scene has heavy, heavy penalties for the solid of characters. Because the season continues, the strain and stress ratchets up with every episode as issues slowly — after which quickly — crumble.

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

The collection is fairly devoted 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 have not even talked concerning the dragons! The dragons are stunningly stunning — 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 observe “Home of the Dragon” when it premieres on Aug. 21, 2022.

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