House of the Dragon hit it’s mid-season and with some pretty big changes to come I thought I’d talk about my thoughts on the first half. Especially since some of my issues can be summed up in episode five alone.
Overall I’m enjoying the show and I think they are doing a good job in the most important areas of characterization. Namely Alicent and Rhaenyra. The first two actresses are leaving some pretty big shoes to fill.
And while I have some issues with Daemon I think Matt Smith is going to be his saving grace.
The show looks great. I love the costumes. So far the dragons look good as well. The music… I mean no matter how much I great to hate that other show the music was always terrific.
I do think the time jumps leave something to be desired. They are blazing through a lot understandably but just personally I think maybe they could be picking less obvious things to highlight and it would still work.
But a lot of that involves spoilers for the second half of the season and people who aren’t going to be around as long so I’ll leave it at that. Just much that other show they are tending to make some very obvious choices when I think the material and talent could support different choices.
Confusion that Could be Avoided
One thing is supporting characters.
I admit I love the Velaryon’s so they are high on my list of people who could be doing more. But when they introduced Laenor and Seasmoke no one seemed to know who they were unless you knew the source material. Or why he had a dragon. Same thing with my Queen Meleys and the quick flyby we got of her in episode 5. I actually heard one reviewer whose been watching from the beginning complaining that they had changed the CGI on Caraxes. It really doesn’t take much to flesh out those little things.
Personally I don’t understand the shows insistence on this idea of joining the two houses together for the first time right in front of Rhaenys. I mean why doesn’t her marriage to Corlys count? I actually can kind of understand the confusion at some points.
And they could definitely give the other dragons some personality.
I fear it’s going to get worse after the time jump when there’s a shit ton of kids to keep track of and lots of people start dying really quick. Are those deaths going to hit? I don’t know. I think they are really relying on the actors here.
Daemon and His Crimes
I mean Daemon could be a whole topic on his own. But I was surprised they had him murder his wife in this episode. It’s one of the few things in the books that probably (like 90%) can’t be put on him as he was still in the Stepstones at the time. Also since she lasted long enough to demand to get up out of bed I assume she would have mentioned it. And honestly, knowing what’s to come… I was really annoyed.
I admit Daemon grew to annoy me in the book. Part of the reason I’m so put out about this one. There’s a difference between morally grey agent of chaos and cold-blood psychopath who the narrative allows to get away with everything because the writers of both the books and show thinks he’s cool.
I think they should have left Rhea’s death as it was in the source material. It’s not like Daemon is going to lack for murders. Again I think if they keep going down this road it will only be Smith’s performance that saves the character.
So yeah House of the Dragon so far? I’m enjoying it. (For me nothing can be the shit show Game of Thrones devolved into.) But I have concerns and things I just genuinely wish they were doing differently. I look forward to the next part though!