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The Heir of Game of Thrones: House of Dragon Episode 1 Review

Mustafa is a PhD researcher in Film. He dedicated to finding out what do movies/TV shows mean.

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Introduction

We have returned to Westeros after three years since the last Game of Thrones episode aired. I liked the first episode so far. I get thrilled about the dragons because I anticipate seeing them on the battlefield in forthcoming episodes. I enjoy the characters and what they are up to. The episode also provides plenty of hints about potential future alliances. The first episode introduces the characters, sets up the plot, and highlights the major conflicts. I'm eager to see how everything turns out.

Breaking Down the Plotline and Characters

As the episode is titled "The Heirs of the Dragon", this first chapter of the show introduces four leading players: Viserys I (Paddy Considine), Rhaenys (Eve Best), Deamon (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy). Indeed, the title nicely sets up the show's premise, which is the matter of succession. It begins with the succession of Viserys I over his sister, Princess Rhaenys Velaryon. Later, the voiceover of Rhaneyra says: "Jaehaerys called the Great Council to prevent a war being fought over his succession. For he knew the cold truth! The only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself."

Then, we see Princess Rhaneyra flying over the clouds on her dragon, symbolising her independent nature. Although she is King Viserys I's eldest descendent, his father is desperate for a son to succeed him. She is more of a war enthusiast than a wife, as seen by the excitement with which she watched the knights duel in the "Heir Tournament." Additionally, she says to her mother, "I'd serve as a knight and ride to battle and glory." Rhaneyra is a mixture of Arya and Daenerys from Game of Thrones. She quickly brings to mind Arya, who told his father that she is unwilling to be someone else's wife. She preferred to be a knight instead. Arya's and Rhaneyra's wishes to see travel around the world are also nicely paralleled in this episode. In the end, Rhaneyra is named as the heir of the Iron Throne by his father, but it seems likely that she will find herself in a great game fighting for her position, just like Daenerys.

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Moreover, the episode focuses on King Viserys I and his desperation for a male heir to succeed him. He had five babies, but none of them survived. Viserys awaits his wife to give birth to a son so that he'll become his heir. He convinced himself so profoundly that he even organised an heir tournament before the baby was born. His rival, Rhaeneys, is also introduced in this episode briefly. Her backstory was not discussed in this episode, but we will undoubtedly learn much more about her in the subsequent ones. It only briefly indicates the possibility of an alliance with the Baratheon family when a Stormlands Knight referred to her as "The Queen Who Never Was."

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And Daemon Targaryen, the bad boy of the town… He is the younger brother of King Viserys and another potential heir to the throne. Back in Game of Thrones, it was said that "Every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin." Indeed, Daemon and Viserys I symbolise these two sides of the coin. While Viserys is a warm, kind, and decent man Daemon is a cruel and peerless warrior. Arguably, he possesses the true blood of the dragon. As we remember from Game of Thrones, those good men do not necessarily make for great kings. Indeed, while Viserys does not seem concerned with significant problems, Daemon takes more series of actions. For instance, at the council meeting, Viserys can be seen cracking jokes as Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) looks at him unfavourably since important matters are needed to be discussed. Daemon, on the other hand, when he was a City Watch commander, killed criminals brutally to prevent any criminal actions during the "Heir Tournament." These two characters stand in stark contrast to one another, and the episode poses the question: Who would make a better ruler?

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Daemon's first appearance was while seated on the iron throne, signifying his aspiration to become a king in the future. Later, just after Viserys's kid and wife passed away, he even organised a celebration. He called the baby "The Heir for a Day." After learning this, Viserys exiled him from the King's Landing. But this is unlikely to stop him. He'll undoubtedly be planning something. However, he might be seen as cruel, but he has a soft spot in his heart for Rhaneyra. There is definitely something in the air between these two characters. I am expecting a twist in Daemon's storyline. I predict that although he will rebel against the crown earlier, he will change his mind and side with Viserys and Rhaneyra.

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What has been established so far?

Ten Dragons: "In those days, House Targaryen stood at the height of its strength with ten adult dragons under its yoke," Rhaeneyra says in the opening narration. Rhaenayra rides Syrax and Deamon rides Caraxes, the only two dragons we have seen so far. I believe that both Rhaenys and King Very I have dragons as well. However, the other dragons have not yet been introduced. It is more likely that we will see more dragons and new members of the Targaryen family.

Potential Baratheon&Rhaneys alliace: There are two clues for this alliance. The first clue is that the knight from the Baratheon family calls Rhaenys "The Queen Who Never Was." The second clue is where all leaders from other families across the seven-kingdom gathered in the hall. Before bending his knee, Boremund Baratheon paused for a brief moment. It is sort of implied that the Baratheon family would side with Rhaenys rather than King Viserys and Rhaeneyra. Pay attention to Rhaneys. She is dangerous!

Deamon&Rhaeneyra romance: If you pick up sexual tension between Deamon and Rhaenayra when Deamon gives her a present, you are not alone!

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Rhaenayra& Ser Criston Cole romance: It seems likely that there will be a romance between Rhaneyra and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) as well. Also, the episode establishes the tension between Daemon and Criston Cole in their duel. Prepare yourself for a love triangle between these three characters. Besides, speaking of Ser Criston Cole, he is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. Cole has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honour and his preternatural skill with a sword. Although we haven't seen much of him yet, from what I can tell, he seems to fit the classic outlaw profile of Robin Hood. So, he might be the founder of the Brotherhood in Game of Thrones.

Alliance in Free Cities: In the council meeting, Lord Corlys Velaryon is concerned with the growing coalition among the free cities, named Triarchy, whose recent invasion at Bloodstone is driving the local pirates out of the area. And also, a man called Craghas Drahar styled himself the prince-admiral of their Triarchy. The council, however, doesn't seem to take this approach seriously. Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, in particular, does not appear very concerned with this matter. I have a feeling that this is going to be an issue for the kingdom in the future. I also want to talk about the hand of the king a little bit. He reminds me of Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. He seems a loyal, honourable man, a good friend of the king, but he seems unable to recognise the kingdom's significant problems, like Ned Stark.

The illness of King Viserys I: An abscess appears on King Viserys's back, indicating that it has grown slightly. Although I am unsure if it is grayscale quite yet, it seems likely that Viserys will suffer a lot.

The North: In the end, Viserys tells his daughter about Aegon's dream in that Aegon saw absolute darkness riding in the north of the wall. Rickon Stark, the present ruler of Winterfell, makes a commitment to King Viserys I and his daughter Rhaenayra at this very moment in the parallel editing. This scene is an apparent reference to white walkers, and it seems likely that Rickon Stark will play a part later. The wall and Winterfell have not yet been shown to us, but we will probably see them in the future.

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Final Thoughts

For the time being, House of the Dragon has proven to be a worthy successor to Game of Thrones. So far, I'm enjoying the characters and the plotline. I'm sure we'll meet new characters and actors from the House of Targaryen and their allies in the upcoming episodes. Also, dragons... We've already seen two dragons, and eight more are on the way. They will be used in future battles. Prepare yourself for a lot of blood and fire.

© 2022 John Londoner

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