“House of the Dragon” blood, gore and royalty


Photo by Pavel Georgiev

Spoiler Alert
House of the Dragon was released as a prequel to Game of Thrones on Aug. 21, 2022. It stars Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, and Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen. The show promises to be gory, since we see the pomp of the dragon kings in the first episode.

Viserys I Targaryen becomes King after his father dies. He has a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, who is fierce and loves to ride dragons. Her best friend is Alicent Hightower. In the first episode, I got the feeling that Alicent was jealous of Rhaenyra, but this was just based on the timid nature of Alicent. I can neither confirm nor deny her feelings as of yet. Alicent marries King Viserys and becomes Queen. I do not like Alicent; I do not believe for one second that she is not as power-hungry as her father!

Princess Rhaenyra is loved by her father, and since her mother and brother died during childbirth, she is named an heir. Even though Daemon was the original heir, Viserys thinks Daemon is weak and will ruin the throne. Daemon might be feisty, but I see him as an anti-hero.

Princess Rhaenyra is so cool! She faces her uncle down when he takes over a royal hold, Dragonstone, by telling him to kill her if he wants to be heir-apparent. I’m not too fond of Alicent so far because it seems like she wants to sleep with King Viserys. I understand that her father, who is the “hand” of the King, wants her to become queen, and she has little control over her life, but it still irks me.

In episode four, Princess Rhaenyra slept with the Kingsguard after being shown a brothel by her uncle, Daemon. She’s liked him for a long time and decided to take him to bed. Also, the King’s right-hand man was told that Princess Rhaenyra slept with Daemon, which she did not. Everyone, including King Viserys and Alicent, questions the princess. I do not see the big deal, but that is coming from a modern perspective.

Everyone is trying to get Princess Rhaenyra to marry. I think she is like Queen Elizabeth I in that way, refusing marriage because she wants to be married to her kingdom. The British accents help with the imagery. Princess Rhaenyra ends up having to marry one of her cousins, but she doesn’t love him, and he doesn’t love her.

Throughout the season, there is a continuous war on Blackstone, which Daemon is fighting alongside some other warriors. The warriors have decided to go against King Viserys because they could not achieve the power grab they desired.

We get a time jump at the beginning of episode 6, and the princess is in labor. She ends up having a baby (not) with her husband, who seems to have a friendly relationship. The Queen, Alicent and Rhaenyra are enemies now because they are trying to get their respective families on the throne. Let the battle commence! Rhaenyra is quite the character, because once she was a grown woman, she slept with her uncle! Any fans of “Game of Thrones” will know that incest is common. The drama is real.

In the last two episodes, the King dies and the fight for the throne begins. Aegon is crowned at the end of episode nine, but surely that cannot be the end! We finally see Princess Rhaenyra in the final episode, and she births her baby (the baby of Rhaenyra and Daemon) and it is stillborn.

Princess Rhaenyra then prepares to take the Iron Throne by force. Yes, it is justifiably hers but Aegon holds it. Season two is going to be a ride.

Overall, I liked it, but by the end of the first season of “Game of Thrones” I was far more obsessed. I think the characters are incredible, and I look forward to season two.