Thursday, September 22, 2022

Take Three: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 3 “Second of His Name” (B+)

This show isn’t skimping on the violence, opening in brutal fashion with that doomed man who, after his hand got impaled, thought salvation had come in the form of the arriving dragon. Daemon is hardly one to be merciful or compassionate, and we saw that in his combat strategy at the end of the episode, ruthless to the end. It’s interesting to see the way that the relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent has transformed, with the latter now higher-ranking, meaning that she could dismiss the poor musician even though Rhaenyra had commanded him to stay. Both Alicent and Viserys, aren’t happy that ordering her to comply and do things they want is how they have to interact with her, but she’s not budging at all in her cooperative status. Jason Lannister was charming enough, even though there’s plenty of reason to doubt the good intentions of any Lannister, but she was immediately upset by yet another attempt to force her into a destiny she has no interest in fulfilling. All of the fanfare around the hunt was set up to glorify the king who then went and killed the animal while it was restrained so that he could get the expected applause, but it was Rhaenyra who had to face a much more intense run-in which required a knee-jerk response. Her being put in power doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, but she obviously has a better instinct for the battlefield and real conflict than her father and the successor Otto is trying to make sure he appoints.

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