Sunday, October 2, 2022

What I’m Watching: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 6 “The Princess and the Queen” (B+)

I had known for a while now that the two lead actresses on this show were going to be replaced, but I thought that it was going to happen much sooner. I’m glad, at least, that episode five was such a strong showcase for both Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, and episode fix provided an equally formidable start for Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. I’m a big fan of Cooke from her work in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Thoroughbreds,” and other roles, but I wasn’t familiar with D’Arcy, who impressed with a particularly physical performance of Rhaenyra ascending stairs immediately after giving birth to ensure that her former best friend didn’t kill her newborn baby. Things have evidently been very bad in the ten years since we last saw these characters, and Rhaenyra made an effort to make peace, suggesting that their children be betrothed to each other so that they could assure a joint line of succession. But Alicent has no interest in that, and now Rhaenyra and her platonic husband are taking their family and leaving. Harwin having to leave and then being murdered by his own brother’s squad of tongueless prisoners was a tragic end, and even Alicent didn’t seem to condone what Larys had assigned to her telling him to do. The world must be upset down when Daemon is the one mourning the loss of his wife and not willing to make the same terrible decision his brother once did to sacrifice her life for the sake of his unborn child.

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