‘Home Of The Dragon’ Premiere Recap: The Forged On Battle For The Iron Throne

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By Stacy Lambe‍, ETOnline.com.

[Warning: Spoilers for episode 1 of “House of the Dragon”, “Heirs of the Dragon”, written by Ryan Condal and directed by Miguel Sapochnik.]


“House of the Dragon”, the “Game of Thrones” prequel, premiered with the primary episode on Sunday, bringing to life George R.R. Martin’s Hearth & Blood. The all-new sequence, which takes place 200 years earlier than the unique, particulars the battle of succession as Home Targaryen makes an attempt to take care of its place on the Iron Throne.

Members of the ensemble cast, together with Emily Carey, Eve Greatest, Fabien Frankel, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, Paddy Considine and Steve Toussaint, recap the in-fighting in episode one and tease the place issues go from right here, as season 1 will get deep into the political maneuvering that follows.

“It kicks off with the Outdated King looking for his named inheritor, and the lady with the fitting temperament to rule the dominion is shafted for the youthful male inheritor,” says Olivia Cooke, who portrays an older model of Alicent Hightower. “That’s the way it kicks off and that units us up for the subsequent.”

Primarily telling the identical story twice, the primary hour of the sequence units up the precarious line of succession and what occurs when there is no such thing as a male inheritor to inherit the Iron Throne.

Beginning with the Outdated King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, the Nice Council is left in a lurch after they understand there’s no direct male inheritor to imagine the throne and keep Targaryen’s reign over King’s Touchdown. Whereas his granddaughter, Princess Rhaenys Velaryon (Greatest), is technically the subsequent in line, historical past dictates that solely males can inherit the throne, which ends up in plenty of distant members of the family trying to make a declare for the seat.

“House of the Dragon”. Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
“Home of the Dragon”. Credit score: Ollie Upton / HBO

However when it comes all the way down to it, there are solely two rightful heirs, Rhaenys and her cousin, Viserys Targaryen (Considine), with the latter being chosen by members of the council and thus Rhaenys changing into often called the “Queen Who By no means Was”.

“She was the most effective candidate for the job on the time, however she was handed over as a result of she was a girl,” Greatest says. And consequently, “she doesn’t have a task because of this horrible miscarriage of justice.”

The story then jumps ahead, nicely into Viserys’ rule over his kingdom, because the king faces an identical downside of getting no male inheritor — nicely, no less than not but. Whereas he does have a daughter — Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Alcock) — he and his spouse, Aemma Targaryen (Sian Brooke), are nonetheless making an attempt to have a son as dictated by the realm.

“House of the Dragon”. Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
“Home of the Dragon”. Credit score: Ollie Upton / HBO

Along with his spouse pregnant and shortly to present delivery to a son, Viserys prematurely launches a event of celebration, which brings Viserys’ youthful brother, Daemon Targaryen (Smith), in addition to the Dornish knight, Ser Criston Cole (Frankel), who subsequently duel, a lot to the delight of Rhaenyra and her finest pal, Alicent (Carey).

“That’s actually an indicator of issues to return,” Frankel says, teasing that Criston understands “the pressures of being prince of town and thus far faraway from the world through which he grew up.”

He provides, “He’s an empathetic particular person. However as as to if he would go about issues the identical approach as Daemon, I don’t know. However there may be mutual respect there.”

“House of the Dragon”. Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
“Home of the Dragon”. Credit score: Ollie Upton / HBO

In relation to Daemon, his motivations are unclear. However as Smith explains, the commander of the King’s Watch is “curious about form of battle and chaos as a lot as he’s curious about energy. I believe he’s extra within the obstruction of energy than he’s in really attaining it. So, he goes about being as problematic as could be, and that form of makes him really feel and alive.”

Sadly, nonetheless, Aemma and her son, the would-be inheritor, each perish throughout childbirth.

This leaves a distraught Viserys pressured to decide concerning the line of succession, regardless that he’s removed from stepping down or at risk of dying, and ensuring that Westeros doesn’t fall into chaos as Homes try and make a bid for the Iron Throne. Whereas Daemon has a rightful declare to succeed him, his interior circle, together with Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifan) and an embittered Lord Corlys Velaryon (Toussaint), warns towards it.

This leads the king to make a daring alternative and title Rhaenyra as the subsequent in line whereas additionally commanding his council to pledge that they’ll honour this determination when the time comes. In fact, many members of the prolonged household, together with Daemon, Rhaenys and even Viserys’ daughter, have reservations about this plan of action — or if it even will maintain true — particularly now that every one of their relationships have modified shifting ahead.

“All of a sudden, when Rhaenyra’s mother dies whereas making an attempt to supply an inheritor, she’s left with out a mom. And Viserys is any individual that doesn’t know learn how to be a father to a teenage woman. So, that has type of difficulties inside itself,” Considine says of Viserys and Rhaenyra’s relationship. “After which additionally the very fact of naming her inheritor and what which means to the realm, what a giant determination that’s and the way that impacts their relationship going ahead is big.”

Alcock, in the meantime, means that the younger princess is extra curious about being a dragonrider than she is following within the footsteps of her father. “There’s a number of issues going by her thoughts. You understand, the obvious one being the lack of her mom and the way she’s by no means gonna have a mother once more,” she says, noting that her character “is put into a really troublesome place as a result of I don’t essentially suppose Rhaenyra desires the throne.”

As for Rhaenys, all of that is like “a sword was plunged deep in her coronary heart,” Greatest says, suggesting that it’s reopening a wound that she’s spent a very long time making an attempt to get well from. And in the case of her husband, Corlys, “he doesn’t conceal the truth that it irks him that his spouse will not be on the throne,” Toussaint says, noting that Rhaenys is a much more certified ruler.

“In reality, generally it appears as if it hurts him greater than it hurts her as a result of there are moments when he’s similar to, ‘It must be you.’ And she or he’s like, ‘Ahh, go away it. We’re wealthy.’ And he’s like, ‘No, it must be you,’” he continues, teasing that a number of Corlys’ “motivation for an terrible lot of this season is concerning the pursuit of his household’s legacy and planting their title in historical past.”

Throughout all of this, Otto convinces his daughter, Alicent, to consolation the king in his time of want — a seemingly shrewd determination to curry favour with the king. “We all the time describe Alicent as a product of the patriarchy. She could be very conscious about the place she suits into this world,” Carey says. “And I believe once we discover her, it’s not been a difficulty for her so far. She’s fairly content material with the place she is and he or she doesn’t thoughts the place she’s going.”

However, in fact, “issues very quickly modified because of selections fully out of her management,” the actress says, referring to being thrust into Viserys’ restoration. Regardless of all of the shifts in dynamics, it’s unclear how Alicent feels about all of it. “She doesn’t know what she’s feeling. She doesn’t actually know what to decide on. However the hot button is that she’s made to imagine she will select when in actuality she is aware of she will’t,” she continues.

Unsurprisingly, the episode ends with many fraught relationships and varied members in and outdoors of the instant household questioning what to do subsequent, with Smith teasing that “it’s a fairly lethal, harmful place” and the Targaryens are “a difficult household to be a part of.”


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