HOUSE OF THE DRAGON finally delivered the one thing I’ve wanted all season: dragon action! I’m almost tempted to change my review for that alone, alas, the first season finale was otherwise inconsistent in tone from scene to scene and felt like it was missing something.

Last week I explained the “greens,” so this week, our focus is the “blacks,” aka those that support Rhaenyra’s ascension to The Iron Throne. She is who we’re supposed to be rooting for, right? Her father named her his heir. She’s wise, clever, loving, and far more measured than any of the royal men left. Emma D’arcy slays this role. In this episode, and each one that has featured them thus far, they are the highlight.

Not to take away from anyone else. That GAME OF THRONES HBO money buys you a stellar cast…but Emma, you are phenomenal. 

When I think of the events that happen at the outset of GOT, I know a little about where Rhaenyra is and is not headed. Knowing the far future of Westeros had me worried at the season start that I wouldn’t connect with these characters. They’re all going to die at some point long before Jamie Lannister kills the “Mad King.” Each episode this season took away those worries, but I still can’t help but wonder: How does any of this matter knowing what we know at the start of THRONES? I am trying to put my trust in the showrunners to constantly surprise us and show us how these events greatly impact the great Houses in GOT, but after getting burned at the end last time, I’ve got some trust issues. 

Back to the dragons. There are big dragons and little dragons and claimed dragons and unclaimed dragons. And the Targaryen vs. Targaryen match-up that we’ve been building to all season long should pit the dragons against one another. Is this why they’re all gone by the time Daenerys is born? I can’t answer this, but the events of THE BLACK QUEEN seem to foreshadow a terrible fate. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON S2 hasn’t started production yet, so it’s likely we may not see the new season until early 2024. But when it does happen, let’s please keep this dragon stuff happening. It’s far more exciting than sitting through another small council meeting. 

And while HOUSE OF THE DRAGON S1 gave us a very intimate portrayal of the extended Targaryen-Velaryon clans, it’s bound to spread its wings further next season. It wouldn’t be a battle over the throne if the other high houses of Westeros weren’t a part of it. Let’s hope we always come back to Green and Blacks.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON S1 is now streaming in full on HBOMax. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

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