Last night, simultaneously with the US airing on HBO and exclusively on Sky and streaming on NOW The second installment of the new prequel series of game of Thrones, House of the Dragon. The series is inspired by the novel “Fire and Blood” by George RR Martinwho is also the creator of the series along with Ryan J. Condal. The series is a prequel set 200 years earlier than what was seen in Game of Thrones during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen and follows the bloody story that will lead to the outbreak of the “Dance of Dragons”, the civil war for the succession to the Iron Throne. After talking to you more generally about the series in our review of the first six episodes (which you can read here)it’s time to analyze the second episode in more detail!
[La recensione che segue presenta diversi SPOILER sulla trama di House of the Dragon 1×02: The Rogue Prince]
In this second episode we have the first timeskip of the series: in fact, a year and a half has passed since the death of the queen ea Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), the current ruler of the seven kingdoms, is asked to remarry to keep her image strong, which has deteriorated over the years and now may have an enemy at the gates. In fact, like Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) points out, a dangerous army is approaching the seven kingdoms from beyond the sea and risks becoming a problem first for his house and then for King’s Landing. Meanwhile, Lord Velaryon always tries to push the king to marry his young daughter, but the king’s attentions are attracted by a very different woman, Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey). As if the prince wasn’t enough Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) after the king’s insult he moved to Dragonstone, taking possession of it. In all this the Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), actual next pretender to the throne as decided by King Viserys, finds herself in a complicated position again when she decides to disobey the advice of the King’s Hand, Sir Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and decides to take matters into his own hands with Uncle Daemon.
The second installment of House of the Dragon again demonstrates the great writing skills of Martin and Condal, who after defining the starting points of the story, the motives of the various characters involved and their position in the circle of power of Westeros, moves on to messing up the cards again. With a threat at the gates, a succession questioned, a prince removed from King’s Landing, all the conditions are created so that internal conflicts can actually begin to develop and magnify, while the external ones arrive inexorably, ready to shake Westeros. In all this, the second episode finally also gives us a greater taste of some characters that we have seen very little in the first, such as Lord Velaryon, played by the very good Steve Toussaintand Lady Velaryon, played by Eve Best. Lord Velaryon proves to be an immensely complicated character, much more than the one that revealed his role in the council, a role that we see close to him. Velaryon is one of the last of one of the oldest dynasties of Westeros and therefore suffers subjection to the Targaryens, but he is also a partly honorable man who, worried about Westeros, finds himself making questionable choices in terms of alliances.
Instead, Lady Velaryon, the “queen who was denied the throne” here takes a more interesting dimension, shares with her husband the contempt for her house’s forced subjection to the Targaryens, but seems much closer to Rhaenyra than she could. understand the first episode, certainly always a conflictual relationship but which shows how the two women are not so different, but are partly experiencing the same drama. Even Daemon, played by the very good Matt Smith, in this episode he proves to be a complicated character, certainly violent and over the top, a somewhat rogue prince, but who understands his position of inferiority and suffers from it. The speech with his nephew, but also the one with his mistress, reveals a large part of the psyche of the character, showing a character that is not mad but more embittered by his life.
This second episode confirms again all the good impressions of the first, House of The Dragon it really is Game of Thrones at its highest level. These two episodes are reminiscent in some ways of the subterfuges of the first season of the mother series, with a hint of the wind of war blowing in the background, and of alliances between nobles ready to oust a too weak king. The pilot, who was not a pilot, had demonstrated the potential of such a prequel and the second episode presses on the accelerator constantly, but without giving an idea of excessive speed, a big problem of the last two seasons of the parent series.
The first two episodes of House of The Dragon are now available exclusively on Sky and streaming on NOW. Below you can see the trailer of the series: