Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘House of the Dragon’ is some of HBO’s best work

The ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel is everything fans could ever want
Photo courtesy of the “House of Dragon” official Facebook page.

Only halfway through its first season, HBO’s “House of the Dragon” has surpassed all expectations as the highly anticipated “Game of Thrones” prequel. The series, which first aired on Aug. 21, took GOT fans by storm and proved itself worth the wait.

With insane production quality, genius casting and everything a “Game of Thrones” spinoff show would need — honor, gore, sex and love — “Dragon” is truly a masterpiece.

The show, which has now aired seven episodes, has found success by creating both fan-favorite and fan-hated characters. Rhaenyra Targaryen, one of the show’s main characters, has amassed a loyal following who enjoy her quick wit and fierceness in the face of whatever threatens her power.

To masterfully cast a loveable lead in a TV show is a feat itself, but to recast a new lead to account for a time jump is all too impressive. The directors of the show decided to recast several major characters including Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra herself, along with her stepmother and husband. The successful recasting speaks volumes about the directors’ and casting agents’ talents.

“House of the Dragon” also falls nothing short of a masterpiece in terms of production. The $20 million dollar budget per episode helped the show go above and beyond when it came to battle scenes, dragon spectacles and the overall staging of the show.

Much of the show was filmed in Portugal, Spain and England, allowing for the show to diversify the different kingdoms that are depicted on screen. The beauty of the setting is one of the most captivating aspects of the show, especially in comparison to the all-too-common dark sceneries found in “Game of Thrones.”

The series is not only visually captivating, but its scriptwriting is just as beautiful. Even if you believe you could not enjoy a show full of gore and violence, it is worth watching simply for the timely commentary and captivating dialogue. Switching between English and High Valyrian, a made-up language in the world of GOT, the interaction between characters will always leave you begging for more.

A specific line spoken by King Viserys is so well-crafted and well-executed in the show that it left me speechless.

“When this great winter comes, Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must stand against it. And if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must be seated on the Iron Throne, a king or queen strong enough to unite the realm against the cold and the dark.”

This line and many others are so beautifully written that it’s as if they are imprinted in my brain forever, and I will never forget them.

However, any proper review of a series must include a have a few critiques. While they are far and few between, there are some aspects of the show I wish were a little different. As I mentioned before, there is a mid-season time jump that led to some recasting, but also created gaps in the storyline. I felt as though the producers could have given the viewers a bit more context.

For example, Rhaenyra suddenly has an affair with a knight in her king’s guard, and she ends up birthing two of his children, without the viewers being given background how these events transpired. As a viewer it, was frustrating to feel like you missed an intimate part of the characters’ lives.

But when all is said and done, “House of the Dragon” is a cinematic  masterpiece, and it is a series I would recommend to anyone. Keep your Sunday nights open for new episodes of “Dragon,” and you will not be disappointed.

Nina Prenosil can be reached at [email protected].


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