This new show is about politicians and the real estate they feel entitled to. I’d say Robert Troy loves it – The Irish Times


One of the things I enjoyed about the original Game of Thrones was how it tricked many viewers into thinking it was a deep show about power and politics before it revealed itself. be a goofy game about dragons and zombies. It allowed me to stand in people’s yards shouting “nerds!” on Game of Thrones day and there was nothing they could do about it. He was a good cop. They were nerds now and everyone knew it. Their family members often joined in my hilarious taunts.

Dragon House (Sky Atlantic and Now) becomes a full dragon in the first episode. Within minutes we have someone riding a large magical CGI lizard above a CGI King’s Landing, Westeros’ version of Dalkey (also CGI). The orchestral theme melody could just as easily feature the words “Dragon show!” It’s a dragon show! And you are dumb! Nerds watching a dragon show! Let’s go on a quest!” That’s what I sing anyway. (For the original, I sang “Who’s gonna win…the Game of Thrones? The person who’s the best…at the Game of Thrones? Thrones. Lots of people are skilled… in Game of Thrones! But who’s the best?… Could it be youuuuu?”).

Game of Thrones distinguished itself from Dungeons & Dragons by hiding supernatural elements behind random naked women, gratuitous ultraviolence, and tediously detailed council meetings. (I learned a lot about running feudal towns from Game of Thrones so now I can deal with Dublin.) It pretended to be some kind of old-time sopranos mixed in with the nine o’clock news, a show for people who read newspapers and have opinions on jazz. But with dragons in place from the start, House of the Dragon is obviously just a steamier late-night twist on the fantasy genre. It’s basically Dungeons & Dragons Nights. It’s a nerd show for nerds, and even reading about it makes you a nerd.

The whole story would go in a different direction if Viserys had just replaced the Iron Throne with a proper, ergonomic office chair. He really should have a small home office if he continues to work from home

So hello my nerd friends! It’s 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and we’re diving into the genealogy of that show’s favorite incestuous shampoo models, the Targaryens. One of their ancestors, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), sits on the impossibly uncomfortable Iron Throne, a throne literally made of sharp metal swords but one everyone wants to sit on. A plot point established in this episode is that Viserys is actually cut when he sits on it and will likely die from his injuries.

It is, in all honesty, hilarious. If I was a writer on House of the Dragon, I would have played this more for laughs and had Viserys say “Ouch” more often, or “Let’s have a stand-up meeting this morning” or “Hey, it’s a beautiful day , let’s have this council session outside” or “Anyone got a cushion?” The whole story would go in a different direction if Viserys had just replaced the Iron Throne with a proper, ergonomic office chair. He should really get a little home office if he continues to work from home. HR definitely has a role to play in this. Full disclosure: I write in bed and it does wonders for my back.

Viserys’ closest relatives include Daemon (Matt Smith), his brother, who is a piece of shit and is in charge of the city’s watch, and Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), his daughter, whom we meet while piloting her CGI dragon, a “great wyrm”, before spending time with her more distinguished friend Alicent. Yes, her name is “Alice” with an “nt” at the end. And, yes, they spell “wyrm” with a “y”. Names and surnames in the world of Game of Thrones are still much like words you might encounter in our world, but with a magical spelling of yesteryear. This is historically accurate. Ask any historian who specializes in places that never were. If I was on this show, for example, my name would be Paetrick and I would write for a newspaper.

Anyway, Viserys’ wife Aemma is pregnant and they hope the baby will be a bouy. Viserys also has a big jousting competition to organize, and there are rumors of pirate armadas at sea – and don’t throw him on the big, spiky chair that’s bad for his back. He’s a busy king on the go, trying to juggle work and family. Oh, if only it had a decent office chair with good lumbar support and good swivel action!

My favorite characters are two naked extras who briefly stop faking sex to listen to Matt Smith deliver a diabolical speech in a crowded brothel. I am fascinated by this detail. ‘Hmm, this evil talk is so engaging,’ their tentative mid-coitus pose seems to say

I’m planning a whole series set in Office Wyrld, but then Smith gets his guards to wreak havoc on the city, and before you can say “Please don’t show me this”, someone has his penis cut off. The camera lingers so pointedly on the bloody outcome that I think for a minute that Penys is going to be an exciting main character – Jon Snow from this program. (They could do it with puppets.) But unfortunately not. The over-the-top violence sets the tone, however, and before long Smith is having angry and joyless HBO sex, after which there’s a gruesome jousting event and a truly heartbreaking birth scene that involves mutilation and death. All of this happens to people we’ve barely met and we feel excessive and unpleasant.

At the end of the episode, we have a sick and bereaved king, an anointed heir, a disgruntled would-be heir, and a CGI dragon acting as an obedient Scooby-Doo sidekick. He should say “Ruh-roh” once in a while. What we don’t have is the geographic and character scope of Game of Thrones. Yes, this show eventually turned into a tedious sprawl, but in the beginning, as the action moved from the fringes to the center, the scope made the story huge and exciting. This show is all center stage. They’re all dragons and kings, and much of it takes place in a palace. It is tightly focused and small. There aren’t any real underdogs either (yet), so there’s less emotional weight. It’s a show about politicians and the real estate they’re entitled to. I imagine Robert Troy loves it.

That said, we see something we’ve never seen before. My favorite characters are two naked extras who briefly stop simulating sex to listen intently to Smith giving a diabolical speech in a crowded brothel. I am fascinated by this detail. “Hmm, this evil talk is so engaging,” their tentative mid-coital pose seems to say. I wish there was a close up of their faces, to see if they nod their heads in interest. I guess if you’re the type of person who makes love in the middle of a crowded room, you could also be the type of person who would stop halfway if Smith gave an interesting speech nearby. “He makes great arguments,” I imagine them saying. “And now let’s continue our ride.” Anyway, I’ve never seen this situation before in art, and in my opinion, naked extras listening to Matt-Smith’s devilish speech are the stars of 2022. Maybe that’s are they who will ascend the Iron Throne. If so, I would suggest they put on some pants.


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