If there’s one cultural consensus that still holds true about Game of Thrones, it’s this: The series ended on such an uncomfortable and maudlin note that it kind of squandered the immense cultural cachet the show had accumulated over the past 72 episodes.
And yet, I’m still looking for house of the dragonthe game of Thrones Prequel, the result of an intense bake-off process at HBO, a massive success.
It’s not just that game of Thrones left unfinished conversations. Rather, the show seemed to mark the end of a mass, ongoing period of cultural debate. However bad game of Thrones gone, we feel worse because of the emptiness it left behind.
house of the dragon reverses the clock from the original series to an era before dragons died out and when the Targaryens who rode them still ruled Westeros.
King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) ascended the throne after a council of the realm’s nobles chose him to be heir to Princess Rhaenys Velaryon (Eve Best). With no son, Visery’s rightful heir appears to be his brother Daemon (Matt Smith), a charismatic yet violent and impulsive man who serves both his own appetite and the Empire. Viserys’ daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock as a teenager, Emma D’Arcy as an adult) might be better suited for the role – if she can get it and keep it.
At first glance – I’ve seen the first four episodes – house of the dragon missing some of the qualities that made it game of Thrones a great topic of discussion and great art at times.
The new series is, at least initially, more of a family drama than a sprawling social tapestry.
Yes, this family is House Targaryen, and the conflicts of personality between its members lead not only to awkward dinners but also to civil war. However, in the beginning house of the dragon mainly draws his conflict from the claustrophobia of power.
And while the show features some strong performances, most notably from Smith as Prince Daemon; Considine as his sad, decidedly man-sized brother, King Viserys; and best as Princess Rhaenys, who could have ruled Westeros had it not been for her gender, lacks a character ripe for audience identification.
house of the dragon has no Arya Stark for those of us who remember our tomboy past; no wickedly merry Tyrion Lannister for the pranksters in our midst; no Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen, as so many of us desperately strive to be recognized as worthy.
but house of the dragon offers a lot to snack on – and just as much that is relevant for current debates game of Thrones
provided fuel for arguments about sexual violence, the effects of trauma and the way empowerment can coagulate into absolutism.
It’s a series about what happens when the law meets personal impulses, the difficulty of undoing long-established family dynamics, and yes, gender and power. And if the books and stories by George RR Martin house of the dragon Based on any guidance, the show will take these themes to some productively unexpected places.
If audiences show up to these discussions, it would be an encouraging development — or at least a respite from the current sorry state, where genuine political debate is seldom found in our major deliberative bodies and cultural warfare has grown worryingly literal.
In these circumstances, mass culture plays a useful role.
By providing the public with a set of hypotheses, shows such as game of Thrones can provide an opportunity to discuss big ideas, unencumbered by partisan grudges.
That Have The characters Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and Sansa Stark gave us powerful women who weren’t Hillary Clinton to argue about.
It would be nice to be able to talk about the power transfer and character of officials in a context outside of the ongoing Trump show that has so dominated our lives.
Unless house of the dragon, maybe another show or movie franchise will be the catalyst. But binge-watching has left audiences literally out of sync, and a barrage of programming means everyone can disappear into content rabbits of their choosing.
Buzzy limited series such as King of the Tigers, The Dropout and Mare by Easttown might be great, but they don’t do what a show likes game of
thrones done and built a community discussion that continues from year to year.
In the troubled year of 2022, it will take something as big and fiery as dragons to bring us all back together.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/can-house-of-the-dragon-unite-us-in-debate-the-way-game-of-thrones-did-41929867.html Can House of the Dragon unite us in debate like Game of Thrones did?