In September, the two series ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘House of the Dragon’, topped by the legendary IP, were launched almost simultaneously, seemingly in an old “medieval duel” on the emerging platform of “streaming”. “.
One backed by the greatest work of fantasy literature of the 20th century, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, and one backed by ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by Tolkien’s faithful apprentice George R. R. Martin; one is the most expensive TV series ever created by Amazon Prime with a lot of money, and one broke HBO’s ratings record on its premiere s ratings record.
Just like the 1994 ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ collision, this “once-in-a-decade” collision, it seems to be the world’s fantasy literature fans the happiest trouble, in the end, which one is the best?
Coincidentally, however, both experienced huge controversy when they first went on air.
Both shows cast actors of color in major roles, which is a departure from the politically correct trend in Hollywood in recent years.
For these two film and television productions that rely on the original, easily changing the original character settings can offend a strict readership if they are not careful.
But now that both are finished, the storm of controversy is over for now.
The Lord of the Rings’ rating has fallen all the way, and now it is just over 6 points “pinch your nose and still watch” the lower limit; ‘House of the Dragon’ evaluation is reversed from the middle, and even until now about 9 points, can be said to lean towards the best.
So, what does ‘House of the Dragon’ rely on to achieve a reversal of word-of-mouth, let’s talk about it today.
The story of ‘House of the Dragon’ takes place 200 years before ‘Game of Thrones’.
Looked at the ‘Game of Thrones’ friends know that the ‘Game of Thrones’ story began, House of Targaryen has been broken home, dragons are also almost extinct, Daenerys hands are restored to reverse the script.
(House of Targaryen is a clan of kings of the Westeros continent, through the unique ability in their bloodline to control the flying dragons, and then through the flying dragons to shock and rule the entire continent)
And ‘House of the Dragon’, is to tell you the story of the dragon family “Targaryen” from the prosperity to decline, which led to the famous ‘Danceof the Dragons’ family civil war, and ultimately led to the destruction of the story.
But compared to ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘House of the Dragon’ is undoubtedly lucky, it by Martin personally watch the scene, and many times “close involvement”.
Not to say how well it was shot, at least the plot can be more in line with the original, not too outrageous, there will not be the original did not finish writing, the writers themselves blindly write the situation.
And in fact, ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1 also closely follows the main line of the original, tightly paced, more eye-catching than ‘The Lord of the Rings’ loose plot.
The role of the problem is also smaller than the ‘The Lord of the Rings’, for example, the ‘House of the Dragon’ female protagonist, her first appearance is also the same as the year Daenerys Targaryen, or a 15-year-old girl in my family has a daughter to grow up.
Little Rhaenyra rode the dragon to the ground in style, at a relaxed pace, and with the youthfulness of a young girl. There were many viewers who felt that little Rhaenyra was “ugly” and should have had her teeth fixed, or that she was not as stunning as Daenerys Targaryen was back then.
However, after watching a few episodes, you will actually find that the casting of Rhaenyra as a teenager is quite consistent with the character’s personality, although she is indeed not the great beauty described in the original, but into the plot does not feel a sense of incongruity.
In addition, her uncle Daemon does not have eyebrows, the family’s looks can be said to be outstanding in their own way, the audience can remember without effort, is also another casting success.
And as the plot gets better, I believe we will no longer focus on the looks of the actors.
In the first episode, we saw the ‘House of the Dragon’ with a whole episode to explain the background, to explain the conflict – the search for the heir to the throne.
The old king Viserys never had a male heir, and the queen was repeatedly conceived, but all died tragically, except for Princess Rhaenyra, who grew up safely.
However, the family’s attitude towards heirs is that “male succession takes precedence over female succession”, and it is difficult for a princess to ascend to the throne even if she is outstanding.
Just like at the beginning, the old king himself was benefited from this to beat his rival princess at that time and become the heir of Iron Throne. Now he is old and sick, and his own brother has ideas about the throne, so he desperately needs his son as his heir.
Viserys is sure that this time it will be a boy, and to celebrate the upcoming birth of the heir, he held a race: cheers and applause, the warriors seem to forget the pain, one by one to the flesh of the body and blood to win the race.
On the other hand, the delivery room is no less bloody and tragic than the martial arts arena. The queen was in labor again, and to save the throne and the heir, Viserys decided to follow the advice to cut out the fetus directly.
The poor queen, who had suffered the loss of her son since she married Viserys at the age of 11. Now she was tied to her limbs without anesthetic and watched as her belly was cut open and then she breathed her last in pain.
Rhaenyra The mother’s bloody birth is the first moment of the drama that touches the viewer’s heart.
The tragedy of the production is interspersed with the killing of the tournament, which also brings the bloody atmosphere to its peak.
Eventually, Viserys’ son was born as expected, but Prince Baelon, the Crown Prince, who was sacrificed for his life, died after only a few hours.
In this case, the younger brother Daemon actually went ahead to celebrate getting the succession. In a fit of anger, the king declares Princess Rhaenyra the first female heir to the Targaryen family.
On the day of her coronation, the king told her a family secret that only the heir to the throne would know and guard to the death.
According to legend, the King of Aegon foretold in a dream the end of the human world, a bitter winter from the far north that would bring ultimate darkness and a lurker in the wind that could destroy the entire human world.
Aegon calls this dream – “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Aegon called this dream – “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
This great secret also changed Rhaenyra’s subsequent behavior to some extent.
The death of the young prince brings the debate over the heir of the Targaryen family to a climax, whether Princess Rhaenyra becomes the first female heir or Viserys’ “brutal and bloodthirsty” brother Daemon sets off a bloody battle for the throne.
The strong opening of the first episode left an extremely deep impression on the audience, and in just one episode, it has been filled with bloody tussles, disdain for life and the recklessness of the struggle for power.
Even Martin commented on the first episode of ‘House of the Dragon’, saying that it was as influential as the Bloody Wedding.
“That scene was …… You wouldn’t want to describe such a scene as “pleasant”, but it’s very grand, it’s my heartfelt thought, it’ll rip your heart out and throw it on the ground, it has the same far-reaching impact as the bloody wedding, it’s a very beautiful scene, something terrible is going to happen.”
Not only is the princess at odds with the king’s brother, but the ambitious Prime Minister Otto is also trying to get his hands on the throne. He asks his daughter Alicent, who is also Princess Rhaenyra’s best friend, to seduce the old king, who is still in the throes of losing his wife.
Just as everyone can imagine, the old king is soothed by the young girl’s hurt and pregnant with a prince. But Rhaenyra and Alicent’s bromance is shattered by this dysfunctional relationship.
In the next few episodes, the gap between the queen and the princess grows, however, and their conflict gradually turns from a personal misunderstanding into a struggle for the heir to the throne.
And in order to stabilize the regime, the old king had to marry his daughter to another powerful nobleman – “The Sea Snake”.
The young and rebellious princess could not understand this practice, but she had no way to resist this union, and could only show her resistance by her own means – by giving birth to three children in ten years – none of whom were The Sea Snake’s children. This laid a very suitable trigger for the later public opinion and unrest.
The king’s brother Daemon is married to The Sea Snake’s daughter to build up his power.
In short, everything around was contrary to the stability the old king sought. In this way, the entire kingdom roared forward in a kind of forced bondage balance, and ten years passed in the blink of an eye.
The timeline of the sixth episode of the series suddenly came ten years after the princess was married, when the princess and the queen became more mature. (The role also replaced on the adult actors to play, the performance than the young actors more tension, basically no discomfort at the beginning) Rhaenyra and Alicent’s children also grew up some.
But a fight in which the child of Princess Rhaenyra stabbed Queen Alicent’s youngest son, Aemond, in the eye with a dagger brought the conflict between the two to an irreconcilable point.
Time passed, and after another six years, the old king was already very sick.
(In fact, here skipped the death of the princess husband, Rhaenyra and Daemon marriage and other episodes, this paragraph will be more complicated to write out, you can go see the original film if you are interested)
During these years, Prime Minister Otto and Queen Alicent have not been idle, father and daughter use the religion of the seven gods, pulling the hearts and minds of the people to further consolidate their ruling position, so that the people feel that the Hightower family and descendants, more righteous.
A conspiracy is gradually unfolding towards Rhaenyra – her children are not gray-haired like herself or her husband’s family, but black-haired, which has the kingdom talking.
“The Sea Snake’s Grand Patriarch is seriously ill, and the Queen’s party colludes with the Sea Snake’s brother to question the succession of Lucerys, son of Rhaenyra.
The patriarch’s wife, who is still considered Rhaenyra’s cousin by blood, also chose to be neutral because she suspected that her child was not her son’s baby.
Isolated and helpless, the princess came from her possessions to the palace and went to see her father. But the old king could hardly recognize the present Rhaenyra, Viserys was not only missing an eye, covered with sores and as thin as a bone, but could barely speak, gasping for breath and feeling a sharp pain.
Nearly desperate, Rhaenyra cries before her father, mentioning the prophecy of ice and fire that Aegon dreamed of. The Viserys chose Rhaenyra as their heir because they believed the prophecy would unite the seven kingdoms against the dark unknown, but now that Rhaenyra is the heir, the kingdom is falling apart.
This makes Rhaenyra feel even more sad and unsupported.
The next day, at the Driftmark hearing, the princess was isolated by the queen’s party and looked set to lose.
Suddenly, the long-ill, even delirious king pushed open the doors of the council chamber, dressed in splendid clothes, wearing a half mask made of gold to cover the right half of his horribly decayed face.
Everyone stood up and looked at the old king in amazement. And he had come to help his daughter.
The king walked hard towards Iron Throne, refusing all help, trying his best to keep the last dignity of a king, but when he saw that it was his brother Daemon who picked up the crown he had just dropped and handed it to him, he accepted.
He looked back at his brother with relief and certainty in his eyes, as if the two brothers, who had been fighting for most of their lives, had reached a reconciliation before he was about to die. I think it is difficult for the audience not to feel a complex but moving emotion at this moment.
The old king’s last decision, obviously more than usual, he quickly overwhelmed the people present, the princess’s second son Lucerys set as the “The Sea Snake” heir. Such a conspiracy against the princess, so that the curtain falls gently.
In fact, after watching Season 1, the role of the old King Viserys I is the one that touches me the most, and the complexity of the character is also in his body is the most intuitive embodiment.
He loved Queen Arryn, but could also order her to be dissected alive for the sake of the heir; he made Rhaenyra crown prince out of seeming guilt for Queen Arryn, but soon married Alicent Hightower; he himself took advantage of his gender to steal Iron Throne from his cousin Rhaenys, but spent the last twenty years of his life insisting that Iron Throne be passed on to his daughter Rhaenyra. He himself took advantage of his gender to steal Iron Throne from his cousin Rhaenys, but spent the last twenty years of his life insisting that he pass it on to his daughter Rhaenyra. He defended his daughter to the end, but the greatest obstacle to Rhaenyra’s progress towards Iron Throne was the son he had with Queen Alicent.
He did not want war, but time and again ignored the ambitions and intrigues of the Hightower family, allowing the queen’s party to hollow out the king’s power step by step, and eventually buried the ‘Danceof the Dragons’ the biggest source of trouble.
He appears to be the ruler of the continent of Westeros, but he has spent his life in the service of the so-called prophecy.
This old feudal ruler’s limitations, in this play, the character distilled brilliantly, but also vaguely let me see ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ in the Lannister family head of some shadow. (Of course, these two characters are still mostly different)
Of course, in addition to the old king, the portrayal of other characters in the play is also deep enough, such as the princess from childhood rebellion to later understand the responsibility and mission, Daemon’s desire for kingship and the conflict between affection, and Alicent from a simple girl blackened into a power-playing queen is also traceable.
In short, the fine portrayal of character makes the second half of the episode more immersive and exciting. This is much better than ‘The Lord of the Rings’, which only looks at special effects and has poorly drawn characters.
Of course, ‘House of the Dragon’ is not without special effects, more investment than the same period ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, so that viewers can at least see a dragon flying in the sky every episode.
And in the tenth episode of the finale part, the audience is the first time to see more than a decade in the ‘Game of Thrones’ have not been able to wait for the double dragon showdown scene.
The two princes dueled in the air on a dragon, and were eventually devastated by the wildness of the dragon’s plot also made the audience once again aware of Martin’s fantasy world’s most unchanging code: humans are selfish and arrogant, but also small and fragile.
In addition to these multifaceted and complex characterizations, the most mentioned “connotation” of ‘House of the Dragon’ is probably that it is a show about women, or even that it is “politically correct in favor of women”.
After all, the show does give too many scenes of women in childbirth – from the bloody and brutal “C-section” in the first episode, to the first scene of episode 6, when adult Rhaenyra makes her debut in the delivery bed, and Laena (Daemon’s second wife) commits suicide after a difficult delivery. Daemon’s second wife) commits suicide due to a difficult birth…
But I think it is not necessary to be so strict for a TV series.
We can see that in fact, in the main biography ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ has had such an attempt. After the death of the “usurper” Robert, the seven kingdoms fell into war, and the battle of the five kings finally became a struggle between two women.
Queen Mother Cersei Lannister cut her long hair and set King’s Landing on fire with green wildfire from the Path of Shame; Daenerys, the last queen of Targaryen, rode a dragon across the Narrow Sea and eventually set Iron Throne on fire.
The Daenerys’ massacre of the city is interpreted as overly emotional (as is the paranoia and madness of the Targaryen inbreeding), while Cersei’s ego, impulsiveness, and arrogance in turn support the idea that “women are not fit to rule. “.
Back to the ‘House of the Dragon’, although the princess and the queen is the most critical character of the entire drama, but the episode makes a deeper impression is the old king, Daemon and so on these male characters, the transition interpretation, amplification of a role is actually nothing necessary.
In general, the whole ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1, is to explain the complete cause of the ‘Danceof the Dragons’, incidentally, to the beginning of this scene, the complete story at least to shoot a two or three seasons.
In the original, Dance of the dragons fought for two years, Targaryen people decline, declining, become the whole Westeros continental kingship transformation of the folding point.
Although not ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ is full of “The Others” ‘Old Gods’ like fantasy elements, but the whole play can show the war and power, perhaps not inferior to ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ the battle of the five kings, perhaps & nbsp nbsp; The final than its predecessors can be more called once ‘Game of Thrones’ it.