By Samia Afsar
“Game of Thrones” (GOT) and its tragic demise are one for the history books. A once global craze torn down by an unsatisfactory finale, the GOT fandom had quickly become a thing of the past. That was until HBO announced the first big casting news of “House of the Dragon” in October 2020.
“House of the Dragon” is set approximately 200 years prior to the “Game of Thrones” timeline and is based on the rise and fall of the House Targaryen. Preceding its premiere, hopes were high, with GOT fans on the edge of their seats on the night of the Aug. 21 premiere, ready to relive the poetic torment that is the “Game of Thrones.”
No spoilers ahead, I promise.
Immediately, from the elaborate sets to the impressively rendered dragons, I was instantly brought back to the land of Westeros, anticipating what would soon unfold. But throughout its premiere, I remained patient, waiting for something, rather anything, to happen.
In comparison to its parent show, “House of the Dragon” moves at its own pace. An extraordinarily dull and leisurely pace, if I may say so. By the end of the first episode of “Game of Thrones,” I was hooked. I knew straight away that it wasn’t just a fantasy show set in a medieval fictional world, but rather one filled with politics, shame, and betrayal, everything a drama-hungry telephile like myself looks for in any TV program.
However, three episodes into “House of the Dragon,” I was just about ready to tune off. It had become clear that the prequel ran through unnecessarily sudden time jumps and unexplained storylines. Sure, there are some scenes filmed in pure GOT fashion, such as a severed head, intemperate jousting, and a pile of sliced testicles, but there was no real tragedy or scandals that had even me, the most anxious woman you will ever meet, biting her nails.
And then came episode four.
Released this past Sunday, Sept. 11, the fourth episode titled “King of the Narrow Sea,” brought back a common sense of nostalgia among GOT fans. For the first time since the show’s premiere, I was genuinely engrossed, might I even say, on edge with a panic about what was to come next.
Without giving away any specific details, let’s just say that some prefer to consummate even family ties. And as this is a show about the Targaryens, it was only a matter of time before we all bore witness to true Targaryen lore. Perhaps, patience really is key.
It was a strong episode, not just for its beautifully violent and uncomfortable lust-filled imagery, but for the plot that it has now created. Up until the fourth episode, it seemed as if the program was merely a story about family and succession. Whereas now, audience members are eagerly awaiting what is to come next, for anything is truly possible now.
Maybe, it was my mistake to express such disinterest in “House of the Dragon” so early on, or even more so to compare the show to its progenitor. However, one thing is for certain, “House of the Dragon” is nothing like “Game of Thrones,” but my, what an enthralling show it is proving itself to be.