House of the Dragon 1x03 Review: Fire and Blood

House of the Dragon 1×03 Review: Fire and Blood

With a further time jump compared to the previous episode, the third episode of House of the Dragonbroadcast on Sky And NOW, take advantage of the most propitious moment to present the elements that will indelibly mark the fate of the Targaryen house. The series, which already with the first two episodes showed off a technical sector of absolute respect and a long line of interesting characters, is now at go beyond the transition of events to surprise spectators with twists and spectacular features worthy of the golden days of game of Thrones.

The segments of the spin-off seen so far featured particularly intriguing narrative elements and highlighted perpetual machinations, but the third episode brings to light (in every sense) the first, enormous consequences of the choices made over the past few episodes. On the one hand, the narrative takes the viewer on increasingly unstable tracks in observing the crumbling of the balances within the Targaryen family; on the other, the show explodes in all its vehemence in a crucial step of the war in the Stepstones. House of the Dragon, with its third installment, offers exactly the spectacle that fans have been eagerly awaiting. Let’s analyze the episode together.

The second of its name

More than two years have passed since the choice of the new queen for King Viserys, the Targaryen family seems ready to welcome new heirs to strengthen the bloodline. Apparently, however, the feelings of joy shared by the population and the Council are not actually shared by everyone. The new lady of the king, the young Alicent Hightower, has in fact given birth to a male heir: Aegon Targaryen, according to her name, will be with the mere presence of her the main element of imbalance of the whole episode.

Rhaenyra, in fact, begins to feel the weight of a position in the balance and a role to be preserved at all costs. As much as her father tries to reassure her, the idea of ​​having to find a husband to strengthen his position on her throne begins to become a weight of no small importance. The conflict between conflicting opinions and difficult decisions will haunt the king’s mindwho after having contained will let go of all his frustration with duty and its heavy legacy.

At this juncture, Viserys’ fragility contrasts with Rhaenyra’s resolve, more than ever determined not to give in to the claims of the Hightower and totally in conflict with her old friend, now a stepmother. In the escape from duties that she does not intend to recognize, the young princess takes time for herself as important news arrives from the eastwhere Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon are doing their best to face the threat from the Stepstones.

The battle against the Mangiagranchi is turning in an unexpected direction and only the crown can remedy such a thorny situation. When the king prepares to intervene, the very idea of ​​being pitied or receiving help will make Daemon’s dragon blood boil, and he will seize the ball to launch into a furious attack in the disputed territory.

A game of forces

Throughout the entire episode, many of the leading faces of the series are explored with particular attention. While staying with Rhaenyra for a long time, overwhelmed by inner conflicts and unspoken desires, the third episode shows in a clear and limpid way the profound humanity that distinguishes King Viserys.

Faced with a very complex family situation and on the brink of the abyss, the ruler of the Targaryen house reveals (at least openly) for the first time all his fragility (or weakness, for some). With particular emphasis on its paper counterpart, Viserys’ ruler ineptitude emerges primarily through his own inner evil. A righteous and good-natured man he doesn’t seem to be solid enough to carry the weight of the Iron Throne. In this sense, the character of Alicent stands out in the family drama, which becomes the protagonist of an ever wider development, suggesting that it can play a much more crucial role than the initial prospects. At the same time, among curious apparitions of well-known families and ideal situations to enhance the interactions between characters, the dangers and threats of a war that is going on too far than expected emerge with ever greater arrogance.

The combined moves of Daemon and Corlys Velaryon do not seem to have the desired effects, so the king’s help seems almost obligatory to heal old wounds in the name of victory. The psychological impact of this choice allows us to observe once again how the most multifaceted and unpredictable character of the cast manages to steal the show both during planning and in the long action sequences that see him as the protagonist. If on the one hand the excellent management of the rhythm stands out during the event that sees the royal family involved, on the other the technical sector can show off all its strength in front of spectacular sequences with a great scenic impact. While not showing phenomenal solutions with regards to white weapon fighting, what is presented on screen still manages to reveal the enormous potential available to HBO.

The brutal series of confrontations will undoubtedly succeed in satisfying most audiences with visually striking sequences. Greg Yaitanes’ direction is incredibly dynamic both in the most contemplative and in the most frenetic portions: playing with shots at focal centers, so as to be able to move easily from one perspective to another, the director led by Miguel Sapochnik manages to exalt himself indoors and outdoors, making extremely structured even the chaos of a pitched battle.

Lives up to its name

As already mentioned in our House of the Dragon 1X02 review, the characters continue their path of evolution in an exemplary wayenhanced by excellent interpretations and a writing that is confirmed as incomparable in terms of richness of dialogue and communicative depth.

If, after the long wait of the previous episode, the pace stands out towards decidedly more frenetic peaks, it is above all the technical sector that is the master. HBO production continues to amaze with great attention to detailkeeping the bar high especially after the debut of The Rings of Power (here our first look of The Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power). Net of some subtle flaws, the third episode of House of the Dragon continues to demonstrate HBO’s great ambitions under the expert guidance of George RR Martin.

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