‘House of the Dragon’ season finale evaluation: ‘The Black Queen’ soars into the battle to come back

Editor’s Note: This story incorporates spoilers concerning the “House of the Dragon” season finale.

USA Prime Time

The two big fantasy sequence that premiered inside weeks of one another shared large scope and scale. In phrases of pacing, although, “House of the Dragon” moved at leaps and bounds – generally actually in its multi-year time jumps – whereas “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” loped alongside at a relative crawl.

The “Dragon” season finale that premiered October 23, subtitled “The Black Queen,” in a way introduced this primary season – at occasions uneven, however all the time attention-grabbing – full circle. Having been advised by her mom earlier than she died in childbirth within the premiere that having youngsters was the battlefield of queens, Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) endured one other ugly supply of a stillborn little one, amid preparations and planning for the battle to come back.

Still, if Rhaenyra’s husband and uncle (that is the incest-laden world of “Game of Thrones,” in any case), Daemon (Matt Smith), was able to unleash hell upon the newly topped King Aegon and his minions – saying, “Dreams didn’t make us kings. Dragons did” – Rhaenyra at first appeared to wish to pursue a extra cautious strategy.

“I don’t want to rule over a kingdom of ash and bone,” she advised him and her advisers.

Diplomacy, nevertheless, required reaching out to the opposite kingdoms, with Rhaenyra dispatching her sons as messengers through dragon in searching for to rally assist to her trigger. That led to the much-anticipated climax, with an indication of aerial dragon fight (at one level, it regarded somewhat just like the Millennium Falcon in motion) and the brutal demise of Rhaenyra’s son.

The princess-who-would-be-queen’s closing look of hatred and resolve cemented the concept the second season will probably be dedicated to struggle between the rival factions, a battle prone to be dominated by Daemon’s take-no-prisoners angle.

After a considerably gradual begin, “House of the Dragon” picked up steam over the course of the season, spanning a whole era with its jumps ahead, which proved a trifle disorienting on the time. The web impact, although, was compelling and supplied sufficient massive, attention-getting moments to make the present each a rankings success and a daily trending subject, reaching a spot within the cultural zeitgeist that “The Rings of Power” seldom appeared to succeed in on Amazon Prime.

Part of that may stem from the fairness constructed up by each “Game of Thrones” – all that grousing about its ending however – and HBO, which, like USA Prime Time, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.

The time jumps did serve one other objective by establishing further characters, an space the place the sequence felt initially poor. That consists of Ewan Mitchell because the eye-patch-wearing Aemond Targaryen, whose nasty streak performed a pivotal position within the finale, whereas demonstrating that flying dragons and really taming them aren’t essentially one in the identical.

Although it wasn’t a direct competitors between “Dragon” and “Rings,” the parallels between them and the timing of their launch made comparisons nearly inevitable. In addition, the primary seasons each basically served as lengthy prologues for the epic battles that lie forward.

Neither was excellent, however the closing few episodes of “House of the Dragon” strengthened the space between them and did a effective job of whetting the viewers’s urge for food for what comes subsequent.

Within the present, the sport of thrones will proceed. But primarily based on its opening salvo, rating “House of the Dragon” as a victory for the outdated guard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.