"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, September 5, 2022

House of the Dragon 1.1-1.3: Drawing Me In

It's been almost a month since I posted any reviews here -- I've been busy expanding my alternate history story, It's Real Life, in a novel, and helping put together a radioplay of the story -- and I figured House of the Dragon would be a good series to resume my reviewing.  I saw the first three episodes, and I really enjoyed them.  Indeed, I liked them more than some of Game of Thrones.  Here are some non-spoiler reasons:

1.  The dragons are handled very well.  Their scorching fire is very effective and great to have on your side, but the dragon and especially its rider are not invincible.  They can even be hit by well-aimed arrows.  We saw some of this in Game of Thrones, but that action was in momentous battles, and in House of the Dragon it's just a fact of war.

2. I like the way the story just in the first few episodes jumps ahead a few years.  This seems like an excellent way to tell such a big story.

3. There a far fewer pieces and physical places in House of the Dragon so far than in Game of Thrones, and I like that, too.  There were times when GoT had so many moving pieces, the narrative was hard to follow.

4. House of the Dragon at times almost has a Walt Disney Cinderella-like quality -- look at that coach that carries the King in episode 1.3 -- and I sorta like that, too.

Now for some spoilers ...

5. Matt Smith's Daemon is a great character.  He's defeated in that joust in the first episode, but he comes back like gangbusters in the third episode.  True, he wouldn't have made it on his own, but he single-handedly wiped out enough of the bad guys to make it possible for the cavalry to come in and save the day.

6.  Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey)'s  stories are both a little obvious and predictable at this point, but they're well played and interesting enough to keep me watching.

7. Same for King Viserys (Paddy Considine), whom I didn't much like in the first episode, but he's growing on me, and could have the makings of a really pivotal, unpredictable character, after all.

So count me in as a fan, and I'll keep watching and reviewing.

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