So, GAME OF THRONES. The prequel, House of the Dragon. Is it good? No. It’s GREAT!
The show has THRASHED and TRASHED RINGS OF POWER /ANDOR. (Imho).
So why and how did this product fly where others, perhaps, did not?
- It’s FUN. Simple as that!
- Well acted, especially by MATT SMITH.
- They took their time to get things right. As in, shelving the initially planned show which did not work.
- There was unfinished business and a bad taste left by the rushed and thereby botched ending to the original GAME OF THRONES. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON goes some substantial way to undoing the disappointment.
- The piece is self contained in its mythology. You can enjoy it, as is. But it sets up more and respects its own legendary lineage.
- Really stunning visuals: budget is all up there, onscreen!
- We NEED this KIND of entertainment, now. In an uncertain world, some darkness but harnessed, within a gripping, ripping yarn.
- It’s sexy! Naughty! Scary!
- What’s not to like?
I suppose there are some purists out there with reservations, for sure. Why not just reboot/remake? Maybe even wait a few years? Because there are market forces out there. LOTS of competition. You cannot, anymore, pause a franchise, be it on television, or film, for a few years. People have short attention spans and there are multiple platforms and products with which to compete.
IE: Had HBO thought ‘rest GAME OF THRONES’ as an IP? Then all would be lost, rapidly.
There are, of course, drawbacks to that strategy. Saturation. What if people feel there is simply too much fantasy content out there? A weakness is simply a strength, overdone, overused, overstretched.
And let’s face it, this is NOT quite ‘family’ viewing, right? Although the characters keep things very much ‘in the family’, so to speak 😉 . So yes, there ARE risks. But I think where HOUSE OF THE DRAGON measured thigs perfectly was in allowing the audience to define its own expectations, with a freedom of comment to match, in review and response.
IE: There does not seem a political narrative overlapping with the show? And there was in fact, surprisingly minimal ‘hype’, relative to counterparts and competitors. They made it, promoted it, released it. But no impossible promises were made and therefore no overreaching expectations could be faced.
A lot of it comes down to world building. Yes, this is a fictional universe, with terrain and aesthetic to match. And yet it somehow feels ‘real’. Perhaps because the environment facilitates the plot and character arcs rather than substituting for said?
And if you need empirical proof of the vision behind the show? Look no further than this family tree model. I present: the House Targaryen family tree!