With a virtually unaltered Game of Thrones opening theme and a lackluster first few episodes, I withheld expectations from House of the Dragon. Ramin Djawadi’s theme for the original series is likely the most recognizable new origins score in the television landscape in at least a decade—and the poor decision to recycle it screams for unearned nostalgia. I was sure it would be needlessly derivative, piggybacking to the point of excess like all uber-capitalist media off its successful predecessors until the very things that promised intrigue transition into the point of disinterest.
I was wrong.
Based on parts of George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon depicts the “Dance of the Dragons,” or the Targaryen civil war of succession that appears blatantly inspired by both the Anarchy and the Avignon papacy. (Especially for how its events affect the long-term prospects for certain institutions and bloodlines). Season one, bookmarked by Targaryen stillbirths in the direct line of succession, does the drafting of the sides (the Blacks and the Greens) and ends on the utter precipice of war and the proverbial Lusitania already sunken.
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