With five episodes already come and gone, we are now past the halfway point of the first season of House of the Dragon. Without a doubt, the series has provided some of the best character drama and high-fantasy spectacle to our screens in several years, easily outshining the far weaker seasons that saw out Game of Thrones. Using George RR Martin’s expansive chronology of the Targaryen Dynasty in Fire and Blood, the creative team is doing an impressive job of adapting the key character dynamics and events to the screen, but also finding plenty of room to flesh out *some* of these characters, to save the series from acting as merely an appendix to its predecessor. Gender, sexuality, agency, insecurity, and power are the central themes that, so far, have been woven in very naturally to the season and their delivery has been executed deftly and tastefully. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the season’s central dynamic between Viserys, Rhaenyra, and Daemon, with each consecutive episode allowing the supporting cast to increasingly embellish the nuances of this dynamic. “We Light the Way” is, narratively and thematically, the culmination of many of the arcs that have been developing over the course of the season, with several key moments that are monumental stepping stones towards the brewing civil war between the royal households. These key moments, however, share a common fault: they feel underwhelming. Is House of the Dragon Season One playing its hand too soon? Read the full review.
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