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House of the Dragon review: season 2 blows hot and cold 🔥

HBO wants to ignite the summer with its “Dance of Dragons”. Five years after the controversial finale of Game Of Thrones, and several aborted projects, the brand continues to be a success for the American channel. Aware that the imagination of George RR Martin is a financial windfall that it cannot do without, the company continues the adventures alongside Rhaenyra Targaryen and her rival Alicent Hightower. After an uneven first season, things are getting tough in Westeros… Season 2accessible from Monday June 17 via Maxdoes she manage to repair the mistakes of her elder sister?

Hostilities will be launched. The two clans are preparing as much as they fear the confrontation. After the coronation of two crowned heads, the Targaryen family is at an impasse. Rhaenyra is at Dragonstone and mourns the death of her son while her enemy Alicent prepares to suffer his wrath. The two women are now certain, war is inevitable. Greens and Blacks will nevertheless work to establish their domination over Westeros, using their alliances to have their legitimacy recognized while preventing the situation from getting out of hand. The spectators know it, the outcome will be fatal for many of them.

House Of The Dragon Blacks
©HBO

Targaryen to complain about?

In 2022, when House of the Dragon takes over the small screen, the public's enthusiasm is barely concealed. The series of the decade gave birth to an heiress, another quest for power which should spare no one… and especially not the spectators. The Targaryen dynasty fascinates and this adaptation of Fire & Blood promised to reveal many secrets about the events that led to his downfall.

Two hundred years before Daenerys, it was alongside Rhaenyra that Ryan Condal, the co-creator of Colonyhears telling the internal war between the Greens and the Blacks. But before exploring this period called The Dance of Dragons, the screenwriter must lay the groundwork for a conflict which will pit heroes of the same blood against each other. The first salvo – interesting in many respects – nevertheless suffered from incomplete construction. To explore the relationship between the two heroines, House of the Dragon made the choice of numerous ellipses. Episode 10 was the apotheosis of a slow build-up, the culmination of a season that we hoped would herald real improvement in Westeros.

House Of The Dragon The Greens
©HBO

And this is often the case. Season 2 frees itself from this division to adopt an approach in theory more rhythmic. But after the shock of the final moments of the first salvo, the pressure drops almost like a breath. Linearity is always essential, the view of the series tirelessly navigating between the capitals of the two camps.

Above all, it's about taking stock, getting together to prepare to go on the offensive. Season 2 does not deviate from the flaws of its predecessor, confining its policy to discussions in the upper echelons of its medieval society. The meetings are king, but interspersed with more exhilarating and ambitious sequences. They are too few in number for the series to fulfill the objective stated by HBO: to gain intensity. If the series does not lack ideas, it seems to want delay the conclusion at all costs of this civil war which lasted two years according to the writings of George RR Martin. Ryan Condal embroiders… an assumed choice if the introduction is to be believed.

House Of The Dragon Aegon
©HBO

We still get involved in the game, anxious to discover how each action will precipitate an escalation of violence. Because it is undoubtedly in the way she embraces the inevitability of these intrigues that House of the Dragon does well. It's a shame that the authors' intention is declaimed by means of replies, rather than using the image to say a thousand words. He him misses the cruelty and cynicism of her elderat least in the four episodes that we were able to see.

A brief overview

Like any self-respecting Fantasy story, House of the Dragon finally breaks away from the cozy interiors of its castles to tell the story of the rise of a conflict across a vast kingdom. The introduction acts as a foreword by formalizing the many trips on the program of celebrations for the two clans. Greens and Blacks must rally the noble houses to their respective causes, meet their vassals.

The second season does not abandon Peydragon and King's Landing, but places its characters on a larger chessboard. A burst from which the series benefits, which gains in scope as the story progresses. This feeling of escape is undoubtedly reinforced by a staging which does not fail. House of the Dragon delivers new memorable scenes, scenes that rival those of its predecessor.

House Of The Dragons
©HBO

But if the discovery of new places and protagonists is pleasant, it is especially when the story focuses on tell the little people that he finds his second wind. Fantasy is based on a fantasized vision of the medieval era, told through the prism of royalty, House of the Dragon would have everything to gain from spending more time alongside illustrious strangers to support his point. Civil war is an affair of crowned heads, but it is most often their subjects who toast.

A history lesson

Contrary to Game Of Thrones, House of the Dragon does not draw its source from the novels of George RR Martin. Ryan Condal was inspired by the work Fire & Blood published in 2018. The original author, who also works on the production, imagined this appendix as a collection of historical chronicles written by maesters to recount the Targaryen dynasty since Aegon The Conqueror. To the great lyrical flights on the cruelty of the game of thrones, Martin preferred the cold and detached writing of a historian.

House Of The Dragon Daemon
©HBO

The latest addition to Max's catalog embraces this solemnity to tell the story of the Cold War that is being played out. The attention of the screenwriters is thus less focused on the characters than the fratricidal tragedy that these first four episodes will scrupulously dissect. This apparent slowness is thus the result of an approach more methodical of dark fantasy. All the characters are bad, and all of them can sometimes be good, but no antagonist really stands out. It's about less choosing sides than understanding them. This does not prevent some of these historical figures from taking the spotlight, like an ever more fascinating Alicent Hightower, and a Daemon Targaryen who eclipses everything in his path.

House of the Dragon is therefore caught between two fires, must navigate between heritage and the desire for renewal. It therefore remains for him to decide. The announcement of a third season is the assurance that HBO has not said its last word and that the channel intends to once again win the title of series of the decade. It is nevertheless the public who will decide on the question, they who will bring about a phenomenon.

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