The following incorporates spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 2, “The Rogue Prince,” which debuted Sunday, Aug. 28 on HBO.
Very early right into a profitable first season, House of the Dragon is already experiencing a drastic shake-up. Co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is leaving the present, leaving Ryan Condal as sole showrunner. The large change behind the scenes would possibly sign unhealthy information for the sequence’ future, nevertheless it additionally opens the door for a recent pair of eyes to patch up main story points.
Being a by-product of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon has huge footwear to fill… and lots of errors to repair. Game of Thrones did not draw back from violating feminine characters for the sake of story development, one thing that Sapochnik had beforehand acknowledged House of the Dragon would pull again on. The now-infamous delivery scene the place Viserys Targaryen ordered the homicide of his spouse Aemma retconned his assertion. Women are marketed because the face of the present — primarily Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower — but they’re gravely outnumbered by all of the male characters who’re driving the story.
For a present that prides itself on being about ladies, nearly all of House of the Dragon‘s display time is given to males. Small council conferences run by males are the spine of the sequence, taking on an astounding period of time that may in any other case be deemed too boring by Game of Thrones requirements. For occasion, Season 1, Episode 2, “The Rogue Prince,” depicts the small council debating who Viserys ought to marry, throwing Corlys Velaryon’s 12-year-old daughter Laena within the combine. It’s a backwards and forwards wrestle for Viserys: the 12-year-old cousin or his daughter’s 15-year-old finest pal. In the midst of Viserys’ middle-age conundrum, the younger women aren’t privileged sufficient to replicate on their very own emotions in direction of the association.
Not as soon as does the present painting Laena contemplating the proposal herself in her personal time. Her restricted display time shared with Viserys is the only second that the viewers can get a way of how she feels in regards to the association. Her shuddering voice whereas performing a rehearsed speech that their marriage would be a part of their homes tells the viewers she’s uncomfortable. But the place is the second through which she tells her dad and mom that — as Jon Snow would say — she would not need it? Where is her personal contemplation of the proposal that Viserys should resolve on? Viserys being the one one to ponder a wedding between two individuals makes this a one-sided battle. As a lot because it likes to say in any other case, House of the Dragon is extra concerned about how the person feels on this state of affairs.
Alicent has her personal moments of doubt, however they’re shared along with her father. What a feminine showrunner might add are extra moments the place Alicent begins to really feel a one-sided pressure in her relationship with Rhaenyra, Viserys’ daughter. Alicent and Rhaenyra’s friendship has cruelly been rushed for the sake of many small council conferences and Daemon Targaryen whining about his declare to the throne. Their story is outlined by how the male characters talk about them and even round them. Rarely are there scenes that permit the feminine characters to face on their very own with out the presence of males (whether or not bodily or spiritually) weighing them down. It’s comprehensible that this can be a story of how ladies are considered in a really oppressive, patriarchal society. But that story would not work when the lads are nonetheless the principle focus of the present.
With Sapochnik stepping down after exhaustively defending Episode 1’s violent delivery scene, there was a chance to fill his spot with a feminine showrunner. There are feminine producers on House of the Dragon, however the showrunners, writers and editors are predominantly male. Showing the graphic delivery scene to ladies after it was shot and edited (per Insider) did not robotically give it a seal of feminine approval. Having a girl as a advisor through the manufacturing of the scene would have been extra environment friendly as a result of the showrunners would not even have needed to seek the advice of anybody after the actual fact — they might have identified if one thing felt off or gratuitous.
Instead of fixing these obtrusive points nonetheless, House of the Dragon is bringing on a male director, Alan Taylor. Taylor has an extended relationship with Game of Thrones, having directed memorable episodes corresponding to “Baelor” and “Valar Morghulis.” He is undoubtedly certified to affix the spinoff, nevertheless it seems like a slap within the face after all of the backlash from the delivery scene. Is there actually any effort being made to enhance on Game of Thrones‘ errors pertaining to ladies if a person must be the one to clumsily repair them? It’s nonetheless early within the sequence, so it’s untimely to say the feminine characters will not ever get the highlight they deserve. But judging by the primary two episodes and the latest change in management, House of the Dragon is simply following in Game of Thrones‘ reckless footsteps.
House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO and streams on HBO Max.