Pick of the Day: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon
Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen & John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon

Series One, episode 6 – The Princess and the Queen
So, everyone has settled into the swing of things and we now know the lay of the land in this prequel to the much-loved Game of Thrones. It’s been three years since we’ve had our fix of scheming, conniving power-hungry Houses jostling for the iron throne and this introduction to the House of the Dragon, set 2000 prior to the Lanister/Targaryen/Stark kerfuffle, has not disappointed and, in some ways, has exceeded the early seasons of Thrones itself.

Get ready for a step change this week, as we jump 10 years hence from the bloody wedding feast of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon to King’s Landing where all pretence at friendship between the Queen (Alicent Hightower) and the heir to the throne is long forgotten as the ground is laid for civil war once succession is needed – yes, the King still lives. Shocking I know.

King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is a withered one-armed wreck but he’s still breathing and holding together the kingdom. Rhaenyra (now played by Emma D’Arcy) it turns out has children, which is a surprise given her pragmatic conjugal arrangement with Laenor, and bastards in the line of succession are a no-no for the Queen, the Hightowers and those who stand with them.

It is a safe bet that when Viserys shuffles off his mortal coil war will follow. To ensure that occurs, we need a character so guileful, obliquitous and lacking in any moral fibre that Petyr Baelish would blush. Step forward Larys ‘Clubfoot’ Strong, the weasel-worded sneak was introduced last week and shows that his cruelty and lack of loyalty extend even to his own household.

House of the Dragon – Monday at 9.00pm on Sky Atlantic and Now.

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