House of the Dragon S1E8: One ring to bind…err..wait


House of Dragon S1E8 kicks off the show like we’ve been waiting for. A brief recap: The princess and her uncle are married. They staged the death of her husband to do so. The Queen wanted the eye of her grandson. Things were getting funky. Now, we fast forward some years. I am guessing six or more or less or something. It seems we are finally at war.

Who knew they filmed this at Margaritaville Las Vegas?

It’s not a king who sits n the iron throne but a queen! Oh, let it be Freddie Mercury! Now the question is, which queen? Do we see the princess or the friend?

Before we get that answer, we see Matt Smith digging though a pile of poo to get an egg. Three of them. Hmmm…I wonder what those three eggs will do in the future. Maybe a gift for his daughter? With these time jumps who knows if it is daughter or granddaughter or new bride?

You can say what you want about HoD but these costumes are killer. What also is killer is us seeing the table that Danny uses later on in GoT. It’s a good touch to see how things looked before Danny n Co get there years later.

It seems that years later is what it took for people to take over the decision making for the king. Also, it took years later to finally say ‘hey, maybe those kids aren’t my real blood’. Years later also means the Lannisters finally worm their way into the small council.

The models and costuming rival the other prequel series … now can the writing?

A few years also means, apparently, that the king is looking like a mummy and yet his brother looks a few days older. His daughter comes to see him in their time of need. His mind is slipping at it seems that the person closest to his ear last is the person that gets his mind. Now, the closest to him is a new set of grandchildren with blonde hair. Maybe this is the one we see later on? Maybe they are still too young? Maybe another batch comes? Maybe even a…bad batch? Ho! That’s the cross over we need to see. Maybe they can Order 66  us some royal pains in the butts.

Bowie did it better with Lazarus. but I’ll take it

As the king sees his grandkids, the queen is starting to brow beat a small child. A small child that seems to be have raped by the queen’s kid. The queen basically victim shames the poor girl to say nothing to anyone about being raped or she’ll have her killed. I’m glad things have gone in a positive direction for the queen and she’s no longer a petty insane wench. Ok, did anyone believe the queen would change for the better at all?

Did anyone believe we could go an episode without seeing some of the Queen’s kid naked? At least this time the casting change is a guy and not the women.

Pretty sure this is a vinegar stroke…

When we see the queen talking to the princess and Daemon, we understand just how far things have moved. Will the king stop getting drugged enough to make a royal re-proclaimation that proclaims the same thing he said before will stand now? Maybe we’ll get to see some of this war everyone is talking about. But first, we have some fighting to do with a one eyed drow looking kid that is somehow older than the six years that passed. It’s like the casting department used an RNG to see how many years the characters age in those ‘six years’.

Anyone else thinks this is a cosplay of Matt Smith gone wonky?

Some more talking and walking coming up. It seems that this version of the Game of Thrones means a bit more like a game like a board game. The princess confronts her step cousin sister aunt? From our last episode, we saw the woman say she didn’t want the throne in one sentence and then the only thing that matters is the throne in the next. I can’t remember so many unlikable and flip-flop characters in this show before. Not everyone is made out of cardboard, but it is apparent that the show writers lean towards the ‘plot driven’ method instead of ‘character driven’ (and far stronger) method of writing.

One person who hasn’t flipped-flopped is the princess. When she’s talking to her father, she brings up things that were teased in GoT but never come true. The great White Walkers. The great Jon Snow’s true identity . The great muppet caper. All that and more is flaunted, teased, and taunted. All to no avail. We know how this ends. Unless the great evil thing being foretold is actually not the white walkers but the coming of Brann… It makes sense. No other things can be as so evil and vile as that original GoT ending. If only they would have listened to the king! They could have avoided all that senseless bloodshed (of  us all ripping out our hair from watching that finale).

One might wonder if the Hand of the King will force the milk of the poppy on the king or will Larys (where is he? I finally learn his name and he isn’t in this episode?!).

The hand of the king pretending to be sets the bar pretty low for future hands.

‘I can cut my veins and show it to you…’ – says the guy we don’t know and maybe saw one time at a funeral. Can they fast forward to his killing? Is that time jump possible? Uh-oh. The looks on everyone’s face when the King walks in and the Hand is in his chair. It seems they all forgot that the King still lived. I had some debate that the poison from the throne’s metals are making him sick. Some of it looked like greyscale but the rest of the sores look very much like poison and contamination.

The looks on everyone’s faces are worth the price of the show. The Queen looks like all her work is about to crumble. The King calls up the wife of the missing lord. Wow! It could have been a massive swerve but dang does she just throw daggers at all of the others vying for the crown.

The king shows his true strength only at the end…

Then the guy who nobody knows is taking umbrage? This guy is not long for this world.

‘I will not allow it!’ – that dude who will be dead before I am done typing this.

‘Allow it!’ Microphone drop.

Microphone and head drop! There are so many great screenshots of this event, I think I will pick two of them. The during and after are stunning. I can’t use any of these as a featured image since it definitely spoils a plot point. That plot point? Learn to read the room–especially if you’re a glorified extra.

In NYC we call this a studio apartment.

Dang, the Ginsu 2000 reboot sure is sharp!

As we sit down for dinner, we see a King making further decisions to respect the arranged marriages. Things must be very wrong for the king because none of the arranged marriages are of small children. On this day, of Canadian Thanksgiving, we see the King makes the speech that many families across North America need to hear. We were close once–what happened? Let’s set aside or grievances for the sake of Santa One-Eye. The big question is, will the king die at the end of the episode and have everything undone or will that marriage come first?

Speaking of coming first (phrasing!), the princess makes a heartfelt toast to her former friend and current Queen. Will the queen return the favour? Will it be something they can bury the hatchet…err…dagger with? It looks like a lot of cup raising but this feels like a slew of empty air.

What’s not empty air is this eye socket. Ewwwww!

Jim Selfie #8397432 as he wonders why nobody is swiping right…

More ewww coming up with the over horned uncle hitting on the bride to be. I’m not sure how it looks like the elder child somehow grew younger and the younger one grew a lot older. Speaking of older–I can’t remember if that’s the kids wife or his sister giving the next toast. But I do think her dancing with the other kid sends a pretty heavy message to her husband/brother.

It seems that the King gets one last true family memory before everyone tears each others’ throats out. This is, in move making, what we call a false high that is associated with the second act break. Get ready for a quick and bumpy ride. As seasons move on, we can see that this arc is almost done. How they handle it will be interesting as the time jumps they’ve already established mean they can fast forward as they feel fit.

As they feel seems to be the central theme for the young lads. That and feeling a dagger next to to their throats sooner than later. We see a show down between Matt Smith and his (checks notes) nephew.

The king, thankfully, wasn’t there to see it. The queen is there by the king’s bedside to hear about the song of Ice and Fire. Sadly, the queen isn’t fit to hear these words. Words that seem to be meant for another person. That other person may or may not be here to hear them. They may or may not be anywhere. There is, however, a dagger that is most definitely here next to the king’s bedside.

With that we send the episode and probably the last ‘happy’ moment of the series. We already know the King is dead and what comes next is madness. It seems the next episode doesn’t jump too much. It is, after all, the penultimate episode of Season 1. There is a lot to set up and I think we aren’t done with the killings.

Now the key to the king dying and everyone else about to follow? We care about them. This is the build up and payoff we’ve been wanting all season. It took only 8 episodes, but we’re finally here. I can’t wait for next week!

The King is Dead; Long live the King(?)


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