HoTD is doing a good job covering diversity and gender issues, actually without being too preachy about it. Its just part of the realities of the narrative and the show needs not explain itself overmuch about what it is trying to say. Its an intelligent way to treat its audience and it is something, I think that is not lost on the show’s viewers. So thank you, HBO.
We Light the Way laid many foundations for the second half of the season. It seems that Rhaenyra made more enemies than allies with her marriage to Ser Laenor, and you can see the innocence of the first few episodes peel away with each heartbreak for both the Princess and ex- best friend. To say that the episode was stressful would be an understatement. Still, it was a great set up for the excitement that is to come with each faction declaring war.
The King of the Narrow Sea offered a lot of progression, and we see Rhaenyra learn how to wield her own power. She discovers herself as she sheds her innocence and actively takes a step towards the dark side like everybody else. Its a slow metamorphosis but she’s getting there. Too bad we will only see Milly Alcock in the role for a couple more episodes.
Despite the lack of action, it was still a good episode. After all, you can’t have a war with each installment. Still, I would have Daemon or Rhaenyra sit on the Iron Throne any day over Viserys. And any episode with dragons is awesome.
Can I just say how much I love the dynamic between uncle and niece? And I also love how despite his jealousy and own ambitions for the Iron Throne, Daemon obviously loves his brother and niece very dearly. Its a sappy way to look at it but Matt Smith effectively conveys these conflicting emotions. Its hard to hate Daemon fully although he is being portrayed as a heel when he easily reneges a position of advantage because he could not bear hurting his kin. And when Lord Corlys starts to badmouth his brother, even though just an episode ago he was doing the same, he puts him in his place and says that only he is allowed to talk badly about the King. It was so much fun to watch.
I liked how the world was consistent with that of GoT, from the costumes to the characters. Knowing that these events transpired before the Long Night truly adds a new layer of appreciation for GoT. It was also bittersweet because House of the Dragon very clearly underscored the importance of the role of the Targaryens in the prophecy, none that really materialized in the end of Game of Thrones because showrunners were too busy wrapping things up to work on their Star Wars deal with Disney.
All in all, I could safely say that Chernobyl is one of HBO’s best miniseries despite the lack of any A-listers on its roster. It was gripping. It was engaging. It was dramatic and shocking in all the right places. It took viewers to a journey through history into the most devastating nuclear disaster that threatened to wipe out an entire nation and more. It was a humbling to witness it and leaves one to contemplate one’s mortality in the face of today’s world challenges. I am awed.
At the end of the day, no one can do a better job of ending the series that its author George RR Martin, even when there are better writers. Now, all that’s left is to actually wait for the books to see if they are any better, that is after GRRM makes time to write after consulting for the three GOT spin offs in the works. That’s where you get your do-over. Not HBO.
Seriously, all the goodbyes in this episode makes me just want to hide under a rock until all this is over, yet at the same time makes me want to pull the days closer until its Game of Thrones Day again. At the same time, it also makes me want to cheer for these brave characters making a final stand despite insurmountable odds. Even without a major battle, this episode was one of the best that GoT has to offer. I stand by this.
“Winterfell,” rightly named because of the setting for the Great War with the Night King Army ticked all the boxes and provided fans the proper update they needed to catch up with the characters during their long hiatus. The reunions were also a fitting throwback to the first season where all the conflict started, only now with an enemy that accepted neither negotiation nor compromise.