Recap of “House of the Dragon”: Infants, combat, and bloody pigs

The third episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon,” demonstrates how adept the house of Westeros’ rulers are at creating problems for themselves. In particular, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is obstinate and self-important in a way that is both annoying and crucial to the series’ overall plot.

As of right now, “Dragon” largely feels like a story device used to spark tension between undeveloped characters. This episode takes place three years after the last, allowing for the birth and development of children while leaving all character growth necessary for a series to help viewers identify with its heroes and antagonists offscreen.

We learn that Daemon (Matt Smith) has been losing a fight and that Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) has spent years alone and angry instead of witnessing relationships and people evolve. These people are unknown to us, and we don’t care about them.

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There is no emotional or narrative weight to the proceedings by the time the episode crescendos to a battle scenario that is larger than anything we saw in the entire first season of “Thrones,” just a lot of fire, blood, mud, and entrails.

People watched “Thrones” because of its epic and horrific battle scenes, but their scope and grandeur were also influenced by the characters, both beloved and despised, who fought in them. The television series “Dragon” needs to quit stealing from “Thrones” and start evolving into something original and significant. No matter how many dragons it has, it cannot become something magnificent until that time.

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