It’s hard to give a full review for the first season of House of the Dragon. There was so much going on in the season, and it was quite different than any show I’ve ever seen. Some of it was good and some not so good.
The most jarring aspect of the show were the two time-jumps. At first, I didn’t like the switching of the actors and didn’t think it was entirely necessary to do so, especially since I liked some of the younger actors better, particularly young Rhaenyra. Of course, I didn’t realize that there would be a second time jump, necessitating the changing of the actors. However, it made no sense that they kept Ser Criston Cole and Daemon Targaryen, when the actors playing those roles were so much younger than the characters in the latter part of the season. They didn’t even bother trying to age them.
Game of Thrones was one of my all time favorite shows, and I don’t think season one of House of the Dragon quite measures up to it even though there was a lot about the show that I liked. Whereas Game of Thrones was a mix of magic, palace intrigue, and epic fighting scenes mixed in, House of the Dragon is much more about the palace intrigue, with dragons being more of a side show than the main event. The blend of those elements is what made Game of Thrones work so well.
What stood out on the show was the quality of the acting, especially Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen and Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen. The birth scenes were kind of like a war unto themselves and were overdone. The CGI with the dragons improved quite a bit over the years. Some of the gaps in logic were a bit much. As an example, it was so obvious that Rhaenyra’s first children were not from her husband, that it was almost preposterous that they would even try to masquerade it. Also, at the end Rhaenys Targaryen could have wiped out all of her Targaryen enemies and it was silly for her not to.
So, it was a bit of a mixed bag, but the good definitely overshadowed the not so good. It’s a worthy successor to Game of Thrones and I think with less jarring time jumps, the second season should be better than the first.