‘House Of The Dragon’ Has A ‘Why’ Problem

by Frank Martin

House of the Dragon has a “why” problem — it is hard to fathom a “why” behind the many plot developments and character motivations. The events themselves are fairly interesting and entertaining. It’s high stakes political drama with scheming and violence. But a lot of it could be avoided by simple common sense. The characters act nonsensically; they seem to go out of their way to cause drama and controversy that’s not necessarily inherent to the storyline. Everything just feels extremely contrived rather than natural, which leaves the show feeling a bit hollow.

The time jump started in last week’s episode continues. The plot mainly revolves around the funeral for Daemon’s (Matt Smith) second wife, Laena (Nanna Blondell). All of the families get together to mourn her loss. And anyone that has a large family with big egos knows that these gatherings never end well. Alicent’s (Olivia Cooke) son manages to secure the now masterless dragon, which causes a confrontation with Rhaenyra’s (Emma D’Arcy) children. Furthermore, those kids continue to face lineage questions, which throws the entire line of succession into question.

It’s not that there is just one or two questionable decisions in the plotline. There are multiple along any front that could derail the entire story. For instance, how is Daemon’s wife — in the middle of labor — allowed to walk all the way outside and get killed by her dragon? How could Rhaenyra be so careless as to father children with someone that doesn’t even look remotely like her husband? Why did Alicent suddenly turn from a kind friend to a cold-hearted and ruthless rival when many steps could have been taken to protect her children’s lives? The list goes on. The drama itself could be fairly entertaining, but since the decisions to get to it are so questionable it’s hard to fully become immersed in the world.

House of the Dragon airs Sundays on HBO.

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