‘House Of The Dragon’ Finale Review

by Frank Martin

It seems as if everything that the entire first season of House of the Dragon has been building to culminated in the past two episodes, but it also feels like it happened way too late in the season. Fans finally got the dragon-on-dragon action that they’ve been waiting for. This clash has been teased and built up over the course of ten episodes, but it hasn’t even really kicked off yet. It’s only in the show’s closing moments that fans get to see that it will erupt into all out war. Still, there was a lot to like about the season finale, specifically the fact that it focused on one side of the family. This was a nice contrast to the previous episode, which did the same.

It starts as Rhaenys (Eve Best) arrives to tell Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) about the king’s death. Rhaenyra then gives premature birth to a stillborn baby, most likely the result of inbreeding between her and her uncle, Daemon (Matt Smith). From there, Rhaenyra is crowned queen in a much less spectacular ceremony than what her half-brother had. Still, she rallies her troops and feels like she has a real legitimate shot at winning this coming war. She goes about it very diplomatically, though, sending her sons to request aid from the great houses. Unfortunately for Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), his cousin Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) got to Storm’s End first and a standoff brewed. The episode then culminates with Aemond inadvertently kills Lucerys, thus accidentally triggering the war.

The weird thing about this entire show is that it has great plot points. The drama and acting is all high caliber. There are real stakes to everything that happens and the plot points, when they are reached, are very satisfying and entertaining. The problem arises in the moments in between. The reason everything happens comes solely from characters’ stupidity. Almost every single character in this show makes stupid decisions. These choices are necessary in order to reach the desired plot point, but it’s hard watching characters make dumb decisions one after the other. So overall, this entire show has been a push and pull between watching characters of great power come to nonsensical conclusions while, at the same time, having it result in some spectacular television.

House of the Dragon is now streaming in HBO Max.

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