House of the Dragon – The DVDfever Review – Sky Atlantic – Matt Smith

House of the Dragon House of the Dragon is the Game Of Thrones prequel which fans have been waiting for since the long-running series ended in 2019.

We’re told at the start in a voiceover, that as the first century in the Targaryen dynasty came to a close, the King’s health is failing, although they still have 10 dragons, so between them they could rustle up a tasty barbeque in the summer, I’m sure.

The King has reigned for 60 years, but his 2 sons have since died, hence they needed someone to choose a new heir. 1000 Lords travelled to assist with this (given that we’re not yet in an age of working from home), and 14 potential selections were made. However, there were only 2 options worth considering – Prince Viserys Targaryen (Paddy ConsidineInformer), and his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly AlcockUpright).

So, it’s like X-Factor, but less drawn out, or like the Conservative Party Leadership contest, but with less idiots.

Naturally, I’m going to avoid any sort of spoilers as much as possible, but I’ll only give you one plot point which happens early on AND is in the trailer – since it’s unavoidable – in that the Prince takes the crown, leaving the Princess rather miffed. The cast list also states that he’s the King, BTW.

Time then moves on after the opening credits (well, more just an opening symbol, without even the title appearing), and we learn it’s now the 9th year of King Viserys’ reign, as well 172 years before the death of the Mad King, Aerys, and birth of his daughter, Princess Daenerys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon all looks very opulent, as you’d expect… okay, I’ve never watched a whole episode of Game of Thrones, but I’ve seen a number of clips to get the idea, and not just the clip of the Stella lager can, put on the table to troll the viewers. However, I am aware of Daenerys and that she was kind of a big deal.

I heard about the fuss over the eighth season being awful. Well, I largely felt the same about the one-season Dexter reboot. It had some great moments, but overall, it was a disappointment. But about GoT, I did see the clip of that battle which took place in the dark, and on a regular sized TV, I couldn’t see a thing!

Back to this, though, and also like a political party leadership contest, everyone’s looking to who can succeed them before too long. Given that the King only has a daughter, as we’ve been made aware, his wife – who has been in her bath longer than that taken by the Captain of the Golgafrinchan B-Ark – is with child. Could she give him a son? If so, then he would go to the front of the queue.

Also looking to throw their hat (or wig) into the ring is Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt SmithHis House), the King’s brother.

Naturally, there are certain things that I cannot spoil in my review… but that would be to assume that I understood any of it in the first place. No, seriously, this wasn’t anywhere near as confusing as I thought it might be, so The Sandman will, effectively, take the Crown for that one, although I did spot Bill Patterson turning up in both.

Along the way, there are some very gory scenes that put the baddies on a par with Putin; there’s a bit of “How’s your father” between one male character and a young women with a very tight butt, plus a rather meaty jousting scene or three.

And naturally, when it comes to medical procedures, it’s not easy to get great healthcare. There’s certainly no NHS in the year 101 A.D., nor anesthetic, it appears.

Overall, after never seeing a Game of Thrones episode, I rather enjoyed this opener to the prequel, although it would be easier to get into it if I had subtitles, given most of the cast mumble a fair bit.

Now, as for when the time comes for someone else to sit on the Iron Throne, who will take the Crown, since everyone seems to want to get in on the succession action? Well, you have to watch the programme to find out, since that’s how these things work.

House of the Dragon is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but streams on Sky Atlantic weekly from Monday August 22nd. As is often the case with HBO shows, it premieres simultaneously with the US, so while it’s on at 9pm on Sunday there, that equates to 2am UK time on Monday, and that’s when you’ll find it on Sky Atlantic, as well as at 9pm that evening.

House of the Dragon – Official Trailer – Sky Atlantic

Detailed specs:

Running time: 50-70 minutes per episode (10 episodes)
Release date: August 22nd 2022 (weekly)
Studio: Sky Atlantic
Format: 2.00:1

Series Directors: Miguel Sapochnik, Greg Yaitanes, Clare Kilner, Geeta Vasant Patel
Producers: Alexis Raben, Karen Wacker
Creators: Ryan J Condal, George RR Martin
Writers: Ryan J Condal, Sara Hess, Charmaine De,Grate, Gabe Fonseca, Kevin Lau, Ira Parker, Eileen Shim
Music: Ramin Djawadi

King Viserys Targaryen: Paddy Considine
Alicent Hightower: Olivia Cooke
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen: Emma D’Arcy
Prince Daemon Targaryen: Matt Smith
Lord Corlys Velaryon: Steve Toussaint
Princess Rhaenys Velaryon: Eve Best
Otto Hightower: Rhys Ifans
Mysaria: Sonoya Mizuno
Ser Criston Cole: Fabien Frankel
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Young): Milly Alcock
Alicent Hightower (Young): Emily Carey
Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong: Ryan Corr
Lord Jason Lannister: Jefferson Hall
Grand Maester Mellos: David Horovitch
Ser Harrold Westerling: Graham McTavish
Larys Strong: Matthew Needham
Lord Lyman Beesbury: Bill Paterson
Lord Lyonel Strong: Gavin Spokes
Talya: Alexis Raben
Ser Steffon Darklyn: Anthony Flanagan
Wet Nurse: Kathryn Delaney
Jayne: Nina Barker-Francis
Maester Kelvyn: Haqi Ali
High Priest: Bijan Daneshmand
Older Midwife: Rosie Ede
Aegon Targaryen: Tom Glynn-Carney
Aemond Targaryen: Ewan Mitchell
Ser Laenor Velaryon: John Macmillan
Baela Targaryen: Bethany Antonia
Jaehaerys Targaryen: Michael Carter
Lady Laena Velayron: Savannah Steyn
Helaena Targaryen: Phia Saban
Jacaerys Velaryon: Harry Collett
Lord Rickon Stark: David Hounslow
Ser Vaemond Velaryon: Wil Johnson
Dancer: Hannah Flynn
Captain Randyll Barret: Frankie Wilson
Rhaena Targaryen: Phoebe Campbell
Ser Lymond Mallister: Tony Woodhead
Ser Laenor Velaryon (Young): Theo Nate
Dragonkeeper Acolyte: Afolabi Alli
Dyana: Maddie Evans
Dancer: Anna-Marie Sullivan
Otto’s servant: Martin Portlock
Dancer: James Berkery
Targaryen retainer (uncredited): Rui M Tomas
Kings Guard: Robert McCrea (uncredited)