the dragons on Sky bless the Warner Bros. Discovery union

“When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire” is the line that opens the song entitled “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” with which the Canadian indie group The Stars achieved some success in 2005, even emerging – three years later – in the soundtrack of “Chaos Calmo”, the film by Antonello Grimaldi with Nanni Moretti.

“When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire” is also a bit of the leitmotiv of “House of the Dragon”, the first spin-off of “Game of Thrones” to see the light more than three years after the controversial epilogue of the original series.

The background of the Targaryen affair, starting on Sky and Now starting from 22 August on a weekly basis, sees the ancestors of Daenerys ready to put their lives to fire and sword in order to sit on the mythological Iron Throne. There can be no losers in this game, because it is better to set your world on fire than to put it in the hands of others.

read on after the ad

From left: Milly Alcock (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen as a young man) and Emily Carey (Alicent Hightower as a young man) in a scene from
From left: Milly Alcock (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen as a young man) and Emily Carey (Alicent Hightower as a young man) in a scene from “House Of The Dragon”. Courtesy of HBO

With the intent to lay the foundations of a real franchise – the only true trading currency in the streaming wars between platforms -, HBO hasn’t succumbed to the rush.

This is why Casey Bloys, the president of original programming at Home Box Office – reconfirmed in the role for another five years by David Zaslav, CEO of the newborn Warner Bros. Discovery – showed strong nerves when in 2019 he shelved “Bloodmoon”, the first spin-off project from “Game of Thrones” directed by SJ Clarkson.

With a budget that was said to be around 35 million dollars and footage that also affected the Gaeta area, episode zero was a prequel set two millennia before the events of “Game of Thrones” and focused on the events of the Strangers. The cast also included Naomi Watts. Despite the best of wishes, Bloys and HBO did not feel the project lived up to the standards to which subscribers and fans of “Game of Thrones” have become accustomed.

read on after the ad

A completely different story is that of “House of the Dragon”, whose conception involved the author George RR Martin himself. The deus ex machina of “A Song of Ice and Fire” worked together with Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik to create a series that would win back a disaffected audience after the finale of “Game of Thrones”.

“The future is in the past,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos used to say when explaining the platform’s strategy for their original content. Here, to bring back to the center of the cultural zeitgeist “Game of Thrones”, it was decided to start from the stone of the scandal: the family of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), the most powerful character in the series and the one most mistreated during the two final episodes.

A leap back 172 years from the birth of Daenerys. Her ancestor of her Viserys (Paddy Considine, seen in the third season of Peaky Blinders) craves a male heir to succeed him to the throne and restore quiet to his turbulent kingdom. Peace in Westeros is precarious and no one seems to take Rhaenyra (played by Australian actress Milly Alcock), the king’s only daughter, seriously as a possible future sovereign. Rhaenyra is interested in traveling on Syrax, her dragon, to escape from real pressures.

When a tragedy engulfs the life of the royal house of Targaryen and threatens its future, Rhaenyra faces the prospect of becoming the first woman to sit on the Iron Throne in Westeros history. For this to happen to her, her uncle, the ambitious Daemon (Matt Smith, who after The Crown returns to lend herself to the intrigues of the palace), and her second cousin Rhaenys (the actress Eve Best, who a few years ago bought a farmhouse in the Marche where she is also dedicated to the production of olive oil), known as “La Queen who has never been “.

read on after the ad

House Of The Dragon Teaser.  Credits: HBO Max And Youtube
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) in a scene from the first episode. Credits: HBO Max / Sky Italia.

To the latter – ten years earlier – cousin Viserys was preferred, despite the fact that the throne belonged to her by right. At the time, the sovereign grandfather Jaehaerys returned the will to the council of the Seven Kingdoms, rather than relying on his own family. The Targaryens are the greatest threat to their own future.

When compared with the other one The most anticipated fantasy series of the year – “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, debuting in September – the budget for “House of the Dragon” is almost conservative: just under $ 200 million for ten episodes, less half of the $ 462 million that Prime Video spent on the first season alone.

Figures unthinkable up to ten years ago. The pilot episode of “Game of Thrones” (shot twice) cost HBO ten million dollars: hubrisat the time the gossips commented.

read on after the ad

It remains to be seen whether the cost of future seasons of “House of the Dragon” will change: Zaslav and Gunnar Wiedenfels, CFO of Warner Bros. Discovery, are determined to achieve savings of 3 billion in the coming months, amid redundancies and overlapping structures. HBO Max and Discovery + streaming services will merge into a single solution on their debut in summer 2023 in the United States. For Italy the scenario is in the making, but one thing is certain: the HBO series will remain on Sky at least until December 2025.

For these reasons, the “House of the Dragon” operation – born, approved and shot in full pandemic – cannot fail and must represent a new era of success for the Warner Bros. Discovery agglomeration. Other than Westeros: the beating between streamer they are far more compelling.

In this global chessboard where each title can represent the winning move, “House of the Dragon” manages to bear the weight of expectations by offering the viewer a suggestive fantasy show that, apart from the dragons, is much more Shakespearean than the original series. The spin-off succeeds where the mother series has failed, proposing different models of heroin – from Rhaenyra to Rhaenys, passing through Alicent (Emily Carey) – that do not exist with the sole intent of facilitating the plot of their male counterparts.

There remains a problem related to the trauma porn. Although the sexual scenes, according to the directors and creators of the series, are less often to disprove those who attribute a largely voyeuristic success to “GoT”, the use of violence and the element remains in “House of the Dragon”. gore for which the audience of “Game of Thrones” may now be vaccinated since the Blood Wedding, but which continues to be a price paid, more, by the female characters.

As we prepare to enjoy a weekly appointment that starting from August 22 will continue until mid-October on Sky and Now – the wait for the second season will continue until 2024, be warned – HBO already has various projects inspired by the world in the pipeline. “GoT”.

From the spin-off on Lord Corlys (Steve Touissant) to an animated feature film on the land of Yi Ti, passing through the sequel series dedicated to Jon Snow, there are many titles that will join “House of the Dragon” in expanding the boundaries of the George RR Martin’s television world.

If what we see comes close to the rendition of “House of the Dragon”, around HBO and Westeros they can sleep peacefully.

Source link

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

Check Also

Ikea Family: the offers not to be missed in October

In addition to the various end-of-series discounts in October of products that will soon come …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.