When speaking about era-defining tv exhibits, Sport of Thrones needs to be on the highest of the listing.
The excessive fantasy drama aired for the central eight years of the 2010s and was undoubtedly probably the most influential exhibits of all time when it was in its prime. It was a type of uncommon exhibits the place when you watched it, you both cherished it and couldn’t get sufficient, otherwise you hated it and couldn’t look away as a result of actually everybody else you understand was watching it. Sport of Thrones is likely one of the few true “cultural phenomena” of the twenty first century, and it’s probably that everybody realizes that particularly due to how badly it crashed and burned.
Sport of Thrones’ fall from grace is a narrative that’s been advised 1,000,000 occasions over by 1,000,000 totally different folks, however what’s spoken about much less is the fallout from that finish, and the eventual launch of the Home of the Dragon spinoff. Poor crucial reception didn’t cease HBO from throwing a bunch of concepts at their improvement wall to see what would stick, and three years later the World of Ice and Hearth is again on our screens.
In some hypothetical alternate timeline the place Home of the Dragon truly had the means to really stretch its wings, we’d have the ability to forgive a few of Sport of Thrones’ largest points and say, “Nicely, that wasn’t nice on the finish, however have a look at this superb present we acquired out of it,” however for that to occur, the present must exist out of the confines of the Sport of Thrones universe. It’s a real paradox; HotD can’t exist with out GoT, however it would by no means escape the sins of its predecessor and is doomed to be in comparison with it eternally.
Home of the Dragon has been pushed as a present that facilities girls in relation to the ins and outs of Westerosi politics, however there actually isn’t that a lot that’s totally different from what we already spent 8 seasons watching. Ladies aren’t brutalized as overtly as they had been on Sport of Thrones, however Alicent and Rhaenyra are nonetheless trapped by the male-dominated society they had been born into. They’re pressured to work their manner by means of the identical misogynistic framework that Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark did in GoT, and that will be fascinating if we didn’t already know the way that’s prone to play out. Producers on HotD have talked about framing the story from a feminine perspective, however what’s the purpose of that if the end result is new characters doomed to face the identical struggles we’ve seen earlier than in the very same manner?
Very similar to how Alicent and Rhaenyra are trapped by the principles of the world round them, Home of the Dragon is stifled by the truth that it takes place within the Sport of Thrones universe. The story has to finish a sure manner to ensure that the remainder of GoT to occur, and that implies that there’s little or no room for change. Within the first episode of Home of the Dragon, Rhaenyra says that she, “desires to fly with [Alicent] on dragonback, see the nice wonders throughout the Slim Sea, and eat solely cake,” and I can’t assist however surprise if that will have in the end made a greater present. If Alicent and Rhaenyra weren’t confined by the story that was already set out for them, there’s a way more fascinating story within the concept of them defying everybody and every little thing they know to burn down a system that grants them little to no company. There’s no good story with out battle, however the battle that Home of the Dragon presents Alicent and Rhaenyra is choked by the truth that girls don’t actually have any rights in Westeros. That may have been fascinating to look at a decade in the past, however now? It’s simply miserable.
In reality, the one manner we get extra fascinating fantasy tv is by diving into a totally new world. There are many superb fantasy books which can be simply ready for a giant funds adaptation like Sport of Thrones, and all of us need to see a brand new franchise take the highlight. This isn’t to say that it must be set in a world with out sexsim (don’t get me incorrect, that will be good), however the story must sort out these points in methods which can be extra compelling than Sport of Thrones or Home of the Dragon, and it’s not like that’s exhausting. Current entries to the style like The Jasmine Throne and The Poppy Battle have their main girls in worlds impressed by locations exterior of medieval Europe, and they’re truly allowed to answer the violence and oppression stacked towards them with equal power. There are social orders that these characters have to evolve to, however they’re additionally allowed to interrupt these guidelines when they should, and that’s one thing that Home of the Dragon won’t ever actually have the ability to supply its characters.
From a enterprise standpoint, it’s simple to know why HBO desires to maintain going again to Sport of Thrones. It was the most well-liked present on the planet, and Home of the Dragon is doing properly sufficient for a second season to be on the best way. However the world of George R. R. Martin’s nonetheless to be accomplished saga isn’t new and unpredictable anymore—it’s secure. Everybody is aware of what they’re getting out of it, and we might be getting a lot extra from one thing else. There are higher tales to inform, higher “feminine views” to dive into, and the one manner we’ll ever see these is that if we let Sport of Thrones go like we should always have when it got here to its fiery finish in 2019.
Kathryn Porter is a contract author who will discuss endlessly about something leisure given the possibility. You’ll find her @kaechops on Twitter.
For all the most recent TV information, opinions, lists and options, comply with @Paste_TV.