Work is formally underway on Home of the Dragon, HBO’s Sport of Thrones prequel present. However there are already some issues that give this fan pause.
It’s full steam forward on Home of the Dragon, HBO’s Sport of Thrones prequel present. The collection is ready to start filming in just a few months, and not too long ago we’ve been getting much more information on it. The idea artwork for a number of the dragons appears to be like nice, and it seems like they’re taking the costuming significantly, as they need to. We even have casting bulletins: Physician Who veteran Matt Smith will play Daemon Targaryen, Prepared Participant One’s Olivia Cooke is Alicent Hightower, and Reality Seekers star Emma D’Arcy is taking part in the important thing function of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Whereas we nonetheless don’t know a lot concerning the present, an image is beginning to come into focus, and never each fan likes what they see. It’s nonetheless too early to say something for certain, however on this column, I’d wish to wring my palms about purple flags probably rising on the horizon and fear that they could screw all the things up.
Greatest case situation, that is all fretting about nothing and the present will probably be superb. Worst case situation: these are the indicators of failure to come back.
New 12 months’s off to an important begin, isn’t it?
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 14: Actor Matt Smith visits the Construct Collection to debate the movie ‘Mapplethorpe’ at Construct Studio on February 14, 2019 in New York Metropolis. (Photograph by Gary Gershoff/Getty Photos)
Let’s begin with the plain: Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen. My first thought once I heard this was, “Actually?” Like a number of different folks, I’m largely aware of Smith by way of his flip because the Eleventh Physician on Physician Who and as Prince Philip in The Crown, and neither of these roles made me assume him a pure match for the swaggering, sex-and-violence-loving Daemon.
Then once more, I do assume he’s a great actor, and others have satisfied me that he might have the precise look. I’m keen to attend and see on that rating. What’s extra regarding to me is the character description that accompanied the announcement, which described Daemon with this outdated cliche: “it’s stated that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin within the air…”
That saying is normally related to Targaryen insanity, most notably with Aerys Targaryen’s insanity. However Daemon wasn’t actually that sort. He lived on the sting, certain — he like combating and intercourse and he had a mood, however he wasn’t mad in the way in which that Aerys Targaryen was mad. Daemon may be offended, however he’s not mad.
And but the character description makes it sound like he was. It makes me marvel if the folks writing it don’t have a great deal with on the character. Greatest case situation: this description was dashed off by some intern with out being rigorously learn over by the higher-ups, which really raises its personal set of questions…
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 22: Government producer Ryan Condal attends Common Cable Productions Comedian-Con Celebration throughout Comedian-Con Worldwide 2016 at Omnia Nightclub on July 22, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photograph by Frazer Harrison/Getty Photos)
And simply who’re the higher-ups? First now we have Miguel Sapochnik, the director behind nice Sport of Thrones episodes like “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter.” With him on board, I’ve little question the present will look good.
However trying good doesn’t imply something if the script isn’t strong. Heading up the writing staff is Ryan Condal, who’s written enjoyable Dwayne Johnson motion pictures like Hercules and Rampage in addition to working his personal sci-fi collection on USA: Colony, which had a fairly good reception.
It’s not a unhealthy resume, however as far as the huge world of Westeros goes, Condal is fairly untested. If he wrote that description of Daemon Targaryen, I’m formally involved about how significantly he’s taking his job, and/or how certified he’s. It’s instances like this I want that Sport of Thrones author Bryan Cogman, who labored on the Home of the Dragon pitch earlier than HBO shelved it for some time and he pursued different alternatives, was nonetheless concerned.
The casting of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Spotlight is fascinating too. I don’t know a lot about both Olivia Cooke or Emma D’Arcy, however I do know that they appear…weirdly younger for these roles?
Home of the Dragon tells the story of the Dance of the Dragon, the Targaryen civil conflict that tore the realm aside over a century earlier than the occasions of the unique present. By the point the conflict begins, Daemon is pushing 50, Alicent has simply entered her 40s, and Rhaenyra is in her early 30s. And but, Matt Smith is 38, Olivia Cooke is 27, and I can’t appear to search out Emma D’Arcy’s age on Google, which might counsel that she’s nonetheless so new to the business folks haven’t bothered recording it but.
Is Home of the Dragon ageing these characters down, and in that case, why? I’d hate to assume that they had been doing it to placate executives who wish to stack their exhibits with youthful expertise, notably after Sport of Thrones proved that we’ll fall in love with older characters like Ned Stark, Olenna Tyrell, and everybody within the Lannister clan.
It’s additionally attainable that these actors are taking part in solely the younger variations of the characters (or in Daemon’s case, the youngerer model). Although the Dance of the Dragons is the place the majority of the motion is, there’s a number of build-up earlier than then that’s very important to understanding how and why it occurs. Maybe these actors will play the characters for that portion of the story, solely to changed in a while, a la The Crown on Netflix? Or possibly they’ll stick with the roles the entire method by way of, however by the point we get to the conflict itself, they’ll be higher capable of move as older.
Or possibly Condal is considering of doing a little type of flashback/non-linear storytelling factor. Contemplating how necessary it’s that we all know what occasions result in the Dance of the Dragons, that may be inevitable. And if it occurs, I pray Condal steers away from a number of the pitfalls different showrunners have tumbled into when attempting to be intelligent with time. (I’m taking a look at you, The Witcher. You too, The Stand.) In any other case, he might simply persist with the “no flashbacks” rule adopted by Sport of Thrones, which lent that present an approachable readability.
I’ve additionally received to level out that George R.R. Martin has been conspicuously silent concerning the latest spate of Home of the Dragon information on his weblog, whereas again within the day he was comfortable to speak about Sport of Thrones bulletins. Like I stated, hopefully these worries find yourself being a lot scorching air and we’ll all be staring rapt at our screens when Home of the Dragon debuts in 2022. Till then, I’m protecting my fingers crossed.