The Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, is due next year, and we now have a teaser by which to judge it. Yep, that’s Westeros all right! There’s the Red Keep, and the Iron Throne, though it has been reimagined for an era centuries before we knew it as the seat of the Baratheon-Lannisters. And there’s a whole mess of blonde Targaryens running around, because this show is about them, before their fall from grace and loss of the Iron Throne. We see and hear Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, brother of King Viserys (Paddy Considine, not featured), and husband of Crown Princess Rhaenyra, played by Emma D’Arcy. Daemon and Rhaenyra are uncle and niece, so buckle up for a lot of Targaryen incest! There’s also a quick shot of Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower. The major conflict of Dragons is the “Dance of the Dragons” civil war that threatens to tear Westeros apart, as Alicent fights for the rights of her sons to inherit the Iron Throne over their older half-sister, Rhaenyra. Westeros, always so peaceful and pleasant.
But you know why I’m here, and that’s the dragons, of which there are NONE. Shocking. Disappointing. Unbelievable. There’s a brief, moody glimpse of what looks like Balerion the Black Dread’s skull in the Red Keep, set up with some candles like a shrine, but no living dragons appear. No Caraxes, Daemon’s dragon, or Syrax, Rhaenyra’s dragon. Certainly no Vermithor or Sunfyre, and no sign of the dreaded Vhagar, either. Fine, fine, withhold the dragons. But GOOD LUCK getting us invested in the Targaryens, HBO. Who is dumb enough to care about any humans in Westeros at this point, let alone the doomed Targaryens? All people do in Game of Thrones is die and/or disappoint, unless your name is Sansa Stark, in which case, you’re doing great. (Although I maintain Jon Snow got the happiest possible ending he could.) Honestly, though, rooting for the dragons isn’t going to be much better this time around. The Dance of the Dragons takes a heavy toll. There’s a reason they had died out by the time of Daenerys Targaryen’s birth.