After shocking viewers with a violent birthing scene in its premiere episode, House of the Dragon has gone on to stir up further controversy in its second episode.
The Game of Thrones prequel series is following in the footsteps of its predecessor in building a dark and ruthless vision of Westeros, a fantasy world inspired by medieval courts and warfare. In Episode 2, House of the Dragon shocked viewers as Paddy Considine’s King Viserys Targaryen chose a suitor.
The episode saw the Targaryen king courting mere children as potential suitors in his search for a new wife, inspiring a backlash from audiences.
House Of The Dragon‘s Targaryens
It should come as no surprise that many House of the Dragon viewers were outraged by the depiction of Viserys choosing between underage suitors.
One scene saw Paddy Considine’s Viserys taking a walk with the 12-year-old Laena Velaryon, who had been offered up by her mother as a suitor to unite Houses Velaryon and Targaryen. Later, Viserys named the 15-year-old Alicent Hightower his bride-to-be.
It’s easy to see why these scenes would make some audience members uncomfortable. Many will argue that a fictional world such as that of House of the Dragon should not feel the need to portray such unsettling relationships.
In the dark world of Westeros, however, this sort of barbarism is not uncommon. George R. R. Martin has drawn influence from real-life medieval royalty, who would not have viewed marriages as being about love or any sort of physical connection, but purely as an opportunity to unite two powerful families, forging political allies. It is for this very purpose that Laena was offered up as a suitor.
It looks like House of the Dragon will not shy away from the controversial scenes that were rampant in Game of Thrones. However, while such actions are vile and certainly make for uncomfortable viewing, it all plays a part in the story’s depiction and critique of the ugliness of power.
Here is the synopsis for the Game of Thrones spin-off series:
Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the series will tell the story of House Targaryen (a.k.a. the House that gave us the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen) and take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan J. Condal serve as co-showrunners on House of the Dragon and are executive producing alongside George R. R. Martin. The series features a star-studded cast that includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Paddy Considine, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, and Sonoya Mizuno.
New episodes of House Of The Dragon premiere on HBO and HBO Max every Sunday at 9 ET. Stay tuned for all the latest news on Game of Thrones, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.