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Game of Thrones Creator Hails Season 2's "Magnificent" Start

Game of Thrones Creator Hails Season 2’s “Magnificent” Start

George R.R. Martin, the mastermind behind the Game of Thrones universe, is thoroughly enjoying the second season of House of the Dragon. This HBO prequel series is based on Martin’s book, “Fire & Blood,” which serves as a historical chronicle for the Targaryens. Unlike the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels that inspired Game of Thrones, “Fire & Blood” offers a broader roadmap with fewer detailed events, allowing for more creative liberties.

In a recent blog post, Martin shared his enthusiasm for the first two episodes of House of the Dragon’s second season. “What a great way to start the season. The directing was superb,” wrote Martin. “Game of Thrones veteran Alan Taylor directed the first episode, and Clare Kilner the second. Both of them did a magnificent job. And I cannot say enough about the acting. Emma D’Arcy has only one line in ‘A Son for a Son,’ but they do so much with their eyes and their face that they absolutely dominate the episode; [Rhaenyra’s] grief for her slain son is palpable.”

Martin also commended the performances of other House of the Dragon stars, including Tom Glynn-Carney, Rhys Ifans, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Fabien Frankel, Eve Best, and others. However, he was particularly impressed with Phia Saban’s portrayal of Queen Helaena Targaryen. “And Phia Saban gave a wrenching, powerful, heart-breaking performance as Helaena Targaryen, Aegon’s doomed, haunted queen and mother to his children. Saban’s performance is especially noteworthy; very little of what she brings to the part was in my source material,” Martin explained.

Martin compared Helaena’s evolution on-screen to that of King Viserys in Season 1. In the books, Viserys was merely a “jolly party-loving king,” but House of the Dragon and Paddy Considine created a much richer character for the show. “The [House of the Dragon] team have done the same thing here with Helaena,” the author said. “In the book, she is a plump, pleasant, and happy young woman, cheerful and kindly, adored by the smallfolk. A dragonrider since the age of twelve, Helaena’s greatest joy in life is to take to the skies on the back of her dragon Dreamfyre. None of the strangeness she displays in the show was evident in the book, nor is her gift of prophecy. Those were born in the writers’ room… but once I met the show’s version of Helaena, I could hardly take issue. Phia Saban’s Helaena is a richer and more fascinating character than the one I created in ‘Fire & Blood,’ and in ‘Rhaenyra the Cruel’ you can scarcely take your eyes off her.”

At the end of his post, Martin mentioned that the only potential criticism he had for House of the Dragon’s second season was its handling of the Blood and Cheese storyline. However, this did not seem to diminish his overall enjoyment of the new episodes. “There’s a lot to be said of that, but this is not the place for me to say it. The issues are too complicated,” he said of the Blood and Cheese ending. “Somewhere down the line, I will do a separate post about all the issues raised by Blood and Cheese… and Maelor the missing. There’s a lot to say.”

Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. In Season 2, Westeros is on the brink of a bloody civil war with the Green and Black Councils fighting for King Aegon and Queen Rhaenyra, respectively. New episodes of House of the Dragon premiere every Sunday on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.

The cast for House of the Dragon includes Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower, Emma D’Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II Targaryen, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, and Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower.

Source: ComicBook