The House of the Dragon Episode 5 on Disney+ Hotstar hinted at a major upheaval. But Episode 6, titled The Princess And The Queen, just couldn't get off the mark. First, the new casting choices were ineffective and the machinations in the screenplay seemed rather routine and unappealing. The 10-year timeline leap and the new actors essaying lead roles of Rhaenyra, Alicent and their respective grown-up progeny, as also Daemon's, comes at a most inopportune time in the series.
Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, respectively, played them as teenagers for the first five episodes, and Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke make their debut in Episode 6 as adults. It's in fact tough for the actors to build up affection or amiability when thrust so suddenly into a series that was steadily building up its climactic showdown.
While Viserys and the rest show the vestiges of aging considerably, Daemon, curiously looks the same. So, believability and conviction are a huge problem in this episode.
There's a lot of confusion too - with a couple of women springing children we did not have an inkling of and that followed by two very vigorous, bloodied, strenuous childbirth sequences, makes it a rather distressing watch.
The decision to jump so far down the timeline midseason may be bold and daring but it's a disastrous one too. Shuffling the board to this extent halfway through a story isn't likely to work - especially since the new stand-in actors don't have the attitude and the vulnerability that made the earlier ones so intriguing.
In a bold move, to establish the Queen's growing resentment, the script has her summoning an exhausted-from-childbirth, Rhaenyra and the new born to an audience. All of the indiscretions and one-upwomanship between Rhaenyra and Alicent have calcified to this point. Though the drama thereof hopes to ratchet up the tension, it flops miserably.
This episode fails to live up to expectations even though it continues to be well-crafted and visually gravitating. While the sudden elevation of Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) to chief villain of the episode gives the storyline more treachery to work with, it feels a little forced.
The entire drama in House of the Dragon Episode 6 tends to be rather revolting. It's a little too in-your-face to be intriguing. Everything happens too quickly - as though the writer wanted to rush through to the closing episodes.
This episode of House of the Dragon features giant CGI dragons more than the previous ones in the series but the visual effects are a little too obvious. The dialogue is cutting even when the acting is not.
While the installment is fairly well written in terms of drama, the performances and direction fail to measure up.
Fingers crossed and hoping the Episode 7 of House of the Dragon would be a humdinger.