House Of The Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Darkness All Around

    By Johnson Thomas
    Star Cast: Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Graham Mactavish, Mathew Needham, Jefferson Hall
    Director: Miguel Sapochnik

    The internal succession war within House Targaryen is getting bloodier by the decade. Disney+ Hotstar series House of the Dragon's seventh episode goes brutal and excessively dark all in the name of power and lust for the throne. It's but obvious the Westeros are sliding uncontrollably toward a calamitously bloody war but the body count is mounting way before that can happen.

    Laena Velaryon, her brother Laenor, and a man whose name we never learn are killed off quite conveniently - not to mention the loss of an eye of a young prince and a relatively less serious wound to Rhaenyra.

    The Miguel Sapochnik-helmed House of The Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 titled 'Driftmark' is so dark that it makes most of the characters in those visuals look almost invisible. Secret assignations, behind-the-scenes plotting, and insidious machinations in an effort to grab power are part and parcel of this Targaryen legacy.

    House of the Dragon Episode 6 and 7 are clearly the show's worst two episodes even if they are bloodier than what went before. The sixth episode saw the new actors searching for purchase. Thankfully, in this seventh episode, they appear to have found it. Both actors playing Rhaenyra and Alicent appear to have found their footing and have begun showing their craft.

    House Of The Dragon

    'Driftmark' opens with the post-death ceremonies held in honour of Laena's memory. It is sombre, and lengthy and hopes to set a mood for rising passions and more hideous moments in the episode. Ramin Djawadi's score swells and ebbs to a quiet while the prominent characters hang around with glum faces and nothing to say.

    Aegon (Ty Tennant) gets drunk, Jacaerys (Leo Hart) reluctantly goes to comfort Baela (Shani Smethurst) and Rhaena (Eva Ossei-Gerning). Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) tells his younger grandson Lucerys (Harvey Sadler) that one day he will serve as the Lord of Tides at Driftmark.

    Aemond (Leo Ashton) claims Vhagar - the biggest, oldest and most powerful dragon orphaned by Laena's demise and Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and Daemon (Matt Smith) are plotting a stronger bond between themselves.

    Vicerys has all but become redundant as King as Queen Alicent and her father Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) are not about to let his word sway.

    The time jumps literally kill the excitement. The choice of nighttime for most of the devious carrying around happening in this episode isn't productive or effective. The lack of light makes the characters and their shenanigans invisible and uncool. It would have been better if those events were suggested rather than shown in such a shadowy form.

    The dragon also makes quite an appearance here and one would think that shooting it at nighttime was mainly to cover up some of the blemishes in the CGI.

    Episode 7 of House of the Dragon may not be as bad as the previous one but it still doesn't manage to intrigue or excite.

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