FIRST EPISODE REVIEW
Chaos That Begins With Silence
It has not been six months since Viserys’ wife, Aemma, died. It is constantly emphasized that he needs to find a new wife for himself. In particular, the Valeryons intend to marry their daughter Laena to the king. The merger of 2 great dynasties will show everyone the kingdom’s power. However, at the end of the episode, the king chooses Alicent Hightower as his new wife. This shows the fact that Otto Hightower’s background plays are successful. Before I get into the political battles, let me discuss a few details.
King Viserys has a model of Valyria in his room. Valyria was a magnificent kingdom inhabited by the Targaryen and Velaryon families. Valyria was destroyed one day for an unknown reason. Targaryen and the Velaryons managed to escape and settle in Dragonstone before the catastrophe. Aegon, who set out with his dragon Balerion from this island near Westeros, conquered all of the continent. It was Aegon who built King’s Landing and Red Keep. This is precisely why the Targaryens are the only dynasty to the ruler in Westeros.
While making the model, Viserys drops the dragon in his hand. It will be a hard guess, but it could be a message about the fall of the Targaryens. Alicent’s repair and return of the dragon can also be interpreted as a message that she will give him a lot of dragons. Which she will.
We should also draw attention to a conversation between Viserys and Laena. Laena talks about the dragon Vhagar. She says Vhagar is lost. And Viserys says dragons also need some time alone sometimes. It reminded me of Drogon, who disappeared after Daenerys died. This scene is essential because Viserys doesn’t want to marry Laena because she’s 12 years old. But everyone says she will “grow.” The emphasis here on “will grow” is very important because Vhagar will appear in the future, and Laena will be the name that will ride Vhagar, the last remaining dragon from ancient Valyria. Vhagar and Caraxes will be the defining names of the upcoming seasons. Because Vhagar, which Laena will own, will be the dragon of the crazy Aemond Targaryen, who will turn things into ash in the coming seasons and stay with us until the very last episode of the series.
The Struggle Between Politics and Power
As I wrote in the first episode, the decisions on the table will determine the whole course of the series. Every topic is brought to the table in some way. The main reason for this is Otto Hightower, as I wrote again. Otto believes he can solve anything as long as if he can bring it to the table. For this reason, Corlys and Rhaenys felt the need to meet with the king outside the castle. Otto always manages to get what he wants when it comes to the table. So far, he has avoided war with the free cities, got Daemon fired, and, most importantly, succeeded in making his daughter the new wife to the king. Although the Grand Maester and Lord Lyonel Strong were keen on the idea of marrying Laena, whom Corlys proposed, Otto still managed to get what he wanted by doing his background games.
This episode was actually about the relentless battle between politics and power. You remember Cersei once confronted Petyr Baelish and asked what is power, and then said, “power is power.” Whoever has the power gets what they want. Viserys is unaware of this for now, and as Daemon repeats at the end of the episode, he’s not fit for being king. But neither Daemon nor his daughter Rhaenyra is like him. Rhaenyra did not hesitate to intervene at the council and say that problems can be solved with “power.” This was an example of his inconsistent character. Having a dragon always solves problems. Although Otto tries to solve everything with his words and the games he plays in the background, his opponents are names that will not hesitate to use force. It is also possible to see the difference between the characters in the next scene. While Rhaenyra wants to choose Criston Cole, who has a strong character and has seen war before, for the guards, Otto intervenes and wants the selection to be made with attention to “political” priority. But in the end, everything turns out just as Rhaenyra wanted.
Likewise, the conversation between Rhaenyra and Rhaenys resulted from the relentless battle between politics and power. Although Rhaenys doesn’t want to give her daughter to the king, she can’t see any choice but to give her daughter to the king to steer the system she considers a game. She wants to play the game right, just like Otto. But Rhaenyra, like her relative Daenerys, who will be born 172 years later, approaches everything with the motto I will break this wheel. Realizing that she was pushed into the background for being a “woman” throughout the episode, Rhaenyra officially proved that she is much more than she seems. And she shows that not only with her answers but by going to Dragonstone.
Daemon Targaryen seems to have captured the Dragonestone. In the letter he wrote to the kingdom, he did not hesitate to say, “I am the heir to the throne.” His attitude clearly means rebellion. But here, too, Otto uses his power on the table to prevent Viserys from going to Dragonstone, and takes Criston Cole with him and goes himself. I want to make a small note here, be careful while watching; Otto Hightower always turns his shoulder to the character he spokes. He never stands even. It’s a funny detail, but I can say that it looks nice in the picture.
The encounter between Otto and Daemon marked the beginning of a long-lasting conflict between the two. Otto did not hesitate to humiliate both Daemon and his wife, Mysaria. The diss that Criston hits Daemon in this scene also proves that Criston is more than he has. But the exchange of words ended with Rhaenyra emerging from the clouds. As I mentioned above, Rhaenyra is not a politician. If there is a problem, she is in favor of solving it directly. But the highlight of this scene wasn’t Rhaenyra’s fearless confrontation with Daemon; it was Otto’s realization of who his main enemy was. Otto’s glance at Rhaenyra from behind can be interpreted as him realizing who his main rival is. Rhaenyra is no ordinary girl and will cause many problems in the future.
The war is beginning
Corlys Velaryon is looking for a solution to the Craghas Drahar problem, which has been supported by the Triarchy since the first episode. At the episode’s opening, we learn that Triarchy burned 4 ships of Corlys’ navy. Triarchy; Name of a navy founded by the 3 free cities of Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh. Some referred to them as the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, while others roughly referred to them as the Kingdom of the Three Whores. The only part I don’t understand is that the Targaryens haven’t yet figured out who’s backing these pirates, or they don’t want to name them. I want to attribute this to Viserys’ sending envoys to Pentos and Volantis.
This person, called Craghas, is the leader of the Triarchy fleet and has captured the Stepstones, which is located in the middle of the narrow sea and consists of many islands. He also demands toll from everyone who passes by. But the price of toll is increasing day by day starts to bother Corlys, who sees himself as the king of the seas. Corlys cannot take any action because King Viserys does not want to create a war between the free cities and Westeros. But everything changed when Viserys chose Alicent as her bride.
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Corlys will start the war in the next episode by partnering with Daemon. In fact, the reason why the pirates on the beach look up at the end of the episode is probably due to the arrival of the Caraxes. I don’t know how many seasons Triarchy will last, but they will be with us for the entire first season. Most battle scenes will also take place between Triarchy and Daemon. In fact, in the future, Otto Hightower will make a deal by going to the free cities to create an alliance against Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Corlys. Not only that, but some of the characters Triarchy kidnapped will play essential roles in the series.
Some Beautiful Details
Ryam Redwyne, who is declared dead at the beginning of the episode, is one of the most legendary knights in Westeros’ history. Many people we meet in the original show reverence for Ryam and dream of becoming like him. When Jon Snow was a kid, he always imitated Ryam Redwyne when he played with Rob Stark in Winterfell. Bran Stark also had dreams of becoming a knight like Ryam. Ryam was also the hand of the king for one year, but it was said that he was the worst hand of the king in existence. It had taken a year at most. Apparently, Ryam wasn’t very good at politics, but when it came to physical strength, he was a legendary name. This is a very appropriate message to the theme of the episode.
When Otto Hightower and his men arrived in Dragonstone, the first thing that caught my eye was the massive gate in Dragonestone. Unfortunately, this door did not exist in the original series. Something must happen to this door in the coming seasons because they made a smaller one instead.
In the scene where Daemon hugs Mysaria, my eyes searched for the famous table but could not find it. That desk was initially built by Aegon. So it’s a table that has been around for a long time. I couldn’t understand why there was a small table on the stage. Where is the table?
Again in the same scene, the conversation between Daemon and Mysaria reminded me of Shae in the original series. Shae’s only concern was to live without fear. That’s precisely what Mysaria wants. For this, as I mentioned in my first article, she will be ready to cause trouble.