HOTD episode 7 saw some excellent storytelling that pays tribute to its predecessor as well as stands its own ground

Sakshi Sharma
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HOTD episode 7

HOTD episode 7 is the perfect example of why we fell in love with GoT in the first place!

Content that's based on books and can do justice to the world created between those pages is rather rare to come by. Especially something that satiates the thirst of the purists (readers) and also invites the non-purists (non-readers) equally. And what could be a better example of this than Game of Thrones? The seasons that were based on the book did so well until the last one where they started going on their own and left us all disappointed. But within 7 episodes itself, House of the Dragon has redeemed GoT and also reminded us why we fell in love with this kind of storytelling in the first place. HOTD episode 7 if anything is a thrilling tribute to GoT, mirroring some of its themes and setting the pieces of the puzzle right, that will ensue this game of thrones of blood and fire! (spoilers ahead)

Princess Laena chose to sacrifice herself rather than die on a childbed. And while the Valyrians are mourning her loss, the game of politics is being set afoot as Otto Hightower is back as the Hand of the king. Laena's dragon, Vhagar is now free to be taken and so is Prince Daemon. While Princess Rhaenyra finds solace in Prince Daemon's arms, Queen Alicent's second-born, Prince Aemond, who is dragon less till now conquers and rides Vhagar. While the adults rest the children take matters into their own hands and end up hurting each other and Prince Aemon loses an eye at the end of it but wins a dragon. And these 'once upon a time' best friends are now at loggerheads with each other for their children and justice, as one pointed a dagger at the other. Queen Alicent pisses off King Viserys I, and Princess Rhaenyra marries Prince Daemon after plotting to fake murder her husband Laenor, who is then dead to the world but secretly runs away with his lover.

Also Read: HOTD episode 6 is an oddly satisfying new start towards the dance of fire and blood!

The last episode began with exceptional two-long-take shots of new life and a strong narration that ended with deaths while keeping the precedence of the show about how parents function in this dance of dragons. It showed what has changed over the years other than the actors. While this one starts with another pretty-looking funeral, it ends with a jarringly beautiful-looking marriage bonded by blood. It sets precedence for the major pieces of the puzzle and why it's all about fire and blood for the House of Targaryen. Here the kids are not just children with emotions and innocence but set pieces in the game that have to be pushed and nudged for power. Prince Aegon is a drunken idiot, it's his brother Prince Aemond who is cunning as hell and realizes his position and reality and acts accordingly. Also, Prince Jacaerys reminds you of Jon Snow.

But the show's strength lies in its realization that it's a prequel that's released as a sequel and the pace of the storytelling. It values GoT in each and every episode while finding ground within itself. When Queen Alicent demands justice for her son, you're instantly reminded of what Cersei did to the dogs for hurting Joffery. But as soon as Alicent hurts Rhaenyra she's shocked at her own move, unlike Cersei. Prince Aemon's joy of conquering and riding a dragon for the first time is quite similar to Daenayrs' experience. The pace of the show is quite fast-paced compared to GoT, but it weaves its threads so intricately into a story that the storytelling doesn't seem rushed, in fact just rightly balanced.

But my biggest fear was women reduced to being badass women who act just like men in the name of women empowerment. That seems to have gone away even though two women are being pitted against each other constantly, yet there is some amount of respect. Alicent is a woman who is betrayed and fierce mother, this makes up for all her actions, which more or less makes her similar to Cersei though not as will powered as her. Rhaenyra, if anything only seems to have grown and also realizes the game and isn't afraid it play it but with some dignity and not dirty like men. Her sparring with her husband in spite of it might cause her problem later on, but it shows who she is as a person and as a ruler.

This episode had a beautiful moonlit tonality all over it which made it all the more intense and exciting to watch. And even though the change of faces is something that makes you feel like this is a completely different story altogether, it doesn't make it any less interesting. HOTD with each episode only just grows more on you and there's a lot to follow that we can't even anticipate. It's made Monday all the more exciting!

Here's a preview of episode 8!

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