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HBO Releases First Costumed Photos from House of the Dragon

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23 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

There's always a princess of something.

Well, ah suppose if there can be a Lord of the Grey Waste ( or king, idc), I suppose there can be a princess of some sort.

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On 5/6/2021 at 3:08 PM, Lord Varys said:

Exactly. And the earlier press releases/information we got on Princess Rhaenys indicated Rhaenyra would eventually become the king's heir during the course of the show.

I expect something along those lines for the beginning of the series:

Queen Aemma is alive and pregnant, nobody expects her death, nobody plans to replace her yet. Rhaenyra is the spoiled only child of the king and queen, and Alicent her best friend and companion she grew up with. Their relationship has Rhaenyra as the blood royal being the one in charge, while Alicent is just the daughter of the Hand ... who isn't that prestigious himself. I'd also expect that Rhaenyra and Alicent both have the hots for Daemon, competing for his attention and Alicent, perhaps, giving her maidenhead to Daemon - which will be part of the reason why Otto loathes him.

After Aemma's death Otto and Alicent push the king to install Rhaenyra as Heir Apparent - the romance between Alicent and Viserys will only start after that. A very powerful way to do that would be if Alicent catches Viserys' eye because she passionately speaks for Rhaenyra being worthy of becoming the Heir Apparent. Alicent and Viserys will only marry/have an affair after Rhaenyra is Heir Apparent. And from that point their relationship dynamic will change because the queen outranks the Heir Apparent ... even before Alicent's has children of her own. Which will make things even worse.

But we also can draw certain dynamics from the press releases about Daemon and Viserys, since the latter really seems to have a rather dismissive view of Daemon, with Daemon not so much being imagined as 'a super cool guy', but rather as an embarrassment in the ruling department - they could have scenes with Viserys, Otto, and Daemon at council where the guy completely sucks at the jobs his given, forgetting assignments, numbers, being completely unable to do his job. You have this kind of dismissive affection Viserys feels for his brother in his line from FaB where he says: 'Let Daemon play at war, it will keep him out of trouble.'

I expect there to be an actual affair between Criston and Rhaenyra which is going to end badly when she marries Laenor (assuming we get Laenor and her marriage to him - which we should, since they should not cut this gay character). We should get some real juicy sex scenes, after all.

Otto Hightower could be a very sympathetic character while he basically defends the Realm against the prospect of a King Daemon I, especially if they portray as a person who would well and truly suck at running a government.

That I don't think - Rhaenyra-Alicent should start to fray when Alicent is queen and thus outranks Rhaenyra ... and things should further deteriorate when Alicent has sons. Although things shouldn't be completely broken between them. That will only come after what's 120 AC in the books - Aemond losing his eye and Rhaenyra marrying Daemon.

The biggest problem with Aegon II is during the Dance when he is basically either a pawn or completely absent.

But that could actually be an interesting plot since it would make the roles of Alicent, Aemond, and Criston Cole more important - as they are in the books. Aegon II is actually more a Tommen/Joffrey kind of character - a figurehead of a movement, not so much somebody who runs things.

Realistically, that 'honorable trait' of Aegon II is either completely invented ... or just a sign of his cowardice since he is afraid that the Realm would not accept him as king.

But that changes quickly enough - once Aegon is king he no longer has any redeeming qualities. I mean, even after his restoration he wastes money and resources on those ridiculous statues of his dead brothers.

The show could make him more sympathetic if he is more a not-so-bright pawn of his mother and grandfather in the show, and starts to somewhat develop after the first losses he suffers - Jaehaerys, mad Helaena, injuries, etc. But technically he should basically not have much/any screentime until he comes back to kill Rhaenyra on Dragonstone.

Weirdly enough, Mushroom’s claim that Daemon deflowered Alicent in the Rogue Prince was something I found completely believable, so I was surprised when it was removed in Fire & Blood.

I think your suggested trajectory for Criston and Rhaenyra’s relationship makes the most sense, with them having an affair and Rhaenyra ending it to marry Laenor/keep her claim. That would make them both sympathetic. Her relationship with Harwin could start later, after it becomes clear that Laenor isn’t going to perform. The more complicated part is how they write Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship. It might be better for them to just leave it at flirting on the show, especially if they want us to sympathize with Daemon. Modern audiences aren’t going to be down with a guy seducing his teenage niece. 
 

What I’m most curious about is if Daemon will still have two wives before Rhaenyra. They could skip Rhea entirely, or they might not even include Laena and instead have Baela and Rhaena be Rhea’s kids. 

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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Weirdly enough, Mushroom’s claim that Daemon deflowered Alicent in the Rogue Prince was something I found completely believable, so I was surprised when it was removed in Fire & Blood.

Yes, that's something that made sense. Although I must say the show could find other interesting ways to establish the animosity between Otto and Daemon - namely, Daemon being an incompetent, lazy, and irresponsible guy - completely unqualified to sit on the council or have any word in the government of the Realm. Otto Hightower is described as a very methodical man, a guy who would chose the men he works with on the basis of ability and talent ... and likely also whether they could work with him or not.

Young Daemon seems to be the kind of fellow who would think all he had to do as a prince was to be there ... and the work would do itself. That alone could cause Otto to fear for the Realm and its government when he considered that Daemon might one day sit the Iron Throne. And Viserys I didn't like that prospect all that much, either, else he wouldn't have dismissed Daemon from the council seats he had granted him.

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I think your suggested trajectory for Criston and Rhaenyra’s relationship makes the most sense, with them having an affair and Rhaenyra ending it to marry Laenor/keep her claim. That would make them both sympathetic. Her relationship with Harwin could start later, after it becomes clear that Laenor isn’t going to perform. The more complicated part is how they write Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship. It might be better for them to just leave it at flirting on the show, especially if they want us to sympathize with Daemon. Modern audiences aren’t going to be down with a guy seducing his teenage niece.

Since I don't think Rhaenyra will be a young teenager at the beginning of the show the idea would be, I think, that Rhaenyra and Alicent have the hots for Daemon, him being this dashing fellow, whereas Daemon only starts to care for Rhaenyra after she is made Heir Apparent - which basically is also the case in the book.

I think it is out of the question we get the weird uncle giving his niece seduction lessons ... but we could get the Daemon/Rhaenyra affair in 111 AC after the tourney - although that would necessitate that Daemon is married at that time, or else we would have gotten a secret marriage of uncle and niece at that time.

In general, I think, they should focus on the whole incest thing and hammer home the fact that it is normal for this people to marry and sexually desire close relations - because that's what it is.

The Cole affair I suggested would then come after Daemon's exile. And part of Criston's later hatred of Rhaenyra and the Blacks could also be connected to him viewing Daemon as a rival for Rhaenyra's affections at this early time. In fact, if you think about it, Rhaenyra ending up with Daemon in 120 AC would have only deepened his hatred and jealousy. We can assume as much even for the books.

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

What I’m most curious about is if Daemon will still have two wives before Rhaenyra. They could skip Rhea entirely, or they might not even include Laena and instead have Baela and Rhaena be Rhea’s kids. 

I've suggested that it could be remarkably easy for them to keep Rhea in a funny way - have Daemon appear to a be a cool bachelor all the time ... until folks first start to weirdly reference a wife we have so far never met. And then she shows up for an episode (and later we get a scene of her death or we merely hear about that). Say, when King Viserys has enough of his brother and commands him to return to his lady wife. Then we could see Daemon being pissed at Runestone for a couple of scenes, and him and Rhea having very awkward conversations/interactions.

It is the kind of thing one could use to show how much arranged marriages in such a setting can suck. Because they could be people who are so different in character and personality that even small talk is basically impossible.

Actually, if they were to cut Laena, I'd make Baela and Rhaena Rhaenyra's daughters by Daemon. That would work easily enough and could better show the incest marriage policy thing if they keep Rhaenyra's sons being betrothed to Daemon's daughters.

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I think I just figured out from a spy photo that Graham McTavish has been cast in House of the Dragon: the Saint of Killers from Preacher, Dwalin from the Hobbit prequel trilogy, Dongal from Outlander.

At first I didn't notice because of the face mask and glasses.

But then someone on twitter remarked that Fabien Frankel (Criston Cole) is following him on Instagram, and he's been cited in Cornwall.

So I went back and checked the spy photos, where I remembered a distinctive tall bald man with grey hair. 

This is blatantly Graham McTavish.

As for who he's playing, given that we think they were filming Laena's funeral, when all the great lords gather...

...I suspect he's been cast as Lyonel Strong.

House Strong is known for their great size and robustness. Graham is 6 feet 2 inches. He's too old to be playing Lyonel's son Harwin.

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...Unless of course, McTavish is playing Harrold Westerling, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard?  

Casting sheets did seem to indicate that role would be expanded. But Harrold Westerling died years before Laena's funeral. Unless they're filming out of order?

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