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New Peek at House of the Dragon


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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Sotan said:

All the Valyrians seen in the show are immediate family members.  For most casual viewers a black Valyrian won't be this crazy thing because the show barley delved into Targaryen history, lore etc. Unless you're a book reader and married to the lore, the majority of viewers won't question it. 

I don't know about "majority of viewers", but many viewers are questioning it. 

Also, have you been reading what Ran and Lord Varys have been saying? Considering their comments, the effect on the plot due to this change is not inconsiderable. Without an in show explanation to justify why this character is black, it also renders the dynamics of the Targaryens and Velaryons as confusing. Obsessed with legacy and purity but then interbreeding with other groups?

Edit: At any rate, this particular discussion is growing tired and either side is essentially reiterating the same thing. And it is fairly pointless. We'll see how the writers address this when the show is released. I think there's a good chance it will be addressed, because based on everything else I've seen I'm hoping the writing isn't incompetent. If there is an explanation, all the better. If not, then it will likely be equivalent to a let's get a zombie for queen Cersei bit of the show. Nonsensical, but then you just accept it and keep watching.

Edited by IFR
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IFR said:

I don't know about "majority of viewers", but many viewers are questioning it. 

Also, have you been reading what Ran and Lord Varys have been saying? Considering their comments, the effect on the plot due to this change is not inconsiderable. Without an in show explanation to justify why this character is black, it also renders the dynamics of the Targaryens and Velaryons as confusing. Obsessed with legacy and purity but then interbreeding with other groups?

Those questioning it probably have prior knowledge, I doubt most people who've only watched GOT will have a clue. It took years for some people to get character names right, but we'll see when the show releases. 

And I've read the other comments about black Velaryons. It's a bit of a stretch to say that the plot is effected considerably because the race of characters who'll never been on screen and may never be mentioned, may have been changed. This is again a discussion between people who are familiar with the lore and are trying to make the pieces fit in their heads, show only watchers are going to accept the pieces given to them by the show and go from there. 

Edit: GRRM helped Condal "break in" the pilot before pitching it to HBO together. Both he and Condal have said he's heavily involved; if this is such a huge change as some suggest, I doubt it will be left hanging. We'll find out in 3 months. 

Edited by Sotan
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I think an apt metaphor can be applied to how they designed the Iron Throne, assuming they had that in mind. The Iron Throne is basically like the proverbial Sword of Damocles. The layout of the throne means 'approach with caution.' It also means, both literally and figuratively that the king is protected from backstabbing assassins, but if an enemy comes head-on, the king won't be able to flee and will be forced to face his foe. 

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21 minutes ago, Sotan said:

And I've read the other comments about black Velaryons. It's a bit of a stretch to say that the plot is effected considerably because the race of characters who'll never been on screen and may never be mentioned, may have been changed. This is again a discussion between people who are familiar with the lore and are trying to make the pieces fit in their heads, show only watchers are going to accept the pieces given to them by the show and go from there.

It is a diversion from the issue to focus on how people 'who don't know the lore' to be the deciding factor there (we can just as well go with a complete change of the story also being irrelevant for the people 'who don't know the lore'). As has been pointed out repeatedly, black Velaryons in general affect not only their own conception 'as a Valyrian house of great lineage' but it effects what the Valyrians and the Targaryens are as established as well - namely the fact that they married mainly within the family.

I mean, you can think it through: We are going to get three of the seven known marriages between the Velaryons and the Targaryens in HotD ... and that is clearly going to be reflected in the looks of the children born from those marriages, e.g. the actors and actresses playing Laena and Laenor and Baela and Rhaena.

This makes it crystal clear that neither Jaehaerys and Alysanne nor Aegon and his sisters can have had a black Velaryon mother, or else Viserys and Rhaenys and Daemon and Rhaenyra would all look like Laena and Laenor, etc.

But they don't. So the obvious conclusion here is that the show doesn't want to go with the concept of the Velaryons being close cousins of the Targaryens since before the Conquest. And that has all kind of weirdo consequences. The Targaryen practice incest and cousin marriages whenever they can. They do not want to marry 'lesser men' - and that's how they view most of their Westerosi subjects, the great houses included.

Unless we go with the weird idea that some black people married into House Velaryon after Valaena and Alyssa married into the Targaryen family.

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2 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I think an apt metaphor can be applied to how they designed the Iron Throne, assuming they had that in mind. The Iron Throne is basically like the proverbial Sword of Damocles. The layout of the throne means 'approach with caution.' It also means, both literally and figuratively that the king is protected from backstabbing assassins, but if an enemy comes head-on, the king won't be able to flee and will be forced to face his foe. 

If they wanted to redesign the throne I'd have gone with a gilded Iron Throne to symbolize the peace and prosperity of the era - the reign of Viserys I was a kind of gilded age and one could have had a nice scene of Queen Aemma or Queen Alicent proudly declaring that she improved the throne for her dear husband - and then have the gold slowly flake away as the years and decades pass until it looks more or less like we know it now when Aegon II usurps the throne.

Randomly adding swords does indeed look like of weird and completely improper and strange for a king like Viserys I who would have likely preferred to do away with the Iron Throne entirely since he didn't exactly rule with steel and fire.

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12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If they wanted to redesign the throne I'd have gone with a gilded Iron Throne to symbolize the peace and prosperity of the era - the reign of Viserys I was a kind of gilded age and one could have had a nice scene of Queen Aemma or Queen Alicent proudly declaring that she improved the throne for her dear husband - and then have the gold slowly flake away as the years and decades pass until it looks more or less like we know it now when Aegon II usurps the throne.

Randomly adding swords does indeed look like of weird and completely improper and strange for a king like Viserys I who would have likely preferred to do away with the Iron Throne entirely since he didn't exactly rule with steel and fire.

I think the interpretation is that that was the original throne and it stayed like that until Robert decided there too many trip hazards and had masons remove and replace the dais, keeping only the chair with more symmetrically arranged swords. I didn't spot any dragon skulls in the throne room. The removal of swords could be the show-only removal of dragon skulls that occurred after Robert took the throne.

By the way, in the shot where we see a dragon rider approach the Red Keep isn't there too much water on the north side of the city? The Blackwater Rush is directly south of the city.

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1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

I think the interpretation is that that was the original throne and it stayed like that until Robert decided there too many trip hazards and had masons remove and replace the dais, keeping only the chair with more symmetrically arranged swords. I didn't spot any dragon skulls in the throne room. The removal of swords could be the show-only removal of dragon skulls that occurred after Robert took the throne.

Rhaenyra started the practice of putting dragon skulls into the throne as a display of her victory over her enemies. Or at least she wanted to do that - we don't know if she actually displayed any of the skulls. The first dragon skull to be used as a 'symbol of victory' was the skull of Meleys after Rook's Rest. The skulls of the dragons slain at Tumbleton remained there for years to be displayed by the local lords.

1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

By the way, in the shot where we see a dragon rider approach the Red Keep isn't there too much water on the north side of the city? The Blackwater Rush is directly south of the city.

Speaking of dragons - which dragon is that. It is yellow and it seems it is the same dragon we see later in the cave. So it should be Syrax, no? And the rider would then be Rhaenyra.

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4 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

By the way, in the shot where we see a dragon rider approach the Red Keep isn't there too much water on the north side of the city? The Blackwater Rush is directly south of the city.

Here's a shot from early in S1 of GoT. They've pretty much always shown the Red Keep as being practically on a peninsula. They seem to have made the landscape even more dramatic than that ,but that's probably reflecting changes to how KL was depicted when they moved to filming scenes at the fortress in Dubrovnik.

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

Here's a shot from early in S1 of GoT. They've pretty much always shown the Red Keep as being practically on a peninsula. They seem to have made the landscape even more dramatic than that ,but that's probably reflecting changes to how KL was depicted when they moved to filming scenes at the fortress in Dubrovnik.

Yeah, if you look at the trailer, the right side of a city looks like a canyon with water, which is not the same as the shot you linked to. But then again, KL turned into a desert by the end of season 8 so it's more production failures. Not sure why you would change a CGI landscape.

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Black Valyrians probably isn't going to register as a problem for most viewers. If anything, they will be closer to the uniquely beautiful and different reputation Targaryens had, which GOT made no real attempt to do. The funny thing about GRRM considering making the Targs black is that if GOT had been made in 2022, making the Targs black would probably be the best way to adapt them.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is a diversion from the issue to focus on how people 'who don't know the lore' to be the deciding factor there (we can just as well go with a complete change of the story also being irrelevant for the people 'who don't know the lore'). As has been pointed out repeatedly, black Velaryons in general affect not only their own conception 'as a Valyrian house of great lineage' but it effects what the Valyrians and the Targaryens are as established as well - namely the fact that they married mainly within the family.

I mean, you can think it through: We are going to get three of the seven known marriages between the Velaryons and the Targaryens in HotD ... and that is clearly going to be reflected in the looks of the children born from those marriages, e.g. the actors and actresses playing Laena and Laenor and Baela and Rhaena.

This makes it crystal clear that neither Jaehaerys and Alysanne nor Aegon and his sisters can have had a black Velaryon mother, or else Viserys and Rhaenys and Daemon and Rhaenyra would all look like Laena and Laenor, etc.

But they don't. So the obvious conclusion here is that the show doesn't want to go with the concept of the Velaryons being close cousins of the Targaryens since before the Conquest. And that has all kind of weirdo consequences. The Targaryen practice incest and cousin marriages whenever they can. They do not want to marry 'lesser men' - and that's how they view most of their Westerosi subjects, the great houses included.

Unless we go with the weird idea that some black people married into House Velaryon after Valaena and Alyssa married into the Targaryen family.

Even if the Velaryons were white, the show is never going to go that deep into history.  And yes the show is made for people who don't know the lore and will never read the books. For them, the story the show gives them is the only one they'll know and it's up to the writers to make it digestible and entertaining. 

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Black valyrians dont really bother me. It is to be expected these days. And atleast they don’t look so out of place like that black dwarf queen on that lord of the rings tv show. Like she looks more like some 21st century character. She dosent even have the beard that female dwarfs are famous for.

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1 minute ago, Sotan said:

Even if the Velaryons were white, the show is never going to go that deep into history.  And yes the show is made for people who don't know the lore and will never read the books. For them, the story the show gives them is the only one they'll know and it's up to the writers to make it digestible and entertaining. 

This show is basically all about the Targaryens and the Velaryons. Most of the characters are from these two families. It strikes me as manifestly unlikely that the recent history of these two houses wouldn't be addressed.

I mean, even in the changed setting we are likely going to get background on Corlys Velaryon and his voyages and how he ended up marrying Rhaenys.

And the very basic introduction of the family as such would be that House Velaryon is one of the oldest allies of House Targaryen, stretching back before the days Aegon I was even born, and that they and their fleet played a crucial role during the Conquest. And I don't expect that to change in the show, to make myself clear. But they don't seem to be able to keep the rather crucial marriages that are part of all that.

This kind of thing is as crucial to the basic setup of this show as are, say, Robert's Rebellion and the animosity between the Starks and the Lannisters were for GoT.

The general point, though, is, if we judge adaptations by the standards of noobs who never bothered with the source material then there is not really any meaningful difference between a faithful adaptation and something that is loosely inspired by something else.

When I judge, for instance, the Shakespeare adaptations in 'The Hollow Crown' series then my standard are the plays and not how they come across for people who don't know the plays. Only then can I address the simplifications and changes made in that particular series.

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48 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Black Valyrians probably isn't going to register as a problem for most viewers. If anything, they will be closer to the uniquely beautiful and different reputation Targaryens had, which GOT made no real attempt to do.

That would've made hiding Jon Snow difficult, but it would've been funny to see the freak out lol. I think this a cool change re the Velaryons, the contrast of dark skin with white/silver hair is cool and fantastical. It really sets them apart from everyone.

 

49 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

The funny thing about GRRM considering making the Targs black is that if GOT had been made in 2022, making the Targs black would probably be the best way to adapt them.

I've seen this mentioned before, is this an idea that came to him before writing the books which he discarded, or an idea he had after the books were published?

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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Not sure why you would change a CGI landscape.

Because if camera footage features dramatic hills rising around your chosen physical shooting location, you might decide that since that's your new "permanent" location (KL began being filmed in Dubrovnik in S2, it was in Malta only in S1) looks like that you might just change how things look some both for ease of work and simply because you might prefer the look.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

This show is basically all about the Targaryens and the Velaryons. Most of the characters are from these two families. It strikes me as manifestly unlikely that the recent history of these two houses wouldn't be addressed.

You have really high expectations if you expect them to go into family history that deeply. Even if they decide to explain black Velaryons, I think the only history they'll go into is Jaehaerys' children and grandchildren. There's no need to go beyond that. 

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Hey, remember in season 8 when King’s Landing was transported to a desert? :P

I agree that most viewers won’t care about the plot holes concerning Targ/Velaryon marriages. But just going off of what I’m seeing online, there are definitely a lot of people confused as to how there are suddenly black Westerosi. Most people will probably get over it; those who don’t will stop watching.

I rewatched the animated Dance featurette, and it definitely portrays Rhaenyra in an almost saintly light. What annoyed me, though, was how it completely skipped over Jace’s importance; he basically led the Blacks in place of his mother for the first year of the war.

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It might actually be nice if the HOTD fandom is smaller and more niche, that way it’s less overexposed and commercialized. But then, if HOTD pulls in a smaller audience, it would probably end up getting cancelled due to the budget.

Speaking hypothetically, if HOTD were to flop, would that kill any chance of a Dunk and Egg series too?

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4 hours ago, Sotan said:

That would've made hiding Jon Snow difficult, but it would've been funny to see the freak out lol. I think this a cool change re the Velaryons, the contrast of dark skin with white/silver hair is cool and fantastical. It really sets them apart from everyone.

LOL, I must say the biggest issue I have with the Velaryons on the show is their silly hair. I mean, what's the point of that, exactly? The books establish that the Valyrians are a specific inbred people, basically. Are we to believe those dragontaming shepherds started out as a group with the same weirdo hair but different skin colors?

That doesn't make much sense, even more so since George actually gives us 'black Targaryens' in the books with the descendants of Bellegere Otherys ... and their hair is distinctly not Valyrian.

4 hours ago, Sotan said:

You have really high expectations if you expect them to go into family history that deeply. Even if they decide to explain black Velaryons, I think the only history they'll go into is Jaehaerys' children and grandchildren. There's no need to go beyond that. 

Just go back to GoT and check what past events were referenced or talked about in that show. If we start 200 years earlier the most recent history is the reign of the Conciliator and then Maegor and Aenys and the Conqueror. They should all be mentioned, just as other famous Velaryons would be talked about - the famous other Corlys Velaryon, first Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Corlys' grandfather, the second Daemon Velaryon, who served as Hand of the King for some time, and then, of course, Queen Alyssa Velaryon, mother of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, great-grandmother of Rhaenys, Viserys, Daemon, and Aemma, and grandaunt of Corlys Velaryon.

I'm not saying they should tell the entire history of the Targaryen reign up to that point - but when introducing the Velaryons the way to go would be to point out, you know, how important they were for the Targaryens in the past. And to introduce the Targaryens you also have to situate Viserys I and his family in the larger world, point out who exactly they are, what they want, etc.

This is not going to work without history.

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