House Of The Dragon Will 'Get To The Spectacle' Of War In Season 2

For a show that I have had my issues with, one of my favorite elements about "House of the Dragon" is its commitment to generally playing out the drama out in scenes of people talking in rooms. With "Game of Thrones," my favorite scenes were always the moments of backroom wheeling and dealing between characters who each did not have the most upstanding morality, looking for a way to accrue more power. Putting a couple of great actors across from one another in a battle of wits ... now, that's the juice.

Of course, when your show has massive armies, swords with names, and a bunch of dragons, a lot of people tune into the world of Westeros expecting a bit of grand spectacle. "Game of Thrones" set some high bars when it comes to action sequences on television, but "House of the Dragon" has had very little in the way of battles or set pieces in comparison. For those hungry for the carnage and bloodshed of war, you will not have to wait all that much longer according to showrunner Ryan Condal, who promises that the spectacle is not too far away.

Speaking to The Times (via Deadline), Condal said of their plan:

"We will get to the spectacle ... But you have to understand these people's complexities before they're thrown into war. [Season] 2 will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of 'Game of Thrones,' but it will have been earned, and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in."

Understanding character before conflict

The reasoning behind why Ryan Condal and his co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik structured the series this way makes quite a lot of sense. Jumping right into the fighting and mayhem would feel incredibly hollow so early into the story. 

As far as the large-scale spectacle in "House of the Dragon" season 1, that has basically amounted to the battle against the Crabfeeder all the way back in episode 3, "Second of His Name," and ironically, that battle goes against the principle Condal put forth in that quote. We know nothing about the Crabfeeder, many of the people in the battle, or much about why that war was being fought, and thus, the battle was a bit unsatisfying.

Most of the spectacle from season 1 is more on the level of Rhaenys disrupting Aegon's coronation in the penultimate episode. There's some carnage (though the deaths of who knows how many normal people isn't of much concern to the show), but it's more of a grand gesture than an action scene. The tensest showdown this season was when Alicent lunged at Rhaenyra with the catspaw dagger, which was a brief flash of rage. We still have the season finale to see if there's one last bit of spectacle before the hiatus, but expect the Dance of the Dragons to truly kick off in season 2.