After much anxiety on the part of the cast and crew, it appears House of the Dragon is a hit. Is it a Game of Thrones-level sensation? Still too early to tell, although it’s already got an MVP in Paddy Considine’s perpetually miserable king. There was one slight bone of contention, which shouldn’t be that controversial: In the sixth episode, halfway through its first season, there was a giant (well, 10-year) time jump. It even saw two of the main characters recast with older (still young) actresses. Well, the franchise’s creator noticed that, too..
George R. R. Martin — still a bit behind on that sixth Song of Ice and Fire installment, mind you— took to his blog to offer his positive but still slightly critical take on the jump in time. He says co-creator Ryan Condal has handled it “very well,” but notes that it is strange, especially in this age of epic, granular TV, when no stone is left unturned, every detail is filled in, and often times what could be a simple movie gets Stretch Armstronged into multiple seasons, to skip over so much story:
“Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and YES, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season), and everything else we had to skip? Sure.”
Still, he notes there “only so many minutes in an episode” and “only so many episodes in a season.” He also noted that TV is shorter these days:
“ When I was a boy, shows had 39 episodes a season. By the time I was writing for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it was down to 22. Cable shrunk that even further. THE SOPRANOS had 13 episodes per season, but just a few years later, GAME OF THRONES had only 10 (and not even that, those last two seasons). If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to ‘time jump’ over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too ‘slow,’ that ‘nothing happened.’”
He also praised all of the actors, singling out the ones playing Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey as a teen, Olivia Cooke as an adult) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock as a teen, Emma D’Arcy as an adult). Maybe next time he’ll weigh in on the show’s incredibly dark lighting.