Game of Thrones always had an eye for combat. The small-scale battles were often exciting, like the Hound facing off against Brienne of Tarth, but the big-scale melees were almost always toppers. However, in just three episodes, House of the Dragon has already given us the Game of Thrones franchise's first great medium-sized confrontation.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.]
Daemon Targaryen gets to explain why he is one of the most feared warriors in the Seven Kingdoms. After receiving word from Daemons brother, King Viserys, the two men devise an all-or-nothing plan that is hidden from both the enemy and the House of the Dragons audience.
House of the Dragons' first big fight features something that many had not seen before. There are tens of thousands of extras in the fray, as well as blood and mud montages.
Corlys and Daemon may lead the Stepstones' final battle, but Laenor Velaryon's dragon, Seasmoke, wins the battle. It's also the first indication of how much larger the House of the Dragons' scale is.
The sight of a dragon crashing onto the battlefield and the scorching waves of Targaryen opponents would have been one of the most significant events in Game of Thrones' eight-season run. Its expected by everyone except the poor Crabfeeder, may he rest in peace. The battle itself is also an indication of how big House of the Dragon might be.
The majority of Game of Thrones' major battles were cordoned off into separate episodes. Things like the Wildling assault on Castle Black, Hardhome, the defense of Kings Landing, and the Battle of the Bastards all received the most attention during their runtime. While some fights later in the series, during seasons 7 and 8, included shorter battles, none of them lived up to the standards of previous conflicts, and were easily eclipsed by House of the Dragons' first open warfare attempt.
The Stepstones fight seems to be the perfect length to both demonstrate Daemons' ill-advised bravery and the dominance of dragons on the battlefield.
This first battle in the show shows that, due to the show's huge budget, huge battles can be fought at any time in House of the Dragon. Each episode has been given some more spontaneity and unpredictability, and, as you might expect, the ability to pull off some surprising big battles will come later on.