House of the Dragon rekindles Game of Thrones magic for Targaryen history

House of the Dragon rekindles Game of Thrones magic for Targaryen history ...

In episode 3, many argue that Prince Aegon should be the next ruler of Westeros (he is the firstborn son of King Viserys) while others insist the throne is still Rhaenyras (he is the actual firstborn and named heir). It's enough to drive poor Viserys, father and king, crazy. He wants a clear sign of the right path with the mention of a white stag running around the Kingswood.

The stag isn't what he imagined, although one of the helpers who holds it in place so the king may kill it agrees, it is still a big lad, but the animal isn't white. This moment is staged, underwhelming, and lacking the clear symbolism he so clearly seeks, providing no clarity about who the gods desire to show their favor to.

The other places they see the enormous white stag is at a cliffside in the morning. By design, Rhaenyra (Fabien Frankel) stares it down, prevents Ser Criston (Fabien Frankel) from killing it, and let it go. The whole scene feels a bit mystical, tapping into the type of magic Game of Thrones used to employ to keep its high fantasy characters guessing.

The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is unpredictable and randomly spread throughout the world. No religion had a clear grasp on magic, but none of them had a clear grasp on it. There were different faces, reanimation, and ghost demon babies, all of whom existed with the same certainty as lightning or a vision from looking into a fire.

House of the Dragon is a reconstructed version of the Fire & Blood book. The book itself is a fairly dry recounting of the events as told by three individuals who witnessed (or witnessed) them. While George R.R. Martin brought whole characters back to life in the shows that were left dead, Fire & Blood reads more like a textbook, without the more otherworldly elements of Martin's world.

The stag hunt in episode 3, similar to the dream of Aegon the Conquerors from episode 1, is a step back toward a more certain otherworldly world of Thrones. This time the story may be one we know the end of, but the signs along the way are more ambiguous. For example, the Iron Throne appears to those who may be worthy, and the white stag appears to those who might be.