House of the Dragon Episode 3 is the first big medium-sized fight in the franchise

House of the Dragon Episode 3 is the first big medium-sized fight in the franchise ...

Game of Thrones on HBO always had an eye for combat. The little-scale battles were often interesting, like the Hound facing off against Brienne of Tarth, but the large-scale melees were usually top performers. But the one thing that was always missing from the show was the in-between. Thanks to just three episodes, the Game of Thrones franchise has already had its first major medium-sized battle.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.]

Daemon Targaryen gets to highlight why he is one of the most feared warriors in the Seven Kingdoms. The two receive word from Daemons brother, King Viserys, that the crown is sending assistance. Both men believe the intervention is a waste of time and effort.

House of the Dragons' first big fight involves something that is instantly recognisable as a Game of Thrones battle. There are tens of thousands of extras in the mix, as well as blood and mud packed close-up kills, and the slow focus on the main characters that most Thrones battles include.

Corlys and Daemon may lead the Stepstones' final battle, but Laenor Velaryon's dragon, Seasmoke, wins the contest, and it serves as a first indication of how much larger the House of the Dragons' scale is.

One of the biggest and most significant events in Game of Thrones' eight-season run would have been a dragon crashing onto the battlefield and scorching waves of Targaryen foes. Except the poor Crabfeeder, the fight itself is also an indicator of how big House of the Dragon might be.

The majority of Game of Thrones' greatest battles were separated from their own episodes. Things like the Wildling assault on Castle Black, Hardhome, the defense of Kings Landing, and the Battle of the Bastards all received the majority of an hour dedicated exclusively to them. While some fights later in the series, during seasons 7 and 8, featured shorter battles, none of them lived up to the standard of previous conflicts and were easily eclipsed by House of the Dragons' first open combat attempt.

Although the majority of dragon fighting conflicts felt half-baked and like they were slashed (possibly due to the costs of the dragon visual effects that were often included in them), the Stepstones confrontation feels like the perfect length to both demonstrate Daemons' unadvised bravery and the power of dragons on the battlefield.

This first battle in the show shows that thanks to the show's massive budget, huge battles are ready to break out at any time in House of the Dragon. This allows each episode to have a bit more spontaneity and unpredictability, as well as the ability to execute some unexpected big battles later on.