PHP #14: House of the Dragon Season 1 Review and Season 2 Preview


In this episode of the Portable Hole Podcast, Ryan and Cynic discuss their recent experiences playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching a documentary about car theft. They also talk about their thoughts on the upcoming Crow reboot and the ending of the TV show The Boys. The main topic of the episode is a review of the first season of House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel series. They discuss the story, characters, performances, and their overall thoughts on the show. House of the Dragon.

00:00 Introduction

02:12 Playing Dungeons and Dragons and Car Theft

03:14 News: The Crow reboot is terrible

08:37 New Chapter

08:39 News: The Boys Ending with Season Five

10:42 The Acolyte Discussion

16:58 House of the Dragon Season 1 Recap and Season 2 Expectations

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Ryan (00:30)

Welcome to the portable hole podcast. I’m Ryan George and I’m here with my good friend, Cynic. Cynic, how are you doing today? Good, good. Can’t complain. A little, little tired. as we were talking earlier, I played a very long, D and D game last night that I’m very, I’m still recovering from. So it’s like, my problem, well, my second game, I guess, but like, it’s fun, but exhausting.

cinik (00:35)

Hey Ryan, how’s it going, pal?

Now is the DM trying to format it in a way where you guys gain a level every session?

Ryan (00:57)

So this was a one -off and actually the DM in this case was like kind of set created his own rule set. So it was fun. It was good for me because it was a little bit simpler than I think, you know, the fifth edition at this point. And so the barrier to entry was a little bit lower, but I think it’s kind of like a one -off game that, you know, they’re kind of ironing out the kinks and then it might kind of start a longer campaign, you know, based on how this was.

cinik (01:05)


It’s always been my dream to adapt a D &D campaign to Game of Thrones, where it’s done in Westeros. Yeah.

Ryan (01:26)

that’d be cool. Yeah, that would be awesome. That’d be a lot of fun. Well, speaking of, I guess, it makes for a good transition if we’re going to get to our review. But yeah, so what do you have to?

cinik (01:38)

Well, just recently, it wasn’t anything on TV, but I happened to come across this pseudo documentary on YouTube called The Connecticut Kia Boys by Channel 5 with Andrew Calligan, I think the guy’s name is. And it is an interesting look into kind of the modern teenager where I’m not sure if you’re aware of this and hopefully I’m not telling anybody that doesn’t already know, but…

Kia’s and Hyundai’s can pretty much be stolen with a flat head screwdriver and or a USB cord. And these teenagers in Connecticut know that and they’ll steal a few a day and make 50 to $100 a car by giving it to other criminals to go rob or pillage or basically commit crime and then they take it to salvage and make the money off the parts.

Ryan (02:12)

Mm -hmm.

wow. I had no idea. So has Kia like recalled cars to fix this or what’s going on?

cinik (02:36)

There was an update to stop most of it, but if you didn’t get your car updated, they’re still going to break your window and they’re still going to try. And then if it doesn’t work, they move on to the next gear. But it is a real problem because the cops chase them. They catch them. They’re underage. They let them go to their parents. So, Bridgeport, Connecticut is a bit of a mess with this.

Ryan (02:38)





And this is specifically happening in Bridgeport.

cinik (02:58)

Well, it’s grown all over the country where it’s almost like they’ve become their own gang and there’s different chapters. Not that they’re affiliated at all. Actually, they’re more in competition with each other. But yeah, I mean, the documentary itself follows kids in Connecticut doing this.

Ryan (03:06)

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. Wow. Okay, cool.

All right. Well, so for today, we don’t have a ton of news. I wanted to go cover two quick things. We’ll go over if you’re watching anything else besides that, and then we’ll get right to our main topic as we kind of highly anticipated season two of House of the Dragon. So the first news story, you actually brought it up today and it kind of confirms what I thought. But Cliff Dorman, who was, I guess, attached to the Crow reboot for a while, but no longer is, posted on Twitter effectively saying,

that it’s unwatchable and terrible.

cinik (03:46)

Yeah, I mean, I have a feeling it’s gonna be a complete mess. I just, I don’t have high hopes for it.

Ryan (03:49)


Yeah. Well, it’s been like in developmental hell for a while. And that, when we watch that trailer just looks terrible. Like it’s, it’s, you know, and I know I have a personal kind of like affinity for this, you know, property and I want it to be really, you know, great, but that, you know, that trailer just was not doing it. You know, it looks, it looks really bad and hearing that, you know, words coming out that it’s unwatchable is not, not as not shocking. Cause that trailer did not do it any favors.

cinik (04:20)

Yeah, it just looked like an emo John Wick ripoff. It really did. It didn’t hit any of the emotional heartbeats that the original Crow movie did. It didn’t look very, one thing that I loved about the original Crow movie was that it felt like it popped right out of a comic book. Definitely one of my favorite movies of all time. And Dwight Schrute’s for that matter.

Ryan (04:22)

Yeah, you know, you’re right. Absolutely. Yeah, kind of have that style.


Yeah. And it’s like, it’s, it’s got, it’s got a lot of heart and it’s, you’re right. Like, it looks like, it looks like it comes out of comic. And I think that’s a perfect, description that you said, like, it really looks like it’s trying to be John Wick and.

cinik (04:56)

And it’s one of the top five music movie soundtracks of all time.

Ryan (04:59)

God, yeah. Yeah, if not like top, you know, two or three or right up there, but it’s such a great soundtrack. I think I was telling you guys a while back that I rewatched it. It was on and we just said, let’s watch it. Movie totally holds up. And then I was like, well, I got to listen to soundtrack now and like spent a few days just going through that soundtrack again. And yeah, it’s just it’s great. You know, still holds up. Awesome.

cinik (05:22)

Just about every single band other than maybe one or two I actually was into when that soundtrack came out. So for me it was like a double whammy where the movie was great and they were shedding light on the cure and Nice Nails and Thrill Kill Cult and bands like that that really weren’t all that popular at the time.

Ryan (05:29)

Yeah. Yeah.


Yeah, yeah, no, but it’s great. Definitely. Yeah, I will not go see this movie. You know, unless like, it comes out and it’s the greatest thing ever. But it just it just looks terrible and not worth seeing. So yeah, I have no interest and will not be going to see this reboot.

cinik (05:57)

So you don’t even think that you’d watch it ironically, huh?

Ryan (06:00)

It doesn’t look like it’s worth it. It seems like it takes itself too seriously. At the same time as it’s trying to be John Wick and it’s like not, I don’t think it really is staying true to the heart of the comic or the original movie. Like again, I’m not a stickler for like it has to be exactly like a comic, but like we talked about before, I think the movie strays from the comic in ways that work. So I was kind of excited that maybe we’ll get something a little bit closer to what we get in the comic.

But this is definitely not that, but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna be good either. So, you know, it doesn’t really seem like it’s true to the heart of the original. So yeah, I will be steering clear unless like, there is a very real reason for me to watch it, which it does not seem like even watching it ironically. It’s not worth my free, you know, not free, but not worth my like, I can see movies because I have the MC, you know, movie, whatever pass. And I’m, you know, like it’s not even worth the time that it would take me to get to the theater.

cinik (06:53)

I don’t know if I told you guys when we talked about this before or not, but I actually shared a elevator with, it’s James O ‘Obar, right? Yeah, I shared an elevator with him. I didn’t know, because I had no idea what he looked like. But when we got off the elevator, he kind of wandered over to his booth. We were at the Connecticut Comic -Con and yeah, it was ripe with authors and artists and illustrators and stuff. They have a whole section just devoted to him, kind of like the way it’s set up in New York City. And…

Ryan (07:00)


Okay. Yeah.



cinik (07:22)

Yeah, so I, you know, I said hello to him and stuff and, but I didn’t really, I wish I would have known because I would have chatted a month or more. You know, I got to meet my favorite author while I was there, which was a lot of fun, which is a guy by the name of R .A. Salvatore, who’s done a huge allotment of Dungeons and Dragons novels.

Ryan (07:25)


Yeah, I

Okay. cool. Yeah, I did. So I got to meet him briefly at a Comic -Con. It was cool. I bought a, I got a crow print. I got a Batman print of his. So it’s like two of my favorite characters. And I got one that was, you know, print of James O ‘Barr and I got him to sign the graphic novel. So that was cool, you know, cause yeah, it’s like probably my favorite graphic novel slash comic of all time. And so yeah, that was cool to meet him. And that story, like if you ever listened to the interview, you know, that he gives about what, where the, this, the story came from, it’s pretty heartbreaking.

cinik (07:54)

Very cool.

Ryan (08:09)

and you know, it’s like, I mean, he got this brilliant workout of it, but it was, it was a lot to go through to get there and he clearly went through a lot. But, all right. So we’ll get to our second news story, which is that we just came out today. I just read it today that it looks like the boys is going to end with season five. So we have season four coming up, but that they’re going to end the series with season five. And I, I’m not, again, I’m not sure exactly how accurate this is, but it looks like it’s gonna be broken into part one and part two. But, what are your thoughts on that? That we’re, we’re seeing the end of the boys.

cinik (08:38)

I mean, I think that you could definitely do spinoffs with some of the characters, but I kind of feel like two more seasons in the story is going to be told. You know, I’m not quite sure how much more we can do, you know, with Homelander and Billy and the rest of the group, but I’ve loved it so far. I mean, I liked it. Honestly, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

Ryan (08:53)


cinik (09:02)

So it’s been a fun ride. It’s one of the shows I’ve yet to get my wife into, but I really want to before the new season because I don’t want to have to sneak it in after she goes to bed. That’s porn time, really.

Ryan (09:10)

Yeah, well yeah, the thing is like it’s such a you know it’s a great show but I think like with most things I’d rather not see something you know stay out it’s welcome and I don’t feel like it’s getting old or that it’s getting boring but I could definitely see a show like that like it’s you know every season is constantly trying to one -up itself you know in terms of like the graphic content and and and just the insanity of it so you know it makes sense like okay

Like go balls to the wall, like go all out for the next two seasons and with a bang and that’s that, right? Like there’s no, you know, like it’s telling the story it wants to tell. And in a lot of ways, like, you know, obviously the original comic was written, you know, a long time ago, right? But, but this version of it has come out, you know, in the era of kind of in this kind of weird political climate that we’ve been in, you know, ever since 2016. And so it kind of feel, and it definitely feels of its time and not that it’s an overly political.

show, but it has the elements that it does address. And I think it feels very relevant to this time. And maybe it makes sense that, okay, you know, good for better or worse, you know, towards the end of this year, we’re kind of, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re reaching the kind of climax of, you know, of the last whatever, you know, you know, eight years or whatever it is. And so maybe it makes sense that the show starts to wind down as well, because maybe we’re heading into hopefully a new different era, but it works.

cinik (10:35)

Yeah, let’s hope before people end up in camps. But jumping back to last week a little bit, because I was very, I don’t like being harsh on anything that’s put out because there’s people that are far more talented than I could ever dream to be behind these shows and these stories and, you know, the screenplays and art direction and costume design and that supremely talented. And I hate being critical of anything.

Ryan (10:38)


cinik (11:05)

Like I and I felt like I was overly critical of the acolyte and I went back and I watched it again with an open mind and I think what bothered me about it Was that I actually liked it in a lot in a lot of ways. I just don’t like the nonsense surrounding it I don’t like the agenda behind it I don’t like the the you pushing your beliefs onto me and then telling me I’m wrong because I don’t want that in my life like I don’t want someone to you know, I’m

Ryan (11:19)

Mm -mm.

Mm. Mm.

cinik (11:34)

fine because I work at a big job with a lot of people and I work with every walk of life and 99 % of them I get along with. My thing is that it’s my choice to get along with them. I’m not being told that I’m wrong if I don’t want to. And I think that was a lot of it, was the sit down and shut up of it that really bothered me because a lot of the characters after the second viewing were very good. The choreographed…

Ryan (11:59)

Mm -hmm.

cinik (12:03)

choreography, fight choreography was amazing. This was a lot of what I wanted to see in Jedi. The interesting two -sided to a Jedi Knight who always wanted to pull a saber and fight everybody with it to a master where they only used it when it was do or die. There was just a lot of things that I absolutely liked about it. I just wish that we could get entertainment again that didn’t have that…

Ryan (12:09)

Mm -mm.


cinik (12:31)

that caveat to it that, you know, that, well, here’s a Star Wars property, but you know, you’re going to have to deal with this x, y, and z. And the funny part about it is Star Wars in itself is kind of political, you know, but it’s not real world politics. And I think that’s what we wanted to escape from because we’re so knee deep in it in everyday life.

Ryan (12:39)

Yeah, well.

Yeah. Well, I think I would push back a little bit, because I think like it was like, you know, the original Star Wars is coming out off the heels of the Vietnam War and the very clear parallels to that. So I think the bigger issue is like, I don’t you everybody has an agenda. Everyone has a perspective and people and it is totally fine to write that into your stories, into your work. But I think the problem is like is kind of twofold. Like we were talking about one is.

Okay. They’re going to be people, loud people on the internet that are going to complain about anything that’s not exactly what they want. And so part one was if you’re going to write the story the way you’re going to write it, when those people yell, you know, you don’t need to then say, well, shut up and sit down. Like just tell your story, have the, you know, whatever the agenda is. The other part is that it should be kind of in, melted into the story in a way that it doesn’t feel forced. And so I think some of the issue is that like, if it feels forced,

it just becomes more prominent. And yeah, like everybody’s, you know, everyone’s telling a story from a perspective that they want. And I think that’s fine as long as it’s a good story. And then the like, sit down and shut up and if at all, then changes the narrative and the discussion. So we’re now we’re discussing, look at these, the crazy comments and not like, look at this interesting story or look, they’re, they’re trying to include, you know, be inclusive. Cool.

it becomes, you know, they’re telling people that they’re wrong for not like whatever it is. And it’s just like, like the narrative changes where I think if, if, if everything’s the same, but there’s not the kind of combativeness between the, the, you know, whoever is complaining about it. I think that would be a little bit different, but because there’s a combativeness again, it’s like the story becomes different. It shifts from, you know, just like, okay, is this Star Wars thing good or like what, what the hell is the show runner doing? Why are they like yelling at people and what’s going on?

cinik (14:42)

Well, it’s never a good thing to come out and attack the people that are essentially paying your salary and allowing you to continue to work. You know, so I think that there needs to be some sort of better conflict resolution on Disney’s side that way. Like Lucasfilm needs to find a way to tell their stories, but still listen to the fan base. But I do feel like it’s not, I think it’s a small percentage of the loud majority that just hates Star Wars. They say they’re fans, but nothing’s good enough. Like,

Ryan (14:44)





Yeah, I think that’s part of it.

cinik (15:12)

We any Star Wars fan worth their salt loves Tatooine because it’s where it all began and it was like during the Mandalorian It was here we fucking go. We’re going back to Tatooine again. It’s like come on, dude You know does it does the planet matter? Well, you know through all if we support these projects will eventually see everything You know if his home base is Tatooine or he goes there a lot I mean, that’s you know, it’s fan service, but it’s also a familiar location like there’s a brand new Star Wars game coming out and

Ryan (15:20)

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.


cinik (15:40)

you know, Tatooine is one of the places you go. And to me, that’s that’s Star Wars. But I think that you’ve got a small percentage of the population that isn’t gonna like anything that’s done.

Ryan (15:51)

Yeah. And so it’s not, don’t know the ones that populate that percentage. Like we don’t need to give them the voice that we’re giving them by like being combative like that, you know, and that’s probably.

cinik (16:01)

Yeah, I didn’t want to show up for this taping with a make Star Wars great again hat and socks with sandals on because that’s not the type of fan I am. And I hate the fact that it actually made me feel that way. Like it just aggravated me to the point where, you know, I didn’t even want to see reason. I just want to turn on my TV, zone out and watch a Star Wars film.

Ryan (16:05)

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, well, yeah, so hopefully, hopefully, you know, the show’s kind of turns out around a little bit. I think there’s a lot there is a lot you write like there’s a lot to like, and I think we were talking about, you know, the, you know, first, first episodes are hard, because you’re trying to do a lot. And maybe once the now that it’s kind of established the world, maybe that it’ll start to pick up a little bit and give us some more, you know, some interesting stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I forgot I didn’t even mention that as far as the logical issues. But yeah.

cinik (16:38)

Yeah, we just need more logic in the writing. That’s all. No fighters in space because it makes no sense.

Yeah, we completely missed that and I watched a different review and they’re like, I saw me and it was like, this is what happens when you don’t have met around demands plane.

Ryan (16:48)


All right, so let’s get to our main topic, which is you do a little bit of like a house of the dragon. I didn’t even know, not even a review, but just kind of talking about, talk about season one, what we liked, what we didn’t and kind of our expectations go into the season two. We’ll kind of go through our format just cause it makes it a little bit easier since we’re covering a whole season. So we’re going to start with the story. And I guess before we get started,

When you go way back before the, before House of the Dragon started, were you excited about a new show that was set a hundred years, you know, however long before Game of Thrones, that was going to be focused on the Targaryens? Like, did that interest you, you know, to start?

cinik (17:36)

In a way, I mean, I think we were all left with a bad taste in our mouth from the last season of Game of Thrones. So it was a little hard in that manner to get excited about it. And I am guilty of like the Old Republic and this golden era that we’re watching and all the Star Wars eras before it. If it’s not attached to the original story, I have a hard time growing fond of it. But I think after the first episode, which was very good,

Ryan (17:59)


cinik (18:03)

I can tell you this, if you were lukewarm about that show, if you go back and you watch it now that we’re closer to the second season, it’s phenomenal. It’s immensely better than I gave it credit for the first time through.

Ryan (18:16)

Yeah. yeah. Yeah. I know it’s such a good show. It’s so well done. and yeah, like I think, you know, I’m kind of the opposite. If you’re going to give me a prequel or property, it doesn’t, I’d rather it be unconnected or as, as loosely connected as possible more because you, we know what happens. So if we know what happens in the story, then I, you know, at least give me something else where like that story is going to end up somewhere where I have.

I don’t know. And I guess in this way, like we know where who ends up on the iron throne, but it’s far enough away. It’s detached enough that like, it’s a whole, it’s its own world and its own characters that like, you know, we’re interested in invested what it, in what happens to them. So, you know, I’m okay as long as I’m not, you know, if, if it’s too directly connected to what’s happening, like let’s say we get a story about Robert’s rebellion, right? Like that, like if we get a, if we get a game, you know, a kind of game of Thrones ish type show about that.

we know what happens at the end. So I don’t really care to see Robert’s rebellion because like very directly, we know exactly what happens. So giving us this, I think worked, you know, and also that, yeah. Yeah.

cinik (19:17)

You know, I actually kind of disagree with you on that. I would love to see that because it’s connected to the story that I love. So I think the big thing would be then people being upset about the casting. Like, he doesn’t look like Robert and that guy doesn’t look like Ned. But I would love to see that story play out.

Ryan (19:24)


Yeah. Yeah.

I guess, but it’s like we know what happened. So I almost feel like maybe like a mini series about it or like a film might work. But if you’re giving me like a five season series, like come on, you’re gonna be dragging out something too long that, I don’t know. But I get that too, because it’s like, these are the characters you love, it’s the stories that we love. But I think maybe that’s also where like with Star Wars with the prequels.

you know, didn’t quite work. And, you know, in addition to all the other, you know, the messiness of it, it’s like, we kind of know where the story goes. So you have to be very, the writing has to be very, you know, you’re, you’re walking a very tight line because the, the, the end result is not really going to be the payoff. Cause we know what the end result is. You have to, you have to make that journey interesting. And that’s where the prequel didn’t quite work. It’s like the journey wasn’t very interesting. And then we get to the payoff and it’s, it’s Vader screaming, no, it’s that also didn’t work all that well.

But I don’t know, I just feel like, you know, I think then you have to, it takes some skill to write something that’s that close to what we know.

cinik (20:38)

Yeah, I agree. And I think there’s another one filming or getting ready to film that’s right behind it. So we’re definitely going to get more Game of Thrones. And it feels like the pilots are falling out more than they’re being picked up. But I’m hoping that’s just HBO doing kind of quality control. So they continue. Because as far as quality, this show is every bit as much quality as the Game of Thrones that we fell in love.

Ryan (20:49)



Makes sense.

Yeah, no, that’s fair. All right, so this story is much more focused than Game of Thrones, right? Game of Thrones, you’re bouncing all over Westeros. You have a lot of different characters, a lot of different lead characters, and this one is primarily focused on King’s Landing, and it’s really focused on two families for the most part. Did you like that change of pace, that it was not as widespread and not as broad of a show and didn’t try to…

not as maybe even ambitious as Game of Thrones was.

cinik (21:40)

I think it’s just a different show. It’s, you know, Game of Thrones tied in, but it’s completely different. And I think that was the big thing for me was that too many of the characters looked exactly alike. And that made it hard to track the first time watching it through. Like, you know, I felt like by the time I figured out who the original cast was, we already did a time jump. And, you know, and then there was a small, another small time jump. And it’s like,

All right, I kind of wish that they would have slowed the story down just a little bit and maybe we only got one time jump at the end of the season.

Ryan (22:20)

So I’m with you and I’m not with you. I understand it. So I think when we get to performances too, I think, as we talked about at the time when we were on the Cinec Radio podcast, the Miley Alcock performance is so good that I would almost say, yeah, you know what, give me a full season with just her as Renair. She’s such a good, she’s so good in that role. But I feel like my issue is almost that not enough, I mean, not that not enough happens, a lot of stuff happens.

But like, we’re here for the war, right? We’re here for this Targaryen war, like kind of Targaryen civil war. And so if we were to drag this out even longer, would that make it, like, would you be okay waiting until season three, you know, to get the really, to get this war beginning in earnest?

cinik (23:09)

I mean, if we had more meat on the bones, if they found more to do with the characters, then yeah, I think I would probably, at least season two, you know, but it just was very jarring that we received, you know, two time jumps in one season. And you’re right, like I kind of wish they would have kept the original Renara. But going back to what I was saying a little bit, like we have Damon and Aiman and they look exactly the fucking like, other than, you know, one’s wearing an eye patch.

Ryan (23:25)


Yeah. Yeah.

cinik (23:38)

It’s to me that was the the harder to to grasp about the story. But I didn’t mind that we weren’t, you know, at the wall or because I was such a mark that even them just mentioning just mentioning like Kingsland or just mentioning any of the other areas like the Erie or, you know, Storbs End or, you know, you know, they even talked about.

Ryan (23:44)


cinik (24:04)

Winterfell in the north that just excited me on the possibility that we could see some of those characters again not the the characters that we know but you know the descendants of

Ryan (24:12)

Yeah, exactly. Like, you know, you’d be a big upper Brathian or Stark and it’s like you get all you know, get a little excited about about that. So that makes that makes sense. Yeah, exactly. So how do you like it’s one of the complaints not not even a complaint, but like, there’s a lot of political maneuvering in the original Game of Thrones. And it’s very talky. At times you think this showed it a better job of kind of balancing the political maneuvering with the kind of action and, you know, exciting moments in the in the show.

cinik (24:18)

Yeah, the, the, the breath thing they showed, he just looked crazed, sitting on that throne.

Yeah, I think so. I mean, the real political maneuvering really didn’t happen until the last couple episodes. So it was it was always the threat of that happening. Like, you know, Renard’s biggest mistake was leaving King’s Landing and going to Dragonstone because, you know, out of sight out of mind. But yeah, I overly enjoyed overall. I enjoyed just about everything about the show. Like I don’t have any major critiques or, you know, wants that I didn’t get.

Ryan (24:45)




Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, and I tend to agree with you on that. Like it really, you know, I think, I think, you know, they balance things well. I think it was shocking. You know, it’s interesting because you have this show that’s a, you know, a prequel to, you know, a show that is both loved and hated because of how it ended. And so, you know, nobody was sure what to think, you know, is this going to be good? Are they going to, you know, are we going to get like kind of a retread of what we got in season eight? Are they, where are they going to go? And so I think it was really, I was pleasantly surprised. I think it was a show that like, it, it,

dropped from like the cultural lexicon so quickly because of how the last season or so went that it was pleasantly surprising how good the show was and how excited it got me about this property again. And let’s be fair, I wasn’t as down on I think the season eight of Game of Thrones as a lot of people were.

cinik (25:56)

Yeah, I agree with there.

I think it was really, it just boiled down to decision making. Like some of this stuff that they did just didn’t make sense in my eyes. And you had a ton of people out there naming their kids Daenerys and Khaleesi. And next thing you know, you know, she’s burning innocence alive. So I think that was always probably the plan for her because I mean, they foreshadowed it forever that, you know, her temper was there. It was just, I think a small part of me wanted to see Jon Snow save her from herself.

Ryan (26:13)





Yeah. But yeah, unfortunately it’s not, not, not in the cards. Yeah. Seriously. all right. So let’s go to performances. So I mentioned, so I mentioned, Miley Alcock, I thought she was phenomenal in it. And I kind of, you know, wish, you know, that is one thing is like, wish we kind of got more of her, you know, maybe even aged her up as, and, you know, to continue, not that the, that, the older version of her, Emma Darcy is not good. She’s, she’s great, but what are some other standout performances for you?

cinik (26:33)

Love wins y ‘all.

For me, it was definitely Matt Smith. I mean…

Ryan (27:00)


I’m sorry. Yeah, I’m listening. Sorry. Yeah.

cinik (27:06)

No, no worries. To me, it was definitely Matt Smith was the MVP of the cast. He was just wild and you just never knew what he was going to do next and, you know, total bad house guest and bad brother. But yeah, he was a lot of fun to watch and just appeared dangerous at all moments, especially with what he did to the crab feeder. It was, you know, everything about the character worked.

Ryan (27:10)


Thank you.

Yeah. Yeah. No, Matt Smith is right up there with Miley Alcock as far as performances go. She’s, she’s, I mean, he’s, he was just awesome, you know, and he’s just chaotic and kind of irascible and just never know what he was going to do. And, and just kind of slimy, but in kind of like a cool way, and totally kind of unexpected performance, like not something that I had expected out of him as that character. but, but yeah, he was awesome.

anyone, any other, any other performances that stand out for you?

cinik (28:03)

Probably the guy that played Lord Laris. You know, even though I felt like he was kind of doing a poor man’s little finger. But he was still, he stole the screen every single time he was on. Who’s the guy that played Viserys, Paddy Consign? Yeah, I thought his best acting came towards the end when he was near his death.

Ryan (28:07)

Okay, yeah, yeah.



yeah, patty con – Considine. Yeah.


cinik (28:29)

Like, you know, just the decrepit king trying to keep it together. And you know it was good because towards the end of the episode, you’re just screaming at him about his indecisiveness and his willing not to put his foot down about anything, you know, because he wanted to keep everybody kind of together in good graces.

Ryan (28:32)


Yeah. Yeah.


Yeah. And honestly, like it’s really like an all -star cast. Like, you know, you’ve got like, you know, Steve Toussaint plays Corlys is great. Eve Best has that, who plays Princess Reynis, who’s also amazing and has that amazing like badass scene where she, you know, escapes from the dragon pit on her dragon. So, you know, there are, and even like, even the ones that play, is it Aiman, the second kid? Aiman, right?

Like the two kids that play him kind of like they look like that evil kind of, you know, evil kid that, you know, like what that character should be. So I think, I think that, you know, the casting deserves a lot of kudos for, for, you know, putting together like just everybody fit their roles near perfect.

cinik (29:34)

yeah, and Kristen Cole too, the Fabian and Frankel. Yeah, he was great in the scenes that he was in. I love the chafed Kingsguard, just the lover scorned. He jumped right to the other side and kind of was undermining everything that Renara tried to do. And I love the scene where he turned around and dropped the C -bomb and Alison just kind of like, we win this through D to D and grace.

Ryan (30:01)


cinik (30:03)

It was great. Even though like I’m firmly team black, I thought they did a good job making a case for team green within the story.

Ryan (30:06)


Yeah, absolutely. So now, I know you mentioned you kind of had a little bit of a hard time with the big time jump, but what do you think about the cohesiveness, I guess, of like the performances when they did make those time jumps? Do you feel like the actors all kind of embodied the same roles? Did it take you out of it or did it at least work based on how they did it?

cinik (30:29)

Yeah, I thought the older actors actually did a better job as the characters, except for Renara. I like the younger version of Renara like you do. But yeah, Allison, all of them, you could see why they were cast. And they were close enough to looking to the younger versions that it wasn’t jarring for that.

reason. It was more jarring because we’re in the first season of a show, you’re trying to learn 15 characters, and then they’re going to switch up as you know, everything about them and move the story forward that way. You know that they go from being kids to having kids, which is like, all right, well, now we got to learn all these kids, you know, it just became a little. Yeah.

Ryan (31:10)

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it gets a lot. The names are kind of similar. So it’s like, you know, forever. All it is, it’s like, you really need it. Like, I don’t know what I would have done if like, or not. I, it would have taken me all of the season to get reoriented. If I didn’t rewatch season one, I guess you could, you know, you could watch a.

you know, YouTube video and recap it, but there’s just so much going on and so many different characters that it does become a little overwhelming, you know, kind of remember what Game of Thrones was like, too. It’s like, it’s a lot like it’s, it’s, it is it’s work, you know, like TV. So should not should necessarily be like hard work. But but it definitely felt like that at times with House of the Dragon.

cinik (31:41)


But as somebody that you’ve read the books as well, the TV show isn’t even a drop of what the books are. It just feels like he loves introducing a new character in every single paragraph.

Ryan (31:55)

No. Yeah.

Yeah. yeah. It’s insane. It’s insanity. So yeah, there’s a lot, a lot going on, but definitely, you know, I, I enjoy it and, and it’s like, we just have to put that head on. Like, that’s like, all right, I gotta put my, my like game of Thrones, you know, hat hat on and now like be focused on these names and characters and connections and stuff. So, you know, it’s fun. Exactly. Seriously. Yeah. Yep. Seriously.

cinik (32:17)

Well, you gotta have a whiteboard with cards looking for Papi Sylvia, like, you know, just keep track of all these.

Ryan (32:25)

All right, so let’s get to, so like, is there, you know, as far as it feels, like I think there were some really big moments in the show. What are the ones that you, is there anything that stands out to you, like the big, you know, hard hitting moment that really worked for you for season one?

cinik (32:38)

Wow, that’s a good question. I mean, I think the death at childbirth, those were two really rough scenes where Viserys lost his wife and then Aemon lost his. Even though she died the Dragon Rider’s death, it was still tough to watch because, you know, you’re just put in this position where it’s you or the child, but even if you choose the child, you’re not sure that either one of you are going to live. So, yeah, those were two of the bigger, more emotional.

Ryan (32:43)

Yeah, I was Yeah, they’re brutal.





cinik (33:08)

scenes in the show for me.

Ryan (33:10)

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think, yeah, I would say that. Like I think, I know a lot of people made fun of the show for like all of the deaths and childbirth, but like they worked, you know, it’s brutal. And they work in that world. And, you know, it’s hard to watch, but I think it was useful and important for the story they were telling. And it works. You know, I love that you brought up the crab feeder scene. That was just kind of like that triumphant kind of badass.

scene like that, you know, I love watching and I love that that the very pretty much the last scene in the show where where I’m a man is a What’s what’s the prince’s name? Renear his son where you know, he’s chasing him on dragon back or whatever and and kills him and that and like everybody did their role perfectly right? A man is like, you know terrorizing him and trying to play with him then

panics when he realized he does not have control of his dragon. And then the shock of, crap, what did I just do to Rene’s her look? The last thing we see for the season. I think that all worked so well that I was like pissed that, you know, we’re going to have to wait like a year and a half or however long we had to wait for the season. But, but I think, you know, the show did, you know, again, some great, a great job at like those hard hitting moments as well as like any season, I think of Game of Thrones.

cinik (34:15)


Absolutely, I agree with you there. The end scenes were brutal and not just brutal because we watched somebody get chomped to death. And by the way, that dragon is too fucking big. It was bigger than the castle. It’s like you’re not riding that thing. And why didn’t he just get back on his dragon and bolt when he saw it there? Like why still go in? You know, I’d rather go back to Dragonstone and get a talking to for my mom than the…

Ryan (34:37)

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Seriously.

Yeah, yeah, seriously. Yeah.

cinik (34:55)

you know, go in there and then have to try to fly home in front of that. I can’t, it was like an aircraft carrier in the sky.

Ryan (35:00)

Yeah, yeah, seriously. So now, speaking of so we’ll get to like audiovisual. So what were your thoughts on the dragons? Like obviously we saw lots of dragons, or not lots, but we saw dragons in Game of Thrones. Like I thought they really took it up a notch. Like these dragons looked a lot better to me than they ever did really in Game of Thrones. And I love those, when we did get those brief dragon battle, that was beautiful. The way they shot it, the weather, the kind of lightning in the background. I mean, they did an amazing job. So I think this show really took it up a notch with the CGI.

What were your thoughts on how they got the dragons together? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

cinik (35:33)

Well, I think they almost have to, right? I mean, it is called House of the Dragons. If they didn’t deliver the CGI budget, you know, if they’re just skimping like they did with Ghost on Game of Thrones, I lost Ryan. If they’re just skimping like they did on Game of Thrones, then, you know, it would be bad. You need dragons in House of the Dragons. So yeah, I think they did, you know, they did them a service for sure, other than, you know, my brief disagreement with how big the one dragon was, the who was.

Ryan (35:49)



cinik (36:02)

Was it, it was demons, wasn’t it? Yeah, just too big.

Ryan (36:05)


Yeah, seriously. What is wrong? My mic is not… Yeah, it’s annoying. And it will not… We’re gonna have to deal with some not so great audio for the next time, for the rest of the episode. We’re almost done. So now what about… So one thing, so obviously this takes place 100 or so years, I forget the exact amount of time before the original, or before Game of Thrones.

cinik (36:12)

You got all kinds of shit going on over there.

Ryan (36:36)

Did the costuming or the set pieces or anything indicate that or did it pretty much just look like it was Game of Thrones?

cinik (36:43)

No, I think it did. I mean, I think the biggest difference through as far as the set or anything visual would be the throne itself. It’s funny because it was like, Viserys got so cut up on it that they must have just tossed the old throne out and made another one that was a little more usable because who’s sitting on that when you know that you’re going to be cut at every turn?

Ryan (36:56)

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no. But I did like… yeah.

cinik (37:08)

Visually, visually much better than the original show, but functionality wise, fuck that.

Ryan (37:15)

Yeah, yeah, I love the look of it. No, they did a really good job. No, I think visually, yeah, it’s a step above. Obviously, it’s a show with a lot more budget than we had the first few seasons of Game of Thrones. And you’re right, great point. It’s about dragons, so they better get those dragons right. And I think they definitely nail it there. And then finally, were there any issues, any major issues or glaring things that stood out for you that you didn’t like about the show, besides the rapid time jumps, which are jarring, definitely.

cinik (37:17)


No, I mean other than the similarities in characters,

Ryan (37:45)


cinik (37:49)

I did have a problem when she broke free with the Dragon of the Dragonpit that she just stood there with the instrument to end the war and instead she decides to fly off and give a warning to Rhaenyra. That bothered me a little bit. It’s like have her up on a mountain somewhere screaming down. Don’t have her within dragonfire. Besides that, I can’t think it to… well, in the whole thing with the crab feeder where Daemon decides he’s going to end the war.

Ryan (37:56)



Yeah, exactly.

cinik (38:15)

They’ve been at this for years, but he decides he’s gonna end the war today. So he does it’s like where was this the whole time and You have dragons they don’t like how do you not win this war within a matter of hours? Yeah, cuz every time they come at you set the dragon at the cave and you just throw fireballs down the cave and it’s game over so there was little things like that, but it didn’t affect the story enough for me to to drop numbers or anything.

Ryan (38:18)

Yeah, yeah, that’s right.

Yeah, seriously.

Yeah, no, that’s fair. Yeah, I totally agree. I think they did such a good job with everything else that like those those feel more like nitpicks were on like a lesser show. Maybe they would stand out more. But I agree. I think when you have those major moments of like, yeah, you could have ended the war. That’s a that’s a big lift for me to like look past. But like, OK, whatever. Well, I’ll accept the very, very thin logic behind that. But otherwise, no, I think I think they generally nailed the writing. And.

wore many parts for me to think, this is bad, or this is like illogical. So what are you looking forward to for season two?

cinik (39:17)

I mean, I want to see where this goes. I really don’t think that they’re saying that there’s basically less source material than the original Game of Thrones, which is true because I believe it’s only one book, right?

Ryan (39:26)

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, well, so what it is is like, you know, Game of Thrones is a true novel, right? So it reads like a real novel. Like all the books are, you know, very much, you know, you’re in minds of characters. And so there’s a lot to pull from just narratively from there. How’s the book that House of the Dragons based on, it reads more like, if you’re reading like a historical text.

So basically when you’re reading it, it’s like this happened to that guy, this happened to that guy, and we think maybe something was going on here, but that happened. It’s very much like this, this, this, this, this, that, and that happened. So we know the big broad strokes, but a lot of the details now are left up to the writers to write. So that’s basically it. There’s a lot to pull from. If you go through this whole book, that book, there is a ton. You could have this show going on for a while because there’s so much involved there.

It’s more just like the details are not there. So that’s going to be where the heavy lift is like the details basically.

cinik (40:27)

That’s kind of good though, because then you don’t go into it with any kind of expectations. Like a lot of the flack that the original Game of Thrones got was everybody had a general idea of where they wanted the story to go because they were so invested after reading what? It’s five novels, I believe. Yeah, so.

Ryan (40:30)

No, yeah, exactly.

Yeah, exactly. Or like this character, he looks like that. Why does he look like this on the show? And it becomes a whole thing of like, whatever, who cares? For the most part, sometimes that matters. But like.

cinik (40:49)

I love the picking on Peter Dinklage. Peter Dinklage doesn’t want to sit in a makeup chair for five hours a day to look like half a pig like you want him to. Yeah.

Ryan (40:56)

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, no, it’s like, it’s fine. It’s not a big deal.

cinik (41:04)

But no, I mean, I’m excited because hopefully HBO will do the right thing like they’re doing with the boys and will end it on the right note. And they won’t try to cash cow it until the next Game of Thrones property is ready. I would love to see the show end when the next one’s beginning. I don’t want back to back seasons of Game of Thrones. Just give me one at a time and I would be happy because I’m all about Westeros and I would love to learn more at every turn.

Ryan (41:20)

Yeah, makes sense.


And the beauty of this world is, and I know we were even talking about how getting, you know, getting properties that are not necessarily connected to like the main one, but the beauty of the world is it’s so rich and there’s so much that you could literally do like a five, you know, five season series for this, for the next hundred years and still have new good material to draw from because there’s, it’s such a rich world. And there’s so much he’s done so much to build it that, you know, we’ll never be at a loss for like properties.

up with for it. So I think that makes sense. Like give us a solid four or five seasons, end it, then give us something else and then give us something good. You know, just make it good. We don’t need to be, I don’t need 10 series, you know, following it. I just need like good series.

cinik (42:09)

Well, the only way we lose in this is if George RR Martin’s estate sells the Game of Thrones property to Disney after he dies, which is always a possibility. That’s the sad part about it. If you go to Florida right now and you go down to Universal, the problem is that about a third of the park is properties owned now by Disney where Universal is relying on them. So, you know, now Disney is doing this thing where they’re strong -arming like, hey, we want to be able to use Marvel in our parks.

Ryan (42:15)

Yeah. You never know.

Yeah. Yeah.


cinik (42:39)

So if you want to keep that Simpsons land over there, then you’re going to have to break off some characters. And that’s my biggest fear is that somebody will come through and buy it up that doesn’t have the same vision as he does, because he really does need to turn this over to somebody that’ll continue it, because there is so many stories to tell.

Ryan (42:41)


Yeah, exactly.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. No, that’s that’s fair point. Hopefully, you know, we get you have to be, you know, it has to be somebody that loves the material and really wants to do right by it. Unfortunately,

read gets involved. So, all right, so anyway, yeah, so I guess we’re next week, we’re going to be talking about episode one of House of the Dragon, as well as we’ll continue our discussion of the Acolyte, you know, we’ll see how good or bad it is depends, you know, we’ll see how much of a full review we’ll give on that show. But I’m still excited to see where it goes, you know, at Star Wars. And so, you know, we’re getting it and who would have thought, you know, like 10 years ago,

that we’d have too much Star Wars maybe. But as usual, our stuff is on a portable home publishing .com and Cynic until next time.

cinik (43:46)

Don’t get captured.

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