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What's The Deal With The Council Members' Stones In House Of The Dragon?

"House of the Dragons" kicked things off in dramatic fashion in more ways than one, and the HBO series wasted no time providing all the signature world-building "Game of Thrones" action fans can't get enough of seeing. Whether it's flying dragons, brutal tournaments, or violent massacres, undoubtedly, there is never a dull moment in the first entry from the exciting spin-off that follows House Targaryen over a century before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

The arrival of the "House of the Dragon" spin-off has caused quite a stir with fans after just one episode. The premiere was such a highly anticipated affair that it ended up crashing HBO. Those who didn't get blacked out were introduced to so many exciting storylines, characters, and details about the fascinating world fans will get to explore in the first season. Of all the new things featured in the entry, the stones seen being placed in front of the council members absolutely stood out. Several witnesses were likely scratching their heads, wondering what the deal with those smooth-looking spheres was. Fans of "Game of Thrones" are quite familiar with the gatherings of the small council from previous seasons of the spin-off's predecessor, but such a practice wasn't part of the procedure during that particular period of time. Those intriguing stones are one of the many things that many people that witnessed the premiere are most assuredly curious to know more about their meaning.

The stones are how council members clock in for work

Around the 20-minute mark of Season 1, Episode 1 ("The Heirs of the Dragon"), King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) and Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), The Hand of the King, are seen arriving at the council meeting to discuss the actions of Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). As they take their seats, they place a small stone onto a dish fitted to the table. The stones are seen before and after that moment, but that is the first time it is highlighted for viewers to get a good look at.

Luckily, curious fans will not have to send a Raven for answers or consult the Citadel for their wisdom on the matter to figure out what this maneuver means. According to The Hollywood Reporter, set decorator Claire Nia Richards explained, "It represented the council coming in and being part of the meeting." Richards and production designer Jim Clay confirmed that the method of placing the stone in the plate was a means of clocking in for work and setting the table. Showrunner Ryan Condal added, "Everybody shows up for work, and they 'punch in.' I thought it was really cool. It's a way of visualizing the set formality of the small council chamber."

The attention to small details has been one of the many reasons the franchise has been so popular with fans. Focusing on these efforts has worked out well for the "House of the Dragons," which has already been labeled a success (via Variety), caused a major blackout, and earned impressive scores on Rotten Tomatoes.