House Targaryen is on the brink. InHouse of the Dragon’s premiere episode, King Viserys declared his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, his heir. That flies when confronted with tradition, which may have Viserys’ younger brother Daemon Targaryen be next in line to wear the crown. We’re realizing why House of the Dragon’s showrunner called the overall game of Thrones prequel “Succession, but with dragons.”
For all those playing catchup, House of the Dragon is defined around 200 years before the events observed in Game of Thrones. Predicated on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire and Blood, it’s about the Targaryens. In episode 1, we were introduced not merely to King Viserys, Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra, but additionally Hand of the King Otto Hightower, his daughter Alicent and the “Sea Snake” Lord Corlys Velaryon.
The premier episode set the stage. Now allow show begin. Warning: House of the Dragon episode 2 spoilers below.
Rebellions over the land
Corlys Velaryon has been complaining loudly to the tiny Council concerning the “Triarchy,” an alliance between your Free Cities of Myrs, Lys and Tyrosh. It is possible to understand his anxiety: Lord Corlys may be the king’s Master of Ships, and the Triarchy threatens the king’s shipping lanes in Essos. INTERNAL of the Dragon’s premiere, he also mentioned an odd fellow aligned with the Triarchy calls himself “the Crabfeeder” due to the way he tortures pirates.
(With crabs. He tortures them with crabs.)
We begin House of the Dragons’ second episode with the repellant sight of the Crabfeeder’s handiwork. We visit a semi-conscious sailor being eaten alive by red crabs, a wide shot that presents two wrecked, burning ships. Works out those ships flew Lord Corlys’ own banners, therefore the the next thing we see is him storming right into a Small Council meeting to once more improve the alarm.
Otto Hightower, the King’s Hand, dismisses Corlys’ objections, saying Westeros cannot wage war with the Free Cities. This turns Corlys irate.
“What reason does the Crabfeeder need to fear us?” Corlys asks the tiny Council. “The king’s own brother has been permitted to seize Dragonstone and fortify it having an army of his Gold Cloaks. Daemon has squatted there for over half of a year without a good protest from the crown.”
That’s how exactly we learn that half a year have elapsed because the end of the initial episode, when Daemon left King’s Landing in a huff.
King Viserys rebuffs Corlys, saying he isdoing something concerning the Triarchy — he’s sent an envoy to negotiate, of which point Princess Rhaenyra asks why Viserys doesn’t just send her on dragonback to resolve the problem. THE TINY Council exchanges nervous looks. It’s suggested that Rhaenyra ought to be excused to go choose which knight should fill a fresh post in the Kingsguard, the band of warriors that protect the monarch.
It generally does not take Rhaenyra long to create her choice. Within the next scene, we visit a procession of knights offering their services to the crown. The queen-to-be is unimpressed with all the current blokes except one — Ser Criston Cole, who we saw defeat Daemon in combat in episode 1. To the apparent chagrin of Otto Hightower, Rhaenyra chooses Criston Cole for the work, reasoning that he’s the only real knight included in this with actual combat experience.
The king’s hand (in marriage)
In an especially confronting scene, Queen Aemma died in episode 1 carrying out a forced C-section. Since half a year have passed between your first and second episodes, it’s now time for King Viserys to start out considering marriage once more. Or at the very least, that’s what Lord Corlys and his wife, Rhaenys Targaryen (“The Queen That Never Was”), simply tell him because they propose King Viserys marry their daughter Laena.
The Velaryons and Targaryens will be the two surviving Valyrian bloodlines, Corlys says — nearly as good grounds as any to become listed on the families and project a unified front to the realm. (Valyria is really a region in Westeros, for all those struggling to maintain with the lore.)
Rhaenyra is understandably not stoked about any of it all, what with the tiny Council literally politicking over her dead mother’s body. She confides in Alicent Hightower — daughter of King’s Hand Otto Hightower — because they walk through the High Scept. After being encouraged to take action by her father within the last episode, Alicent continues to be regularly visiting Viserys in his bedchambers to provide him (seemingly aboveboard) company.
“I’d like him to see me as a lot more than his litttle lady,” Rhaenyra tells Alicent because they pray in the Scept. Just the night time before, Viserys had told Alicent he and Rhaenyra haven’t been speaking much.
“Mine own father will not know the language of girls, either,” Alicent councils Rhaenyra. “When I would like to talk to him, I understand that I have to take the time.”
King Viserys isn’t super worked up about remarrying, either. He’s still mourning Aemma, and worries another marriage may upset Rhaenyra. Compounding matters may be the age of Laena. She’s 12. We see Viserys and an extremely young Laena walking through King’s Landing’s lush gardens making chitchat about dragons, and the contrast in age is grim.
Laena stops and, with evident discomfort, recites: “It could be an excellent honor to become listed on our houses because they were in old Valyria. I’d offer you many children of pure Valyrian blood in order that we might fortify the royal line and the realm.”
“Is that what your father told one to say?” replied Viserys, clearly locating the whole enterprise a little gross. “What did your mother let you know say?”
“That I wouldn’t need to bed you until I turn 14.”
Viserys lets out a large sigh because they continue steadily to walk.
The order of things
Rhaenyra was watching Viserys and Laena’s stroll from the Red Keep. As she strolls away to start her business, she’s accosted by Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. For individuals who forgot, Rhaenys may be the wife of Lord Corlys, also it was she who lost the council vote for succession to Viserys in the opening scene of episode 1.
Rhaenys wonders aloud if the marriage bothers Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra basically tells Rhaenys never to taunt her, but Rhaenys gives her possible check.
“Be it to my daughter or somebody else’s, your father will marry earlier than late. His new wife will produce new heirs, and it’s likely that much better than not that certain of those will undoubtedly be male. So when that boy comes old as well as your father has passed, the men of the realm will expect him to be heir, not you. Because this is the order of things.”
Rhaenyra says she’ll become queen and create a new order. She says the men of the realm didn’t reject women, they rejected Rhaenys. The Queen That Never Was once more gets real with younger Targaryen.
“Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than visit a woman ascend the Iron Throne,” Rhaenys says. “As well as your father is not any fool.”
The king continues to be sick
During his yelling match with Daemon in the initial episode, you’ll recall, King Viserys accidentally cut their own hand using one of the blades that constitute the Iron Throne. Half a year later, in this episode, that wound is festering.
To conserve his finger, that your maesters have presumably been treating with cauterization (fire), the king’s medical help submerge his submit a bowl filled with maggots. “That is our best possiblity to save the digit,” Grand Maester Mellos says. “The maggots will take away the dead flesh and hopefully stop the advance of the rot.”
With Hand of the King Otto Hightower in the area, King Viserys introduces the proposed marriage between himself and Laena Velaryon. Grand Maester Mellos reckons it’s wise. Hightower seems less excited.
Whatever that you can do…
Daemon Targaryen continues to be making mischief. Having taken Dragonstone and named himself rightful heir to the Iron Throne, he’s discovered to possess stolen a dragon egg from King’s Landing. And by discovered After all he left an email saying who he was and just why he stole the egg: Because he’s now got another wife, a sex worker named Mysaria, and his wife-to-be has been child. The dragon egg would be to lie in the baby’s cradle, as is custom for Targaryens.
Daemon’s note also claims that he’s to be married, and that King Viserys is invited. After it’s exercised that Daemon stole exactly the same egg that has been in Baelor’s cradle for the few hours the kid was alive, King Viserys is pushed on the edge. (Baelor may be the baby boy Aemma gave birth to in episode 1.) He says he’ll get back Dragonstone himself, but is talked down by Otto Hightower, who says he’ll go rather than the king.
You’ll remember from episode 1 that Otto and Daemon deeply dislike each other. Daemon and his army, the former City Watch, confront Otto and the king’s men in a dramatic scene, meeting head-to-head along a thin bridge resulting in Dragonstone. They will have words, with Otto disparaging Daemon’s “whore” wife-to-be and calling Daemon a disgrace to the Targaryen family. The men on both sides draw swords, but before they are able to clash they’re interrupted by Daemon’s dragon, which made its presence known by looming over Dragonstone’s castle.
Otto’s men commence to retreat. We hear another dragon in the length, however. From the clouds flies Rhaenyra, riding a dragon of her very own. She hops off and walks directly to Daemon on the bridge.
“My dad named me Princess of Dragonstone,” she says as she confronts her uncle, “that’s my castle you’re surviving in.” Boss mode activated. She calls him out for stealing her deceased baby brother’s dragon egg, but Daemon protests that his child deserves to sleep with a dragon egg, too. A surprised Mysaria shoots a disappointed look into Daemon before storming off. Works out Daemon was lying about both wedding and the pregnancy.
“I’m the following, Uncle,” Rhaenyra dares him. “If you want to be restored as heir, you will have to kill me. So take action. And become done of most this bother.”
Daemon stares her down, then heads back again to the castle — however, not before tossing the dragon egg to Rhaenyra. Having secured the egg, the princess gives Otto Hightower a looks that says “that’s how it’s done,” then flies off on her behalf dragon. Boss mode deactivated.
Back Dragonstone, we see Mysaria chastise Daemon for playing “stupid games” along with his family by creating lies that they are to be married and also have a kid.
“I have already been sold as property more times than I care to count,” she says to him. “The majority of my years have already been spent surviving in terror… I didn’t enter into your service wanting gold or power or station. I found one to be liberated.”
An extended engagement
King Viserys continues to be mulling his proposed engagement to Laena, seeking the council of Lord Lyonel Strong, his Master of Laws. Viserys says that he’s felt Lord Corlys’ envious gaze since he took the crown, and ponders be it smart to link families. Viserys can be understandably cold on the thought of marrying a 12-year-old.
Yet Lord Lyonel encourages him to view it through, reasoning that it is Viserys’ obligation to the realm and that Lord Corlys wouldn’t go on it well if his offer was denied. There’s potential war coming with the Triarchy, Lord Lyonel says, and they’re going to need Corlys’ ships to win it.
At this time both men are interrupted by an announcement that Rhaenyra has returned from Dragonstone. From the appearance on his face, we are able to note that King Viserys had no clue she visited Dragonstone to begin with.
The king is furious, browbeating Rhaenyra for acting so recklessly. He yells and yells, but relents when she highlights that she retrieved the dragon egg without bloodshed, a feat Otto Hightower was unlikely to accomplish. Viserys sinks into his chair and puts some respect on her behalf name. Then, finally, both have a heart-to-heart concerning the death of Aemma.
“Your mother’s absence is really a wound that may never heal. Without her, the Red Keep has lost a warmth that I dare say it’ll never recover,” Viserys says. “I wish I’d known better what things to tell you in the aftermath. I battle to recognize that my daughter had so swiftly become a female grown. But I understand she understands what’s now expected of me.”
He says it’s his duty as king to remarry. Rhaenyra is his only heir, making his type of succession too vulnerable.
“You’re the king,” she says. “Therefore your first duty would be to the realm. Mother could have understood this. In the same way I really do.”
Another scene is really a Small Council meeting. Given that he’s got Rhaenyra’s consent, and contains been told by lots of people that joining his family with Lord Corlys’ may be the responsible move to make, the king announces he’s made a decision to get marry once again.
To Alicent Hightower.
Rhaenyra is shocked. Otto Hightower is pleased. Lord Corlys is furious.
“That is an absurdity,” Corlys says. “The house is Valyrian, the best power in the realm.”
“And I’m your king,” Viserys sternly replies.
Otto Hightower shoots Lord Corlys a look. “You’ve been outplayed” is written across Otto’s face. Corlys storms out from the Small Council room, followed shortly thereafter by Rhaenyra. We have now know why Hightower was so keen to possess Alicent keep carefully the king company as soon as Aemma passed.
In the ultimate scene of the episode, Lord Corlys is seated by way of a fire in his chambers, flapping his gums to a mystery companion. We soon note that he’s forging an alliance with Daemon Targaryen.
Corlys complains again concerning the Triarchy, and the gruesome Crabfeeder. We visit a protective side to Daemon, who bristles when Corlys criticizes King Viserys’ judgment. “I’ll speak of my buddy when i wish,” he says while villainously staring on the fire. “You won’t.”
Lord Corlys believes Daemon may be the treatment for his Triarchy problem.
“Waiting in the Step Stones is really a chance for one to prove your worth to anyone who might yet doubt it. We have been the realm’s second sons, Daemon,” Corlys says. “Our right isn’t given. It should be made.”