After making the shocking decision to name his daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) the heir to the Iron Throne, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) starts to prepare her for the throne in the second episode of House of the Dragon.
King Viserys was originally planning to name his first son, who his wife Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) was expecting, though the son arrived breech, leaving Viserys with the decision to sacrifice his wife for the life of his son, or risk losing both.
He decided to sacrifice his wife, though he ultimately lost the child shortly after birth, leading Viserys to name Rhaenyra the first female heir to the Iron Throne in the history of Westeros at the end of last week’s series premiere.
Heir: After making the shocking decision to name his daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) the heir to the Iron Throne, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) starts to prepare her for the throne in the second episode of House of the Dragon
Viserys: King Viserys (left) was originally planning to name his first son, who his wife Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) was expecting, though the son arrived breech, leaving Viserys with the decision to sacrifice his wife for the life of his son, or risk losing both
The episode begins with a new title sequence in the same vein as the iconic Game of Thrones opening scene that showcased the map of Westeros.
The episode begins with a scene of rotting corpses and crabs crawling along the corpses as many are heard screaming.
King Viserys and the small council are talking of Ser Ryam, ‘a strong Lord Commander of the Kingsguard’ who passed in his sleep.
Rotting: The episode begins with a scene of rotting corpses and crabs crawling along the corpses as many are heard screaming
The Lord Commander, Ser Harold, wants to find a replacement quickly, and they have invited a number of candidates to court.
Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) wants to discuss other matters, stating, ‘Four ships have now been lost. The last one was flying my banner. The Stepstones have now grown into a conflagration, yet you sit here and dither about court business.
Otto Hightower says, ‘If you’ve something to discuss, Lord Corlys,’ and he replies ‘I want to know what is to be done about my ships and my men.’
Corlys: Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) wants to discuss other matters, stating, ‘Four ships have now been lost. The last one was flying my banner. The Stepstones have now grown into a conflagration, yet you sit here and dither about court business
Discuss: Otto Hightower says, ‘If you’ve something to discuss, Lord Corlys,’ and he replies ‘I want to know what is to be done about my ships and my men’
Otto says the Crown will compensate him, but Corlys doesn’t want compensation, he wants to, ‘seize the Stepstones by force and burn out this Crabfeeder.’
Viserys says he is not prepared to start a war with the free cities, and says the losses would be incalcuable, but Corlys insists on fighting.
Corlys asks about Daemon and Viserys is about to argue when Rhaenyra asks him to send the Dragonriders and says it would be a ‘show of force.’
No war: Viserys says he is not prepared to start a war with the free cities, and says the losses would be incalcuable, but Corlys insists on fighting
Force: Corlys asks about Daemon and Viserys is about to argue when Rhaenyra asks him to send the Dragonriders and says it would be a ‘show of force’
The small council thinks Rhaenyra should have a better use of her talents than filling cups, as they agree to let her choose the Kingsguard replacement, as she goes off to meet them.
Ser Desmond is introduced to Rhaenyra, and is told of him stopping a poacher, and while she isn’t sure what to say, Otto suggests she thank him for his service to the throne.
She asks how many of these knights have combat experience, as they introduce Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel), who defeated Daemon at the tournament.
Kingsguard: The small council thinks Rhaenyra should have a better use of her talents than filling cups, as they agree to let her choose the Kingsguard replacement, as she goes off to meet them
Knights: The prospective knights for the Kingsguard
Thanks: Ser Desmond is introduced to Rhaenyra, and is told of him stopping a poacher, and while she isn’t sure what to say, Otto suggests she thank him for his service to the throne
Ser Criston: She asks how many of these knights have combat experience, as they introduce Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel), who defeated Daemon at the tournament
She chooses Ser Criston to join the Kingsguard, as Otto asks her to perhaps consider someone else, but Rhaenyra insists.
‘There’s no doubt Ser Criston is a fine warrior, but houses such as Crakehall and Mallister are important allies of The Crown. Seagard, for instance, is the realm’s prime defense against reavers from the Iron Islands,’ Rhaenyra is told
‘Those men are tourney knights. My father should be defended by a man who’s known real combat. Should he not?’
Insist: She chooses Ser Criston to join the Kingsguard, as Otto asks her to perhaps consider someone else, but Rhaenyra insists
Defended: ‘Those men are tourney knights. My father should be defended by a man who’s known real combat. Should he not?’
Otto agrees as Rhaenyra adds, ‘Well, let us plan Ser Criston’s investiture then’ before leaving.
The episode cuts to King Viserys, who is with Allicent once again, as he asks her how Rhaenyra is.
‘Well, these days, she doesn’t say more than a few words to me. I think she might find it difficult… To discuss personal matters,’ Viserys says as Allicent says, ‘It will take time. It did when I lost mine own mother.’
Viserys and Allicent: The episode cuts to King Viserys, who is with Allicent once again, as he asks her how Rhaenyra is
Few words: ‘Well, these days, she doesn’t say more than a few words to me. I think she might find it difficult… To discuss personal matters,’ Viserys says as Allicent says, ‘It will take time. It did when I lost mine own mother’
‘I wish she would approach me. What if you went to her? There are times when I would rather face the Black Dread himself than mine own daughter of 15,’ he says with a laugh.
‘I think she would open herself to you if invited. You do have such an easy way about you, Your Grace,’ Allicent says with a smile.
He asks Allicent if he mentions their talks to Rhaenyra and says he fears she wouldn’t understand, but she says she doesn’t.
Easy way: ‘I think she would open herself to you if invited. You do have such an easy way about you, Your Grace,’ Allicent says with a smile
Allicent meets with Rhaenya in the Sept, who casually mentions what if he were to remarry, which Rhaenyra doesn’t know how to answer.
Allicent says her father chose her but she doesn’t believe it, she thinks he only chose her to spurn his brother Daemon.
Rhaenyra says she likes it in the Sept because she feels close with her mother, as she lights a candle and prays… but she doesn’t know what to say.
Allicent says she can say whatever she wishes and it’s only for her and the gods to know, as Rhaenyra starts to cry.
‘I want them to see me as more than a little girl,’ Rhaenyra says as Allicent says her father, ‘doesn’t know the language of little girls either.’
The episode cuts to Corlys and Rhaenys Targaryen – the Queen Who Never Was – as Corlys apologizes for his behavior at the small council meeting.
They both plainly state that the crown is in danger from their enemies as Corlys suggests a proposal: Join their two houses and marry their daughter, Laena.
‘Unite the two great surviving Valyrian houses. With the Targaryen dragons and the Velaryon fleet bound in blood, you can show the realm that The Crown’s strongest days are ahead… Not behind,’ Corlys tells Viserys.
Viserys admits he hasn’t given marriage much thought, admitting it has only been six months since Aemma has passed, revealing a sizable time jump since the pilot.
Rhaenys adds that they expect him to re-marry sooner rather than later and he could ask for no stronger match than their Laena.
The episode cuts to King Viserys’ dinner with Rhaenyra, when she says that Criston is the only knight that has seen combat experience.
Viserys says he will make a fine knight as she apologizes for her outburst at the small council meeting.
Viserys meets with Otto, telling him that he met with Corlys and tells him of his proposal.
The Grand Maester Mellos says that would go a ‘long way’ towards uniting both the great houses but they think she is too young.
King Viserys meets with Laena as they talk of flying the Black Dread, a dragon known as Balerion, who Viserys was the last rider.
She cuts right to the chase, stating, ‘It would be a great honor to join our houses as they were in Old Valyria. I would give you many children of pure Valyrian blood so that we might strengthen the royal line and the realm.’
Viserys asks, ‘Is that what your father told you to say?’ though she doesn’t respond, but when asked what her mother told her, Laena says, ‘That I wouldn’t have to bed you until I turned 14.’
Rhaenyra talks with Rhaenys, who admits that it ‘upsets’ her that her daughter Laena may remarry King Viserys.
‘But I understand the order of things. I’m not sure you do,’ Rhaenys says, as Rhaenyra adds, ‘If you mean to elicit some anger from me, you should know that you’re failing, Princess.’
‘Quite the opposite. Whether it’s to my daughter or to someone else’s, your father will remarry sooner than late. His new wife will produce new heirs, and chances are better than not that one of those will be male. And when that boy comes of age and your father has passed, the men of the realm will expect him to be heir, not you. Because that is the order of things,’ Rhaenys says.
Rhaenyra says she will create, ‘a new world order when she is Queen, as Rhaenyss chuckles and says, ‘How I wish that could be, Rhaenyra. But the men of the realm already had their opportunity to appoint a ruling queen at the Great Council and they denied it.
‘They denied you, Princess Rhaenys. ‘The Queen Who Never Was.’ But they bent the knee to me and called me heir to the throne,’ she says as Rhaenys responds, ‘Do you remind your father’s men of that as you carry their cups?’
Rhaenys says the ‘hard truth that no one has the truth to tell you’ that men will ‘set the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne, and your father is no fool.’
Viserys meets with Allicent again, telling her that Corlys has offered her daughter Laena, as Allicent says she is sure she would enjoy his company as she has.
She says she has brought him something, which he discovers is the dragon piece that he broke during their earlier meeting.
‘This is a very kind gesture, Allicent. Very kind’ Viserys says when there is a knock on the door.
Otto enters the room and says he called the Small Council to an emergency session but he won’t tell him why.
The Council is told that Prince Daemon stole a dragon egg, and he left a note, calling him the ‘rightful heir to the Iron Throne.’
He says he is taking a second wife, who, ‘is to assume the title Lady Mysaria of Dragonstone.’
The note adds that she is, ‘with child’ and Daemon is inviting him to their wedding, and he took the egg to have it in the babe’s cradle, ‘in the custom of House Targaryen.
They think what he has done is treason, seizing Dragonstone when Rhaenyra asks what dragon egg he stole, as it’s revealed that Daemon stole the egg meant for his dead son.
Viserys wants to go to Dragonstone immediately but Otto wants to go in his stead because it’s too dangerous.
Allicent helps her father get ready as he says she is the ‘most comely girl at court’ and asks her to see the King tonight when he’s gone.
Ser Criston arrives and Allicent asks him to look after the Hand of the King on his journey to Dragonstone.
The episode cuts to Dragonstone where Otto and his men are ascending the steps, where they are met by Daemon, holding the dragon’s egg.
‘Welcome to Dragonstone, Otto,’ Daemon says, though Otto says his occupation is at an end, by order of the King.
Daemon asks where the King is and Otto says, ‘The King would never lower himself to entertain such a mummer’s farce.’
Otto calls this, ‘a truly pathetic show, Daemon. Are you so desperate for the King’s attention that you’ve resorted to skulking about -like a common cutpurse?’
Daemon responds, ‘I’m simply keeping with the traditions of my house, the same as my brother did for his heir.’
Otto explains, ‘Those traditions are for the trueborn children of royalty, not for bastards fathered on a common whore’ and calling his display, ‘an abomination.’
With every breath you soil your name, your house, and your brother’s reign. Our love does not know titles and traditions.
Daemon adds, ‘You’ve come for the egg. Here it is,’ holding it out for Otto to take, taunting him, as Otto says, ‘You’d never survive this,’ but Daemon responds, ‘Well, happily, neither would you.’
They have a tense stand-off on the bridge when Daemon’s dragon makes presence known as they sheath their swords.
They hear another dragon in the distance as Rhaenyra rides in with her dragon, landing on the stone steps.
She gets off the dragon and walks up to face Otto, who asks what she’s doing there and she says, ‘Preventing bloodshed.’
She approached Daemon and says he’s living in her castle as they engage in a tense conversation.
She asks if he’ll have a child with his new wife and he says, ‘One day,’ which angers her and causes her to walk away.
‘If you wish to be restored as heir, you’ll need to kill me, so do it, and be done with all this bother,’ she says defiantly.
Daemon gives her the egg and walks back to his castle, as Rhaenyra secures the dragon egg and walks back to her dragon and flies away.
Daemon’s new wife Lady Mysaria doesn’t’ seem too happy when Daemon arrives though Daemon insists no one will harm her.
‘You are Targaryen. You can afford to play your stupid games with the King, but I cannot. I didn’t come into your service wanting gold or power or station. -I came to you to be liberated,’ she says.
He asks what she wants to be liberated from and she says ‘Fear’ and walks away.
Back in the Red Keep, Viserys is admiring the piece that Allicent gave her, when he goes to see Lord Lyonel, asking for his ‘unencumbered opinion.’
He asks her about Laena and he says she’s only 12 but he insists she will mature as Lyonel says rejecting his proposal would not sit well with him.
Lyonel says that his ‘unencumbered opinion’ is that he should wed Lady Laena and unite the houses, when he’s told that Rhaenyra has returned from Dragonstone, which confuses him.
‘You disobeyed me. You fled King’s Landing without a word and you acted without the crown’s leave. You could have been killed,’ Viserys tells her, but she simply replies, ‘I wasn’t.’
She says she retrieved the dragon egg without bloodshed, a feat Otto could not achieve alone, and Viserys can’t help but be impressed.
‘I sometimes forget how alike you both were. Your mother’s absence is a wound that will never heal. Without her… The Red Keep has lost a warmth that I dare say it will never recover,’ he tells her.
She says it pleases her to hear him say that, and she’s not alone in her grief as he says, ‘I wish I had known better what to say to you in the aftermath. I struggled to realize that my daughter had so quickly become a woman grown.’
He tells her he needs to take a wife and he doesn’t want them to be estranged, but she makes it clear that she understands it’s what he needs to do.
The episode cuts to the small council meeting room, where Viserys announces he has decided to take a new wife.
‘I intend to marry the lady Allicent Hightower before spring’s end’ which does not sit well with Corlys who says it is an ‘absurdity.’
‘My house is Valyrian, the greatest power in the realm,’ Corlys angrily says, as Viserys adds, ‘And I am your King’ before he storms out of the room.
Rhaenyra is also clearly not pleased, on the verge of tears, as she storms out of the room herself.
Corlys is seen talking to someone, saying he built his house with the strength of his back and he thought they were both made from the same cloth… as it’s revealed he’s talking to Daemon.
Corlys asks Daemon if he’s heard of the problems in the Stepstoness, where he says soldiers are being fed to the crabs.
Corlys says he has been petitioning the King to send in the Navy but he has been denied, as Daemon says that was never his brother’s strongest trait, being king.
‘The Crabfeeder is backed by powerful entities within the Free Cities who wish to see Westeros weakened. And the King’s failures have allowed him to accumulate strength. If those shipping lanes fall, my house will be crippled. And I will not have Driftmark beggared while our King idles himself with feasts and balls and tourneys,’ Corlys says.
Daemon adds, ‘I will speak of my brother as I wish. You will not,’ though Corlys adds, ‘Waiting in the Stepstones is a chance for you to prove your worth to any who might yet doubt it.’
‘We are the realm’s second sons, Daemon. Our worth is not given. It must be made,’ Corlys says as we get a final look at the Crabfeeder as the episode comes to an end.
The preview for next week says that Aegon will be king, since he is the first born son of the king, teasing another large time jump as we see the newborn Aegon.
The siege between the Crabfeeder and the Westeros soldiers is also teased in the preview for next week’s episode, airing Sunday, September 4 on HBO.
Crabfeeder: ‘We are the realm’s second sons, Daemon. Our worth is not given. It must be made,’ Corlys says as we get a final look at the Crabfeeder as the episode comes to an end
Only child: Several attempts to bring him a son had failed in miscarriages and their only child, Rhaenyra
Brother: Viserys mentions several times in the first episode that he is certain the child Aemma carries is a boy, finally giving him an heir and avoiding naming his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) as the heir
Anger: Viserys was also angered when he learned that his brother Daemon boastfully called himself the heir at a brothel and celebrated the death of Aemma and Baelon, who he disrespectfully called, ‘Heir For a Day’
Home: When Daemon admitted saying those words, Viserys sent Daemon back to his home in the Vale and names Rhaenyra the heir, which will certainly fuel the drama for the rest of the show’s first season
Alicent: The pilot also established that Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) – the daughter of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Viserys’ Hand of the King – are best friends, though that relationship may get complicated as well
Renewed: HBO has already renewed House of the Dragon for a second season, after the premiere was the most-watched series premiere in network history with nearly 10 million viewers tuning in