House of the Dragon (Season 1), Episode 2 – Review, Recap & Ending Explained: The first episode of HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ aired last week and has posted a record number in viewership. Titled ‘The Heirs of the Dragon,’ the inaugural episode has been watched by approximately 10 million viewers. One of the biggest premieres on HBO. The first episode has promised everything fans of Game of Thrones, the predecessor of ‘House of the Dragon,’ hoped for. The players of the game have been properly introduced. The second episode, titled “The Rogue Prince, ” starts placing them in their required positions tactfully.




 

House of the Dragon (Season 1), Episode 2 Recap: 

Viserys’ Second Marriage Dilemma

The story takes a jump of six months. Six months since the death of king Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) wife and infant son; and the subsequent banishment of Daemon (Matt Smith), the king’s brother, by the king. The king had named his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), the new heir, spurning Daemon.

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Pressure starts to mount on Viserys to take a new wife and give the realm their new queen. Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the hand of the king, has already asked his daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey), to give company to the desolate king. The intention is clear. Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and his wife, Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best), also Viserys’s cousin, propose their daughter’s hand to the king. Uniting the two influential houses of Targaryen and Velaryon is a tempting offer for Viserys. However, their daughter, Lady Laena, is a twelve years old child. And Viserys is not at all keen on that marriage. 

House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 2
@The New York Times

Ser Criston Cole’s Insertion in Kings’ Guard

Due to the death of the existing Kings’ Guard’s Lord Commander, Ser Ryam, a vacancy opens in the coveted team of elite warriors that guards the royal family. The new Lord Commander of Kings’ Guard, Ser Harold (Graham McTavish), informs the small council he has selected a handful of candidates for the position. Viserys asks Rhaenyra, primarily to keep her away from giving her opinions in the matter of the small council, to choose the one amongst the assembled knights. The goal was to divert Rhaenyra’s attention merely.




Rhaenyra, however, does assert her presence in the matter. She chooses Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), the knight that defeated Daemon in the joust, as the new member—ignoring the reluctance from Otto and Ser Harold due to Ser Criston not being the highest born. 

Daemon’s Seditious Move

Daemon Targaryen finally had his comeuppance from his brother when he celebrated the death of his infant nephew. Six months down, Daemon remains rejected as an heir by king Viserys. However, by now, he has stormed and occupied Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of Targaryens. He has accumulated an army of city watch soldiers who remain loyal to Daemon due to the latter’s previous post of being a city commander.




 

Viserys has primarily ignored all these, so Daemon ups his antagonizing game. He steals the dragon egg that was chosen for the now late one-day-old Prince Baelon. It finally provokes Viserys as he decides to march to Dragonstone and bring Daemon to justice. However, Otto volunteers himself to be the one to lead the party to Dragonstone as he deems it would be perilous for the king.

When Otto’s team arrives at Dragonstone, Daemon is ready with his own battalion. Daemon expresses his wish to marry Mysaria (Sonoyo Mizuno) and father a child; he claims that is why he took the egg. Tempers rise, and swords get unsheathed. The appearance of Caraxes, the colossal bloody red dragon of Daemon, tilts the hold-up in Daemon’s favor. When it looks over, the arrival of Rhaenyra on her dragon, Syrax, changes the dynamic.




 

Rhaenyra walks straight to Daemon and asks him to kill her to satiate his anger. His niece’s presence softens Daemon as he relinquishes, gives the egg back to Rhaenyra, and leaves. The new heir arrived just in time to avoid a bloodbath. 

House of the Dragon (Season 1), Episode 2 Review: 

‘House of the Dragon’ has started to explore the various aspects that Game of Thrones built its fandom on. The apparent lack of actions in this second episode heightens the tension further. After the action-filled pilot, there are bound to be episodes building towards the political intricacies. The offers and counteroffers have begun. The wheels have started to set in motion.




The second episode thus concentrates primarily on dialogues between the relevant parties. Ryan J. Condal has written some fine words-heavy scenes. Even though there is no Tyrion Lannister to utter them, the words themselves are reminiscent of the socio-political commentary of Game of Thrones.  

Milly Alcock’s assured turn is gradually making an impression here. Her Rhaenyra has started to become the strong character she promised to be. Her smooth transition between heartbreakingly vulnerable to sure-footed dragon rider that brings Daemon to his heels is the highest point of the episode.




And then there are dragons. With a higher CGI budget comes bigger and better dragons. The confrontation on the Dragonstone wall is spectacularly shot with the perfect imageries of the two rivaling dragons in Red and Yellow. The height reached by the pilot episode is sustainably maintained in the second episode.

House of the Dragon (Season 1), Episode 2 Ending, Explained: The Introduction of Crabfeeder

Viserys Rejects Lord Corlys’ Offer

After pondering the marriage offer that Velaryon presented, Viserys rejects the offer. Despite most of his council members, barring Otto, suggesting the opposite. Viserys, however, has not put marriage off his mind though. He decides to take a new queen. Alicent Hightower is to be the new wife of Viserys. A decision draws the ire of everyone but Otto, including that Rhaenyra, who is a good friend of Alicent.




 

A Targaryen-Velaryon Union of a Different Kind

Despite the rejection from Viserys, Lord Corlys is going to have a union of Targaryen and Velaryon nonetheless. He reaches out to Daemon with the problems of Stepstones. He urges Daemon to help him and show his true strength. 

Free Cities and Crabfeeder

Lord Corlys’ problem of Stepstones is related to Free Cities. As the name suggests, Free Cities mark an area in the eastern part of the geography, and it is not part of the realm. Stepstones is a connecting collection of islands between the Westeros kingdom area and the free cities. Stepstones are essential to the shipping lines of Westeros.




As the master of the Royal Fleet, Lord Corlys (also known as Sea Snake) is naturally concerned by the disturbance created by Crabfeeder in the area of Stepstones. Crabfeeder is shown to be a ruthless gang leader who feeds alive merchants’ crabs. King Viserys has largely ignored this, as the assumption is the elites of the Free Cities back Crabfeeder, and Viserys does not want to go to open war with Free Cities. 

However, it seems Lord Corlys will take the matter into his own hands with Daemon by his side. Crabfeeder so far provides a range of intriguing possibilities. He could be the next ‘Khal Drogo,’ a threat that does not truly materialize. Or, he could well be the ‘Night King’ for this story.

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THE DRAGON (SEASON 1), EPISODE 2 EXTERNAL LINKS: IMDBWIKIPEDIA
CAST: PADDY CONSIDINE, EMMA D’ARCY, MATT SMITH, RHYS IFANS, STEVE TOUSSAINT, EVE BEST
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