House of the Dragon (Season 1), Episode 3 Review, Recap & Ending Explained: The third episode of “House of the Dragon,” HBO’s follow-up to “Game of Thrones,” is here, and it brings more dragons and blood. Titled ‘Second of His Name,’ the episode gives us the first battlefield actions of the show. Shot magnificently reflecting the show’s massive budget, it promises bigger things and possibly increases the hype. And that is saying something.


House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 3 Recap:

The Targaryen Hunt

The second episode, ‘The Rogue Prince,’ took a time jump of six months. ‘Second of His Name’ makes that jump even longer. It has been over two years since King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) decided to marry Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey). This decision highly irked the King’s daughter and heir, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock). Queen Alicent, however, has been able to provide what King Viserys sought most two and half years ago. A male child. Aegon.

It is Aegon’s second name-day. As a celebration, the King, his family, his court, and all his bannermen are partaking in a hunt. It also provides a chance for many lords and ladies to gossip and slyly politick their respective interests to the King. We are introduced to the ancestors of one of the most popular “GoT” houses. It is Lord Jason Lannister, who channels the confidence and cockiness of Jaime without much of the charm. His twin Tyland (Both Lannisters played by Jefferson Hall) is much less savvy and perhaps more honest.


Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), egged by his brother Lord Hobert (Steffan Rhodri), tries to covertly persuade the King into making his grandson and the King’s son, Aegon, the new heir. He even tells the King that a white stag has been sighted, and killing that beast would be the perfect auspicious sign. He was hinting that it is auspicious enough to name a new heir.

House of the Dragon [2022] Season 1 Episode 3
@The New York Times

King Viserys does not seem to be in any mood to be pulled into that charade. He does not even seem too eager to ‘hunt.’ He spends most of his time drinking, and when his men trap a majestic stag, although not those mentioned above, a white one, he reluctantly kills it with two strikes. It perfectly symbolizes how much the King detests his position of making decisions that are not quite his own.

Also, a stag is the sigil of House Baratheon. Robert of that house goes on to end the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. Perhaps it was a touch of a premonition there, Viserys killing the stag. 

Princess Rhaenyra and the Boar

Rhaenyra cuts a tragic and angry figure now. It is clear she has not quite accepted her father marrying her best friend. She is getting old enough to be married, and King Viserys has a plethora of options for her. Rhaenyra takes those proposals as a slight measure to strip her of her heirship. The final proffer from Jason Lannister makes her jump on a horse and ride out into the nearest woods. Only the good knight, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), follows her.

Criston Cole provides a sympathetic ear to Rhaenyra. The relationship between Ser Criston and Rhaenyra has been hinted to be forged via friendship and loyalty. We start to see that in this episode. A wild boar attacks them in the woods, and Ser Criston saves Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra herself uses her knife to end the attacking boar’s life.

Battle at Stepstones

Two years have passed since Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) joined hands to fight the Crabfeeder. Despite having dragons, the Targaryen-Velaryon front is not doing enough to win the fight against Crabfeeder and his army and reclaim Stepstones. The Crabfeeder shrewdly uses caves to hide from Dragon fires while their archers knock the foot soldiers of Targaryen-Velaryon off.


King Viserys finally sends a helping hand to Daemon in his fight. However, it maddens Daemon to take reckless action. 

House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 3 Review:

HBO has allocated a massive budget for “House of the Dragon.” And the show has not skipped a beat in utilizing that quite aesthetically. The CGI work is excellent, from each Dragons scale to agonizing shrieks of a dying stag. ‘HotD,’ from the beginning, did not shy away from showing its eponymous beasts. Now, it flaunts other animals as well. The boar attack and stag hunt have been shot as intriguingly as Daemon riding Caraxes to the battlefield. 

The writing has also been quite different from Game of Thrones. ‘HotD’ is much more liberal in condensing time. It is understandable why. “House of the Dragon” has a smaller pool of characters compared to ‘GoT.’ The character arcs are fewer, too, as a result. It has to traverse through time more, as it does not have a plethora of character arcs to traverse.


However, this allows “House of the Dragon” to concentrate the politicking in one single arc. The fight for the Targaryen throne is on the right path to keep us engaged. The cast has been excellent, as always. Paddy Considine perfectly makes the reluctant King Viserys one of Westeros’s most relatable rulers. Without a single dialogue, Matt Smith demonstrates why Daemon is often referred to as one of the most fearsome warriors of Westeros. Milly Alcock, as usual, is assured and robust as Rhaenyra. 

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House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 3 Ending, Explained:

Is it the end of Stepstones’ war?

Enraged by his brother’s offer of help, Prince Daemon takes matters into his own hands. He takes a boat and travels to the caves of the Crabfeeder alone. He takes a white flag and presents his sword in a manner to surrender. The Crabfeeder and his wary men fall for this bait. As they come out to take Daemon in, Daemon starts attacking them.


Daemon fights his way alone, through the army of armed men, with a barrage of arrows raining upon him. He moves towards Crabfeeder, who stands by his cave, expecting the dragons to come up. And so they do. Caraxes and Seasmokes, Laeron Velaryon’s steed dragon, make the most of the Crabfeeder army being out in the open. Dragonfire and valerian steel wielded by Targaryen-Velaryon forces seem to do the trick finally.

Daemon’s fury, triggered by Viserys, finally ends the war as he stands tall, bloodied, and dragging Crabfeeder’s decapitated torso. 


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