Episode 2 of House of the Dragon — available now on HBO Max and Disney+ Hotstar — is titled “The Rogue Prince.” This clearly refers to Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), who announced himself as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and camped on Dragonstone, after being snubbed by his brother King Viserys (Paddy Considine) at the end. from Episode 1. It’s a bit odd to name the episode after him though. Of all the main characters in the Game of Thrones prequel series, Daemon gets the least amount of screen time on Episode 2. But it’s also a smart title, “Fire & Blood” readers will know best. House of the Dragon episode 2 alludes to this as well, with everyone talking about how Viserys needs to “produce” new heirs. Spoiler alert: he will – and one of them is also a rogue prince.
It’s been about six months – as promised, the time jumps have begun – since the events of Episode 1, when we pick up House of the Dragon Episode 2. While Daemon has made the boldest move yet, the eldest princess of Viserys, Rhaenyra) is now trying to assert herself around the Red Keep, now that she has been named heiress. At a small council meeting, where her job is to pour wine, Rhaenyra suggests her father send dragon riders to deal with the threat of the Crab Keeper, a new villain who has taken over the Stepstones, a chain of islands east of Dorne. in Westeros and west of Essos. It will be seen as a show of force, she notes. (This moment actually foreshadows her own actions later in House of the Dragon episode 2, in how she treats Daemon.)
But the all-male council doesn’t appreciate her “suggestions” and she is quietly kicked out of the small council meeting. Instead, he is told to help choose a new knight for the Kingsguard. Here too, Rhaenyra tries to assert herself by choosing a knight who has combat experience – Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), one of the two new main actors in House of the Dragon episode 2 – rather than a political choice. more informed. It’s a side effect of his own desires. While women are meant to be comely and have offspring for their husbands, Rhaenyra is more interested in dragon riding and fighting. Which is why she leans forward and inquires about Ser Criston’s exploits in the Dornish Swamps.
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Rhaenyra’s boldest move to assert herself on House of the Dragon episode 2 finds her acting on her own advice. After the small council is made aware of Daemon’s theft of a dragon egg, announcing Lady Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) as his second wife and inviting the king to her wedding at of them days, Viserys decides to go face his brother himself. The Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), calms him down and asks him to let him go instead. But Otto fails to make Daemon listen to reason, precisely because Daemon has no desire to listen to reason. He is happy to draw his sword and release his dragon Caraxes, despite the presence of Mysaria and her unborn child.
And if it hadn’t been for Rhaenyra’s decision to put on a show of force – her entrance with Syrax was truly epic in House of the Dragon episode 2 – Otto would have had to return to King’s Landing with his tail between his legs. Even Daemon is surprised by Rhaenyra’s unexpected arrival, with Rhaenyra quickly unraveling her string of lies. Not only did Daemon not ask Mysaria to be his wife, but there is no child in her womb. Daemon was just making it up. In the end, it is Daemon who walks away, reluctantly returning the dragon egg to Rhaenyra.
A 15-year-old girl beat her uncle, an adult. In a way, this is the first dance of the dragons – the famous war of Targaryen succession that we are heading towards is called “Dance of the dragons” by those who wrote the history books – because we see two butt heads from Targaryen. While their respective show of force stands on either side of the stage, the two dragon riders prance around the arena, waiting for one of them to draw their first blood. In the end, no fires are spit and no lives are lost, but the scene is set in Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.
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And while Otto attempts to oppose – be it choosing the knight, and later, Rhaenyra’s presence in Dragonstone – he fails on both counts in House of the Dragon episode 2. In the first, he tries to teach Rhaenyra a lesson in politics, but she is not easily swayed. And with the second, it’s Rhaenyra who ends up giving Otto a lesson in politics. If you face someone with a dragon, you better have one in your corner.
That said, House of the Dragon Episode 2 has a much bigger and more important political lesson in store for him. It comes from Viserys’ cousin and the Queen Who Never Was, Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best). As Viserys walks around the Red Keep gardens with his daughter Lena, Rhaenys tells Rhaenyra that her father will remarry either. And as he begets new children, one of them will end up being a son. And when Viserys is gone, the kingdom will expect him to be the ruler, not Rhanerya, because “that’s the order of things”. Rhaenys sums up the patriarchy – also foreshadowing what is to come – adding: “Men would rather put the kingdom to the torch, than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne.
And at the end of Episode 2 of House of the Dragon, it’s clear that Rhaenyra won’t just be up against boys, but her best friend as well. Alicent has forged her own path through the Red Keep, though right now she’s acting not so much out of desire as expectation on her father’s part. After Queen Aemma’s death, she had talks with the king which have more, especially on the side of Viserys. And of course, she’s smart enough to say the right things and know what will impress her. But she’s also full of worry and anxiety – just look at the state of her fingernails – and it doesn’t help that the king and her father have just pitted her against her best friend. Alicent does not want to destroy their friendship, but she is manipulated in ways beyond her control.
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Choosing Hightower over Velaryon will cost Viserys dearly. Rhaneys tells Rhaenyra when they talk about House of the Dragon episode 2 that her dad isn’t dumb, but it’s clearly a dumb decision, on par with some Ned Stark choices on Game of Thrones I’d say. Even though he is king, Viserys has his “duties”, and strengthening his bloodline is the first of them. Joining the ancient Houses of Valyria in Blood – the Targaryens and Velaryon – would have been a smart move, as everyone has suggested. But in marrying out of duty, Viserys compromised and did it half out of affection. (And the fact that the other suitor was 12 years younger than his own daughter.)
But by choosing Alicent as his wife, Viserys cut the bridges he was trying to rebuild with both Rhaenyra, his only heiress, and Lord Corlys “Sea Snake” Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), who owns half the ships in the fleet. . No wonder then that the Sea Serpent turns to Daemon to find his worth, with the rogue prince plotting his own. House of the Dragon Episode 2 leaves us with the promise that it will tackle the Crab Feeder in the near future, perhaps with fire and blood.
House of the Dragon Episode 2 is streaming now on Disney+ Hotstar in India and on HBO Max wherever available. New episodes drop every Monday at 6:30 a.m. IST / Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.