Each week, Tarek @tarek_wm will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon.
After a record-breaking premiere, House of the Dragon is officially a smash hit. We’ll see how many viewers stick after the first episode, or if there is any drop-off. The second episode is dialogue driven and our characters are off and running in this political Game of Thrones. It’s so reminiscent of the original that the same theme song is used over the opening credits. A symbolic choice that I loved; I’m sure something as silly as a song won’t stir the internet up too much. Spoilers ahead!
We open episode two, titled “The Rogue Prince,” with a shot of a beach covered with crabs. Not normal crabs but quick and ravenous ones; they’re poking at bodies and practically feasting on them. These bodies were covered with water and looked to be there for a long time. The unfortunate souls were left from an invasion by a Myrish Pirate called “The Crabfeeder”. Lord Corlys warned Viserys and the small council about the conquest of the stepstones, and this was their first step.
Lord Corlys was dismissed last week when he brought this to their attention and his concerns aren’t given a second thought yet again. Viserys’ attention is on the passing of The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and finding his replacement. Here we find out that six months have passed between episodes one and two. Nothing has changed for Rhanerya as she’s still playing waitress for the small council.
During the meeting, Viserys points out that he doesn’t want to go to war, but Rhanerya suggests he send her and other Dragonriders to intimidate the culprits. Again she is dismissed by her father who tells her to help Otto pick a new member of the Kingsguard. She chooses Criston Cole, who held his own in the jousting tournament last week. Rhanerya makes a wise choice by choosing the only candidate with combat experience. Otto is skeptical because of his age, but Rhanerya dismisses him for once.
Viserys and Alicent share a “moment” when Viserys shows her a monument of Old Valeria as he reminisces on the good ole days. As he’s giving her a sweeping history of the Targaryen’s old land, a dragon from the monument falls and shatters on the floor. Later, Alicent fixes it for him and gives it back, a gesture Viserys appreciated. The blatant flirtation and grooming by Viserys in just two episodes is gross. I get that this is Westeros, but come on.
Alicent knows the game, too; she’s playing Viserys and Rhanerya as she tells her friend to talk to her dad as they’ve become distant since Aemma’s passing. They talk over dinner and Viserys tells Rhanerya that he is looking to remarry to produce a new heir. He’s telling her to her face that he’s going to take back what he promised her after the whole realm knelt and acknowledged Rhanerya as heir. She responds with a diplomatic answer saying he’s the king and he can do what he wants.
Earlier in the episode, Lord Corlys broaches this subject with the king and offers his TWELVE-YEAR-OLD daughter Laena Velaryon to unite the two most powerful houses of Old Valyria. Does Viserys immediately shoot this down? No. Later, they take a stroll together without a care in the world.
Rhanerya’s mother Rhanerys is looking on when Rhanerya walks by, and she drops some harsh truths onto her: her father will remarry, produce a male heir, and retract his promise to her to be the heir.
The Small Council reconvenes and learns Daemon has taken Dragonstone and is marrying his mistress, Mysaria; she’s pregnant and he stole a dragon egg to put with the baby in his cradle, the same egg that was to be put in Baelon’s cradle. Viserys wants to go to Dragonstone and drag Daemon back himself, but Otto volunteers. Otto makes his demands, Daemon snickers, and swords are drawn. No resolution is reached until Rhanerya swoops in atop a dragon where she speaks to Daemon in Valyrian, their language. She tells him if he wants to be heir so bad, he can kill her where she stands. At this point, he tosses her the egg. As she walks past Otto with a smirk, knowing he couldn’t get the job done. He knowingly glances at her with a look of respect.
Viserys convenes with Master of Laws Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) about who he should choose to be his wife. Lyonel advises him and insinuates Laena is the best choice. Viserys calls a small council meeting and says that he intends to marry Alicent. Corlys is floored while Otto is trying to hide his pleasure. Rhanerya runs out of the room in tears as her father chooses her best friend to marry.
Corlys takes the news hard and goes to Dragonstone to meet Daemon to propose an alliance. Corlys wants Daemon to help him take down the Free Cities whether Viserys is for it or not. They gush about how powerful they both are and they’ve been passed over too many times. The episode ends with a shot of one of the pirates with half a face looking gnarly.
Come back next week after Episode 3!