Rhaenyra looking over her shoulder and seeing a White Hart
"Rhaenyra looking over her shoulder and seeing a White Hart," House of the Dragon, "Second of His Name," directed by Greg Yaitanes, 2022, (HBO)

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“House of the Dragon” continues to time jump as three years pass, and Alicent still is of mind to try to win back Rhaenyra, whose ascension to the Iron Throne is in question.

Aired (HBO) 9/4/2022
Director(s) Greg Yaitanes
Writer(s) Gabe Fonseca, Ryan Condal
Introduced This Episode
Vaemond Wil Johnson
Laenor Theo Nate
Prince Drahar Daniel Scott-Smith
Jason Lannister Jefferson Hall

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

A Defiant Princess – Alicent, Viserys, Rhaenyra

With the birth of Aegmon, and him living beyond his second birthday, Rhaenyra sees the potential writing on the wall. After all, Aegmon is male, and as shown, Viserys has made minimal effort to put Rhaenyra in a position to become respected and seen as a rightful heir to the Iron Throne. She still lives the life of a privileged princess with limited, if any, powers.

This, of course, complicates things for her and Alicent, who have long lost their friendship. But, as the new queen, Alicent does try to make nice with Rhaenyra. However, the shock and betrayal are an eternal wound that Rhaenyra has no desire, and potentially no ability, to move past.

The Assumption Of Choice – Viserys, Rhaenyra, Alicent, Otto, Criston, Jason

Viserys is constantly torn between his duties as King and his desires for his relationship with Rhaenyra. As King, when Jason Lannister approaches him to wed Rhaenyra, this is seen as a good match. However, Rhaenyra makes it clear she lacks any and all interests in Jason, and the idea of being married off like cattle offends her so badly she runs away. Luckily, with Criston to protect her.

 

Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) offering a gift to Viserys for the hunt, and to shore up his proposal to Rhaenyra
“Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) offering a gift to Viserys for the hunt, and to shore up his proposal to Rhaenyra,” House of the Dragon, “Second of His Name,” directed by Greg Yaitanes, 2022, (HBO)

But, such an action only fuels the need for Otto to plant yet another seed in his daughter’s ear so that she can push her son to be King. However, Alicent doesn’t strike yet. After all, there is still some lingering desire to reconcile with Rhaenyra. Yet, with Rhaenyra reappearing a day later with a dead boar and blood on her face, maybe Alicent is starting to realize the girl she knew and was friends with might be gone.

Though it should be noted, to help ease Rhaenyra’s anxiety, in private, Viserys reaffirms she is his heir despite few seeming ready to agree with him. Also, upon counsel from Alicent, he presents the idea that Rhaenyra can choose her own match but must consider how that match will reflect on her, her ability to ascend, and her line of succession.

You Will Not Steal My Honor – Daemon, Corlys, Vaemond, Laenor, Prince Drahar, Viserys

Three years in and the war Corlys and Daemon began against the Triarchy has become a bit of a losing battle. Despite Daemon’s dragon and Corlys’ money, Prince Drahar has them losing ships and money. But, it isn’t until he realizes he may lose his brother that Viserys gets involved as he has maintained ignoring what was going on as the war was unsanctioned.

Vaemond (Wil Johnson) complaining to his brother Corlys about the war and Daemon's part in it
“Vaemond (Wil Johnson) complaining to his brother Corlys about the war and Daemon’s part in it,” House of the Dragon, “Second of His Name,” directed by Greg Yaitanes, 2022, (HBO)

However, upon hearing his brother had a desire to interfere, Daemon decided to be the bait Vaemond, Corlys’ brother, needed him to be. Thus, Prince Drahar was drawn out of the cave he and his army would hide out in, and between Corlys’ brother Vaemond, Laenor, Corlys’ son, Prince Drahar’s forces were decimated, and Daemon was able to claim Prince Drahar’s corpse – as he took with him more than the Prince’s head.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. It’s interesting how Laenor so dramatically aged when Rhaenyra hasn’t. Are they phasing in new actors little by little vs. all at once?
  2. Is Mysaria still in Daemon’s protection?
  3. Does Rhaenys have a dragon that could have helped, or is she not a warrior princess type?
  4. Can Corlys return to Viserys counsel after what he did?

What Could Happen Next

Laenor (Theo Nate) readying for battle with his father and uncle
“Laenor (Theo Nate) readying for battle with his father and uncle,” House of the Dragon, “Second of His Name,” directed by Greg Yaitanes, 2022, (HBO)
  1. Laenor being pushed on Rhaenyra, and us learning if Laenor will be like his book counterpart
  2. Alicent decreasingly trying to make amends with Rhaenyra or even seek grace for her when counseling her father
  3. More men proposing to marry Rhaenyra, and Otto pushing for one or another to lessen her likelihood to inherit the Iron Throne
  4. Daemon potentially rejoining the mix of who should be heir apparent

Collected Quote(s)

The road ahead is uncertain, but the end is clear.
— Otto

Review

Highlights

What Appeared To Be Daemon’s Last Stand

The “Game of Thrones” franchise is well known for killing off characters in grand moments, so Daemon appearing to rather die than accept his brother’s help would have been fitting. It would have solidified just how stubborn he was, and his desire to rather go out in a blaze of glory than ever to need his brother, who can barely kill a defenseless animal.

Yet, rather than kill Daemon off, he came up triumphant with his allies before Viserys’ men could set foot near the Stepstones. Thus allowing him a major sense of glory as, lest we forget, Corlys’ ships are the main means of food and other essentials getting to and from King’s Landing. So Daemon claiming this victory, and Corlys likely giving it to him, could mean a shorter memory of Daemon’s less desirable history.

Viserys Trying To Salvage His Relationship With Rhaenyra

While the world of Westeros will always be sexist, it is always something to see when men of power try to create spaces and moments to push against such. With Viserys, you can see he is torn between his child being a woman, a princess at that, yet still his little girl. Because of how his life is, he sacrificed her mother in hopes of a son, and you can see he has no desire to sacrifice her for a title or an alliance. Yet, losing a house like the Lannisters isn’t a good look.

But, at the same time, she is all that is left of Aemma, and with him being the reason she is without a mother, paired with marrying and having children with Rhaenyra’s former best friend, there is immense guilt. His duty is often in contention with his role as a father, and as a common man, he’d have more options and be able to give more leeway. However, as King, he doesn’t have such and to a point, Rhaenyra understands this. She’d never claim her father to be a great, progressive, or even the type of man who would change the world. All Viserys wants is to maintain peace and limit the amount of infighting and politics he has to deal with. Hence her lack of faith in him even if her loneliness is slightly calmed with books.

Though, what options does she have? She doesn’t want to make her father look too bad, yet she has to show her displeasure. She has no real fancy for any so-called knight or lord who hasn’t seen combat, and the few men she knows who have, like Criston, aren’t high-born and thus aren’t a viable match. So Rhaenyra is constantly in a position of having to choose the lesser of multiple evils, with her father paying lip service to her troubles.

On The Fence

All The Time Jumps

According to a report by “The Cheat Sheet,” which recounts an interview with co-creator George R.R. Martin, season 1 of “House of the Dragon” covers 28 years and ends right before the “Dance of the Dragons” war. With that in mind, of course, time has to move quickly as the show is only 10 episodes, and at least 4 or 5 will feature the younger versions of Alicent and Rhaenyra before the reins are handled to older counterparts, likely for the rest of the series.

But, in jumping around so much, it is a bit jarring. Yes, it allows you to get past the potential of seeing Alicent and Viserys have sex and Corlys’ family going back and forth with Daemon about their war. Yet, there is a need to question all that can be missed by flying through multiple years. Whether it is something small like seeing how Alicent’s relationship with her father transformed after he pimped her out or whether Rhaenyra and Alicent ever had any desire to properly reconcile in the early days. Especially since they were rather close.

Prince Drahar's (Daniel Scott-Smith) face up close
“Prince Drahar’s (Daniel Scott-Smith) face up close,” House of the Dragon, “Second of His Name,” directed by Greg Yaitanes, 2022, (HBO)

Add in we could have learned so much more about the Triarchy, Corlys’ family, and their ruling area, and it does feel that we’re both missing character development and a bit of world-building to hit the trigger for the “Dance of the Dragons” war.

Continued Worries About When They Switch To Older Members Of the Cast

Can our worries about Molly Alcock handing over the reins of Rhaenyra be unfounded? It’s possible. However, things have been going so well for “House of the Dragon” so far that this could become its first potential blunder. Though it should be noted, with a theater background, maybe D’Arcy shouldn’t be discounted and perhaps can stand shoulder to shoulder with Alcock’s contribution.

It’s just, with half the season, having Alcock and then D’Arcy stepping into the lead role, it means D’Arcy has to hit the ground running. Otherwise, it’ll likely be the season finale by the time D’Arcy can look comfortable in the role. Then we have to wait who knows how long to get comfortable with D’Arcy again while pushing the need to compare them to Alcock as the season gets re-watched and recapped to remember all that has happened.

[ninja_tables id=”69249″]

Rhaenyra looking over her shoulder and seeing a White Hart
House of the Dragon: Season 1/ Episode 3 “Second of His Name” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
Time jumps in episode 3 make the looming one of our leads almost eclipse a lot of what happens. Though, as Viserys pursues to make sure Rhaenyra doesn’t feel forgotten and like cattle, and Daemon gets a much-needed victory, at least it can now be said everything may fall apart when Alcock
Highlights
What Appeared To Be Daemon’s Last Stand
Viserys Trying To Salvage His Relationship With Rhaenyra
Disputable
All The Time Jumps
Continued Worries About When They Switch To Older Members Of the Cast
82

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