House of the Dragon: Season 1 Episodes 2 & 3 Spoiler Review

After three episodes I still am not sure what this series is about besides exploring a particular era of the Targaryen family. The small time jumps the show is doing is getting confusing, and I wish they would explain how many years have passed whenever there is a jump in time. Other than my confusion over the time jumps I am finding House of the Dragon excellent, and episode three was the best episode yet as the tension increases. While Daemon is my favourite character so far, I am growing fonder of Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole. Daemon only appeared in the beginning and end of episode three he is a fascinating character as he straddles the line between good and bad. Daemon reminds me of Jamie Lannister, though we will need to wait and see if Daemon can change for the better like Jamie did. The time jumps have thus focused a lot more on Viserys and Rhaenyra than on Daemon, but I think we will see more of Daemon going forward. The end of episode three showed Daemon becoming a hero by defeating the enemy, and he did this with no help from his brother the King. I think Daemon was determined to succeed or die rather than get help from his brother, that determination proved correct as his plan succeeded. 

The politics of House of the Dragon are fascinating as we see just how much of a burden being King seems to be for Viserys. The King appears to be growing more frustrated by being ruler with each passing episode, and despite being King he feels powerless. Viserys makes a shocking decision to take his daughter's friend Alicent as his new wife, and that decision only alienates his daughter further. Despite Viserys' claims that he doesn't intend to remove Rhaenyra as his heir, it feels like that is an empty promise. Viserys made a huge mistake by pushing Daemon away, as he is now surrounded by people who are more self interested than dutiful. Daemon is someone who might not be a great person, but he did seem loyal to Viserys. Rhaenyra is tough to read as she seems bothered by her father's decisions, which is compounded by nobody listening to her thoughts on things. Rhaenyra's decision to go and get the dragon egg back from Daemon turned out to be the right choice as she saved the lives of Ser Otto and his men. Ser Otto's decision to confront Daemon is confusing as Otto had to know that Daemon would have easily defeated him; Otto's choice had nothing to gain, but a lot to lose. Daemon and Rhaenyra have an odd relationship that appears to be heading towards the typical Targaryen way of interbreeding. Daemon might have become the hero by the end of episode three, but he has spent the previous five years losing everything, so he really needed that win.


Episode two which is titled The Rogue Prince opens with a look at the adversary mentioned by Corlys in episode one. We see the Crabfeeder in action as we open on a beach watching as men are screaming while being eaten by crabs. In Kings Landing the commander of the Kings Guard has died and Ser Harrold Westerling (played by Graham McTavish) has been appointed as the new commander leaving an open position in the Kings Guard. Lord Corlys walks revealing that one of his ships was lost to the Crabfeeder, Corlys wants the King to take the Stepstones by force so they can find the Crabfeeder. The King refuses to start a war with the free cities to appease Corlys. We learn that it has been six months since the end of episode one and that Daemon has seized Dragonstone as his home. Rhaenyra interjects to remind her father that he has dragonriders, but Viserys does not listen to her idea. Viserys sends Rhaenyra to pick the new member of the Kings Guard who will be assigned to protect Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra wants a knight with combat experience, and the only one who has is Ser Criston Cole who Rhaenyra picks to be her protector. 

Viserys has finished his miniature city of Old Valyria, and he is showing it to Alicent Hightower and Viserys expresses his wish that Rhaenyra would talk to him. Alicent is walking with Rhaenyra, and they talk about her father's plan to have her marry. Viserys is trying to make amends with Corlys and Rhaenys, and Corlys tells Viserys that he needs to remarry to make the crown appear stronger. Corlys suggests that Viserys marry his daughter to unite the two strongest families. Viserys is taking advice from other members of his council about Corlys' proposal, and none of the council can agree on what to do. Viserys meets Laena (the daughter of Corlys and Rhaenys), but she is very young (a child), and this appears to make Viserys uncomfortable. Viserys then learns that Daemon has taken a dragon egg, and he did this because he is getting married to his consort Mysaria and she is with child. Daemon says the egg is his child's birthright, to rub salt in the wound the egg Daemon took was the one picked to belong to Viserys' now dead son. Viserys plans to go to Dragonstone himself to take the egg back, but Ser Otto goes instead saying that the King is too important to risk. 

Ser Otto and his soldiers arrive at Dragonstone, and they are greeted by Daemon and his men which starts a standoff between the two sides. The standoff is no contest as Daemon's dragon Caraxes is also there making sure Ser Otto stands no chance of success. Ser Otto is saved by the arrival of Rhaenyra aboard her dragon Syrax. Rhaenyra speaks with Daemon, and even though Daemon is unhappy he still returns the egg to Rhaenyra. Daemon and Mysaria have an argument as she knew nothing about the wedding or her being with child. Viserys has finally decided to take a new wife, and he announces to his council that he will marry Alicent Hightower. The King's decision is an insult to Lord Corlys, and his own daughter as her close friend will now be her stepmother. The episode ends with Lord Corlys and Daemon meeting to discuss the two combining forces to kill the Crabfeeder. 

The third episode titled Second of His Name starts with the war being waged by Daemon and Corlys against the Crabfeeder and his men. Caraxes attacks from above spraying the battlefield with fire, but the Crabfeeder and his men hide in caves to keep them away from the dragon. Daemon is calling out the Crabfeeder, but Daemon is hit by arrow and forced to leave the battlefield. At Kings Landing we see Viserys celebrating the 2nd birthday of his son (Aegon) by way of his new wife Alicent. Tyland Lannister brings news from The Stepstones about the war with the Crabfeeder, but Viserys refuses to listen. Rhaenyra is not at the celebration, but she is forced to attend the hunt. On the way to the hunt Viserys and Rhaenyra argue about Rhaenyra getting married, as Rhaenyra has no interest in getting married. they have another argument after Viserys tells her that must consider Jason Lannister, this argument is in front of people and Rhaenyra takes off on her horse. Jason Lannister makes his offer to Viserys to wed Rhaenyra, but Jason makes the mistake of assuming Rhaenyra will no longer be heir to the throne. The King is angered by everyone questioning his choice to keep Rhaenyra as his heir since he has a son now. Ser Otto makes another suggestion that Viserys should keep in mind, he suggests Rhaenyra marry her baby brother. The King has been drinking heavily, and he has become angry at everyone telling him what to do. Another advisor has a third option which is for Rhaenyra to wed Lord Corlys and Rhaenys's son Laenor which would heal the wound between the two houses. 

Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole are sitting at a campfire when they are attacked by a wild boar, Ser Criston stabs the beast, but it is Rhaenyra that finally kills it. Viserys is drunk and staring at a fire when Alicent approaches him to ask him what is wrong. Viserys tells her that he had a dream of a male heir, he chased that dream until he killed his wife. The next morning the hunt have located the beast to slay to celebrate the King's son's birthday, and Viserys slays the beast. Rhaenyra and Ser Criston return to camp with the boar as a prize as everyone looks on. Ser Otto visits his daughter, and he pushes her to make sure Aegon relaces Rhaenyra as heir. Alicent then visits Viserys, and she tells the King that to convince Rhaenyra to marry would mean she would have to believe it is her choice. They also discuss a letter asking to send help in the war against the Crabfeeder, Viserys does not want to help two malcontents, but letting the Crabfeeder win is worse. Viserys tells Rhaenyra about sending aid, but the conversation turns into an argument about replacing Rhaenyra as heir. The King insists he will not replace her as heir, but he also insists that she needs to marry, but he will let her choose her husband.

At the Stepstones the war is going badly, but there is a plan to succeed, but they need to lure the Crabfeeder and his men out of the caves to make it work. Daemon sees the King has sent aid, but he rages at the idea of his brother bailing him out. Daemon then rows to the beach where the Crabfeeder and his men are, and he raises a white flag. As Daemon is surrounded, he starts fighting back against the Crabfeeder's men killing them. As more men being to go after Daemon, his soldiers appear as well as Caraxes. Daemon slays the Crabfeeder winning the war before his brother's aid arrived as the episode ends. 


House of the Dragon has been very consistent over the first three episodes, all the episodes have been very good so far. I think the best scenes of the show so far have been in episodes two and three which are Rhaenyra confronting Daemon on Dragonstone and the attack that ended episode three. Both of those scenes were visually striking and filled with tension. I am looking for Daemon's heroic return to Kings Landing, but I doubt the relationship between the Targaryen brothers is healed. Viserys is the key character in this show right now as his relationship with his daughter and his brother is the main thrust of the story. Viserys is such an interesting character because he is a decent man, but he is so hard to root for because he is so weak. Viserys is a King who is going to leave a mess when he dies, his weakness will continue to weaken Rhaenyra's claim to the throne. When Viserys was getting drunk in episode three I thought it was leading somewhere, but it can't because he will not enforce his position. In episode one it was teased that the King might be experiencing some health issues, but since then Viserys appears healthy, his main issues is that he appears exhausted by being King. So far, the show has been very focused on Kings Landing, after spending so much time in Winterfell and The Wall I kind of miss the other locations. 

The action featured in the end of episode three was fantastic, and the defeat of the Crabfeeder happened so quickly, and off camera that I wish we saw that encounter. I am not sure where this will lead, but there is now no clear antagonist for the rest of the season. The Crabfeeder was only featured in episode three, but he was a looming threat in the first two episodes. The only real threat appears to be the political machinations of everyone involved; if Viserys can't find a way to control his throne he will be find himself no longer King. Daemon's anger in episode one was more about his relationship with his brother, than it was about him wanting to be King. Daemon does not come across as political power player in the show, as Daemon is more of a volatile force of nature. Daemon will need to work hard to gain the trust of his brother back, but that will only happen if Daemon actually cares to fix things. There is going to be a lot of obstacles in Rhaenyra's way if she wishes to ascend to the throne; almost nobody wants her to take the throne. Rhaenyra is going to have find some allies if she wants the throne, but finding allies right now seems next to impossible. There will be no way for Viserys to keep Rhaenyra as his heir if he cannot convince his own council to accept her. Rhaenyra is a spirited young woman who is not interested in doing what is expected of her. In the first episode she explicitly stated her issues with her mother, and nothing has changed in her mindset in the years since then. 

The first three episodes of House of the Dragon have been great, and there is a lot more episodes to come with season two already been approved. I am going to give episode two an 8/10, with the scene set at Dragonstone being the highlight of the episode. The score I am going to give to episode three is also an 8/10 as it opens and closes with great scenes, but the middle of the episode was not able to reach those highs. I think episode four will be very interesting as Daemon is now victorious, and he will hopefully make his way back to Kings Landing. Daemon is the electricity of the show, he is so volatile that it is hard not become focused whenever he is on the screen. Paddy Considine has also been really strong as Viserys; playing such a dramatic role is something I have never seen him do. Viserys only seems to get mad when he is dealing with his brother; it truly brings Viserys to life in a way we never see. I hope as the series moves along, we learn more about the Targaryens' and the dragons, it is something I keep waiting for to be answered. Tonight, will be the fourth episode, and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Thank you for reading my spoiler review of episodes 2 and 3 of House of the Dragon; please let me know what you feel about the show after three episodes.

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