The second episode of House of the Dragon took place about six months after the first. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) has faced pressure from the small council on various issues. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) worried about her future and Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) tried to go his own way.
If you want to avoid House of the Dragon spoilers, stop reading now. If you’re up to date and want to relive the action, keep reading.
The episode opened on the beaches of the Stepstones the day after a battle. The Crabfeeder had pinned his fallen opponents to driftwood where they would be eaten by crabs or drowned by rising tides. The cries of his victims could be heard.
At King’s Landing, the small council discussed the question of replacing the Kingsguard after the death of Lord Commander Ryam Redwyne. New Lord Commander Ser Harrold Westerling (Graham McTavish) wanted to recruit a new member as soon as possible. With the help of Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), he had arranged for suitable candidates to visit.
Lord Corlys “Sea Snake” Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) has burst in to complain about the situation in the Stepstones. He was angry at his loss of ships and men, but Otto explained that the crown would pay compensation. Instead, Corlys wanted to take the Stepstones by force, but Viserys explained that he was not ready to start a war.
Corlys said the Crabfeeder wouldn’t be afraid of them after letting the Daemon Prince (Matt Smith) take over Dragonstone and live there for over six months. Viserys tried to assure him that it took patience to find a peaceful solution. Princess Rhaenyra had listened and suggested they send dragon riders as a show of force, but her suggestion was cut short by Otto.
Rhaenyra was sent with Harrold to choose the new Kingsguard. She was introduced to each but was unimpressed with their lack of combat experience. However, she was thrilled when Ser Cristen Cole (Fabien Frankel) was introduced and cast him.
Meanwhile, Viserys spent time with Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) where he showed her the stone model he was building and explained its history. He accidentally broke one of the dragon statues and asked her how Rhaenyra was doing. She encouraged him to talk to her and agreed not to talk about their conversations. Later, Rhaenyra told Alicent about her concerns that her father would remarry and replace her as heiress. Alicent said that Rhaenyra should approach her father if she wanted to talk to him. She tried later during dinner without much success.
In the gardens of the Red Keep, Viserys spoke with Corlys and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). Corlys and Rhaenys said the crown was seen as vulnerable and offered the king to unite their houses by marrying their 12-year-old daughter, Laena Velaryon (Nova Foueillis-Mose). Viserys was stunned and said he had not yet considered remarrying. Later he sought the opinion of the Small Council, Otto seemed shocked and against the idea while Grand Maester Mellos (David Horovitch) seemed enthusiastic about the idea as he thought it would mend the relationship between House Targaryen and House Velaryon.
Viserys then strolled through the gardens with Laena. She asked if he knew where the dragon Vhagar nested and gave a repeated speech from his father. Viserys didn’t seem happy about marrying someone so young. Rhaenys confronted Rhaenyra and explained that the king would remarry, have more children, and the first boy would become his heir instead.
Viserys opened up to Alicent about being pressured to remarry. She presented him with a box containing the broken dragon figurine that she had had the stonecutters repair. The king was called because Daemon stole an egg that belonged to the dragon Dreamfyre. It was the same egg that had been chosen for Prince Baelon. Daemon left a note to say he was to marry Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) and she was pregnant, he took the egg for the baby’s crib.
The king was outraged and wanted to go to Dragonstone immediately. He was blocked by Otto who said he would go instead. Otto, Harrold and Cristen headed for Dragonstone with 20 guards. When they arrived, they were confronted on the steps by Daemon and his golden cloaks. Otto presented his demands and the couple exchanged insults. As the weapons were drawn, Daemon’s dragon Caraxes appeared, followed soon after by Syrax and Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra told Otto she was there to prevent the bloodshed, then confronted her uncle with Valyrian. She provoked him into killing her, but instead he dropped the egg.
With Otto absent, Viserys sought the advice of Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes). Her advice was that the king should marry Laena as it would leave him in a much stronger position. Their conversation was interrupted when the king was informed that Rhaenyra had returned from Dragonstone. He was furious that she had disobeyed him but happy with what she had accomplished. They talked about their grief at losing the queen and Rhaenyra explained that she understood he had to take a new bride. He said he had no desire to replace her as heiress.
At the next small council, Viserys announced his intention to marry Lady Alicent Hightower. Lord Corlys was offended and stormed the meeting. The decision also upset Rhaenyra who also left.
At the end of the episode, Corlys called Daemon to a meeting at Driftmark. They decided to ignore the king and formed an alliance to confront the Crabfeeder.
House of the Dragon airs every Sunday at 2 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Stay tuned to EF Television for previews, recaps, images and more.