Last week’s episode of House of the Dragon saw King Viserys (Paddy Considine) reject one marriage proposal in favor of another.
As a result, viewers got their first significant time jump in this week’s installment.
King Viserys is now married to his daughter’s friend, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), and they already have a son together.
Prince Aegon is turning two years old, which is something to be celebrated in the realm, but Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) has mixed feelings.
For starters, things between Rhaenerya and Alicient are already frosty. Secondly, everyone is whispering across Westeros that Aegon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne merely because he is a boy.
To hell with the fact he is only two, and Rhaenyra has already been declared the legal heir.
The Stepstones conflict continues
While the king is only interested in his son’s name day, the conflict in the Stepstones continues. However, the king will have none of that because why should a war started by his brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), impact his day-to-day life?
Seriously, the king is really starting to make me mad now. He seems to do nothing but make decisions that cause further conflict, something that continues in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon.
People are talking about the conflict, even if the king isn’t. Even Rhaenyra is being confronted to drop a statement on the matter, but she’s not overly interested in all that.
And here is my second gripe with this royal family.
While the king is busy pointing out to his daughter that she has an obligation to do royal things such as breeding to ensure their shaky hold on the Iron Throne is solidified, Rhaenyra has little interest in actually doing things that will help their claim. Like marrying into a good family and thinking about children.
Instead, she is too busy scowling at Alicent and getting sh**ty every time she gets another marriage proposal.
Sure, Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) is a dud who thinks Rhaenyra will be marrying up when she is dropped as heir and wed to him. This is something that the king confronts and solidifies won’t happen because Rhaenyra will be queen someday.
He also points out that he didn’t name Rhaenyra as his heir on a whim. Except he kind of did because there was literally no one else he could name except Daemon, who already has the telltale Targaryen signs of being bats**t crazy.
Rhaenyra dips on hunting
Getting sick of all the royal obligations she is being faced with during her half-brother’s birthday celebrations, Rhaenyra decides to vacate the premises, taking off on horseback.
Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) quickly follows her, and the pair bond while the king continues to drink to excess and hunt for an elusive white deer that will bring his son luck.
While Rhaenyra is gone, she and Ser Cole chat about marriage — not to each other but just in general. He also offers to kill Jason Lannister for her, and while he is joking, I feel like this is already the start of an unhealthy relationship between the pair.
Then, a boar interrupts them, and the princess is threatened before Ser Cole manages to kill it. However, when the boar continues to move, Rhaenyra goes crazy and stabs it multiple times.
The pair then return to the king, and Rhaenyra is covered in blood and looks like she has zero cares to give.
Things get creepier than a 12-year-old marriage offer
In Episode 3 of House of the Dragon, the king passed up a marriage proposal that looked good on paper between him and Princess Laena Velaryon (Nova Foueillis-Mosé), daughter of Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) and Princess Rhaenys (Eva Best).
The only problem was Princess Laena was only 12 years old at the time.
It creeped out viewers, and things got worse in this week’s episode.
Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Hand of the King, suggests the king nip talk in the bud regarding Aegon being named his heir by marrying off Aegon to his sister, Rhaenyra.
Aside from the fact that Aegon is two, the pair are half-siblings. Sure, that’s fair game for Targaryens, but seriously, how gross is that?
Luckily the king thinks that’s a terrible idea but is more open to Rhaenyra marrying Laena’s brother, Prince Laenor (Theo Nate), who has been aged up this week and is busy at the Stepstones helping Daemon in the conflict with the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith).
However, Viserys has decided — with the help of Alicent — that Rhaenyra needs to feel like she has picked her husband rather than being told to marry someone.
Otto continues to lurk and scheme
Speaking of Otto, while he publically seems to back the king’s decision to name Rhaenyra as his official heir, he is still scheming in the background.
Speaking honestly with his daughter, Alicent, his true intentions are revealed.
It comes as no surprise that he wants his grandson, Aegon, named the true heir.
And while Alicent seems to want to avoid conflict between herself and Rhaenyra and wants to put her friend’s feelings first, she still does as her father says when he suggests she talk to the king and sway his opinion. However, things get sidelined when the problem of the Stepstones comes to the front again.
The Stepstones is a real problem
The king has received a letter from Lord Corlys’ brother, Vaemond (Wil Johnson), requesting his assistance with the Stepstones.
While the king has spent the entire episode avoiding the conflict, he finally decides to send help.
Telling Rhaenyra about his plans, the pair end up fighting about the king’s line of succession, and he ends up swearing on Rhaenyra’s mother’s name that he will not back down on naming her as heir.
But, back to the Stepstones.
Daemon, while he has a dragon, is having trouble killing the Crabfeeder, who keeps retreating into a series of caves every time things get heated.
So, word of the king sending help comes at the perfect time, and he offers himself up as a sacrifice to trick the Crabfeeder into coming out of his cave. This actually works, and viewers get their first major battle scene so far in House of the Dragon.
Sure, it’s not the Battle of the Bastards, but it still gives those hankering for a fight something to grab onto.
And, thanks to the king’s help and Daemon’s ruse, he finally manages to kill the Crabfeeder. Will this end the conflict in the Stepstones, though? Who knows. Only by tuning into next week’s episode of House of the Dragon will more be revealed.
House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.