Episode 1 of HBO’s House of the Dragon opened to mostly good reviews from viewers and critics alike.
The first installment set up the premise for Season 1 that saw a tentative claim to the Iron Throne by King Viserys (Paddy Considine).
Then, when he hadn’t produced a male heir, and his brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), turned out to be a right royal sod, Viserys had no choice but to declare his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), as his rightful heir.
While all the important people in the realm pledged allegiance to the king and his heir, let’s face it, all these men are not going to be happy taking orders from a woman at some point down the track so, already, we know how this is going down after the king dies.
And this is further shown in Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.
Already, cracks are starting to show in the king’s grand plan to have Rhaenyra rule in his stead.
Things are getting worse at the Stepstones
Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) is concerned with issues arising at the Stepstones.
Currently, this is an issue that might not raise much interest for viewers as the battle between Targaryens for the Iron Throne but make sure you pay attention as this will likely be important moving forward.
The basics that you need to know now is that the Triarchy (which consists of the free cities of Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh) is fighting the pirates living on the islands. This has led to high tariffs to trade with the free cities.
Most notably, Lord Corlys is begrudged for having to pay these prices and wants the king to step in.
But, already, we know that the king lives in a fantasy land where he is awesome and he doesn’t like to involve himself in conflict because of this.
Prince Daemon is still a thorn in his brother’s side
In Episode 1 of House of the Dragon, Prince Daemon was stripped of his title as heir to the Iron Throne and sent home to the Vale to live with his wife.
So, of course, this didn’t happen. Instead, Daemon took his concubine, Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), and decided to take over Dragonstone. Also stealing a dragon’s egg that belonged to Rhaenyra’s dead brother in the process.
Daemon claims it is because Mysaria is pregnant and she needs a dragon egg because her child will have Targaryen blood. He also declares he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Except, he forgot to tell Mysaria about his claims and she is determined never to bear anyone a child.
No one wants to listen to Rhaenyra already
We all knew it when Viserys claimed it but in this week’s installment, it becomes very apparent that no one wants to listen to a word Rhaenyra has to say.
When the problem of Daemon is brought up and she suggests going to Dragonstone on dragon-back to sort things out with her uncle, she is told not to do it. Instead, she is sent to pick a new King’s Guard post.
Not only does she do that, picking the less connected Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), the only man there that has seen active battle, but she then goes against her father and Hand’s wishes and sorts that s**t with Daemon as well.
Otto (Rhys Ifans) has already headed to Dragonstone and stirred up trouble with Daemon so things look tense when Rhaenyra turns up on her dragon and quickly rectifies the situation, making an obvious enemy of Otto, who she has just belittled by fixing what his convoy couldn’t.
In addition to this, Daemon gives Rhaenyra back the dragon egg. He is not impressed and it looks like trouble is not at all resolved here between the king and his brother.
The king needs a wife
Since Viserys lost his wife, Aemma (Sian Brooke) in the last episode of House of the Dragon, he is already under pressure to find another wife. Not only is this important to the realm, but a lot of men are also hoping he will produce a son in a new marriage and fix the “problem” that is Rhaenyra.
Marry off the king to a 12-year-old girl. Ew!
And, in true Targaryen-style, this girl is also related to him, being the daughter of his cousin, Rhaenys (Eve Best), who is also known as the Queen Who Never Was.
I mean, it seems like a good idea on paper, it unites two Targaryen branches and makes Lord Corlys happy because he suggested the pairing but I am mad at them all because they are happy to pimp off their child to the king.
Luckily, the king looks as horrified as I feel regarding this paring and, while he goes ahead and meets little Laena, he has other ideas as to who he can wed.
This leads me to the next plot unfolding in Westeros presently.
Otto Hightower is basically Littlefinger 2.0
Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) was literally the worst in Game of Thrones when it came to plotting behind everyone’s backs for his own gain.
Otto, Hand of the King, is just as bad. Except, he is happy to also drag his daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey) into his bulls**t.
Last week, we saw Otto suggest to his daughter that he kept the king company after the devastating loss of his wife.
In Episode 2, things are going nicely in regard to this plot, and the king looks rather captivated by the charm of Alicent, who is also the bestie to his daughter, Rhaenyra.
So, when the king throws the suggestion of bedding his second cousin and announces he will wed Alicent instead, Rhaenyra looks suitably p**sed — not to mention everyone else at the small council when Viserys makes this announcement, basically wedding himself to someone with no real bindings that will further significant ties in Westeros.
And, because Lord Corlys is determined to be united with House Targaryen in one way or another, immediately heads off to Dragonstone to have a quiet word with Prince Daemon about joining forces.
House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.