House of the Dragon episode 2 is here, and the pace has quickened as well as slowed down. Though episode 1 covered a lot of ground, the number of events occurring are now perceivably less. This is most likely due to the fact that around six months have progressed since the last episode. However, this episode is no less pulse-pounding than the last, packed with great moments. Here are the top 5 moments from Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.
SPOILER ALERT: This post has major spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 2. Proceed at your own risk.
5. Rhaenys gives Rhaenyra the talk
One of the most memorable moments from the House of the Dragon trailer was Rhaenys and Rhaenyra arguing about succession. We finally see this moment in the form of a scene where both women involved stand firm in their beliefs. The two share a distaste for how women and marriages are used as political tools. However, Rhaenys is convinced that a woman can never sit on the Iron Throne, as men would rather ‘put the realm to torch’ rather than see it happen.
Her feelings are, perhaps, justified, as she was passed over as heir in favour of her cousin, Viserys. Rhaenyra, however, chooses to ignore this warning. She is resilient in her belief that she will create a new order once she ascends the Throne. As the episode progresses, however, her conviction wavers as she witnesses events unfold that are beyond her reckoning.
4. Showdown at Dragonstone
Daemon has already established himself as a troublemaker and solidifies this by pulling a stunt out of spite. He invites King Viserys to his wedding at Dragonstone, where he claims he will herald the birth of his son by placing a stolen dragon egg in his cradle. He claims the son will be born of his new wife, Myssaria, who previously worked in the brothels of King’s Landing.
Against all good sense, Ser Otto Hightower decides to confront him with a force headed by Ser Criston Cole, now of the Kingsguard. Daemon does not take lightly to being threatened by two men he has reason to dislike. As Daemon unsheathes his sword, Caraxes looms threateningly in the background, with tensions escalating rapidly. The situation is saved quite unexpectedly by Rhaenyra astride Syrax, who flies to Dragonstone despite being told not to.
With the two dragons facing each other in the background, Rhaenyra switches to High Valyrian to converse with her uncle. She challenges him to strike her down, as his anger is towards her being declared heir. This finally makes Daemon back down as he gives her the dragon egg and retreats.
3. Viserys announces his marriage to Alicent
King Viserys is now plagued not only by cuts and wounds but also by marriage proposals. Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys offer their daughter’s hand in marriage to the king, with the idea of strengthening the bond between the two houses. As the Small Council has also been encouraging Viserys to remarry, the majority of them see the sense in this. Even Otto Hightower cannot deny this betrothal’s logic, but it is evident he does not wish it to take place for his own reasons.
Viserys has an awkward conversation with the 12-year-old Laena Velaryon, who is enamoured with the dragon Vhagar. It almost seems like Viserys has no interest in dragons whatsoever. Contrary to this, we see Viserys get upset over a dragon figurine that slips from his hands and breaks apart. Later in the episode, Alicent brings the figurine back to Viserys after getting it fixed by the stone masons. We see Viserys as his face lights up, indicating where his heart truly lies. Earlier in the episode, Viserys asks Alicent if Rhaenyra knows about their talks, revealing that the two have often been meeting and have bonded over time.
Near the end of the episode, Viserys declares his intention to marry Alicent, not Laena. While Corlys is upset, there is a smug expression on Otto Hightower’s face that makes it seem as though this was not unexpected to him. The truly sad part of this scene, though, is when Alicent looks warily at Rhaenyra, perhaps aware that this announcement could mean the end of their friendship.
2. Corlys and Daemon conspire
By the tail end of episode 2, there are two men that have been slighted by the King, whose intentions may be interpreted as just or unjust, depending on the person in question. Daemon Targaryen is the first, and the second is Corlys Velaryon. It is evident by this point that Corlys has seen the futility of trying to win the king over. Instead, he decides to do what has always served him best – taking matters into his own hands.
He likens himself to Daemon, as they are both brothers to kings. He mentions that both of them have had to struggle to make their way in the world. And he alludes to the one undeniable factor that unites them both – they are men of action. Though the King and Small Council are too busy concentrating on the politics of the court, Corlys brings Daemon’s attention to the situation escalating in the Stepstones.
He explains briefly to Daemon the same matter that he has been trying to explain to the King for months. He asks for Daemon’s help to lay siege to the Stepstones, despite the possibility of risking open war against the Free Cities.
1. Craghas Drahar AKA Craghas Crabfeeder
While the heated debates in King’s Landing over the heir rage on, this episode begins with an eerie shot of crabs crawling over a corpse. As the episode progresses, it becomes clear what this shot represents: The method of punishment favoured by Craghas Drahar, the Crabfeeder.
It is notable that Drahar has a much more sinister demeanour than is described in the books, solidifying his title of the Crab King. Drahar is funded by Essos and the Triarchy of the Free Cities. He rids the Stepstones of pirates, which pleases the lords of Westeros. However, in doing so, the Free Cities gain control of the Stepstones and the trade routes therein. This causes the trade routes’ tolls to rise, affecting Corlys Velaryon the most. Since Corlys amassed his fortune through seafaring, he sees the possibility of losses being incurred due to these tolls.
He also seems to realize that it would be possible for the armies of Westeros to wrest control of the Stepstones away from Drahar and the Free Cities, doing away with the requirement for taxes. Since the King refuses to entertain this notion, Corlys eventually turns to Daemon for assistance. This sets up the War for the Stepstones, which is certain to be the highlight of this season in terms of spectacle.
Which was your favourite moment of this season? Tell us in the comments below!
Read more: Who is Crabfeeder aka Craghas Drahar?