brake alert: Don’t read if you haven’t watched the second episode of “House of the Dragon” titled “The Rogue Prince” They are now streaming on HBO Max.
In the dating world of Westeros, age is just a number. After losing his wife Queen Emma in the final episode – which happened six months earlier in the “House of the Dragon” timeline – King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) felt pressure to find a new wife and start creating royal heirs. Any king in Westeros would do the same, but the disturbing part is that Viserys’ cousin, Rhenice Targaryen (Eve Best) was playing the underage matchmaker with her daughter, Lady Laina Villarion (Nova Voilis-Moss). Incest isn’t new to the “Game of Thrones” world or the Targaryens, but the age difference between Viserys and Laena was almost as annoying as last week’s C-section on the Queen.
After the series premiere, this episode was a lot quieter in terms of violence and smut, but it made some major alliances. In the beginning, we learn more about Lord Corliss Philaerion (Steve Toussaint) and the problems facing his house. Pirates from the free cities of Essus, led by a man named Crab Feeder, attack Corlys’ ships and feed his sailors to a group of deadly crabs, but Viserys and his council refuse to take any action. Furthermore, Prince Damon Targaryen (Matt Smith) has bypassed Dragonstone since his banishment from King’s Landing. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) suggests sending a team of dragonriders as a show of strength, but her father, Viserys, refuses.
Instead of plotting with the council, Rhaenyra arranged for new knights to be chosen for the Kingsguard. The only person with actual combat experience is Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), the jockey Dornish starring in The Final Episode. gets the job.
Meanwhile, Viserys and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) still spend time together, and his impressive scale model shows her in ancient Valyria. He also trusts her that he and Rinera haven’t talked much since Queen Emma’s horrific death. Aliscent then meets Rhaenyra, they pray in September for their deceased mothers and Viserys see Rhaenyra as “more than his little daughter”.
Speaking of little girls, Rhaenys and Corlys are the perfect match for Viserys. To further unite the Targaryen and Velaryon Houses, Viserys want to marry young Lady Laena. The king is not sure what to do. After an awkward dinner with Rhaenyra and a gross caterpillar cure for his rotting pinky, Viserys goes for a walk with Laena. He learns that the Rhaenys and Corlys put Laena in the arrangement, telling her she won’t have to go to the king’s bed until she’s 14.
During this awkward first date, Reinera and Renes (who have the closest “Game of Thrones” names since Bran, Bron, and Brin) watch from afar and engage in a heated discussion over the line of succession. Rhaenys admits she’s upset with Viserys-Laena’s situation, but that’s how she plays Game of Thrones in Westeros. Perhaps still a little jealous of her abdication for the Iron Throne years ago, Rhaenys, “the queen that never was,” says Viserys will eventually marry again and have a male heir, who will rule in Rhaenyra’s place.
Residing in the Dragonstone, Daemon sends a message to King’s Landing declaring himself the rightful heir and announcing that his lover Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuna) is pregnant. The King’s Council realizes he stole a dragon’s egg, so they send Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Ser Criston and a group of Kingsguards to put an end to Daemon’s betrayal. When they meet him on the bridge at Dragonstone, they meet a team of Daemon’s City Watch followers, and tensions immediately escalate.
Otto accused the demon of declaring war on the king, and both sides drew their swords. Suddenly, Damon’s huge red dragon, Caraxes, flew up, and the tide turned in his favor. But before he can get away with the dragon egg, Rhinera pounces on her dragon without warning, calming things down. Daemon returns the egg, but remains in the Dragonstone – revealing that he’s been lying about Mysaria’s pregnancy the whole time.
Returning to King’s Landing, Viserys is upset with Rhaenyra for his disobedience, but says the results are results, and indicates that she retrieved the dragon egg without bloodshed. It’s also time to choose a new wife, and he chooses Alicent Hightower, as the series premiere foreshadowed when her father sent her to Viserys. By the way, the age difference between them is still shocking, but not so from Viserys and Laena – this marriage also foreshadows a final rivalry between Aliscent and Rinera. Everyone in the council was stunned, but no more than Corlys, who was charging his daughter and the king.
In a classic “Game of Thrones” backstory, it is then revealed that Corlys turns to none other than Daemon to join forces and return to the King. Corlys says he and Daemon have a lot in common: They both take what they want, have older brothers in power, not to mention they have great hair. So begins a new Daemon-Corlys alliance to confront the Crab Feeder and start the war for the Stepstones.