House of the Dragon season two is finally here and the tension is overflowing between the Blacks and the Greens. The first episode shows a remorseful Queen Alicent who realizes she’s set the stage for violence to swallow her family whole. On the other side is (THE RIGHTFUL QUEEN) Rhaenyra, who is mourning the loss of her son Lucerys and only speaks four words in the entire episode: “I want Aemond Targaryen.” I know that’s right, sis. This season is getting into full swing and, if the first season is any indication, House of the Dragon will deliver lots of shocking, gross, brutal, and bloody moments. 

Jump To: Episode 1 // Episode 2 // Episode 3 // Episode 4 // Episode 5
Alicent lights candles in prayer on House of the Dragon
HBO

Episode 1 – “A Son for a Son”

Queen Alicent and Criston Cole Are a, Um, Thing Now

In terms of the Game of Thrones universe, this episode was actually rather tame. The first shocking (well, more like gently surprising) moment was the oral sex scene between Alicent and Ser Criston Cole. (We all hate him, right? RIGHT?!) I felt like there were a few hints that they might get together, especially considering how salty he STILL IS over Rhaenyra rejecting his proposal years ago. But there was nothing outright to suggest that their relationship had turned sexual until now. 

It’s even more shocking for poor Helaena to walk in on her mother on top of him after witnessing the brutal murder of her child. 

The Murder of Jaehaerys Targaryen By Blood and Cheese

Speaking of that, the death of Jaehaerys Targaryen has viewers divided but it still certainly registers as a shocking moment. Helaena has to watch her baby boy’s head be slowly sawn off and collected by Blood and Cheese. She then flees the room and alerts Alicent about the death. It’s not the first time a child has died in this universe, of course. But this level of brutality happening to a very small and innocent one is jarring. Daemon has really started some mess!

Episode 2 – “Rhaenyra the Cruel”

The Prince Jaehaerys Street Processional

Max

Otto’s plan to use Jaehaerys’ death to 1) frame Rhaenyra for it and 2) drum up support/sympathy from the kingdom’s subjects was gross. It was incredibly jarring to see his little body (with the head sewn back on) as the carriage made its way through the streets. This only proves that there are people on both sides willing to do anything to win this ongoing battle.

The Hanging of the Ratcatchers

What a terrible time to be a ratcatcher in King’s Landing. Aegon acts out of rage after Blood tells him that his accomplice is a ratcatcher and orders all of them to be hung and displayed in the streets. Cheese is one of them but this move also turns many people in the kingdom away from the royal family.

Ser Criston Cole Becomes Aegon’s Hand

Otto rightfully calls Aegon out about his abhorrent actions. Aegon responds that he will not be seen as weak and dismisses his own grandfather as his Hand. He names Criston Cole, which only gives the latter more power to continue his plan to hurt Rhaenyra in any way possible. We bet Aegon wouldn’t be so thrilled if he knew Criston was sleeping with his mother…

The Twin Duel Between Arryk and Erryk Ends in Tragedy

Ollie Upton/HBO

Ser Criston Cole decides to make himself feel less guilty about his actions by essentially sentencing Arryk to death. He sends him to Dragonstone to slay Rhaenyra, knowing it will not end well no matter what. Arryk and Erryk confront each other in Rhaenyra’s bedchambers. Their fight ends with Arryk killing Erryk before he stabs himself with his sword. What an awful ending, indeed.

Episode 3 – “The Burning Mill”

The Bracken and Blackwood Slaughter

The beginning of episode three shows us tension boiling over between two feuding collectives who have also chosen sides in the Black vs. Green fight. An argument over boundary stones leads to a full on slaughter where everyone dies. Yikes.

Aegon Embarrasses Aemond 

Aegon goes to Aemond’s familiar haunt to make fun of his brother, who is spending time confiding in a sex worker. Aemond doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of considering his encounters with her are consensual (unlike Aegon’s horrific sexual assaults of staff) but his brother certainly makes him feel like a lesser man (and quietly angry) because he has a fondness for this specific woman. Aemond leaves as Aegon offers his squire to the woman. Terrible. 

Daemon’s Vision of Rhaenyra and Jaehaerys 

Daemon is off to his own adventure at Harrenhal. He stays there after “conquering” it but finds it hard to relax. Daemon believes someone is at his door to attack him and he goes out to see a vision of a younger Rhaenyra saying he has to clean up his messes as he comes and goes. He sees her sewing Jaehaerys head back on and watches in horror before coming back to reality… or so he thought. He gets an omen that he will die where he is. Hmmm. 

HBO

Rhaenyra Returns to King’s Landing to Confront (a Very Stubborn) Alicent

Rhaenyra makes one last ditch effort to stop the war. With Mysaria’s help, she disguises herself and gets to Alicent. She tells her that war is not necessary and they even get clarity about what Viserys really meant on his deathbed. Still, Alicent says her son being king is not a mistake and she refuses to help correct things in any way. Sigh.

Jump To: Episode 1 // Episode 2 // Episode 3 // Episode 4 // Episode 5

Episode 4 – “The Red Dragon and the Gold”

Corlys Keeps Alyn, His Illegitimate Son, a Secret

Episode 4 takes poor Rhaenys on a wild ride before her shocking death alongside her dragon Meleys. She’s disrespected by Rhaenyra’s council while trying to protect Baela and she also acknowledges that one of the men who works under her husband Corlys is likely his son. Having kids outside of wedlock is certainly nothing new for this world (and ours, tbh). But, out of all the men in House of the Dragon, Corlys seemed to be one of the most morally upstanding ones. Blocking his son from having a higher position and refusing to acknowledge him after Alyn saved his life is nasty work.

Criston Cole’s Violent Tour

Criston Cole continues to push forward with his army, heading to Darklyn to give people a choice: choose Team Green or choose death. Lord have mercy.

HBO

Alicent Is Pregnant and Chooses to Use an Abortive Tea

Honestly, this isn’t too shocking. If you keep having hetero sex with someone in a world before birth control options, pregnancy is a possibility. But it is still a shock to see her processing all of this while her sons are acting a fool and her child’s father is outside doing the most.

Aemond Barbequing Aegon and Sunfyre

We all know that Aemond is willing to go for blood. And, after dealing with Aegon’s harassment last episode (and his terrible personality in general), Aemond and Criston Cole team up for a battle plan. When Aegon shows up with Sunfyre against all good advice and engages in a fight with Rhaenys/Meleys, Aemond and Vhagar show up to take action. Aemond times his “Dracarys” at a very convenient moment where his brother is in the crossfire. I’m pretty sure he was trying to kill him alongside Rhaneys.

The Entire Battle at Rook’s Rest

Whew. From Rhaenys’ death to the charred fate for Aegon, this entire battle featured some dragons dancing, which is the real reason why we are here. Love to see it.

Episode 5 – “Regent”

Meleys’ Head Takes a Trip Through Kings Landing 

In the aftermath of Rhaenys’ death, Criston Cole somehow thought it would be a good idea to drag Meleys head through Kings Landing to show how strong the king is. That, in fact, was not a good idea. It only disturbed others and made them question their current leadership versus what they had under Viserys and could have under Rhaenyra. 

King Aegon’s Fried Body 

Aegon looks pretty bad. Alicent watches in horror as the Grand Maester and his men pry Aegon’s steel armor off and reveal the bloody, charred, and broken skin beneath. Of course, Aemond is all ready to rule in his stead, which isn’t shocking at all. 

HBO

Daemon’s Weird Oedipal Sex Dream 

Team Black isn’t doing so great either. Daemon continues to lose his mind at Harrenhal with perhaps his most disturbing dream sequence yet. He’s confronted by his mother and they embrace sexually and boy is it weird and stomach-churning. His dream is broken after she takes a dig at him by saying “if only you were born first.” His obvious issues with not being the next ruler fully take over as he starts his own plan to rule as a King. Oh boy. 

Jaecaerys Becomes the Real MVP

Rhaenyra’s kids haven’t been particularly useful until now. Jaecaerys (a.k.a. Jace) flies to the Twins and manages to secure the Freys’ allegiance in exchange for Harrenhal. He does this on his own volition, which upsets Rhaenyra to a degree but also makes her proud. At the end of the episode, she’s upset that she’s unable to make any actual moves because she is the Queen. She’s also not happy that they don’t have dragonriders but Jace comes up with a brilliant idea.

He says there are Targaryen descendants in other Houses that could claim and ride a dragon. In other words, go out and look for the “bastards.” The duo begin to go through genealogical records to see whom they can find. 

HBO

We cannot wait to see what other shocking, bloody, and gross moments will happen in House of the Dragon season two.

Jump To: Episode 1 // Episode 2 // Episode 3 // Episode 4 // Episode 5

Originally published June 17, 2024.