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House of the Dragon: Episode 2 Review – Shifting Alliances And Courting Love

Karan

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House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is the new Game of Thrones. That just about sums it up. Like the original show, which became THE pop culture topic in its heyday, HotD has been on everyone’s lips ever since it aired. Despite the initial apprehension, it seems the show has, so far, lived up to its hype.

In the pilot episode, we were transported to Westeros some two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones. On the Iron Throne sits King Viserys Targaryen, an amicable but vulnerable king who is insecure about his legacy. Amidst this, we are introduced to the ‘players’ of this new game: Otto Hightower, Daemon Targaryen, Sir Criston Cole, Alicent Hightower, and Corlys Velaryon. After the demise of both his infant son and his wife Aemma, as well the actions of his brother Daemon, a heartbroken Viserys chooses his daughter Rhaenyra as his new heir.

Alicent continues inching towards Viserys

The Review

The second episode, “The Rogue Prince”, continues the game of thrones with everyone doing what they can to further their goals. When Corlys Velaryon has his proposal spurned at the small council, he and his wife Rhaenys then plan for their daughter Laena to marry the king. After much discussion and hesitation, Viserys announces to remarry – not Laena, but Alicent Hightower. On the other end, Daemon steals a dragon’s egg and decides to remarry at Dragonstone. Otto’s party seems ineffective at changing his mind, until Rhaenyra arrives with her dragon. The episode ends with a spurned Corlys reaching out to Daemon to form an alliance.

Showdown at Dragonstone

Episode Highlights

Like its predecessor, House of the Dragon takes the efforts to flesh out its plethora of characters, which continued in this episode too. There is no hero and villain – everyone is important and everyone has many shades of morality. Most notably, Rhaenyra gets more character development in this episode. We see her understanding the politics of Westeros, and how she needs to step up if she ever hopes to secure her position.

The episode doesn’t rely on action sequences to give an adrenaline boost to its audience. Rather, the omnipresent threat of violence – like on the walls of Dragonstone – is what keeps us on the edge. The entire episode unravels like a slow burn; like calm before the storm.

On the downside, HotD, like GoT, utilizes scenes that, while true to its medieval setting, can be disturbing for the audience. It was the childbirth scene of Aemma in the previous episode, while here it was the courting of a 12-year-old Laena by Viserys..

Viserys announces his new wife

What To Expect

House of the Dragon will likely see a time jump every episode to keep pace with the multi-year saga. The teaser of the next episode suggests that Alicent has already given birth to a son – Aegon – who will be the biggest challenge to Rhaenyra’s position as heir. On the other hand, we can see the culmination of the alliance of Corlys Velaryon and Daemon, as they descend on the Stepstones to get rid of The Crabfeeder.

For those who have been missing the vicious politics and dragon action of the original show, the next episode could be a treat.

A Wizard with a Pen. Covering news and profiles since 2016. Keen interest in Entertainment, Tech, and Art.

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