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Home / frontgames / ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: “A Son for a Son”
Theo Whitman/HBO

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: “A Son for a Son”


The first episode of Season 2 of House of the Dragon inserted us right into the aftermath of the Season 1 finale.

 

Episode: “A Son for a Son”

Runtime: 58 minutes

Original Air Date: June 16, 2024

Written by: Ryan Condal

Directed by: Alan Taylor

 

Plot (via HBO)

As Alicent grows concerned by Aegon’s Small Council, Rhaenyra arrives at a fateful decision.

 

Best Moment: The opening scene

House of the Dragon is obviously very much a Targaryen show, but—especially for fans of the original series Game of Thrones—a look at the North was a phenomenal way to drop into Season 2. The season debut immediately opens with the unforgettable House Stark theme by composer Ramin Djawadi, with a raven flying toward the unveil of Winterfell. We get a glimpse into House Stark sending one-in-ten men to reinforce the Night’s Watch, while Cregan Stark (with his family’s ancestral sword Ice on his back) hosts Prince Jace Velaryon at the Wall—with the ominous threat of the Others (accompanied by their chilling score by Djawadi) being his primary concern—and pledges 2,000 men to Queen Rhaenyra’s cause. The trip up North was not only a nostalgic sort of return to the familiarity of Winterfell for viewers, but it was a reminder that there are bigger threats to the realm than a civil war over the Iron Throne—and Winter is Coming.

 

Best Quote

“I want Aemond Targaryen.” – Rhaenyra Targaryen

 

Notable Character Deaths

-Jaehaerys Targaryen

 

MVP: No one

A major theme of Season 2 looks like it’s going to be escalation, which should not be a surprise in what is set to become an all-out war involving ultra-destructive dragons. Queen Rhaenyra is reeling after the death of her son Lucerys Velaryon, and she spends much of the episode seeking proof of his demise in the Season 1 finale, ultimately verifying his cloak and the wing of Arrax. Rhaenyra had one line in the episode, basically stating that she wants Aemond Targaryen’s head for what he did. This, of course, led to Daemon Targaryen, aided by the relationships of Mysaria, making a discreet trip to King’s Landing and sending disgruntled guardsman Blood and the ratcatcher Cheese on a mission to sneak into the Red Keep and assassinate Prince Aemond. The mismatched duo took matters into their own hands after not finding Aemond, instead killing baby Jaehaerys—King Aegon II’s heir—in his crib in front of Queen Helaena Targaryen. Overall, it was a son for a son in a horrific manner where things will only escalate from here.

 

Everything Else:

-If there was going to be an MVP from the episode, it would probably be Aemond. Not only did he not get assassinated, but it was stated that he and Vhagar—who is defending King’s Landing—are the most powerful force in the world. We’ll see if he and Vhagar eventually attempt to destroy that blockade—keeping supplies out of King’s Landing—set by Corlys Velaryon.

 

-King Aegon certainly has a comical aspect to his character, including just his general mannerisms and expressions. The Small Council meeting showed that he can be a bit disinterested and aloof, making decisions on a whim. However, a good heart was seemingly displayed when he heard the troubles of the common folk and leaned toward the side of giving them what they requested—until his Hand Otto Hightower stepped in. At least for now, it appears as the saying goes that Aegon might have landed on the good side of that coin the gods flip when a Targaryen is born.

 

-Queen Alicent Hightower showed the goodness in her heart—despite the duplicitous ways of the Hightowers—when reluctantly speaking Luke Velaryon’s name and lighting a candle for him during her prayers after she did the same for her mother and husband. It was a display of the gray area these characters inhabit, with not many true all-good and all-evil figures.

 

-Otto Hightower appears to know something is up between his daughter and Ser Criston Cole. Also, Otto and Alicent haven’t been totally on the same page following Viserys’ death.

 

-Daemon’s interaction with Rhaenys Targaryen, when he couldn’t convince her to ride out with him to King’s Landing upon her return, gave a glimpse of the relative powerlessness of “The Rogue Prince” compared to his Queen. We’ll see if it becomes more frustrating for Daemon to play second to his wife.

 

-The new visual for the House of the Dragon theme, which shows a weaving of Targaryen history and the Team Black and Team Green sides of the Dance of Dragons, was very nicely done: