HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdow...

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories

Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show. I’m your host, Paul, and in this video, we’re breaking down House Of The Dragon.

Season 2 is now officially here, and in this video, we’re going to go through it all. I’ve gone back through the book and re-read the histories to provide as in-depth of a breakdown on the episode as I can. This contains easter eggs, hidden details, and changes from the work, as well as where we think things are going to go. As always, we’ll be saving the spoilers until the end of the video, so I’ll give you a heads-up before that. Spoilers are coming in case you know nothing.

If you enjoy it, then hit the thumbs up and swear allegiance by hitting subscribe. With that out of the way, thank you for clicking this. Now let’s get into House of The Dragon.


Now, before we even start the episode, we have a brand-new title sequence to discuss. This is a chronicle of the Targaryen lineage, and we start off with the tale of Old Valyria.

The capital of the Valyrian Freehold in the south was a home of the dragons. Because of their superiority in warfare, Valyria had conquered much of Essos. Its empire had taken down all its opposing nations and it ruled over half of the planet.

It feels weird saying “planet” in a Game Of Thrones video, but moving on.

Things, unfortunately, wouldn’t last, and the kingdom was rocked by a volcanic eruption. Known as Doom, this wiped Old Valyria out and killed a large number of the dragons. Fleeing from it were the Targaryens and Valyrians, who then travelled out to Westeros. That’s what we see in this introduction, with dragons dropping out of the sky.

This was actually foretold by Daenys the Dreamer, who saw the end of Valyria in a vision.

After telling her father, Lord Aenar, they moved to Dragonstone, which is the island that Rhaenyra is currently holed up at.

We then get a shot of three dragons and their riders, who are Aegon and his wife-sister brides.

Marrying your sister was cool in Valyria, so he decided to wed them both and keep the bloodline strong.

Their dragons are Balerion the Black Dread, whose skull we’ve seen in King’s Landing. This dragon used to belong to Viserys, and alongside it are Visenya and Rhaenys’.

Visenya rode Vhagar, who we’ve met in the show, and she also wielded Dark Sister. That’s the sword that Daemon now carries with Vhagar belonging to Aemond. Meraxes belonged to Rhaenys, with her name later being given to a character in the series.

Anyway, though Westeros was seen as being worse than this channel, Aegon saw it as an opportunity. Carrying out Aegon’s Conquest, he quickly took over the seven kingdoms and established his own. No match for the dragons, we see in this intro how the houses bend the knee.

In the middle of these is Torrhen Stark, who we hear about later on in the episode. Torrhen is known as the King Who Knelt, summing up his place in history. He’s a figure Jace uses to get Cregan to swear himself again, though there is a bit of back and forth.

It’s funny how this is something that echoes throughout history with the Starks, as Jon would, of course, end up kneeling to Dany.

I believe in this opening we also see Harrenhal, which was a key location that the Conquest seized.

There lived Harren Hoare, or as he was nicknamed, Harren the Black. He refused to surrender to Aegon, and Balerion burned the location, hence why it’s in ruins now.

This then led to the establishment of the Targaryens at King’s Landing, which we see in the mural.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories

We then get a depiction of the Iron Throne and a figure with a sword in his neck. Aegon died of a stroke at 63, so I don’t think this is that.

However, we know that he had sons in Aenys and Maegor. Aenys was initially the king, but he was seen as a weakling. Fleeing to Dragonstone and dying of cramps, he was then replaced by Maegor the Cruel. A complete tyrant, it’s said he died on the Iron Throne after injuring himself on it. The legends state that those who aren’t fit to sit there will be cut and killed by the throne itself. This is something we saw with Viserys, with his disease likely stemming from infections brought on by him cutting himself.

Maegor appears to be surrounded by Blackfyre and Dreamfyre, which then takes us to Jaehaerys’ rule. He established a rule of peace and prosperity, which we see depicted in the bag of gold. Next to it is also the pointed star that belongs to the Faith of the Seven. This religion is prevalent throughout the realm, with this showing the ushering in of it.

Next, we cut to him announcing his heir at Harrenhal. This is how the first season opened, and we then get shots of notable events from it. This includes Alicent rocking up to Rhaenyra’s wedding wearing green. The Hightower banners burn green when announcing war, and this highlighted the characters were here for a fight.

We then cut to a depiction of a civil war with the two thrones being shown. Aegon II sits on the Iron Throne, and he also wears the Conqueror’s crown. On the opposite side of this is Rhaenyra, who now sits on the throne at Dragonstone. As we pull out, we can see two hands with them being green and black. This represents the two sides, with this being a tapestry that showcases the history thus far.

Would you like to see the tapestry?

Nah, not really, mate, but hey, great intro, and I was surprised they changed it as much as they did.

That takes us to the title, and then we’ll break down the episode after a shoutout to our sponsors.

MyHeritage Ad

Now we begin with a shot of a raven flying through a forest. These messenger birds are here to unite the realm and get as many forces to the houses’ sides as possible.

The book says:

On the seventh day, a cloud of ravens burst from the towers of Dragonstone to bring Lord Aegon’s word to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. To the seven kings they flew, to the Citadel of Oldtown, to lords both great and small. All carried the same message: from this day forth there would be but one king in Westeros. Those who bent the knee to Aegon of House Targaryen would keep their lands and titles. Those who took up arms against him would be thrown down, humbled, and destroyed.

Now, when this shot was shown in the trailer, we cut from it immediately to a dragon. This was clearly for a reason, highlighting the escalation within the realm. These birds are the beginning of the war that will eventually lead to a battle of the dragons. The escalation will cause everything to burn, and it all ascends directly from this moment.

Going to Winterfell, we hear the voice-over of Cregan Stark as we roll into the kingdom. There’s the Stark sigil on the back of shields, and we also see wolves and that classic black Stark armour.

There are lots of little visual nods to things that have come before or will come.

There’s a little kid as we pan in who looks a bit like a young Bran. There’s a guy with his back to us with long black hair who’s a bit reminiscent of Jon Snow. We also see a woman to the right with red hair who, from this angle, looks a lot like Catelyn.

We hear of the Night’s Watch and how Torrhen Stark proposed a Stark would take the black and help guard the Wall. In the main show, this was, of course, Jon Snow, with it being depicted as an honour.

It’s a great way to start the season, especially since we didn’t get a focus on the Starks last time. Cregan inherited Winterfell from his father Rickon, who we actually saw in Season 1. At the end of Episode 1, we had the lords swearing allegiance to Rhaenyra. Amongst them was Rickon Stark, with his son now carrying that on.

So it’s sort of reflecting that first episode, and we have this idea of mirroring throughout the episode. Season 1 Episode 1 had the death of Aemma and also her child. Kids dying is a big part of this one, with that death at the end being something that’s gonna break the internet. Lucerys’ funeral also happens as well, and that echoed the funeral of Aemma in Episode 1. That funeral was where Rhaenyra ordered the burning of her mother and brother’s corpses, but they’re likely saving it for the next episode.

The book says:

Cregan had come into his lordship at thirteen upon the death of his father, Lord Rickon, in 121 AC. During his minority, his uncle Bennard had ruled the North as regent, but in 124 AC, Cregan turned sixteen, only to find his uncle slow to surrender his power. Relations between the two grew strained, as the young lord chafed under the limits imposed upon him by his father’s brother. Finally, in 126 AC, Cregan Stark rose up, imprisoned Bennard and his three sons, and took the rule of the North into his own hands. Soon after, he wed Lady Arra Norrey, a beloved companion since childhood, only

to have her die in 128 AC whilst giving birth to a son and heir, whom Cregan named Rickon after his father.

Now, as we get to the Wall, we see the lift moving up and finally catch up with Jacaerys. At the end of Season 1, we saw him going out as an envoy, but only those familiar with the book were aware of what happened.

He’s being toured by Cregan, who’s wielding the sword Ice. This appeared in the original series, with it being brandished by Ned. It’s laying the groundwork for things to come, and I’m interested to see where they go with him in the series. Hey, might be the first bloody Stark to keep an oath, eh? Looking at you, Jon Snow…looking at you, Rob…promised Walder Frey you’d marry his daughter, mate. Sansa did say a Stark never had forgotten an oath up until this point, though, which did come into play here.

A Stark has never forgotten an oath.

That’s something Cregan hammers home too. As we know, it has disastrous consequences down the line, and I love how it’s doing what a prequel should and foreshadowing things to come. Cregan talks about when Jaehaerys and Alysanne visited, who are two characters we saw in the intro. Their dragons refused to cross the Wall, which highlights the danger that lies beyond it. The book never really touched upon the Night King, but retroactively they can now add this in.

It’s a great way to kick things off, but it’s broken up by news of Lucerys’ death.

Show a clip of the dragon flying in.

Cutting to Meleys and Rhaenys arriving at Dragonstone, Daemon is ready to mount up for war.

Daemon says:

Now, the title Son for a Son pulls directly from the book, with it being a chapter in the dying of the dragons.

As the black council sat to consider how to strike back, a raven arrived from Harrenhal. ‘An eye for an eye, a son for a son,’ Prince Daemon wrote.

‘Lucerys shall be avenged.’

From the off, Daemon realises how dangerous Vhagar is, and if they don’t take her out, then the greens have a chance. So he basically wants to mount up an assault, but Rhaenys needs to rest. This would probably have consequences down the line, and hey, should’ve just killed them all at the coronation. Vhagar, Vhagar, high voltage.

Now, Meleys is one of the older dragons, and the book says:

Rhaenys’s own she-dragon, Meleys the Red Queen, had grown lazy but remained fearsome when roused.

Daemon also talks about how he should be at Harrenhal, forcing them to bend the knee. They have altered things slightly for the show, as that’s where he was when Lucerys died. However, they had Daemon remain on Dragonstone and deliver the news about his death personally.

He was the one who sent the raven, whereas in the show, he did it himself. However, there’s still doubt until she sees the body, which is something Rhaenys shares. She said she didn’t believe that her daughter died until she witnessed her remains. So Rhaenyra needs to see a body, and I think this plays upon a passage in the book. There were rumours that Lucerys may have lived and different accounts of what went down.

It said:

Arrax fell, broken, to be swallowed by the storm-lashed waters of the bay. His head and neck washed up beneath the cliffs below Storm’s End three days later, to make a feast for crabs and seagulls. Mushroom claims that Prince Lucerys’s corpse washed up as well, and tells us that Prince Aemond cut out his eyes and presented them to Lady Maris on a bed of seaweed, but this seems excessive. Some say Vhagar snatched Lucerys off his dragon’s back and swallowed him whole. It has even been claimed that the prince survived his fall, swam to safety, but lost all memory of who he was, spending the rest of his days as a simple-minded fisherman.

Ever since reading the book, I hoped that that latter one was what happened. Then I saw him getting ripped apart two years ago and was like…could be…could be…but nah. Dead. Dead as this channel is without House Of The Dragon.

Still though, because of all these accounts, you can understand why there’d be doubts. The book in itself isn’t even necessarily a story; rather, it’s just a telling of witness accounts.

I do wonder if that’s what the tapestry in the intro is a reference to because this story is sort of just retelling it.

Now, Rhaenys’ daughter’s death has a sting for Daemon, as he was, of course, married to her at the time. Rhaenys is taking a more personal view, though, whereas Daemon’s desperate to get Aemond. Killing Vhagar and him will be the son for a son, but as we see, they take…more subtle approaches.

Now, at this point, we join Rhaenyra at Shipbreaker Bay. Running along the east coast of Westeros, the Shipbreaker is pretty apt. It’s known for being extremely dangerous to ships due to the number of storms that happen there. So, Ship Breaker. Countless ships have been buried in its waters, with these storms, of course, appearing throughout the shows.

These are what Davos had to navigate during the Siege of Storm’s End. We, of course, also had it popping up last season. This is what Aemond and Lucerys duked it out over, with his body now lying at the bottom of the bay.

From here, we then cut to Corlys and meet Alyn of Hull. Keep saying it like Alan. He brings up his brother, who we know from the book is called Addam. I will talk about these characters more in the spoiler section, as there’s a lot going on with them.

Alyn talks about the Gullet, and Corlys used his ship, Sea Snake, to choke it during the war. The book says:

And so it was decided. Prince Daemon would lead the assault on Harrenhal, riding Caraxes. Princess Rhaenyra would remain on Dragonstone until she had recovered her strength. The Velaryon fleet would close off the Gullet, sallying forth from Dragonstone and Driftmark to block all shipping entering or leaving Blackwater Bay.

This is touched upon later in the episode when we get these lines.

This made the people suffer from unrest because a lot of the supplies couldn’t get to King’s Landing. Thus there was starvation, and the new king was unpopular.

Because of this, Rhaenyra had a strong force beside her, but King’s Landing was where it really mattered. Cutting to it, we see who’s really in charge, with soldiers rocking Hightower shields. Greens are everywhere in the court, and they’ve completely replaced the Targaryen banners that used to be commonplace.

Following Arryk Cargyll, we see the walls are fortified with scorpions. These giant crossbows were built to slay dragons, and we see them aimed at the sky. However, it’s the return of Aemond, who has come back on Vhagar.

Cutting to Aegon going to his kids, yep, make sure you tell your loved ones you love them while they’re still here. Should always hit the thumbs up if you care about someone. Jaehaerys isn’t here though and…won’t be much longer, mate. Now he is the next in line for the throne, with Helaena saying he might not want to be king.

She says that she’s afraid and then brings up how she’s scared of the rats.

Now, you might remember in Season 1 that Helaena kept saying about “the beast beneath the boards.”

It is possible that this was setting up what was gonna happen with Rhaenys at the coronation. She burst forth from underneath, so it is possible. However, due to what she said beforehand, it’s also possible that this was highlighting taking away a son for a son.

This was, of course, referencing the throne going back and forth too. It is possible that the beast beneath the boards was in relation to Blood and Cheese. It might be a reach, but I thought it was worth bringing up. Either way, rats have been laced throughout King’s Landing and the season, with them constantly popping up in Season 1. Rats were there to symbolise the rats circling the throne, and now they’re coming in in the shape of a rat catcher. Subtext is there if you wanna see it, I think, but let me know below what you think.

Everyone thinks Helaena is mental, but she’s looking for a rat up a drainpipe, which takes us to Alicent and Criston Cole.

Viserys’ half-melted face isn’t even cold yet, and she’s already let Criston service her.

She says they cannot again, but hey, that was a lie.

Now this really shows Criston’s change from Season 1 to Season 2. There, Rhaenyra took his V card, and he eventually ended up pledging his love to her.

Criston took an oath he’d be with no woman, but he broke this.

He said the pair should run away together, but she ended up rejecting him. She went on to get married, and though she promised they could have fun, it didn’t sit well with him. He smashed Joffrey’s face in and hey…that’s the wrong Joffrey you’re beating up, mate.

He completely turned against Rhaenyra and was even going to commit seppuku. That’s when Alicent came to him, and now he doesn’t mind breaking oaths or her back.

We then get our first appearance of Cheese, who we catch with one of his traps. This shows how much access he has to the castle and foreshadows what’s to come. At the council, we see Jaehaerys messing about, and that Lannister’s like…pfft…kill him, mate…doing my head in.

Pony ride. It’s demeaning…it’s bloody demeaning.


Funny bit of trivia: I’ve been rewatching Game of Thrones and noticed that this actor was in Season 1 Episode 4.

Aegon and Jaehaerys are spoilt little brats, and it really shows how bad things are getting.

Kids being on the council wasn’t uncommon, and they were expected to come in. In Season 1, Otto even wanted Aegon on the council when he was 2, but Viserys thought it was stupid.

Can see why, ’cause this kid’s just messing about. Aegon’s laughing away, and hey, I got to watch this twice, with it being worse on a second one.

This council meeting pulls right out of the book with it discussing how things were going. It says:

Yet it must not be thought that the green council was sitting idle. Ser Otto Hightower had been busy as well, winning over lords, hiring sellswords, strengthening the defenses of King’s Landing, and assiduously seeking after other alliances. After the rejection of Grand Maester Orwyle’s peace overtures, the Hand redoubled his efforts, dispatching ravens to Winterfell and the Eyrie, to Riverrun, White Harbor, Gulltown, Bitterbridge, Fair Isle, and half a hundred other keeps and castles. Riders galloped through the night to holdings closer to hand, to summon their lords and ladies to court to do fealty to King Aegon. Ser Otto also reached out to Dorne, whose ruling prince, Qoren Martell, had once warred against Prince Daemon in the Stepstones, but Prince Qoren spurned his offer. “Dorne has danced with dragons before,” he said. “I would sooner sleep with scorpions.”

Yet Ser Otto was losing the trust of his king, who mistook his efforts for inaction, and his caution for cowardice. Septon Eustace tells us of one occasion when Aegon entered the Tower of the Hand and found Ser Otto writing another letter, whereupon he knocked the inkpot into his grandsire’s lap, declaring, “Thrones are won with swords, not quills. Spill blood, not ink.”

Otto brings up how he sends ravens by the hour, but Aegon wants to strike fast.

Now, at this point, Aemond enters, with Alicent not being too pleased with him. Killing an envoy was seen as a faux pas, and it meant that he was known as a kinslayer. This was an accursed name that brought with it lots of mistrust.

I did wonder if they’d have this passage from the book play out when he returned, but we know Alicent wasn’t happy at all. It says:

Aemond Targaryen…who would henceforth be known as Aemond the Kinslayer to his foes…returned to King’s Landing, having won the support of Storm’s End for his brother Aegon, and the undying enmity of Queen Rhaenyra. If he thought to receive a hero’s welcome, he was disappointed. Queen Alicent went pale when she heard what he had done, crying, “Mother have mercy on us all.” Nor was Ser Otto pleased. “You only lost one eye,” he is reported to have said. “How could you be so blind?” The king himself did not share their concerns, however. Aegon II welcomed Prince Aemond home with a great feast, hailed him as “the true blood of the dragon,” and announced that he had made “a good beginning.”

This latter part is how we see Aegon in these scenes, with him granting his brother a spot on the council.

Who was allowed there but isn’t in the show is Larys. He seems a bit like he fears defeat even though he loves de feet.

He’s killed those suspected of betraying Alicent and has chosen her new staff personally. However, as we know, he has spies, and I feel like this is a power play by him. He clearly already knows something’s up with Criston and is probably a bit jealous that he’s not her soul mate.

Get it…sole mate…’cause your feet have soles…hey come on, that was a good one, mate.

I do feel like there’s suspicion building within her, and we see as she wants to be left alone. She’s chosen pretty bad company and is now isolated because of it.

All those around her are oath breakers and spies, and this paranoia is gonna fester in her mind.

Now, who else is alone is Rhaenyra, who comes across her son’s body. She’s lost a child, had a miscarriage, and also lost a throne.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories

We see this echoed in the next scene when we join Aegon in the throne room.

He’s joined by Lord Martin Reyne and Leon Estermont. They’re brand new for the show, with neither appearing in the book. In the throne, we also see a new figurehead being put up on a pillar. Later on, when Blood and Cheese move through the throne room, we see that this is clearly Viserys.

Aegon’s just a bit of a people pleaser, but he’s guided into just saying no to everybody. Kinda sad, as dude just wanted his sheep back.

Lastly, we have a notable figure from the group who comes in the form of Hugh Hammer.

We’ll talk about him later on, but he exemplifies the costs of war. He wants to be paid before the job begins so he’s not gotta wait those 30-day invoices. Aegon is generous again, with Otto not being too happy. Again, this further showcases the wedge between the pair, with Aegon becoming more and more displeased.

This is when Larys sinks his teeth in, and he suggests getting rid of him as the Hand. Otto has served three kings, and he even got his grandson on the throne. However, this is a game that’s all about power plays, which we see reflected in the next scene.

In Episode 9, Alicent and Otto were working against each other, with them both sending their agents to try and get Aegon. I love how there’s a civil war within a civil war, and it shows how petty the greens are. This entire thing was because they needed power, and now they’re doing power plays in that. They want to just wait it out until Aegon gets bored, and then the pair can rule the realm. Alicent went to Viserys fully willing to do a Fyre Festival, but she understands it’s gonna be war.

Now, if you’re enjoying the video and wanna support the channel, then check out our merch store right below the video. We’ve got three House of the Dragon-inspired t-shirts on there right now, with our original blacks and also green ones that we dropped in Season 1. This civil war’s really mounting up, and you can show your allegiance by picking up your team’s design. We also have a brand new dragons, drama, and destiny shirt designed by Aaron S Bailey. It all goes towards helping videos like this get made, and a huge thank you if you’ve picked one up.

Now, from here, we cut to one of Corlys’ ships and see Erykk Cargyll. In case you don’t remember, Eryyk and Arryk are twins, with the pair being on opposing sides.

Discovering Mysaria as a stowaway, she admits to selling secrets to Otto. This is something we saw in Episode 9, with the pair meeting so she could get Aegon to him.

She got Otto to swear to end the child fighting pits if she gave up Aegon, but I doubt that’s actually gone on.

Daemon and Mysaria have, of course, had their run-ins in the past, with them initially being lovers. Daemon ran away with her to Dragonstone, and in the book, she got pregnant. They changed it for the show with Daemon taking the egg.

Either way, Eryyk stands up for her, and he gets some real character development. I can’t wait to see it play out with him and his brother, and I imagine that will happen next week or the week after. Haven’t seen the trailer for Episode 2 as of making this, but you should know by now how it’s going down.


ryyk has had a bit more to do in the work, with him presenting Rhaenyra with the crown. This is who we cut to in the next scene and see as she returns home.

The books had the crown being taken by Ser Steffan Darklyn, who we see as she walks to the painted table. This was a key piece in Aegon’s Conquest, with it being an entire map of Westeros. It allowed Aegon to plan out his assaults and get a top-level view of what he wanted to conquer. We see it in comparison to what the greens have, with that basically just being a board.

Daemon ends up going to Mysaria, and we cut to Jace returning home.

Now, you might notice that Rhaenyra is wearing a braid around the side and back of her hair. This is a nod to her idol and ancestor, Visenya.

Episode 10 had the agonising scene with her giving birth, and we learned that this baby was gonna be called Visenya as well. The book says the issues were thought to be brought on by the stress caused by not only losing her dad but also the fact the throne had been taken.

Visenya was one of the key figures in establishing the Targaryen dynasty that led to them ruling the realm. This is the way of her paying homage to the past, whereas with Aegon, he does something similar too. The guy’s wearing Aegon the Conqueror’s crown, but this is a more subtle way to carry on the legacy.

Now they have altered things a lot with Jace, as we just learn about what happened with Lady Jeyne and Cregan.

Lady Jeyne’s been mentioned in the show before, with Daemon bringing her up in Episode 5.

In regards to her, the book says:

Meanwhile, a very different story was playing out to the east, where Jacaerys Velaryon descended upon the Eyrie on his young dragon, Vermax, to win the Vale of Arryn for his mother. The Maiden of the Vale, Lady Jeyne Arryn, was five-and-thirty, twenty years his senior.

Never wed, Lady Jeyne had reigned over the Vale since the death of her father and elder brothers at the hands of the Stone Crows of the hills when she was three.


Mushroom tells us that this famous maiden was in truth a highborn harlot with a voracious appetite for men, and gives us a salacious tale of how she offered Prince Jacaerys the allegiance of the Vale only if he could bring her to her climax with his tongue. Septon Eustace repeats the widespread rumour that Jeyne Arryn preferred the intimate companionship of other women, then goes on to say it was not true. In this instance, we must be grateful for Grand Maester Munkun’s True Telling, for he alone confines himself to the High Hall of the Eyrie, rather than its bedchambers.

In the end, she saw some kinship in Rhaenyra, which is why she sided with her.

In this world of men, we women must band together.

Turned out that her brother had tried to replace her, and she’d banished him to the sky cells that we saw in the main show. Though she didn’t like that Daemon had mistreated his previous wife, she saw a lot of kinship in Rhaenyra. The book then said:

The Vale and its knights shall stand with her…if Her Grace will grant me one request. When the prince asked what that might be, she answered, “Dragons. I have no fear of armies. Many and more have broken themselves against my Bloody Gate, and the Eyrie is known to be impregnable. But you have descended on us from the sky, as Queen Visenya once did during the Conquest, and I was powerless to halt you. I mislike feeling powerless. Send me dragonriders.”

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Episode 1 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Easter Eggs & Theories

We also completely skipped over what happened at Westeros. I’m not gonna just read out all that in the book ’cause it goes on for quite a bit, but Jace had his own little love nest. During his tour, it’s thought that he encountered Sara Snow. Said to be Rickon’s bastard daughter and Cregan’s half-sister, it’s said that they were married in the godswood.

Vermax also apparently laid a clutch of eggs, but both of these have been thought as made up. Vermax is a dude, and at this point, no one thought the dragons could change sex. It might be like some Jurassic Park thing, but it has been disputed.

The book states:

Whilst it is true that determining the sex of a living dragon is a nigh on impossible task, no other source mentions Vermax producing so much as a single egg, so it must be assumed that he was male. Septon Barth’s speculation that the dragons change sex at need, being “as mutable as flame,” is too ludicrous to consider.

There also exists no record of Sara Snow, so that’s probably why they completely skipped over it.

I was wondering if they’d tie in Sara Snow with Jon Snow, but alas, it’s a Jon No.

Jace talks about how they’ve sworn their allegiances, but it’s not necessarily a win. The book says:

The North was too remote to be of much import in the fight, the council judged; by the time the Starks gathered their banners and marched south, the war might well be over.

The book also tells us that he briefly visited Sisterton along with White Harbour. There he swore Joffrey’s hand in marriage to his youngest daughter once the war was over.

Anyway, as we play out the funeral, we see Alicent going to the Sept. This is a place where she and Rhaenyra laughed together, and it showcases how distant the pair now are. Playing these scenes alongside each other is really harrowing, and it deals heavily with loss. Alicent lights candles for those who have fallen, and we see Luc’s possessions being burned. This includes his robes and horse, along with his cloak, which he donned throughout Season 1.

This funeral echoes the several ones we’ve seen, with it all calling back to that one in Episode 1.

Now, the reason Daemon isn’t at the funeral is because he’s sneaking into King’s Landing.

That takes us into the Blood and Cheese section, with us meeting Blood at the gates. We see he still retains his gold cloak, which is a change-up for the show. Now, for this bit, I’m gonna talk about how the book describes things, which should add some extra context for the episode.

It says:

Let it not be forgotten: in his youth, Daemon Targaryen had been the “Prince of the City,” his face and laugh familiar to every cutpurse, whore, and gambler in Flea Bottom. The prince still had friends in the low places of King’s Landing, and followers amongst the gold cloaks. Unbeknownst to King Aegon, the Hand, or the Queen Dowager, he had allies at court as well, even on the green council…and one other go-between, a special friend he trusted utterly, who knew the wine sinks and rat pits that festered in the shadow of the Red Keep as well as Daemon himself once had, and moved easily through the shadows of the city. To this pale stranger he reached out now, by secret ways, to set a terrible vengeance into motion.

It’s important to bear in mind that both he and Rhaenyra were extremely popular. She was known as the realm’s delight in her youth, and he was the heir before Rhaenyra got it. So he has a giant foothold in the city still, with the Hightowers not really being as popular.

The book then went on to describe the hiring of Blood and Cheese and how Mysaria was involved in it. Here, she was a captive, whereas there, she was in the city and helped them out. It says:

Amidst the stews of Flea Bottom, Prince Daemon’s go-between found suitable instruments. One had been a serjeant in the City Watch; big and brutal, he had lost his gold cloak for beating a whore to death whilst in a drunken rage. The other was a ratcatcher in the Red Keep. Their true names are lost to history. They are remembered (would that they were not!) as Blood and Cheese.

Now, in it, it says that Cheese knew the Red Keep better than the shape of his own dick.

This is something he says in the episode when Daemon first meets him.

As a rat catcher, he’d worked through a lot of the tunnels built by Maegor the Cruel. These appeared earlier in the show, with Rhaenyra using them to sneak out and meet Daemon.

During Episode 4, he left a bag in her room, and this contained a map of them.

They, of course, led directly to hers, with most of the keep being accessible through them.

Cutting to Criston and Aemond, we see the pair strategising while they accept that war is inevitable. Aemond says he feels like he’s blamed for starting the war, even though that’s not the case. Criston is basically his mother’s new boyfriend, and here they talk about Alicent’s weakness. She still cares about Rhaenyra, and I wonder if we’ll see the pair meet again.

In Episode 9, the reason Alicent wanted to get Aegon first is because she didn’t want him to order Rhaenyra’s death.

The pair shouldn’t really be making plans, though, which Otto points out. Again, it really shows the fracture in the houses and how there’s other wheels within wheels. Daemon wasn’t given permission to go and hire Blood and Cheese, but this is what led him to doing it.

Otto thinks that Aemond’s unruly, but in truth, we know he’s not. Vhagar ignored him and attacked Lucerys, which he was clearly shocked by. Vhagar has had multiple riders and is also the realm’s oldest dragon. So it’s not paying attention to this kid, and really it isn’t Aemond’s fault.

Now, from this point, we see Blood and Cheese moving through the castle.

The book says:

Using a forgotten passageway, Cheese led Blood into the heart of the castle, unseen by any guard. Some say their quarry was the king himself, but Aegon was accompanied by the Kingsguard wherever he went, and even Cheese knew of no way in and out of Maegor’s Holdfast save over the drawbridge that spanned the dry moat and its formidable iron spikes.

Coming across the King, Aegon says he needs Aegon the Strong, which…I know a couple of strong boys. Well, one.

What the book then dictates is that the Tower of the Hand was less secure, and it’s here that they managed to evade the guards.

The guys aren’t good, and Cheese even kicks the dog. This is a trope typically done in westerns called a “kick the dog” moment. It basically spells out who the bad guys are…which…yeah, hadn’t figured it out yet. In fiction, it’s described as being used to make us lose all sympathy for a character, and yeah, gonna do that.

Now, the show changes things up a lot, and in the work, they went to the queen’s room. There, the work says:

The two men crept up through the walls, bypassing the spearmen posted at the tower doors.

Ser Otto’s rooms were of no interest to them. Instead, they slipped into his daughter’s chambers, one floor below. Queen Alicent had taken up residence there after the death of King Viserys when her son Aegon moved into Maegor’s Holdfast with his own queen. Once inside, Cheese bound and gagged the Dowager Queen whilst Blood strangled her bedmaid.

They do come across one in the episode, though they don’t end up doing this. I feel like she’s gonna be an eyewitness next time, and her escaping forces them to rush. The book then says:

Then they settled down to wait, for they knew it was the custom of Queen Helaena to bring her children to see their grandmother every evening before bed.

Blind to her danger, the queen appeared as dusk was settling over the castle, accompanied by her three children. Jaehaerys and Jaehaera were six, Maelor two. As they entered the apartments, Helaena was holding his little hand and calling out her mother’s name. Blood barred the door and slew the queen’s guardsman, whilst Cheese appeared to snatch up Maelor. “Scream and you all die,” Blood told Her Grace. Queen Helaena kept her calm, it is said. “Who are you?” she demanded of the two. “Debt collectors,” said Cheese. “An eye for an eye, a son for a son. We only want the one, t’ square things. Won’t hurt the rest o’you fine folks, not one lil’ hair. Which one you want t’ lose, Your Grace?”

In the show, though, they just grab Helaena in the kids’ room with Alicent being oblivious to them. The work says Helaena pleaded to take her instead, but they simply replied, “a wife’s not a son.” In the show, she tries to trade her necklace, but they take it anyway.

They then said they’d kill them all if she didn’t choose, which led to a Sophie’s choice. It’s basically Sophie’s choice but flipped. They told her to hurry up, or Blood would rape their little girl.

The book then says:

“Pick,” he said, “or we kill them all.” On her knees, weeping, Helaena named her youngest, Maelor. Perhaps she thought the boy was too young to understand, or perhaps it was because the older boy, Jaehaerys, was King Aegon’s firstborn son and heir, next in line to the Iron Throne. “You hear that, little boy?” Cheese whispered to Maelor. “Your momma wants you dead.”

Then he gave Blood a grin, and the hulking swordsman slew Prince Jaehaerys, striking off the boy’s head with a single blow. The queen began to scream.

Now, they did show some restraint for the scene, but yeah, it’s still really messed up.

In the book, little Maelor was just two, but Helaena worried he might understand. She’d basically just picked him to die, but whether he was aware or not was something she wrestled with.

Just knowing how helpless they are messes with you, especially when they go back and forth over who’s who. That caused a lot of issues in the work, whereas here I think they’ll stem from her giving him up. Aegon loved the guy and might be annoyed that she chose to save their daughter when he probably would have wanted her given up.

This is a world where it’s the men and sons who are seen as the most important, and yeah, I feel like it’s gonna cause a problem.

Rushing to her mother’s room, we find Alicent and Ser Criston and end with her announcing that Blood and Cheese have killed the boy.

So, phoooo, big, big first episode.

That Blood and Cheese scene has been something I imagined ever since reading the book, so it’s been in my head for a while now. I do feel like they pulled their punches a bit, but you know, obviously, when you imagine something for so long, it’s difficult to live up to it. So what I’m gonna do is judge the show for what it is rather than what I want it to be.

I still felt this was a really strong return, with it perfectly getting us back into this world. The Winterfell opening was really solid and felt like a trip down memory lane. It then really painted out stuff I’d never thought we were gonna get with characters.

Seeing Aegon being a nice dad and also trying to be good to the people, it made this ending hit even harder.

Just feel kinda bad for the greens, mate. What do you mean I’ve always been team green? But nah, just a complex show. I really dunno who I want to win, and it’s gonna be heartbreaking as we go through it.

Now, for the next part of the video, I wanna talk about certain characters in the episode where things might get spoiled for you. That’s mainly about Alyn of Hull and also Hugh Hammer. I won’t talk about the consequence of Blood and Cheese, so yeah…that’s kind of your general overview of what’s to come. Only you can decide if that’s too spoilery, and if it is, then I’ll see you next week. Thank you again, mate, for joining us today, as I know it’s a big chunk to get through.

Anyway, Alyn is an extremely important character. In the scene, he talked about heirs with Corlys and even presented him his blade. The irony, though, is that Lucerys wasn’t his heir, as he was a very strong boy. Who is, though, is Alyn, with him being one of Corlys’s bastards. He was the one who pulled him from the sea and clearly cares a lot about him.

Now, down the line, Rhaenyra’s side starts wanting dragon riders, and they look to people like Alyn. It’s believed that only those with highborn Targaryen or Velaryon blood can ride them, and this is why they recruit these dragon seeds.

Whether they believe that or not is another thing entirely, but this idea keeps up their legend. If the peasants believe that only they can ride dragons, then they’ll continue to see them as gods.

We learn that Corlys is indebted to his son, as he’s the one who pulled his body from the sea. Really excited to see where they go with it, and I can’t wait to see this father-and-son stuff developing.

Now, another dragon seed is Hugh Hammer, who we met in the throne room. We’re not fully sure of his entire lineage, but he’s thought to descend from Arion Targaryen. It adds in this idea of heirs and birthrights, with a lot of characters truthfully having a claim to the throne.

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons