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‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 2 Review: Of Desires, Duty, And Dragons

August 29, 2022 | by Jinal Bhatt

Love is the death of duty. If these words sound familiar, you’ve heard one Targaryen say them to another in Game Of Thrones. Remember Maester Aemon says this to Jon Snow, and then, years later, Jon Snow is reminded of it when Tyrion Lannister talks to him about his love for Daenerys Targaryen clouding his judgement. In fact, a running theme in GoT was how people choosing love and making stupid choices have met a red end because they forsook duty. In Episode 2 of House Of The Dragon, where a prince goes rogue and characters must choose between what they desire and what they should do as their duty to their position in the grand scheme of things, you’ll be reminded of this little saying again, and how the repercussions of that one rogue choice, made in a moment of rash desire, can undo entire kingdoms. 

 

 

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A snubbed Prince Daemon has gone ahead and claimed the seat of Dragonstone, which technically belongs to Princess Rhaenyra, as his own, without his king’s permission. And he has stolen something that is going to irk his niece quite a bit, enough for her to want to go after it. Meanwhile a wife-less and still in mourning King Viserys, who hasn’t even been able to talk to his daughter about her mother’s passing, is the cynosure of all political schemes. He is expected to take a wife who will bear him a male heir, or several. You might ask, why he’d need one, considering he has already proclaimed his firstborn daughter Rhaenyra as his heir. Well, primogeniture is a bitch and Westeros is all for the King going back on his word if it means they’ll be spared a queen on the Iron Throne.

 House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 2

And so, ploys are in motion to further political alliances and personal agenda. It’s a choice between Lady Alicent Hightower, daughter of the Hand of The King, Ser Otto Hightower, and Lady Laena Velaryon, the very young daughter of Corlys Velaryon, the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms and the King’s Master of Tides. Meanwhile, the Crab Feeder, a mutineer who is causing trouble for the Velaryon fleet and the King in the Stepstones, is getting bolder by the day. And the King’s inaction turns away his most powerful Small Council member.

Also Read: House Of The Dragon Episode 1 Review: Targaryen Succession Drama, And Its Gender Politics, Show Promise

A rather vocal critique of Episode 1 of House Of The Dragon was that there weren’t enough actual dragons that we see. Well, the highlight of this episode is a scene that is going to Dracarys away this complaint for the fans of these firebreathing Targaryen pets. However, I will vehemently continue to maintain that the real dragon fire remains the chemistry between Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen and Milly Alcock’s Rhaenyra. Their showdown gave me the tingles, apart from making for a spectacular entry by Rhaenyra. Looks like incest is back on the menu, boys! And even though you’re going to feel guilty AF for shipping this uncle and niece duo, the spark is just too strong to not make you feel the heat.

Alcock continues to hold her own incredibly before the brilliant performances of Smith and Paddy Considine, and I just love watching the scenes where she speaks High Valyrian because she’s exuding even more power. What’s more, the score accompanying this particular scene just gives you goosebumps.

Also Read: Milly Alcock AKA Princess Rhaenyra From ‘House Of The Dragon’ Is The Star Of The Moment, Here’s Everything We Know About Her!

While the first episode was a smooth return to Westeros and an introduction to the key players in the Dance Of The Dragons, Episode 2 has set into motion the politics and the follies that will fester further tumult within House Targaryen. We see Viserys nurse a rot in his little finger, where he was cut on the Iron Throne, further foreshadowing that he seems to be failing in his kingly duties, and is now set on a path that might not end well for him and his.

So far the show has been staying true to the GoT DNA, with nary a dull moment, and the political moves staying sharp and interesting. The performances further elevate this, and fans who still have their doubts should be satisfied.

House Of The Dragon Episode 2 is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, followed by new episodes every Monday at 6:30 AM IST.

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