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Are You Ready for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season Two?

by Travlis Hallingquest
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Upon the conclusion of GAME OF THRONES, HBO programming executives aimed to find the perfect spiritual successor to one of its most lauded series. The vetting process for such a series was arduous. A series slated to star Academy Award winner Naomi Watts (The Ring, King Kong), written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass), and directed by SJ Clarkson (VINYL, SUCCESSION) was greenlit in 2019. Despite the aforementioned talent, the series was canceled after the pilot episode was filmed, a fate that the original series narrowly avoided.  Yet, HOUSE OF THE DRAGON arose out of the development turmoil and proved to become critically acclaimed and revered by audiences when it debuted.  

HouseOfTheDragon_sigilHOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 1 was a grand slow burn; grand character development with few but powerful battle sequences. HOTD’s pilot assured viewers this endeavor was not a cash grab. Certainly, HBO is a business and HBO must profit to stay in business.  HOTD satisfied the business and creative ventures of the premium cable by giving us a gripping and entertaining first season that is best described from the following paraphrased extract(s) from https://www.hbo.com/house-of-the-dragon/ 

When the series begins, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is a very happy man. He has a wife, Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke), and a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), whom he loves and cherishes. Aemma is pregnant with her next child, and while she’s had miscarriages and still-births before, he’s feeling sure she’s set to give birth to a happy baby boy. 


Episode two picks up six months later, and Rhaenyra and Viserys are still grieving the loss of Aemma. Daemon is illegally occupying Dragonstone with his City Watch, though no one is trying to oust him. Rhaenyra is not settling well into her role as heir — and her father isn’t really helping her — but she chooses Ser Crison to join the Kingsguard even though he doesn’t have the noble background of the other knights vying for the role. Later in the episode, Daemon steals a dragon egg, claiming he will give it to his unborn child with Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno). Ser Otto journeys out to get it back, and Rhaenyra secretly follows Syrax and successfully convinces her uncle to turn it over.


HouseOfTheDragon_CastPostersEpisode three takes place a full three years later and centers around Prince Aegon’s second birthday. The toddler is the first son of Viserys and Alicent, and they throw him a huge birthday party, complete with a royal hunt. Various lords assume this means Aegon will be named heir, but Viserys doesn’t consider how his actions are perceived. 


By Episodes 6-9, the series has jumped a total of 18 years.  Rhaenyra has had children, and people have accused her offspring of being bastards.  Vaemond continues to insult the children and the throne, and  Viserys says it’s settled and orders Vaemond’s tongue removed. Daemon beheads him instead.


Viserys brings his family together for dinner and tries to make them all get along. It seems to work, until he goes to bed, and Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) insults his nephews again, calling them “Strong” once more. Still, Rhaenyra and Alicent seem to reconcile, and Rhaenyra says she will return to King’s Landing after bringing her children back to Dragonstone.  After Rhaenyra leaves, Alicent visits her husband in his room. Addled by milk of the poppy, he thinks Alicent is Rhaenyra and talks to her again about Aegon’s dream, the Song of Ice and Fire. But Alicent, not having any context, thinks he’s saying he wants his son, Aegon, to be king. She leaves him, and he dies soon after, calling out for his first wife, Aemma.HouseOfTheDragon.


In the finale’ Rhaenyra tries to count her allies, Rhaenys refuses to declare that House Velaryon will ally with Rhaenyra until Lord Corlys arrives. Otto appears with terms of surrender for Rhaenyra, which will see her five sons given honorable positions. Daemon wants to kill him, but Rhaenyra decides to seriously consider not going to war. Her father made her heir to keep Westeros together, she says, and she won’t break it apart because of her own pride. She mentions the Song of Ice and Fire to Daemon, who’s obviously never heard of it and thinks his brother is a fool. He chokes Rhaenyra and yells at her.


Rhaenys convinces her husband to side with the blacks, and Rhaenyra looks to see if she has other allies. She sends Jacaerys (Harry Collett) north to the Vale and Winterfell to check on their allies there and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) to Storm’s End to deal with Lord Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans). But at Storm’s End, Lucerys runs into Aemond, who was sent there by the Crown. Aemond is still intent on getting revenge on Lucerys for cutting his eye out. After Lord Borros dismisses Luke, Aemond chases him and his dragon Arrax on his dragon, Vhagar, who is much larger than Arrax. Both boys lose control of their dragons, and Vhagar eats Luke and Arrax. Back at Storm’s End, Daemon tells Rhaenyra about Luke’s death, and, from her steely look, it seems she’s ready to go to war.


In the trailer, we see that everyone in Westeros is choosing sides between the Blacks or the Greens. The blacks are led by Rhaenyra and Daemon. The Greens are those loyal to Aegon and Queen Alicent Hightower.  Both sides are convinced of how right their claim is to the Iron Throne. The tension is bubbling with armies being raised and alliances being formed. Season 2 will consist of eight episodes and will debut June 16, 2024, at 9 PM ET on HBO. Don’t miss it, we won’t. 

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