House of the Dragon Returns! A Spoiler-filled Rundown and Review of Season 2 Episode 1

We are so back.

There’s no other feeling quite like new GoT airing every Sunday at 9 pm. House of the Dragon has managed to beat the odds and actually get people excited about this world again. Outside of a few odd writing choices, season one was a great success. With Miguel Sapochnik’s departure, this is solely Ryan Condal’s baby now. I trust his heart is in the right place to give this show its proper due.

First things first, we got a new OP. This one is way cooler than what we got in S1. It may require some pausing or slow-mo, but it’s nice to see this fun presentation of Targaryen history. I suppose each season may end up going with a different theme for the OP.

They really brought us back to Winterfell. A nice way to start the season. That shot of the crow pulling up to the castle paired with ‘Goodbye Brother’ brought quite a smile to my face. Though, we can’t stay for long. It’s off to the Wall.

Cregan doing his best Ned Stark impression. I’m glad he mentioned Alysanne’s dragon’s refusal to fly past the wall. That was always one of my favourite lore bits from Fire & Blood. I guess that was no problem for Dany’s trio, however. It makes sense that they are doing what they can to tie this into Game of Thrones and raise the stakes a bit. But this still leaves a bad taste in my mouth with how the White Walkers were treated in the later seasons.

From there, we get a beautiful shot of Rhaenys parking Meleys up. She is given some of the best and worst lines in the series, but her acting is always making up for any weak dialogue. It was funny to see Daemon unable to maintain eye contact with Rhaenys as she was putting him in his place. They went ahead and addressed the disaster that was Rhaenys’s Kool-Aid Man moment from S1, but they went about it in quite a goofy way.

Perhaps my favourite moment of the episode was the dragon attack false alarm at King’s Landing. It adds some great immersion into the world and displays how nutty a dragon attack can get. 

King Aegon definitely stole the show for me this episode. He has a certain charm about him as king that is really captivating. He provides a nice contrast to Joffrey on the throne. Both are menaces, but Aegon at least has some good qualities it seems. His small council was a hoot. Small council scenes are always a good time, but Tyland acting as Jahaerys’s pony was just too good. Goes to show how careful you have to be when dealing with the royal family. Alicent’s dig at him was great too. Like Tyland did anything wrong there.

I do wish we could have seen the Greens’ reaction to Aemond returning with the news of Luke’s murder. It looks like he is owning up to it more, and not admitting how much of an accident it was. Unfortunately, we lost a killer line of dialogue from Otto here. “You only lost one eye, how could you be so blind?” Aegon the Magnanimous (or Aegon the Dragoncock)’s reign continued with him attempting to navigate through these petitions with little to no political experience. Give the man his sheep!!

I am thankful that the White Worm’s accent is no longer so silly. It seems much more grounded now. I wonder if that was a result of some negative feedback from last season. Dragonstone had plenty of banger moments this episode. Rhaenyra returning on dragonback was shot beautifully and the music paired with it so well. Ramin has been putting in work. Her UFC-style call out of Aemond was powerful too. This is where the episode kind of starts to go off the rails.

Daemon’s plan does not seem very well thought out at all. But once that hood goes up, you know some shit is about to go down. It was strange that he travelled all the way to King’s Landing just to deliver that order. He might as well have just snuck into the castle himself and took care of the deed. At times, Blood and Cheese felt like Dumb and Dumber. With the way they stumbled through the castle and royal quarters, it seemed like they barely knew what they were getting into. 

Tension was built nicely, but the way the scene was handled just felt sloppy to me. They happen upon Helaena and proceed to grill her on identifying her son, instead of just taking two seconds to check themselves. Also, why is this wing of the royal quarters so empty? I find it hard to believe that there was no one anywhere close to the action to potentially help Helaena and her children out. My personal bias is definitely showing here, since Blood and Cheese was one of my top anticipated moments from F&B. I just think it was way cooler for some more professional type of assassins to sneak in there and commit the most tragic act they could muster up. 

I don’t want to end this write-up on a negative note. A vast majority of the episode was stellar, but HotD seems to have issues with ending some of their episodes. Outside of that, all of the acting, costumes, set design, sound effects, etc. were lovely as per usual. Aegon was easily my MVP of the episode, and I find his dynamic with Aemond to be super interesting. I am looking forward to seeing if their relationship falls apart.

I have much and more to say, but words are wind, and this write-up is already too long. See you next week most likely. 


Leave a Reply