Randoms, TV

House of the Dragon S1E2: I’m liking Rhaenyra more and more…

NEW NOTE: I thought I’d scheduled this to post last week and only realized as I’m prepping tonight’s post that it wasn’t live! So, we get two in one night then. I’ve gone through and edited the post so it doesn’t reference it having only aired “last night” to avoid any confusion. Carry on!

They played the original theme song!!! I smiled like a moron when that score began to play. Lol And the new opening sequence is gorgeous, albeit a little gruesome with the blood flowing everywhere because Targaryens. Lol What a satisfying episode with lots to unpack! 

This post is chock full o’ spoilers. If you have not seen last week’s episode, read no further because I’m going to spoil the shit out of it from this point on. If you are not a #Thronie, I promise you’re not going to care about this post at all. Lol  Stay tuned for more bookish goodness shortly!

Got your coffee, tea, or other preferred beverage to enjoy while reading about glorious carnage and dark machinations??? Good! Let’s go!

Before we begin, another one of the disclaimers I forgot to include last week is that I’m watching without having read Fire & Blood. Please don’t comment arguing that questions we bring up or theories we throw out are answered in the book because these weekly posts will be written assuming that no one reading the post has read the book.

This episode picked up six months after the events of the premiere. Rhaenyra has been named heir to the Iron Throne, and her Uncle Daemon is not pleased to say the least. Taking up the mantle of Family Squatter, he has spent his time off camera occupying Dragonstone, Rhaenyra’s title seat. Or at least it was when she wasn’t heir to the throne. In what I expect was an effort to provoke the King into attacking the castle himself, Daemon also stole the dragon egg that was supposed to be placed in the new prince’s cradle with him. Given that neither the queen nor the prince survived the birth, this is a pretty shitty kick in the bean bag. It almost works but the Hand of the King (Otto Hightower) steps in and tells him it’s too dangerous. Frankly, Hightower doesn’t want Rhaenyra on the throne either, and if Daemon kills Viserys, that’s precisely what will happen. As long as Viserys is breathing, he can make a new heir or change his mind regarding Daemon. 

Speaking of Viserys and his breathing, I suspect he won’t be doing that for much longer. Anyone else think the infected cuts from the throne are the result of someone trying to poison him? Obviously, it’s something because they keep making a point to spotlight the cuts and the fact that they aren’t healing.

Now that we’re getting to know Rhaenyra Targaryen better, I feel like her temperament is a balance of sorts between her father and uncle. She’s got bigger balls than her father (not afraid to jump on her dragon and take care of business when needed) but not to the point of being psychotic like her uncle. I think she’d make a good queen if she can maintain that level of restraint. Also, when she’s sent to choose the next King’s Guard knight, it occurs to her that it would be best to choose a knight with actual battle experience rather than just another tournament knight. She thinks with a tactical mind, clearly having learned quite a bit from her time spent tending to the cups of the Small Council. 

She and her father are still struggling to figure out how to talk to one another following the deaths of her mother and brother. He’s named her his heir but it seems their grief has muddied up the water between them. Like they forgot how to be close to one another. Additionally, although he has named her heir, she’s still being treated like the girl who needs to sit on the sidelines and keep quiet. 

“I want him to see me as more than his little girl.”

Rhaenyra to Alicent Hightower

When Rhaenyra chose the knight, did you catch Otto Hightower’s reaction when she explained her choice? My initial feeling is that he might be the one behind Viserys’s cuts. If you’re looking to off the King, surrounding him with knights who wouldn’t have a clue what to do in a real battle would be the better choice. He urges her to reconsider citing the importance of alliances and she shuts his shit down HARD. I don’t trust him one iota. He has a very Tywin-y feel about him. 

Carlys Velaryon. Dude. What in the actual fuck??? His daughter is twelve and he has no problem marrying her off to bang a dude who looks to be older than himself. And to the Small Council’s point in the last episode, he’s very quick to jump from “Daemon is the rightful heir” to “you should marry at once and make a new heir” to avoid a woman sitting on the throne, even though his own wife should have been the rightful queen before Viserys took the throne. 

Romantic Stroll with a Sixth Grader

I suspect Carlys’s wife Rhaenys is quietly bitter. She does her duty. She married into the other remaining Valyrian house and she remains loyal to the Targaryen king. She’s a Cersei-type character if Cersei had given up on the idea of ever ruling herself and instead just placed all of her hopes in a child of hers eventually ruling. Rhaenys is every bit as calculating in that regard. As Rhaenyra is watching her father stroll through the gardens with a fucking sixth grader, Rhaenys takes the opportunity to remind her that she hasn’t got a shot in hell at becoming queen. It doesn’t even seem to be about her daughter being the one to marry him. She drives home the point that no matter who he remarries, he will remarry and he will make new Targaryen babies to create a male heir before the issue of Rhaenerya’s reign can ever become a reality. It all sounded very much like if I can’t be queen, then you can’t either because that’s just the order of things. 

“When I am queen, I will create a new order.”

Rhaenyra to Rhaenys, The Queen That Never Was

Of course, Rhaenys is right without knowing it. Cersei would reign as Westeros’s first queen approximately one hundred and ninety years later. But, you know, spoilers. lol

When he does inform the Small Council that he intends to marry, he blindsides everyone in the room with the knowledge that it will be Alicent Hightower (because who the hell wants to marry a sixth grader????). Now, I can’t tell if Rhaenyra is upset at the news because it’s her best friend or because she was in love with her. I mentioned in the episode one recap that I thought there might be a romantic spark there. Given her reaction to the news that Alicent would be her step mommy, I still don’t know which way the situation was leaning. Either way, that news would sting. Regardless of the fact that Alicent hasn’t done anything wrong, I’m sure it feels like a betrayal to Rhaenyra. 

There are some other romantic possibilities for Rhaenyra that I’m seeing. As I mentioned, it kind of seems like she and Daemon have a thing for one another. And even with the standoff they have on the bridge at Dragonstone, I’m not convinced that I’m wrong here. Then there is Ser Criston Cole. He and Rhaenyra make goo goo eyes everytime they’re around one another. 

Lastly, the episode ended with a butthurt Carlys Velaryon running off to team up with Daemon in direct violation of the king’s wishes so that is bound to go well. lol The Crab Feeder is a problem that Viserys should be dealing with on dragonback. I don’t understand why he’s even allowing it to carry on when the situation can be so easily dealt with. We shall see how episode three goes. I cannot wait. After episode three, I’m going to rattle off my top ten predictions for what this season holds based on what we know so far. Until then! 

I’m off to go finish preparing for tonight’s episode. Forty-four minutes to go!

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