Welcome to the Ending Explained for Episode 2 of House of the Dragon. The episode is titled “The Rogue Prince” and follows our characters right after the aftermath of the previous episode. In this episode, the show continues with its mission of adapting the history presented in the Fire & Blood book as fast as it is possible. The days and months pass just in a second in this series, so there is really no space for filler. We jump from one relevant moment to the next without looking back.
HBO continues to be marvelous by showing us amazing production quality, and it also lets us enjoy a new intro where the theme for the original show comes back. It feels like a letdown that we are not given a new music theme, but the classic theme is such a classic that it is hard to be angry about it. Also, the characters are still very distant, and it seems that it will be hard to come up with a fan favorite character. At least it won’t be as easy as it was for the show to do it in the original series.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 of House of the Dragon. Read at your own risk.
Is Daemon Still The Heir To The Iron Throne?
Just like in the original series, the main conflict of the show seems to be how the characters improve their position enough so that they can become proper contenders for the Iron Throne. In the last episode, King Viserys felt trapped in a catch-22 type of situation. He is king but has no male heir, which only means that his daughter Rhaenyra is his only choice. He makes a surprise announcement when she declares her his direct heir.
However, getting her father’s approval doesn’t mean she gets everyone’s approval within the small council. Otto Hightower has already been doing moves. Send his daughter and Rhaenyra’s best friend, Alicent, to talk and spend time with the king. Meanwhile, Lord Corlys Velaryon also seems to want to get closer to the Iron Throne. He is the master of ships, and they are having a situation on the islands with the rising of a new enemy.
Corlys proposes that Viserys should marry her oldest daughter so that both families can become one. According to him, this will be proof of their strength. It is going to be felt both in Westeros and across the sea in Essos. There, the Free Cities are almost ready to go into war with Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. Viserys is doubtful, especially because Corlys’ oldest daughter is just twelve, and he has no interest in wedlocking a child. Viserys loved his former Queen very much, and he seems to be missing company more than anything.
Rhaenyra is also having a hard time talking with her father. They exchange courtesies here and there, but the relationship is definitely strained. Towards the end of the episode, and after getting counsel from both Rhaenyra and other members of the small council, Viserys finally decides to get a new wife. This decision will make his life easier, or so he thinks. He chooses Alicent as his next queen, and both Rhaenyra, and Corlys are baffled. With that one move, Viserys has just destroyed the dreams of all the pretenders.
What Does Rhaenyra Do To Strengthen Her Position?
In a powerful conversion near the middle of the episode, Rhaenyra thanks her aunt, Rhaenys, “The Queen that Never Was”. Her aunt tells her the truth directly. She says that no matter what she thinks, Westeros will never allow a woman to sit on the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra says that once she is queen, she will change things for the better. This is very reminiscent of what her descendant, Daenerys will say on her road to the Iron Throne hundreds of years in the future.
Rhaenyra must be ready, because everybody is pushing her father to get a new wife, and if that wife gets him a male heir, then Rhaenyra will be done, just like Rhaenys was. Meanwhile, Daemon Targaryen, the current heir to the throne by bloodline, manages to steal a dragon egg. He sends notice to the king that he will be taking Dragonstone as his seat, and that he will get married to Lady Mysaria, who just recently was his favorite prostitute. Viserys takes the invitation as a challenge but decides to do nothing.
Instead, Rhaenyra rides her dragon to Dragonstone. There, she interrupts a discussion between Daemon and Otto, who are ready to choose violence to end the conflict. Rhaenyra talks to her uncle and convinces him to give the egg back. It is clear that the move was only a taunt, and that Daemon wasn’t really planning to marry Mysaria. Actually, Mysaria doesn’t want to get married or have Daemon’s children. She doesn’t want to take part in the Game of Thrones, because she knows it would mean death for her.
As the episode ends, we see that Viserys’ decision to marry Alicent is already having consequences. Rhaenyra is getting closer to her uncle Daemon, and Daemon himself is being recruited by Corlys to take part in some sort of plan to take Viserys out of the Throne. It seems nobody can really trust anyone, as they can only think about themselves, and not about the people they have around them.