House of the Dragon season 2 premiere recap: A son for a son

House of the Dragon season 2 begins in the way that it intends to continue. The Dance of the Dragons has officially begun.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

The Dance of the Dragons is officially underway. That was clear off the back of the House of the Dragon season 1 finale. Now the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere here, and it’s time to break down everything that happened.

Caution: This is a recap so there are spoilers everywhere from House of the Dragon season 2’s premiere!

The premiere starts us off in Winterfell, where we watch a group of men (and boys!) pick rocks from a bag. Cregan Stark explains to Jacaerys Velaryon that those who pick the black rock will become members of the Night’s Watch. It’s an honor for those selected, and this happens often to ensure people man The Wall.

Yes, The Wall is important. While Jace makes a comment of it keeping out Wildlings and the snow, Cregan points out the height of it and the fact that Aegon and his sisters’ dragons didn’t want to cross. There are monsters on the other side. We know them as the White Walkers, and it looks like those in the North still believe in them.

Cregan Stark and Jacaerys Velaryon in House of the Dragon season 2.
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

The conversation is cut short. A raven arrives, which we know is sharing the news of Luc’s death. Jace has to return home, where he relays that Lady Arryn will join the fight as long as she gets a dragon for protection and Cregan Stark will send 2,000 Northmen—they’re old, but we know what the men in the North fight like.

Rhaenyra Targaryen wants proof her son is dead in the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere

Daemon is manning Dragonstone as Rhaenyra has left for Storm’s End to see proof of her son’s death. Rhaenys gets back to Dragonstone, where she explains to Daemon that Rhaenyra needs to see this. Rhaenys learned of Laena’s death via a raven and it was only seeing proof that she was able to fully grieve.

Daemon makes a quip to Rhaenys that she should have taken out Aegon and everyone else when she had a chance. We can all agree with him on that front, but Rhaenys doesn’t take the bait.

At Storm’s End, Rhaenyra gets the proof that she needs. A dragon wing and Luc’s clothes have come to shore. She takes the clothing as that is all that is left of her son. Back at Dragonstone, at least she and her surviving sons can place something on a funeral pyre to say goodbye. It’s a heartbreaking moment, especially as we cut to King’s Landing at that point with Alicent lighting candles for those who have died, including Luc.

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Rhaenyra makes it clear that she wants Aemond as her revenge. Daemon puts a plan into place. We’ll get to that!

Alicent has a lover in King’s Landing in House of the Dragon

Meanwhile, we catch up with everything that’s going on at King’s Landing. Alicent has a lover in the form of Criston Cole. Of course she does! It’s funny how later on Criston continues to moan about Rhaenyra’s treatment of him and he’s all nice about Alicent. That will be the case until she discards him, too.

Alicent’s father, Otto, is still the Hand of the King. He tries to lead the Small Council, but Aegon does not make things easy. He’s brought six-year-old Jaehaerys to the meeting since the boy is the heir, but he’s a typical six-year-old. There’s something about Aegon that seems to be Joffrey and Ramsey mixed together the more I see him on screen.

Otto manages to get the Small Council back on track, but then Aemond interrupts. Aemond wants to go to war, while Otto is trying to prevent too much of a war. However, Corlys Valeryon has gathered ships to block the Gullet, which means problems for trade to King’s Landing. Aegon and Aemond want to fly out with Sunfyre and Vhagar to take out the ships, but Otto doesn’t want that.

Otto and Alicent want to see a peaceful end to this war. They want to see Rhaenyra bend the knee. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Especially not with the way things end for Team Green.

There is a chance to see Aegon as King. He hears the people with their petitions, which includes one man coming to ask for some of his sheep back to help him through the coming winter. We also meet Hugh Hammer, who shares that the cost of iron is high. To be able to keep making scorpions, the Crown needs to pay for the iron upfront, and Aegon agrees to this. With Team Black having more firepower than Team Green, he needs those scorpions.

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Blood and Cheese attack in the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere

It was time for one of the most anticipated book moments at the end of the episode. Daemon headed to King’s Landing, where he met Blood at the gate. Blood doesn’t like the Hightowers, as Daemon learned from Mysaria (who was on a ship Team Black had found and boarded). Mysaria is allowed to go free as long as she helps Daemon. It’s not clear where Mysaria could go though considering she betrayed Team Green as well!

That’s a problem for another day, though. The focus for Daemon was on getting Aemond. Blood took Daemon to the Red Keep’s rat catcher, Cheese. With the promise of money, Cheese leads Blood into the Red Keep so that Blood can kill Aemond.

“A son for a son,” Blood keeps saying. He needs to get Aemond’s head to send back to Daemon. However, they can’t find Aemond. That’s probably a good thing as I can’t see either of them surviving a fight against him.

Instead, Blood and Cheese go after another son. They head to Helaena’s rooms (who had told Aegon that she was worried about the rats, and now we understand that vision), where the sleeping twins, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera are sleeping. Blood demands to know which of the twins is the boy. Helaena initially tries to give her necklace, but Blood just takes it and demands to know which child he should kill. Helaena ends up pointing to one of the children.

Blood is about to go after the other child. He’s sure that the queen wouldn’t give up the heir so easily. However, Cheese stops him and tells him to go after the child she is pointing to. As Blood attacks the child, Helaena is able to get away with the other twin and ruses straight to Alicent’s room, who is in bed with Criston but Helaena doesn’t care about that.

“They killed the boy,” she says to Alicent, who just stares in shock. Alicent isn’t getting the peaceful end to the war that she wants.

The Blood and Cheese moment is nothing like the traumatic event in Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin. It’s traumatic enough for Helaena, though, and now it’s time for the Dance of the Dragons to officially begin. There is no turning back from this point.

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