Review: House of the Dragon – A Son for a Son

    Finally, we’re back in Westeros. It feels like an age since we were last in the Game of Thrones universe. That’s because it has been a long time. House of the Dragon Season One premiered in August 2022. So, it’s been almost two years since the start of the series. Season 2 premieres with House of the Dragon – A Son for a Son. It picks up following the death of Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) at the hands of Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell).

    The premiere episode wasted no time in revisiting the pivotal events that closed out the first season. We were reminded of Aemond’s fateful encounter with Luke, an incident that, while initially appearing accidental, has clearly set the stage for far-reaching consequences. This re-establishment of the narrative’s foundation allowed the show to seamlessly transition into outlining the key players and their respective positions within the unfolding conflict.

    House of the Dragon – A Son for a Son also shed light on Alicent’s evolving relationship with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), a development sure to have far-reaching consequences. Alicent’s intimate encounter with Criston, coupled with the latter’s clandestine collaboration with Aemond in crafting battle plans, hints at a growing web of entanglements that could potentially unravel the fragile alliances within the Greens’ camp.

    As Larys (Matthew Needham) attempts to gain Aegon’s ear and warn him of Otto’s (Rhys Ifans) manipulations, the stage is set for a season of intrigue, backstabbing, and the potential downfall of some of the series’ key players. The delicate balance of power and the characters’ willingness to pursue their agendas suggest that not everyone may leave this conflict alive.

    Daemon’s Ambitions

    One of the other key moments in the premiere was the interaction between Daemon and Rhaenys, as the former attempted to compel the latter to join him in battle. This scene, marked by the electric chemistry between Eve Best and Matt Smith, highlighted the complex dynamics at play within the Targaryen faction. Daemon’s eagerness to assert his influence and take a more active role in the conflict clearly indicates his ambitions, which may not necessarily align with the desires of others, including the newly crowned King Aegon.

    Rhaenys’ firm refusal to heed Daemon’s request, citing his lack of authority, underscores the delicate balance of power and the challenges ahead as the various factions jockey for position. I think this is going to be something that continues to grow throughout House of the Dragon Season 2. For example, in Season One, we constantly see Daemon wrestle with his desire to rule. Here, we somewhat see it again. Daemon thinks he is in charge, yet it is Rhaenyra who is the Queen.

    A Son for a Son

    Perhaps the most striking moment of the premiere was the introduction of the Blood and Cheese incident – the murder of young Prince Jaehaerys, a move that directly retaliated against Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney). This unexpected development, coming so early in the season, caught many viewers off guard and set the tone for the intensity and high stakes that will define the ongoing power struggle. The final moments of House of the Dragon – A Son for a Son had me on the edge of my seat. You can feel the tension as the pair work through the Red Keep.

    The emotional impact of this tragic event is sure to have profound ripples, particularly for Helaena (Phia Saban), whose anguish will undoubtedly be a central focus in the episodes ahead. We’re already seeing Helaena struggle with what appears to be mental health issues. This bold narrative choice underscores the series’ willingness to embrace the darker, more brutal aspects of the Targaryen dynasty, setting the stage for a season that promises to be both captivating and harrowing.


    As House of the Dragon embarks on its second season, the stage is set for a captivating journey filled with intrigue, betrayal, and the ever-present threat of tragedy. What many call “The Blood and Cheese incident” has served as a shocking opening salvo, setting the tone for the high-stakes conflict unfolding. I’m excited about what is coming up this season. We will see a lot of death, twists and turns as we have come to expect from the Game of Thrones universe.

    House of the Dragon – A Son for a Son was a great opening episode. It had high stakes and successfully established the universe for us. Due to the time between seasons, I was concerned if the second would be different. Thankfully, it was not. It feels like we were in Westeros just yesterday.

    Ultimately, House of the Dragon’s success in its second season will hinge on its ability to balance the sweeping narrative of the Targaryen civil war with the emotional story of the characters we enjoy. I am eagerly awaiting the unfolding of this season. The future of Westeros hangs in the balance, and the consequences of the choices made by its inhabitants will reverberate for generations to come.

    House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres on HBO on June 16th. It will also be available exclusively on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. Fans will need to use NowTV to stream the second season.

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    Jack Trestrail
    Jack Trestrail
    Pop-Culture nerd and uber Sci-Fi fan! Jack is frequently found telling everyone about the latest Star Wars developments or nerding out on the newest Star Trek starships! ?

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