‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, episode 2 recap: Beware the satisfaction of petty vengeance

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, episode 2 recap: Beware the satisfaction of petty vengeance
  • PublishedJune 25, 2024

Have you recovered from that horrific premiere episode yet? We sure hope so, because this week’s episode of “House of the Dragon” is filled with just as much horror.

Understandably, King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) is distraught over the death of his heir. In what can only be described as a royal temper tantrum, he shouts, “This is war! I declare war!”

Convinced this is the work of Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), Aegon is out for vengeance and wants to “dracarys” Team Black. But Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) swoops in to pour some water on his grandson’s fiery impulses and tells King Aegon to chill for a minute, reasoning that “some good may come of this.”

He concocts a plan to blame it all on Rhaenyra by holding a public funeral procession through the streets of King’s Landing. Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and Helaena (Phia Saban) sit behind Jaehaerys’ coffin in the wagon while a King’s Guardsman shouts, “Behold the works of Rhaenyra Targaryen, pretender to the throne, King slayer!”

It’s an effective measure. Word quickly gets back at Dragonstone, where Rhaenyra is learning about the death of Jaehaerys for the first time and that she’s being blamed for it. As a mother still grieving the death of her own child, she is aghast that anyone would think that she was behind it.

It isn’t until she glances over at Daemon (Matt Smith) to find that smug little smirk on his face for Rhaenyra to immediately figure out that he had something to do with this.

This revelation spawns a nasty spat between the pair. Daemon denies that he told anyone to kill Jaehaerys, and Rhaenyra refuses to believe him.

Daemon insists he only commissioned his assassins to kill Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and that this was all one big misunderstanding, but Rhaenyra accuses Daemon of taking her “I want Aemond Targaryen” statement as an excuse to seek his own revenge against her for her late father choosing her as his heir instead of him.

“It was a mistake,” Daemon says.

“You’re pathetic,” Rhaenyra retorts.

The lovers’ quarrel ends there, with Daemon flying out of Dragonstone on Caraxes.

Otto may have been calling the shots at the start of the episode, but he wasn’t by the end of it. He confronts King Aegon about having every single ratcatcher in King’s Landing publicly hanged in town, saying it was a reckless decision and that, unlike his late father, he has no dignity.

“F–k dignity. I want revenge,” Aegon says.

This ends with King Aegon firing Otto as his Hand and replacing him with Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), who Aegon says has proven to be “of more worth than a hundred old men” because of his plan to send Arryk Cargyll (Luke Tittensor) to Dragonstone, posing as his twin brother Erryk (Elliott Tittensor), to kill Rhaenyra.

Elsewhere in Westeros

  • Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) tells Rhaenyra that she holds no loyalties to anyone and isn’t interested in betraying her if she’s released. Rhaenyra doesn’t trust Mysaria but frees her anyway.
  • Mysaria ends up earning Rhaenyra’s trust when she sends warning after spotting Arryk walking into Dragonstone. Arryk manages to get into Rhaenyra’s room in his attempt to slay her but, thanks to Mysaria, Erryk gets there just in time. The ill-fated brothers fight until one of them kills the other and then the other kills himself. It’s sad but… sweet?
  • Rat guy’s accomplice tells Larys (Matthew Needham) that Daemon hired him and then gets beaten by King Aegon. Rat guy is hanged in town with the rest of the ratcatchers.
  • Aemond is sad. He expresses his regret about the whole Vhagar killing Lucerys thing while cuddling with a woman at a brothel. “I lost my temper that day,” he said. “I am sorry for it. They used to tease me.”
  • Addam of Hull (Clinton Liberty) catches up with his brother Alyn (Abubakar Salim), who saved Corlys Velaryon’s (Steven Toussaint) life. Addam, who was called from Hull to help Team Black in Driftmark, reminds Alyn that Corlys is indebted to him.
  • Alicent tries to tell both Otto and Helaena about her secret affair with Criston, but neither of them are interested in hearing anything about it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get back to King Aegon.

Maybe Otto said it best when he mused that these folks are not peacocks, rather “they’re all shrieking and feathers.” Sounds about right.


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