REVIEW: House of the Dragon – Episode 2 ‘The Rogue Prince’

House of the Dragon - Ep2isode 2

Last Updated on September 2, 2022

The world of Westeros returned to our screens with all the blood and intrigue you would expect from the prequel to George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon E1 delivered what fans of Game of Thrones wanted with more dragons, plotting in the dark, and gruesome deaths than you could shake a sword at. House of the Dragon E2 allows the show to take a breath and ramp up the tension as the inevitable fiery path to the Dance of the Dragons begins to take shape.

House of the Dragon Rogue PrinceThe Iron Throne doesn’t seem to like King Viserys I too much and Paddy Considine is great at showing a weariness that comes with such a position as the crown seems heavy and the throne too sharp and dangerous following the awful death of his wife and newborn son. The throne itself is cutting into his weak skin as powerful men plot to gain the ultimate power through their offerings of young daughters with the promise of a new male heir for the king in a world that does not want a woman to sit the throne. House of the Dragon E2 works brilliantly in the way it portrays the dynamics between the men and women in the series. Viserys wishes to mourn his wife but is reminded of his duty to the realm by the plotting Otto Hightower and the ambitious Corlyn Velaryon. With Daemon reminding the small council of his threat by taking up residence in Dragonstone and the creepy Crabfeeder causing unrest by the Narrow Sea, it seems the men of the world smell blood and Viserys looks for a way to strengthen his house. Meanwhile, the women of Westeros are pushed aside. Rhaenys has seen this scene before and warns the fiery Princess Rhaenyra that men will torch the world before seeing a woman on the Iron Throne. Well, Rhaenyra is sick of listening to men speaking about her as though she doesn’t matter and Milly Alcock plays her with a furious power and independence that will remind Game of Thrones fans of why they fell in love with the character of Daenerys Targaryen. The men’s actions not only push each other apart, but they drive a wedge between the women around them too, taking advantage of the young and weak but also creating wounds that fester until the young are ready to spread their wings and fight back.

House of the Dragon E2 is an episode designed to get the powder in place before the world is set alight with burning wildfire. Swords are pointing at King Viserys I and powerful players are putting their pieces in place, knowing full well that one wrong move means death in the game of thrones. War seems inevitable as conflict and alliances are born with numerous political players and warriors readying themselves for the ladder that will be ready to climb amidst the chaos.

House of the Dragon E2 continues the strong start to the series as tension cuts through every scene with another superbly acted episode. The petulant but so damn watchable Prince Daemon is still the star of the show for me but House of the Dragon E2 allows the rest of the incredible cast to flex their muscles and ensure that the audience are ready to invest in the large array of characters. A strong episode setting the pieces in place for what is sure to be a fascinating conflict as the men and women of House of the Dragon make their play for the Iron Throne. It may not hit the heady heights of the first episode, but House of the Dragon E2 promises that more is to come. A calm before the storm.

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

Aaron S. Jones is the author of Memories of Blood and Shadow, and The Broken Gods trilogy. He is Head of School at a school in Kent, UK and when he is not tearing his hair out at students struggling with their, they're and there, he is tearing his hair out as he dies for the thousandth time on Elden Ring. You can find him on Twitter @HereticASjones where he is most likely procrastinating for hours at a time instead of focusing on his Orc murder mystery.