‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Premiere Recap: Killing in the Name Of

The second season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel opens with an illicit affair and a misguided act of revenge.

King Viserys is dead. Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) is deposed. Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), the Second of His Name, sits the Iron Throne. Well, not so much sits as slouches — drunkenly, at that.

With his frat-bro buddies lounging around him, equally in their cups, the newly crowned King of Westeros brags about his baby brother’s loyalty and complains about the flowery nickname bestowed upon him by the heralds, Aegon the Magnanimous. “No one knows what ‘magnanimous’ means,” he complains. A buddy suggests “Aegon the Generous” as an alternative, to general acclaim.

But all around the wastrel king and his inebriated mates, the still-sharp swords of the sprawling Iron Throne bristle with danger. And the men are too busy making merry to notice the pair of child killers skulking across the throne room at that very moment, hiding in plain sight.

This blend of comedy and cruelty, human foibles and inhuman violence, sums up the “House of the Dragon” project pretty neatly.

This season, the very popular prequel to HBO’s world-bestriding fantasy colossus “Game of Thrones” — both shows are based on books set within the imagined world of Westeros by the author and co-creator George R.R. Martin — is shepherded by the sole showrunner, Ryan Condal, who also writes the premiere. (Condal’s former co-showrunner, the director Miguel Sapochnik, departed the show after its first season; Alan Taylor, who like Sapochnik is a “Thrones” alumnus, is behind the camera for this episode.)

The improvements begin right away, with new opening titles that whisk us through the history of the ruling House Targaryen via the sewing of a grand tapestry. This replaces last season’s frankly impenetrable attempt to evoke “Thrones”’s clockwork credits with a stone-and-metal sluice of blood that not even I, a person with a quote from Martin’s novels tattooed on his right forearm, could follow.

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Source: Television -


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