Return to Winterfell, murder in the cradle… Season 2 of House of The Dragon is already causing fear

Return to Winterfell, murder in the cradle… Season 2 of House of The Dragon is already causing fear
Return to Winterfell, murder in the cradle… Season 2 of House of The Dragon is already causing fear

The first episode of the prologue of Game Of Thrones has just been unveiled on the Max platform. Threads for threadsof which here are the highlights, ends with an unbearable sequence, Sophie’s choice style. Spoiler alert.

With its wars of succession and tangled family trees, House Of The Dragonseries taking place almost two centuries before the events of Game Of Thronesclosely resembled its source, the collection Fire and Blood by George RR Martin: a rich but dry history textbook.

The last episode of the first season stood out. It ended in a bloody aerial confrontation, which opened hostilities between Princess Rhaenyra (Black faction) and her stepmother Alicent (Green faction). Their younger sons provoked each other on the backs of dragons. But Alicent’s, Aemond, ended up losing control of his mount. Who made short work of his fellow creature and his rider, Lucerys.

Read alsoHouse of the Dragon season 2: a fiery return

Even if two years have passed between this finale and the resumption of the saga, this Monday on Max, this tension, arriving late in House Of The Dragon, remains intact. The episode Threads for threadswhich picks up five days after the drama, outlines the harsh law of Talion which will sweep away both camps and dispossess Alicent and Rhaenyra of their conflict.

Alicent and his father Otto, who try to keep the younger generation under their control.
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Welcome to Winterfell

As a welcome sign to spectators, who fear being disoriented, showrunner Ryan Condal begins in familiar territory: Winterfell, the Stark stronghold. Rhaenyra’s eldest son Jacaerys tries to convince Cregan Stark to provide soldiers for the Black cause. Cregan Stark is as committed to duty as his descendants. Its priority is the protection of the built wall “to protect from darkness and cold”. Sinister forces “let no dragon dare to fly over it” (suggesting that Daenerys’ dragons were exceptional for overcoming their instincts).

Cregan Stark only condescends to sending aged veterans, who will not stand the return of winter to the North, to participate in the quest for the Black throne. The conversation between the young people is cut short when a crow arrives, carrying the death of Lucerys. It’s the end of a last form of innocence for his older brother.

Prophetic visions

At Dragonstone, Rhaenyra’s court, there is disarray. The queen is nowhere to be found. No one is capable of mounting a counterattack. Prince consort, Daemon (Matt Smith) pleads for a punitive expedition on the backs of dragons. But, as he is treacherously reminded, he is not king… It is not envy that itcheth: “Rhaenyra is a grieving mother who neglects her duties as monarch”.

Among the Greens, in the capital Port-Réal, the atmosphere is feverish. The guards scan the sky in retaliation. The young Queen Helaena, sister and wife of Alicent’s eldest son Aegon, is worried. “She is afraid, not of dragons, but of rats.” Her husband is amused by this Cassandra: “The queen is an eternal mystery”, he decides. Without imagining how prophetic his words will be. New to power, Aegon has difficulty listening to the calls to delay from his mother and grandfather Otto Hightower, still Hand of the King. Why not try all-out war? After all, “his dragons are the biggest”.

Helaena Targaryen
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Heirs pawing

Constantly disavowed by all the kingdom’s advisors, Alicent (Olivia Cooke) can at least play the merry widow in the arms of the commander of the royal guard Sir Criston Cole. A double taste of the forbidden. A knight’s oath prohibits any relationship with the officer. Alicent, by succumbing to Rhaenyra’s first lover, also commits a mistake.

Aemond’s murderous gesture disturbs his mother. The Dowager Queen is seen lighting a candle for the unfortunate Lucerys. One of the moments of contemplation and empathy before the storm, which punctuate this falsely wait-and-see episode.

Aemond plots with Cole
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Dissensions between the older generation and that of the heirs also came to light during the grievance session. Naive, Aegon is tempted to accede to all the demands of his subjects, before being rebuffed and being reminded of economic realities by his Hand. For his part, Aemond developed with Cole a military strategy for taking strongholds. “We wasted time with the crows. Words are just wind.”

A mute Rhaenyra

Elsewhere, Rhaenyra has finally found what remained of her son’s remains (a dragon wing and a cape) and can come out of her state of astonishment. Pronouncing only four words during the entire episode, her interpreter Emma D’Arcy transmits through her empty or piercing looks all the despair and then the anger of a mother. To his advice, she says the fateful sentence: “I want Aemond Targaryen”. Out of compassion or a taste for bloodshed, Daemon is only too happy to comply, showing himself liberal in the interpretation of his mandate. His motivations throughout the episode are questionable.

“Have you found what you need?” Daemon asks Rhaenyra when she returns to court.
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A son for a son

He secretly goes to King’s Landing where he recruits two assassins, a rodent exterminator and a guard. When the murderers ask him what they should do if Aemond is nowhere to be found, Daemon responds with silence and an enigmatic grin. It’s up to the viewer to fear what the title of the episode foreshadowed. Ten minutes of horror film-style anguish begin, where the conspirators wander in empty corridors, crossed by shadows and drafts. Obviously impossible for the hitmen to locate the one-eyed prince. They take Helaena and her twins hostage. And summon the young woman to designate her son to obey Daemon’s instructions.

Helaena tries to tempt them by offering them her jewelry. But nothing works. She ends up submitting to this unbearable choice of Sophie. Out of preference for his daughter? To sow doubt? The heinous act of decapitation of the toddler, dragged from his bed, is not shown on screen. But horror is written on Helaena’s face as the sound of blade against bone resonates. The queen takes her surviving twin in her arms and flees the room to find refuge in Alicent’s room… in full lovemaking with Criston Cole. Enough to fear a little more divine punishment from destiny.

With this revolting unnatural assassination, House Of The Dragon finds an original sin, from which no faction will recover. Through Daemon’s fault, Rhaenyra’s legitimacy to the throne is tainted. House Of The Dragon shows that she has nothing to envy of her elder Game Of Thronesentered into memories thanks to the scandalous and bloody Purple Wedding.

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