Review: House of The Dragon S02E01 - A Son For A Son

House of The Dragon Season 2 finally arrived! It's time to recap and review the first couple of episodes, starting with the first, A Son For A Son.

Review: House of The Dragon S02E01 - A Son For A Son
Image: House of The Dragon / Courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery.

House of The Dragon Season 2 finally arrived! It's time to recap and review the first couple of episodes, starting with the first, A Son For A Son.

Before we go any further, this recap and review will include spoilers! You've been warned!

Let's dive straight into it, shall we?

The State of Affairs

So, Alicent's son is on the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra's son is dead, and she is nowhere to be found.

We return as the latter explores her grief and finds the strength to continue.

This isn't the powerful cunning Rhaenyra we saw in the end of last season, before her son's death. This is a broken mother, trying to find her footing in a world shattered around her.

Alicent is having an affair with her King's guard. Telling him, "We can't," which we obviously know she can.

And Damon is stewing in revenge and trying to find ways to get back at Alicent and her family. The White Worm comes in handy when he finds her hiding on a ship.

Rhaenyra’s Grief

Throughout the episode, Rhaenyra is flying around with her dragon, trying to find the remnants of her child and his dragon.

She is coming to terms with the fact that he's not coming home anymore. It's such a hard way to begin the season. But we knew this was coming. Westeros is nothing but a dark place, and we know that the night is dark and full of terrors.

Rhaenyra's only words in this episode were, "I want Aemond Targaryen." This directive will not go down quite as she wanted it, but we'll talk about that later.

Alicent’s Carnal Pleasures

Alicent's first appearance in this episode is when Lord Commander Criston Cole pleasures Alicent, and she finishes their encounter by saying, "We can't."

This is a statement that will prove untrue as we get to the end of the episode, where we find her again having sex with Criston Cole when a certain terrified queen marches into their room.

Alicent is clearly enjoying herself. But is there more to explore here? Is she in love? I did not read the books or the timelines to find out.

The same question goes for Criston. What is he looking for? A Kingsguard cannot marry. So maybe this is his little way of escaping his pleasureless future? Maybe he's using Alicent as much as she is using him. His little outburst in the small council to the king may indicate he's just a hopeless romantic.

Corlys Velaryon is Almost Back in Action

We find Corlys back on his feet, clearly seems to be recovering from an ordeal. The person he is talking to is apparently the person who saved his life.

What will Corlys do next? Does he even know about Rhaenys's whereabouts? Will he join her on Rhaenyra's side or join Alicent on the Green's side?

Damon’s Plan Gone… Wrong?

Damon hatches a plan, thanks to The White Worm, to kill Aemond Targaryen as revenge. However, the executioners chosen are not professionals. They don't really know what they're doing or even who they're looking for.

They both enter the Red Keep under the guise of handling the rats. Damon describes Aemond as having one eye and probably being good in a fight, so they need to be wary. What then made them kill an innocent child? Is it just stupidity on their part, or are they trying to salvage the mission because they couldn't find Aemond? We will find out in the next episode (which I haven't watched yet as of writing these words).

This sickening sound of the boy's little yelp, followed by the sound of crunching the little boy's neck, made me want to throw up.

We started this episode being on Rhaenyra's side. Up until the end of last season, the favor pendulum shifted, and it stayed on her side when her child was murdered.

But now? Sure, this will be seen as a mistake, but how can you justify that? How can you tell Alicent, "Hey, I'm sorry for murdering your little grandkid. I actually meant to kill your son as just revenge for killing my own son, but my operatives got confused."

In addition to murdering an innocent child, they made the mother choose, which will undoubtedly cause serious mental health issues for her down the line. The queen has been disturbed even before this happened, so having to choose the death of your own child must be a scarring experience.

Predictions For The Next Episode

The one thing bound to happen is the fallout from killing that child. However, this show is notorious for jumping in time. So, we might actually not see the fallout and experience a different time altogether where the spirits are even more heated between the two courts.

Corlys Velaryon will probably make his next move, too. He can't stay cloistered all this time away from all the drama.

If you haven't watched the next episode like me, let me know what you think will happen in the next episode in the comments! Or, tell me how you're liking this season so far! I would love to chat about it.

Thank you for reading.

Read the next episode's review right here.