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Here’s what you need to know about House of the Dragon before watching the second season. Let’s remember the main points

Here’s what you need to know about House of the Dragon before watching the second season.  Let’s remember the main points
Here’s what you need to know about House of the Dragon before watching the second season.  Let’s remember the main points

The second season of “House of the Dragon” looks set to be a sensation this summer. It is no coincidence that the showrunners announced three days before the premiere that the series would be renewed for a third or even fourth season. And George Martin, the author of the fantasy “Fire and Blood”, sanctified the series, comparing it with Shakespearean tragedies with their gloom and cruelty. Before returning to Westeros, we invite you to remember the highlights of the first season.


What is the story about?

A frame from the “House of the Dragon” series

House of the Dragon is set in Westeros 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The plot of the series describes the deadly war between two rivals of the ruling Targaryen dynasty vying for the Iron Throne.

The prologue opens with a meeting of the Great Council where former king Jaehaerys must choose an heir. The ruler makes a choice in favor of Viserys, bypassing his eldest daughter Rhaenys. This choice will determine the next scenario. Then comes a voice warning us: “The only thing that can destroy the dragon’s house is the house itself.”

Viserys, now aged, plans to make his eldest daughter Rhaenyra his heir. The king blames himself for tormenting his late mother with his attempts to create a male heir, who continued to die in infancy.

We see that the king has a new wife; Alicent Hightower is Eli’s daughter, as well as Rhaenyra’s peer and friend. However, their relationship deteriorates sharply when Alicent becomes queen and gives birth to a son. Some of the court is in favor of him taking the throne.

Also returning to King’s Landing is Damon, the king’s brother, who is dissatisfied with his position in the court and even considers seizing power. Unexpectedly, he finds a common language with Rhaenyra.

Essentially, the entire first season will focus on the coming of age of two ex-girlfriends who come face to face with each other. The court will be divided between supporters of the “greens”, led by Alicent Hightower, and the “blacks”, led by Rhaenyra, who choose their house colours.

Viserys wants to marry the stubborn Rhaenyra, but her marriage to Laenor will actually be imaginary. Alicent finds out about her lover and makes the courtiers consider her three children as bastards.

It is worth saying that ten years have passed since the events of the fifth episode. During this time, the heroes themselves change. They also have children who are eager to fight. At one point, Alicent’s son Aegon loses an eye in a fight with Rhaenyra’s children. This further increases hostility.

Rhaenyra will enlist the help of Uncle Damon, with whom she will begin a relationship. They attempted to assassinate Laenor, allowing her to escape with the person she loved. Rhaenyra marries Daemon. Six years have passed. Rhaenyra is pregnant with Daemon’s child, while Corlys Velaryon, mortally wounded, is looking for someone to transfer the rights to the Driftmark. Originally the lands were supposed to be given to Rhaenyra’s eldest son Lucerius, but Corlys’ brother Waymond opposes the bastard ruling them. Despite the contradictions, the king himself gives the order to transfer the lands.

At the same time, Viserys weakens and Targaryen banners gradually replace the Hightower stars in King’s Landing. While the eldest heir, Aegon, leads a tumultuous life, the one-eyed Aemond is hardened by his training with Criston Kohl, who has sided with the Hightowers.

Dying, Viserys gathers his relatives for a family dinner. It was decided that Rhaenyra would become the next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. They make a peace demonstration at the table, but Alicent is not ready to give up. The first season of the series ends with the death of Viserys, who bids farewell to his first wife, Rhaenyra’s mother.


Who are the main characters

A frame from the “House of the Dragon” series

Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, where the Targaryens reached the peak of their power and bred dozens of dragons.

Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy plays the adult heroine, while 22-year-old Millie Alcock plays Rhaenyra in her youth) – Viserys’ beloved daughter, brave, headstrong, determined to fight for her father’s legacy. She deals with dragons no worse than Daenerys Stormborn, played by Emilia Clarke.

Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke – as an adult, Emily Carey – in her youth) is the daughter of King Otto Hightower’s Hand (portrayed by Rhys Ifans) and the second wife of Viserys, the most beautiful woman in Westeros. She was Rhaenyra’s close friend in the past, but the struggle for the throne turned them into rivals. Alicent believes that power should pass to her sons, Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Aemond One-Eye (Ewan Mitchell).

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is Viserys’ impulsive and cruel younger brother. In King’s Landing, he has a spy lover named Misaria (Sonoya Mizuno).

Sailor Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), who is also Rhaenyra’s Hand, and his wife Rhaenys Velaryon (Yves Best), who is King Viserys’ cousin.

Rhaenyra also has a handsome knight named Criston Kohl (Fabien Frankel), who is the Lord Commander of the Royal Guard.


Differences from the book

A frame from the “House of the Dragon” series

If “A Song of Ice and Fire”, on which “Game of Thrones” is based, has not yet been completed, it is already known how the fate of the heroes will turn out in the “House of Dragons”, but this does not make the series less interesting to watch. The fact is that the book itself is a kind of “Silmarillion”, that is, a chronicle of events in the Seven Kingdoms on behalf of Master Gyldayn, who lived during the reign of Robert Baratheon. The basis of the book is scattered documents, records of predecessors, stories of members of the royal family and the “Mushroom Notes” – salacious rumors collected by the Targaryen court jester, a dwarf nicknamed Mushroom. Since the events are told through an unreliable narrator and sometimes contradict each other, the series producers chose the options that seemed most accurate, or at least interesting, when adapting the book. Therefore, the scriptwriters completed the dialogues and plot themselves. Some of the main differences between the book and the series are:

Alicent and Rhaenyra were not friends

In the book, Alicent is much older than her stepdaughter and future Queen Rhaenyra. They were not friends. Moreover, even before her mother’s death, Alicent was the mistress of her father, who was the king. The heroes in the series are the same age and close friends. It seems like the writers decided to make this move to add more drama to their conflict. When Alicent becomes queen and gives birth to an heir, she begins to look differently at her friendship with Rhaenyra, whom she now sees as a rival.

The heroes don’t know the white walkers

According to the story, the Targaryens keep the secret of the White Walkers a great secret and only pass it on from father to son. The maester and the jester who wrote history could not have known the prophetic dream of Aegon the Conqueror.

stealing eggs

The second part, where Damon steals the dragon egg to give to his pregnant concubine Misaria, is described in literally one sentence in the book. Damon returns the stolen egg at the king’s request. In the series, Damon refuses to comply with the request and only Rhaenyra’s diplomatic skills prevent conflict.

Criston kills Lonmouth in tournament

In the book, Christon kills Lonmouth at the tournament, not during the wedding. Apparently, the writers decided not to bore viewers with tournaments, of which there were many in past episodes, and to change the location of the murder so as not to create associations with Joffrey’s death in “Game of Thrones”.

Source: People Talk

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