‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained – Whom Did Viserys Choose As His Wife? & Why?


The events of “House Of The Dragon” Episode 2 take place 6 months after the death of Queen Aemma. Viserys and his daughter, Rhaenyra, are still grieving for their loss yet fail to share each other’s pain. Maybe the death of Aemma has created an invisible gap between the father and daughter, which is quite evident throughout the episode. Rhaenyra also feels that somewhere her father doesn’t consider her worthy enough to be the heir to the iron throne. In the first episode, we saw that she wanted to fight the patriarchy. She wanted to tell everybody that she was different from her mother. She wanted to contribute actively to the matters of the state. She didn’t consider herself to be just a prop and knew that maybe her father didn’t see it then, but sooner or later he would realize what she was capable of. Amidst all this, Lord Corlys was not happy about his dwindling influence over the King. He felt vulnerable and insecure and desperately wanted the king to be on his side. Daemon was asked to leave King’s Landing and was harboring a feeling of resentment. He was like a volcano that could erupt at any moment. The one thing in common between Lord Coryls, Rhaenyra, and Daemon was that they wanted things that they thought they truly deserved. So let’s see what Viserys’ plan of action will be and whether it is able to bring some stability to his realm and reinstate his authority.

Spoilers Ahead

Craghas Crabfeeder Attacks Lord Corlys Velaryon’s Fleet

“House Of The Dragon” Episode 2 begins with King Viserys Targaryen sitting in the small council attending to some  important matters of his kingdom. The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Ryam Redwyne, had passed away and the council members were of the opinion that the Kingsguard should be quickly restored to its full complement of seven. Together with Otto Hightower, Ser Harold had called some candidates who could fill the position of the Kingsguard. Just then, Lord Corlys Velaryon stormed into the hall. He said that four ships had now been lost, and one of them was flying under his banner. There was a rebellion growing inside the kingdom, and Lord Corlys was worried about that. Otto told him that the crown would compensate him for his loss, but Corlys was very sure that mere compensation wouldn’t be sufficient. He wanted to wage war against Craghas Drahar, infamously known as Craghas Crabfeeder.

The book “Fire and Blood” mentions Craghas as the leader of the Triarchy, an alliance that comprised three free cities: Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh. Some ten years ago, Craghas conquered Stepstones and killed hundreds of pirates, thereby disturbing the long attained peace and order, but the lords and the king’s advisers never considered Craghas or the Kingdom of Three Daughters as a direct threat to the throne. They reasoned that if someone had taken up the mantle of destroying the pirates, it was in their best interests if the crown did not intervene. Instead, the crown was aiding them by paying their tolls for a safe passage. Lord Corlys was of the opinion that there should be a show of force and the potential threat should be wiped out before it becomes a conflagration that burns down everything that comes in its way. But the seven kingdoms had never waged war against the free cities. Lord Corlys also pointed out that Daemon, the king’s brother, had been sitting in Dragonstone, with his army of gold cloaks, without facing any kind of resistance from the crown. Viserys assured Corlys that he had taken some measures, and as said by the latter, he was not sitting idle like a spectator. Viserys had sent men to two cities, namely, Pentos and Volantis. He was trying to find a solution without shedding blood. He assures them that the matter of Stepstones will be settled. His daughter, Rhaenyra, who was overhearing the conversation, didn’t agree with him. She was of the opinion that there should be a show of force to reclaim authority and instill fear in the people. She said that Viserys should send Dragonriders to the area and stop trying to have a conversation with the free cities, as it made them look meek. She herself rode Syrax, the dragon, from an early age.

The very first scene of “House Of The Dragon,” Episode 2, establishes a stark difference between the modus operandi of Viserys and his daughter. Viserys was more defensive in his approach, whereas Rhaenyra was more aggressive and belligerent. To mitigate the awkward situation, Viserys told Rhaenyra to accompany Ser Harold and help him choose a candidate to fill the vacancy in the Kingsguard. Rhaenyra had been smitten by Ser Criston Cole since she had seen him disarm her uncle at the tourney. She chooses him for the post, but Otto Hightower intervenes in between. Otto wanted to strengthen the relations that the crown had with certain houses since they were important allies. He wanted the princess to choose somebody from the House Mallister, or any such noble house. But Rhaenyra was not somebody who would adhere to the commands of people if she knew what she was doing was right for the kingdom and her father. Ser Criston Cole was officially appointed to the position. Apart from having a soft corner for the dreamy-eyed soldier, Rhaenyra wanted somebody who had real combat experience. Criston Cole met all the criteria.

Viserys Is Fond Of Alicent Hightower

The stonemasons had built dummy sculptures of the whole of Westeros, and Viserys often liked to spend time examining them in his room. Alicent Hightower was with him. He had grown fond of her, and the affection he had was quite evident. They talk about Old Valyria, the capital of the Valyrian Freehold. Alicent innocently asks him if Westeros could become as powerful and great as Valyria once was. Viserys says that unless and until they have a thousand dragons and a navy large enough to span the seas of the world, Westeros will never be what Valyria was once. Viserys knows that Alicent shared a very close bond with his daughter. He tells her not to tell Rhaenyra about their frequent (and secret) meetings and the kind of conversations they end up having. He knew it was awkward. He was attracted to a girl who was his daughter’s age. Alicent meets Rhaenyra and tries to make her understand that she should have a conversation with her father. She told her that a lot of times, unless and until you tell the person what you are going through, he or she cannot assess the situation properly. The girls knelt down and prayed. Rhaenyra broke down. She told Alicent that she wanted her father to see her as more than just a little girl. She wanted to prove her worth. From the beginning, Princess Rhaenyra was not like other girls. She knew that her role was much greater than just getting married and giving birth. She wanted to be on the battlefield. She wanted to be involved in making the decisions for the kingdom. She wanted to be an active member of the council. But every time she tried to voice her opinion, she was shut down by one or the other councilmen.

Viserys Targaryen Has To Choose A Wife

Corlys apologized to Viserys for his rude behavior in court. He tells the king that he was just worried about the state of affairs, and now with Daemon claiming the Targaryen seats on the dragon stone and a foreign power establishing a colony in Stepstones, he feared that the crown was in a vulnerable position. Lord Corlys had one philosophy that he abided by. He says that to elude a storm, one should either sail into it or go around it, but one must never wait for the storm to come and tear one apart. He says that before matters get out of hand, the crown should act. Viserys had no male heirs, and that had put the kingdom in a precarious situation. He proposed that Viserys Targaryen get married to his daughter, Lady Laena Valaryon. His vision was that with the Targaryen dragons and the Velaryon fleets, they could put the kingdom in a very strong position. But Viserys was a bit skeptical as Laena was only 12 years old. He went and talked to Lord Lyonel and sought his advice. Lord Lyonel also suggested the same thing. But Viserys didn’t want to consider the political standpoint of the Lords. At that moment, he was overpowered by a feeling of love that he had been feeling of late for somebody. 

Viserys was still getting bruised from sitting on the iron throne. The wounds were not healing, and the Archmaester was running out of solutions. He tried every technique in the book, but somehow the situation was worsening every day. The Archmaester put maggots on his hand so that they could peel the dead skin and stop the progression of the rot. It seems like the wounds were a personification of the perils that surrounded Viserys’ kingdom. Viserys was not taking it seriously, as he did not realize potentially what damage they could cause. Daemon had launched a rebellion, and on the other hand, the free cities were now forming an alliance. He had neither stopped Daemon nor done anything to stop Craghas Crabfeeder and his alliance.

Daemon Targaryen Steals A Dragon Egg

Viserys got the news that a dragon egg had been stolen by Daemon Targaryen and had been taken to Dragonstone. It was the same egg that Rhaenyra had chosen for her brother, Baelon. It belonged to a dragon named Dreamfyre, a female dragon. Viserys is furious and doesn’t understand how Daemon could steal it when it was being guarded by more than fifty dragon keepers. It came to be known that Daemon had taken another wife named Mysaria. She was the same woman who worked in the brothel and was often visited by Daemon. He wanted to keep the egg in the cradle of his newborn, as it was the Targaryen tradition to do that.

Otto Hightower, together with Criston Cole and a small troop of soldiers, went to Dragonstone to get the egg back. But Daemon was not someone who could be easily intimidated. He was one of the best-known fighters in the Targaryen clan. He had a dragon named Caraxes and an army of Gold Cloaks, who had sworn their allegiance to him. Otto knew that there was no point in trying to threaten him. But just then, Daemon heard a familiar voice. He tried to look beyond the clouds to see what it was exactly. Rhaenyra had arrived at the scene unannounced with her dragon. She fearlessly went up to Daemon and told him that her father had named her the princess of Dragonstone. So basically, it was her castle that he was living in. Daemon’s new wife was not pregnant, as he had told the people. Rhaenyra told him clearly that she was the one who was standing between him and the throne. She blatantly said that if he wanted to be the heir, he would have to kill her. Daemon might have launched a rebellion against his brother, but he had a lot of affection for his niece. He liked her, and undeniably, she liked him too.

Daemon returns the egg, and Rhaenyra brings it back to King’s Landing. When Viserys got to know that Rhaenyra had gone to Dragonstone without asking his permission, he was very angry with her. But Rhaenyra told him that only she could have brought the egg back without any bloodshed, and she did it for the sake of her people and her army. Mysaria was disappointed after finding out about the intentions of Daemon. She tells him that all her life, she just wanted to be liberated. She didn’t want power; she didn’t want to be married to the one who sits on the Iron Throne. She only wanted to stop living in fear. Daemon’s actions once again made her feel the same way she had felt in the brothel.

Whom Did Viserys Choose As His Wife?

Viserys had finally decided that he would make the big announcement in front of the council members and tell them who was going to be his next wife. Lord Corlys thought that he had everything under control. He knew that the king was going to marry his daughter. But in a dramatic turn of events, Viserys took the name of Alicent Hightower. Lord Corlys was enraged. He couldn’t believe his ears, and neither could Rhaenyra Targaryen. This decision marked the beginning and the end of a lot of things. Firstly, it gave birth to an enmity between Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra. Lord Corlys was denied what he felt was rightfully his.

An alliance was formed between Lord Corlys and Daemon Targaryen. Lord Corlys told him that it was in the best interest of both of them that they combine their forces and wage war against the Crabfeeder. Though it is suggestive that Lord Corlys and Daemon Targaryen will form an alliance eventually, it also showed the kind of love Daemon had for his family. He was not like his brother, who would easily get influenced by his so-called well-wishers. He told Corlys upfront that just because his relationship with his brother had gone sour didn’t mean that others had the right to say anything bad about him. Perhaps if Viserys had made him his hand, rather than always sending him to places far from the Iron Throne, he could have protected the king from his own self. Otto Hightower had taken full advantage of being close to the king and was able to create a rift between him and his own brother. Otto’s daughter was now going to become the Viserys’ wife, and he had accomplished what he had set out for.

The soldiers and the knights hadn’t been in an actual war before. The last bloodshed we saw in Westeros was during the reign of King Maegor, the cruel ruler who ruled the seven kingdoms before the old king, Jaehaerys, approximately 70 years ago. That was the last time the kingdom of Westeros saw a real war. Viserys himself was not ready for one, but the war was inevitable. Corlys and Daemon were ready to attack the Crabfeeder, and King’s Landing also needed to keep its guard up. As Rhaenyra had pointed out, of all the knights present there, only Ser Criston Cole had prior combat experience. Maybe Viserys would need many such experienced soldiers by his side if he wanted to survive the upcoming storm. Maybe if Viserys had accepted the offer of Lord Corlys and entered into a matrimonial alliance with his house, things would have been different. But now, the metaphorical rot wasn’t going to stop progressing as the Archmaester had assumed, no matter how many maggots were put on or around it.

See More: All The ‘Game Of Thrones’ References In ‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 1, Explained

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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