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House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 3 Review: Reunions and Goodbyes


This series is the gift that keeps on giving.


I know it makes me a huge nerd, but every week when I hear that recycled Game of Thrones theme song, my heart rate starts to rise and I get hyped.


Tonight’s episode of House of the Dragon was my favorite so far this season, so we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.


I’ll be honest, the episode started off a little confusing.


I don’t particularly care about this turf war between kids about where cows graze, and then the scene ending with evidence of a mass slaughter threw me off.


What even happened there?


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Thankfully, things started moving along rather quickly.


Rhaenyra’s decision to bury Sers Arryk and Erryk in a joint shallow grave was an interesting one, wasn’t it?


My theory is that she would’ve given her guy a better sendoff, but she couldn’t tell them apart so they got planted like onions instead.


Tragically for Erryk and Arryk, the focus at their funeral wasn’t even on them. Sorrows. Sorrows, prayers.


Princess Rhaenys is in the Queen’s ear, and Rhaenyra is listening.


Rhaenys is, by the way, one of the most interesting characters on this show and receives criminally little recognition for it. Can we get another HotD spinoff for her?

There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin, and no war so bloody as a war between dragons.

Rhaenys


Over in King’s Landing, chaos is erupting as the Greens try to decide what to do next.


Aegon II’s council is full of ideas. Unfortunately, no one seems to agree on any of them.


We see Aegon’s ego take a bit of a hit, and there’s no doubt that that’s going to have pretty serious consequences later on.


He wants to be thought of as “fearsome,” as he says when his brother tries to convince him to sit out war efforts.


Sadly for him, everyone still sees him as a teenager with too much attitude and not enough grit.


I’m sure we’ll see how that evolves over time, but as a staunch supporter of Rhaenyra, I’m not inclined to care that much.


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So let’s talk more about the better team, shall we?


It looks like our favorite husbuncle has finally learned how to properly disguise himself, at least when it comes to wearing armor.


It took me a minute to figure out who I was looking at because his hair wasn’t immediately visible. Good job, Daemon.


His encounter with Lord Strong at Harrenhal was tense and awkward.


Of course, Lord Strong immediately bent the knee for Rhaenyra upon seeing Daemon, but let’s be real.


Daemon Targaryen, the scariest dude in Westeros, known for singlehandedly slaughtering thousands of people, shows up at your doorstep.

Lord Strong: Might I ask, your Grace, if you are successful — well, when you are successful — what then?
Daemon: We march on King’s Landing and take the throne.
Lord Strong: The Throne?
Daemon: It’s a big chair made of swords.


What are you going to do? It’s not like Strong had much of a choice.


The conversation between these two men was like watching Serena Williams play tennis with a toddler.


Poor Strong stumbled through pretty much everything he said, and Daemon was not remotely interested in giving him a break.


We had a bit of a family theme in this episode.


Rhaenyra dealt with sending her children, including Rhaena, away to safety.


Baela was instructed to stay with Rhaenyra, but she had encouraging words for Rhaena about how her job was equally important. It was a nice moment between sisters.


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And don’t forget that Queen Rhaenyra sent dragon eggs off with Rhaena, arguably entrusting her with something just as precious to their family as the children.


Alicent’s weird brother is in town and naturally, she sent him along with Ser Criston to babysit.


Rhaenys and Corlys have a ridiculously romantic little moment together, and these two are truly the Besteros in Westeros.


I’m refusing to look up the family tree to find out whose cousin is whose because I want to believe these two have a perfectly innocent love story.


A self-proclaimed bastard brother of Viserys and Daemon shows up in a bar, loudly and drunkenly announcing that his nephew, Jacaerys, is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.


(Never mind the fact that Aegon is also his nephew, and how awkward the whole scene got when Aegon stomped into the bar/brothel seconds later.)


Oh, and speaking of this scene, since when are they allowed to show such a graphic depiction of oral sex on TV? That was a hard watch, even for HBO (no pun intended).


But the most powerful family moment came when Helaena and Alicent were talking about grief, and Helaena, without explanation, tells Alicent that she forgives her.


It would have been nice to see Alicent get called out a little for all the things she did that led to Jahaerys’s death.


But we all knew what Helaena meant, and so did Alicent, so the moment was still effective.


It looks like we may be on our way to a character redemption arc for Alicent.


The episode peaked toward the end when the most highly-anticipated reunion in HotD history finally happened.


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That’s right, our girls are back together! Kind of.


Rhaenyra, who, unlike Daemon, actually knows how to dress up in disguise and sneak into King’s Landing, visited Alicent at church.


The sequence showing Rhaenyra sneaking in was so tense and well done that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.


Once reunited, Rhae and Ali had the kind of conversation that only two smart, capable women can have while men are out bloodying things up.


The entire exchange was great but came to a head when Rhaenyra begged Alicent to tell her exactly what Viserys said on his deathbed.


The big reveal has finally come.


Of course it was a misunderstanding.


Of course Viserys was talking about Aegon the Conquerer, not changing his mind at the last minute about who should take the throne.


And of course Alicent still thinks it’s too late to do anything about it and intends to double down and back her son.


Sigh.


Maybe she’ll come around.


Good on Rhaenyra for going in herself and trying to talk some sense into her old friend, though.


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It was an extremely risky move and one that the Greens never would have attempted.


We’re only three episodes into a short season, so I can only imagine that things will get more intense from here.


Hop into the comments to tell me your thoughts on the episode. We want to hear from you!

Haley Whitmire White is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.


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