GoT Prequel Slows Down Pace But Remains High On Betrayal

If you thought Game of Thrones made you uncomfortable with its misogyny, the House of the Dragon is going to leave you angry, the least to say. The second episode of the GoT prequel premiered on Monday (IST) and it was packed not only with misogyny but also the staple elements such as betrayals, thirst for power, and even a war on the verge of breaking.

Before we proceed further, we warn of spoilers ahead. The House of the Dragon episode 2 witnessed a sudden drop in pace as compared to the eventful series debut episode. Reeling from her mother’s death, the young Princess Rhaenyra (played by Milly Alcock) was seen still coming to terms with her mother’s death, her role as the heir to the Iron Throne while tiptoeing around her father, King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine).

Both the Targaryens fight the emotions of grief for the realm and duties towards it comes first. The need of the hour, as the small council explained in the episode, was to find a rightful wife for the widower King. While Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) aka the Sea Snake, urges the King to wed his daughter, Laena Velaryon (Nova Fouellis-Mose) — who by the way is not even 13 years old — to help him cement the King’s position in the realm, Hand of King Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) has other plans.

As seen in the first episode, he plants his daughter Alicent in the King’s chambers hoping that Viserys would grow close to her and she would eventually become the next queen. While the episode revolved around the new queen, the attention was also on Rhaenyra, who was trying to break the shackles of the demure princess and prove that she is worthy of the Iron Throne.

Not only did her rebellious side sneak in during the meeting of the small council but fans were given a glimpse of her potential in scenes in which she was asked to pick out the new Kingsguard, her run-in with Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), and her face-off with her uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). Much like Daenerys Targaryen, Rhaenyra seems to have more to offer in the episodes to come.

However, it was the final two twists that determines the future of the show — the first being the King’s choice of the new queen, which doesn’t go down well with Rhaenyra while Daemon comes up with a plan to overthrow Viserys as the King with the Sea Snake by his side.

While we have to wait and see what kind of games are played over the thrones, the second episode hits the breaks hard to allow fans to sink their teeth into the fragile relationships between the Targaryens and their council members.

There was a lot on Milly Alcock’s shoulders in the second episode and while she does manage to pull through the emotionally loaded scenes, the scenes involving her bringing her powerful persona don’t come through fully. Paddy Considine as the emotional King performs better in the second episode as against the first. Surprisingly, Olivia Cooke grabs attention from the actor in scenes they share together with her stable acting. Her character shifts smoothly from being a friend to the King’s confidant.

However, Matt Smith continues to serve as a scene stealer. Put on the back burner in the second episode, Matt has limited screen time. Despite it, he manages to light up the screen every time he is on.

To top it off, Fabian Wagner beautifully captures the magnum opus of this show, making me want to watch each episode on a big screen.

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