In 'house of the Dragon' Episode three, the tempo quickens, the plot thickens : NPR


Corlys Velaryon (Steve Tousssaint) has an axe, and enamel, to grind in house of the Dragon.

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Corlys Velaryon (Steve Tousssaint) has an axe, and enamel, to grind in house of the Dragon.

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This recap of house of the Dragon‘s third episode accommodates spoilers for … properly, for house of the Dragon‘s third episode. that is almost what a recap is. Proceed accordingly.

everytime you are simply becoming a member of us, listed right here are recaps of episode one and episode two and a glossary of of us and areas you could have forgotten.

that is a bit extra desire it.

do not get me improper: house of the Dragon stays as listlessly talky as ever, and stays to be telegraphing its every narrative punch by having fully different characters make the identical level repeatedly, for our putative revenue. however you could have the vitality to’t deny that the tempo is quickening, the plot is thickening, and a third dragon will get added to the slooowly rising roster, with a fiery and environment nice debut.

Woo, say I. a licensed woo.

We’ll get to all of it, however first: A phrase about these deeply snazzy opening credit. (did not level out them final week as a consequence of the episode that was screened for press did not have ’em, however this one did.)

We’re again to an elaborate clockwork devices, like O.G. sport of Thrones. however as a substitute of 1 that seems out on the broader world, this one appears inward — and to the previous. Which is to say: These credit very a lot characterize what house of the Dragon is all about, neatly teeing up the central conflicts that drive it. Good job on that, current.

the predominant picture we see is the Doom of Valyria, the volcanic cataclysm that destroyed the ancestral house of the Targaryens and Velaryons (each homes solely survived as a consequence of they’d relocated to Westeros years earlier than).

Blood flows in rivulets by the machine, gathering in swimming pools round pairs of sigils, then branching off as quickly as extra. The cool factor: every of these sigils represents a particular member of the royal household — so what the digital camera’s actually as a lot as, in spite of all the things, is following the literal bloodline(s) — get it? — of house Targaryen.

you may discover a pair of instances when two fully different bloodlines department off from one pair of sigils after which kinda … return and pair up themselves. Yep: this represents siblings marrying siblings, a grand, gross, Targaryen household custom: For richer, for poorer, in sickness, and incest.

obtained‘s opening credit gave viewers a heads-up as to which geographic areas would attribute in a given week’s episode. I enterprise to say that the HotD credit will change from week to week as properly, to replicate the development of the Targaryen dynasty — extra members, extra marriages, extra blood from fully different homes (or, you acknowledge, the identical previous house) coming into the machine.

Crabs feed, kings breed

Three years have handed as a consequence of the final episode. King Viserys has married his teen bride Alicent they usually’ve had a son named Aegon, after the founding father of the Targaryen Dynasty. Alicent is anticipating a second baby, as properly.

in the meantime, Daemon and Corlys, with out searching for the permission of the king, have been attempting to take the Stepstones again from the Triarchy admiral typically referred to as the Crabfeeder.

it is, uh. Not going good.

First, Daemon rides his dragon Caraxes into battle, chasing the Crabfeeder and his males into the caves on the island of Bloodstone, the place they dig in for a siege. inside the tactic, Daemon performs Godzilla to thought-about one of his personal soldier’s Bambi, as a consequence of dragons are many issues, however dainty will not be thought-about one of them.

again in King’s touchdown, Ser Tyland Lannister nervously reviews to Viserys that Daemon and Corlys are shedding the Stepstones, and begs the king to intervene. however Viserys dismisses him, too preoccupied collectively with his son Aegon’s upcoming second birthday, and the royal hunt that has been organized in his honor.

This hunt, you may notice, takes place inside the Kingswood, a forest south of King’s touchdown that accommodates a private searching space for the occupant of the Iron Throne. (it is on this similar wooden that King Robert i will later be mortally wounded by a boar, kicking off the occasions of sport of Thrones.)


“good day, little woman. What’s you are rush?” Bluff Jason Lannister (Jefferson hall) hits on Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).

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“good day, little woman. What’s you are rush?” Bluff Jason Lannister (Jefferson hall) hits on Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).

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Rhaenyra, between Casterly Rock and a sturdy place

Rhaenyra is studying up on historic previous whereas getting dutifully serenaded by a minstrel named Samwell. Alicent includes ask her to affix the royal hunt, however situations are frosty certainly between the two former buddies. Rhaenyra feels ignored and disregarded by the king and … almost all people else.

She’s improper regarding the king, who nonetheless needs her to inherit the Iron Throne, however she’s proper regarding the “all people else” half, as different lords spend this episode whispering in Viserys’ ear that his firstborn male son should be named the inheritor.

on the frilly campsite — glampsite, actually — of the royal hunt, there might even be feasting and gossip, the two-stroke engine of courtly life. ladies Redwyne and Lannister urge Rhaenyra to get her father to do one factor regarding the Crabfeeder (drink!) and we meet Larys sturdy, who’d pretty sit with the ladies than the boys. (maintain watch over this Larys fella, he is obtained a job to play in what’s coming.)

The oafish and overconfident Jason Lannister — the equal twin of nervous Tyland Lannister (whom we met earlier, performed by the identical actor) — makes an try to flirt with Rhaenyra. This models her fuming, and he or she confronts the king, accusing him of pawning her off for political obtain. (final week, with Rhaenys, she acted as if she understood she would possibly get ignored for the Iron Throne; this week, we see that was clearly appearing, on her half.) (Or maybe she’s made her peace with that, it is the “being pressured to marry” factor that is truly bothering her?)

That Rhaenyra confronts him in such a public place is unhealthy type on her half, nonetheless the king escalates issues, inside the exact similar, very public place, by fuming at her about her should marry. all people notices, which would possibly’t be good.

Rhaenyra storms off on her horse, adopted by her bodyguard Ser Criston Cole. She cools down a bit, and suggests they go for a stroll by the Kingswood as a consequence of “it is an superb day.”

it is not, significantly — it is overcast and the woods are beige and actually, very buggy. however they do, and Criston gently reminds her of her privilege.


Horse correction: Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) will get talked down from the sting by Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).

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Horse correction: Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) will get talked down from the sting by Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).

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And we had been by no means being boar-ing

again at glamp, there are reviews of a white stag inside the forest — a unusual and noble beast that the king’s advisors see as an indication, on condition that it was seen all by youthful Aegon’s birthday celebration. The king appears troubled by this.

he is troubled, additionally, by Jason Lannister’s supply of a spear with which to kill the beast, as properly as to his offering himself up as Rhaenyra Suitor #1. Otto makes issues worse by stepping as a lot as as a substitute counsel a match “nearer to house” — youthful Aegon as Rhaenyra Suitor quantity 2.

that is proper, her personal two-yr-previous brother. (Let’s stipulate that this pairing will not be rather a lot “nearer to house” as “the calls are coming from contained in the house!“)

nonetheless one other lord suggests Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Corlys and Rhaenys, as Rhaenyra Suitor quantity three. (do not be involved, we have not met him but, however we’re going to, earlier than the episode is over.) you may do not overlook that awkward stroll the king took final week with the 12-yr-previous? Yeah. Laenor is her older brother.

assume you want a scorecard now? cling in there, there’s extra coming.

night. Rhaenyra and Ser Criston have made their very personal camp. They’re attacked by a boar that Criston skewers, however Rhaenrya makes shredded pork out of. That’ll do, pig.

The king drunkenly, weepily confides in Alicent. He had a imaginative and prescient when Rhaenyra was youthful: He dreamed that he’d have a male son. It grew into an obsession, which drove him to sacrifice his first spouse’s life in favor of her toddler son, who died. He thought naming Rhaenyra his inheritor would ameliorate his grief and remorse. however all this political jockeying round him has obtained him second-guessing himself.

This scene is an monumental emotional breakthrough for Viserys — sure, he is drunk, however he is clearly been placing inside the work on himself, processing, self-actualizing, filling out the workbooks — however Alicent simply form of … stands there. I get that she’s torn — she’s nonetheless on Rhaenyra’s side, however she additionally wouldn’t hate seeing her son on the Iron Throne. So what are to make of this completely clear have an effect on she’s serving us — is that this character inscrutable, or merely underwritten?


The king (Paddy Considine) will get extra toasted than the marshmallows as Alicent (Emily Carey) appears on.

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The king (Paddy Considine) will get extra toasted than the marshmallows as Alicent (Emily Carey) appears on.

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Hart-breaker, do not you fiddle with me

the following morning, a profoundly hungover Viserys will get some good information and unhealthy: They’ve captured a hart, however it absolutely’s simply your primary, Kingswood-different brown stag, not the White Hart of Symbolic significance to the biggest method forward for the Seven KingdomsTM.

He kills the animal in an effectively ugly and pathetic method. the gang applauds.

extreme on a ridge overlooking this unhappy scene, the true White Hart of Yeah No For exact you are the True inheritor to the Iron Throne, GurlTM seems to Rhaenyra and Ser Criston. This proper right here is the gods of Westeros (or no decrease than the showrunners of house of the Dragon) making it official: They’re staff Rhaenyra, and so ought to we be.

again in King’s touchdown, Ser Otto Hightower urges his daughter Alicent — the Queen, let’s maintain in thoughts! — to persuade the king that Aegon should be named inheritor. Alicent stays to be on staff Rhaenyra, however she’s vacillating. Otto presses his case, thusly:

it is Aegon that is being robbed. he is the firstborn son of the king! to disclaim that he is inheritor to the throne is to assail the legal guidelines of gods and males!

Yeah properly. extra the latter than the earlier, there, Sparky.

When Alicent sees the king, who’s nursing a cup of Westerosi Alka-Seltzer, she would not press widdle Aegon’s case. but.

She does urge him to answer to a plea for assist from Vaemond Velaryon.

Ping! a mannequin new character has entered the chat!

Vaemond is the youthful brother of Corlys, and he is gone behind his and Daemon’s again as a consequence of they proceed to be too proud to ask the king for assist, regardless that they are shedding the Stepstones.

And ship assist he does. He additionally seems to have shaken off his earlier self-doubt, and assures Rhaenyra that she stays to be the one and solely inheritor to the Iron Throne, and nothing will ever change that.

minimize to: one factor that can most probably change that.


Velaryon Roll name! Vaemond (Wil Johnson), Leanor (Theo Nate) and Corlys (Steve Touissant) play toy troopers.

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Velaryon Roll name! Vaemond (Wil Johnson), Leanor (Theo Nate) and Corlys (Steve Touissant) play toy troopers.

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A crab boil with out previous Bay seasoning?

inside the Stepstones, Daemon and Corlys are doing their biggest, nonetheless the Crabfeeder and his males are nonetheless hunkered down inside the caves of Bloodstone, and firing on passing ships.

Corlys, his son Laenor (maintain in thoughts him? Rhaenyra Suitor quantity three?) and Corlys’ brother Vaemond (he of the key S.O.S.) are standing over a very artsy-craftsy tactical map of the Stepstones on which — man, as quickly as extra with the tchotchkes, on this current! — house Velaryon is represented by cool-ass metallic seahorse tokens, house Targaryen by jawbones that seem like dragon wings, and the Crabfeeder by crab claws.

There are … nonetheless a full lot of crab claws on the map. simply want some wooden mallets, coleslaw, cornbread and a few tubs of butter and to procure your self an beautiful summer season Saturday afternoon in Annapolis.

Which is why they’re anxious. They’re working out of meals and willpower, and the dragons aren’t making headway, as a consequence of the Crabfeeder’s males simply retreat again into their caves.

Their … caves.

Their … dungeness, you’ll possibly say. No, you shut up.

What’s needed, they resolve, is a volunteer to transfer over to Bloodstone, the island they’re holed up on, and draw them out. however who?

right here is who: Daemon. When a poor, sizzling messenger from King’s touchdown informs him that Viserys’ assist is on the biggest method, he assaults the self-similar poor, sizzling messenger, as a consequence of the current desires to remind us at this juncture that Daemon has a fiery temper and stays a jerk.

Daemon rows, rows, rows his boat over to Bloodstone, and promptly begins turning a very surprising quantity of the enemy into lump crabmeat. however then the archers pin him down, and get a pair of fantastic photographs in.

By this level, an complete lot of the Crabfeeder’s troopers have been drawn out of the caves, which leaves them open to assault from Corlys’ males, to not level out …

Laenor Velaryon, astride his dragon Seasmoke!

(had been you shocked by this? Did you assume solely Targaryens might journey dragons? improper! maintain in thoughts, the Velaryons hail from previous Valyria, too. Which is the precept purpose so lots of us have been pushing Viserys to affix Targaryen and Velaryon bloodlines.)

Seasmoke takes out the archers, and Corlys’ males tie up the Crabfeeder’s, leaving a wounded however unbowed Daemon to chase the Crabfeeder into his hole and make quick work of him.

… Offscreen.

Oh, constructive, we see the aftermath: Daemon dragging the very biggest one-third of the Crabfeeder’s corpse out of the cave for all to see. however we did not get to truly see Daemon slicing the Crabfeeder on the bias, giving him a modern, kicky, off-the-shoulder form of demise.

Parting ideas:

  • In episode 1, I questioned if the current needed us to see Viserys as a compassionate king, or merely a weak one. In Westeros, the two traits are inclined to conflate. however collectively with his habits this episode — spiraling into drunk, surly, self-pitying, feckless rage — the king put his thumb (and his hand, and his forearm) on the “weak” side of the scale. He rallied a bit, earlier than the episode was over, and he obtained that likelihood to inform us what he is considering, however what issues in King’s touchdown is how one is perceived by these round them, and his Q rating is plummeting.
  • Casting Jefferson Hill as each Tyland and his brother Jason reminds us that twins run inside the Lannister household. good.
  • The current did a superb little bit of labor to arrange the Crabfeeder as a formidable foe, however all of that work was purely seen. He had an beautiful lewk, you could have the vitality to’t deny it — that ravaged face hid behind a half-masks. Then there’s all that enterprise of nailing people to poles and letting his li’l scuttlers decide away at their flesh. It was ruthless mannequin-administration, if nothing else. nonetheless the man by no means acknowledged something, by no means obtained an alternative to level us any characterization in any respect past his physicality. (Neither did the night King, again in obtained, however the place that man was an immortal and immensely extremely effective creature of sleepless malice who steadily constructed up his spooky popularity over a quantity of seasons, the Crabfeeder finally ends up getting handed a chump’s demise. seems he was simply a few random jamoke in a cool duster and Spirit Halloween masks who clocked decrease than six minutes of whole screentime earlier than getting hacked into ceviche.)
  • Welcome to the stage: Seasmoke! The current’s third dragon! Fourth everytime you rely Vhagar, who obtained a quick level out in final week’s episode. however let’s not rely our dragons till we truly see them inside the scaly flesh. so as of now, the Official Dragoncount stands at: three.

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