In its series premiere, House of the Dragon firmly established itself as a Game of Thrones prequel series that sticks to canon yet isn't afraid to shock audiences with controversial scenes. That thread continued in the second episode, titled "The Rogue Prince," as Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) stole a Dragon egg to get his brother's attention, Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) plotted to get his family closer to the throne, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) named Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) as the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and King Viserys (Paddy Considine) struggled to connect with his daughter.
While there were no life-or-death jousts and birth scenes this time around, there were plenty of tense and uncomfortable moments. Read on to dig deeper into five of the biggest things that happened in "The Rogue Prince."
For fans who are unfamiliar with the canon set out in George R.R. Martin's tome Fire & Blood (on which House of the Dragon is based), The Crabfeeder, aka Craghas Drahar, was known for staking pirates to the Stepstones beaches as the tide rose. Viewers were treated to a close-up of that process in the episode's opening scene, setting the tone for events to come.
Initially the Crabfeeder conquered the Stepstones from pirates and outlaws, and those in Westeros were happy to pay a toll in order to avoid those unsavory folks. However at this point in the series the Crabfeeder had raised his tolls unfairly, which particularly affected and irked Corlys — the Lord of the Tides.
No spoilers on what's to come of the area or the characters involved, but in Game of Thrones the Stepstones serve as the border between the Narrow Sea and the Summer Sea. The Free City of Tyrosh is also nearby. For anyone who hasn't yet made the connection, Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein/Michiel Huisman) — the guy who eventually falls in love with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) — is Tyroshi.
Prince Daemon is a prince scorned in Episode 2, having been banished by his brother, the King. However he wasn't going away quietly (hence the episode title, which, in canon, is also the name of the book Archmaester Gyldayn writes about Daemon's early life). Daemon stole the same dragon egg Rhaenyra put in her brother's cradle, announced he had married Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), and revealed she was expecting.
When Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and a crew went to Dragonstone to fetch the egg, they quickly saw that neither things he claimed were true. Then, the situation quickly escalated to a fiery level when Caraxes appeared and bared some teeth.
Enter Princess Rhaenyra to save the day. Determined to prove her worth (while showing her father how valuable she can be), Rhaenyra rode in on Syrax and reasoned with Daemon. In the end he returned the egg and no one was hurt, and it became even more clear that Rhaenyra may be the only one who can get through to Daemon.
The matter of Viserys marrying again after his wife's death was addressed throughout episode after Corlys and Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) suggested their daughter, Lady Laena (Nova Foueillis-Mosé) as his bride. By uniting Houses Targaryen and Velaryon, Corlys and several other advisors assured the King it would send a strong message across the seven kingdoms and to the free cities.
The kicker was that Laena is 14. (Although her mother promised she wouldn't have to lay with her much-older potential husband until she was 16.) It was jarring to see Viserys and Laena walk side-by-side on what could only be described as a date. And when Laena reiterated her father's words about how she would provide Viserys an heir, even the King seemed uncomfortable.
As Viserys contemplated taking a new wife and Rhaenyra figured out her place as heir, Otto Hightower pushed his daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey) towards the king. Their bond had intensified between episodes, so when Viserys realized it was time to wed again, Alicent was in clear view. Of course, Corlys and Rhaenyra had no idea that announcement was coming, and both felt betrayed for their own reasons.
Rhaenyra didn't know her best friend had become intimate with her father, a situation that will undoubtedly cause a rift in their friendship moving forward. Personal betrayal aside, the Hightowers have royal ambitions and probably won't be okay with Viserys promising his daughter she will remain heir, either.
Scorned by a King who also refused to help with the aforementioned Crabfeeder problem, Corlys went to an unexpected source for help: Daemon. Daemon made it clear no one but himself was to speak ill of Viserys, however he too craves power. Corlys played into that with his suggestion of conquering the Stepstones, a powerful move that will surely play out in many ways over the episodes to come.
House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and also