House of the Dragon — Episode 2 Review

Story posted September 2, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Jack Freiser.

“House of the Dragon” Episode 1 broke the record for the most watched premiere on HBO, totaling almost 10 million viewers. Although the first episode was filled with incredible writing and an amazing reintroduction to Westeros, it was a bit slow. Episode 2, "The Rogue Prince," more than made up for it.

Everything introduced in the pilot evolved perfectly throughout this episode. This episode starts six months after the events of the first episode. Our characters have matured in the six months with young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and King Viserys (Paddy Considine) beginning to move on from the tragedy they experienced. Rhaenyra is starting to gain some respect, and King Viserys is being forced to find a new wife.

The writing in this episode was stellar. The character depth in the episode was truly remarkable. Everyone has interesting arcs and each character stood out in at least one scene. Similar to last week's episode, the three standout characters were Rhaenyra Targaryen, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), and Daemon Targaryen. However, Viserys, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) were also incredibly engaging.

This episode had a heavy focus on King Viserys and how he is dealing with his power, as well as the death of his wife. He is faced with many decisions this episode and the continuous imagery of the death by 1,000 cuts is shown yet again. It is beautifully written.

Viserys has powerful moments with most of the supporting characters in this episode, however his conversation with the 12-year-old daughter of Corlys is quite uncomfortable — in the best way possible. His arguments with Corlys throughout the episode showed how broken the kingdom is. Corlys was very strategic this episode, and proved that he may be a threat later on this season.

Viserys’ conversations with Alicent Hightower proved to be quite intriguing yet again. Alicent is a spectacularly written character. She is very manipulative, yet caring and has the strategic mind to gain total power later on. Her relationship with both Viserys and his daughter Rhaenyra create an incredible tension that explodes at the end of the episode.

Though this entire episode is filled with brilliant acting and writing, the best scene by far is when Otto Hightower and Daemon Targaryen meet on the bridge. This is an incredibly tense scene that effectively leaves the audience on the edge of their seat. Daemon is such a remarkable villain. He enjoys knowing he is getting under the skin of Otto and is not afraid to be sneaking to get what he wants.

When Rhaenyra appears with her dragon to call on Daemon’s bluff, the scene truly picks up. Their conversation and subsequent banter is so enjoyable to watch. Rhaenyra is easy to root for, yet it is equally as easy to love hating Daemon. Both characters are written so well that their rivalry effortlessly works.

This episode also featured outstanding cinematography. Each scene looks picturesque and the landscapes were quite remarkable. Especially on the bridge scene, the background was stunning and the dragons in the clouds was such a striking visual.

This episode was phenomenal. It had everything great about a “Game of Thrones” episode. The characters in this show are sensational. It is easy to root for them all, even the villainous ones. The acting is also quite impressive, especially Paddy Considine and Milly Alcock who showed their acting prowess in this episode.

This season is shaping up to be top quality “Game of Thrones” content. With things heating up quickly, "House of the Dragon" is a must-watch for any fan of the original series, but also worth watching for people who have never seen the show.

Rating: 5/5

Jack Freiser is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email