House of the Dragon Season 1 recap ahead of the Season 2 premiere on June 16th

What you need to remember before jumping back into House of the Dragon Season 2.
House of the Dragon season 2 key art. Image: HBO.
House of the Dragon season 2 key art. Image: HBO. /

Some time has passed since we last entered the world of Westeros. Season 1 of House of the Dragon aired on August 21, 2022, and concluded in October 2022. That means we have gone almost two whole years waiting for the premiere of Season 2.

There is a double-edged sword to watching a series with this level of production. On one hand, fans love the theatrics, epic cinematography, and realistic fantasy elements. However, this comes at the cost of a longer wait time.

If you are anything like me, you forget what you have read or watched the moment it is finished. So how are we supposed to jump back into this complex world when we can't even remember what happened?

Well, let's recap... (season 1 spoilers ahead)

House of the Dragon Season 1

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 key art. Image: HBO. /

Rhaenyra set to take the throne

Season 1 sent us back to the prequel of Game of Thrones. This series tells the history of the Targaryen dynasty and those who came before the powerful Daenerys Targaryen.

Young Rhaenyra Targaryen, daughter of King Viserys, grows into her own after her mother's death. Rhaenyra is named heir to the throne by her father, who remarries her childhood best friend, Alicent Hightower.

This is where things take a turn.

As the friends grow apart, Viserys and Alicent go on to have 3 children, Aegon II, Aemond, and Helaena Targaryen.

Rhaenyra is unsuccessful in finding a husband (besides a fling with Daemon, her UNCLE), so Viserys orders her to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon. Laenor already has a male lover, so he and Rhaenyra agree to a friendship marriage, allowing outside relations.

Flashing forward: New actors take root

In episode 6 we are introduced to adult Rhaenyra giving birth to her third son "with" Laenor. We find out that Ser Harwin is the real father of Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, which causes more problems for the family.

When none of the children grow to look like Laenor, the paternity is questioned. Harwin and his father are killed in a fire shortly after, leaving the boys without their true father and being called "bastards".

Meanwhile, Daemon has killed his first wife and married Laena Velaryon (Laenor's sister). Laena and Daemon have twin daughters together. When she goes into labor with her third, the baby is in breach and Laena is dying. She orders her dragon, Vhagar, to give her a dragon rider's death.

With families gathered for Laena's funeral, Aemond plans to claim Vhagar as his own. The children get into a confrontation and Lucerys slashes Aemond's eye with his knife. This is where a rivalry is born.

Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) House of the Dragon season 2.
Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) House of the Dragon season 2 | Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

After the chaos, Daemon pleads with Rhaenyra to take him as an ally for the imminent war. They come up with a plan to fake Laenor's death so that he may be free and they can at long last marry.

One reign ends and war ensues

In episode 8, there is another jump in time. The children have grown and Viserys' time is coming to an end. The King remains committed to his decision for Rhaenyra to wear the crown after his presumed death.

In a confused state on his deathbed, Viserys mistakes Alicent for Rhaenyra and once again tells her about the Song of Ice and Fire, Aegon's dream. Alicent does not understand and believes he wants their son Aegon to take the throne. She leaves with this mission in mind and King Viserys dies.

The family prepares Aegon to be crowned, even though he knows it is against his father's wishes. After the crowning, Princess Rhaenys flees to Dragonstone to tell Rhaenyra the news. Upon hearing this, Rhaenyra goes into labor early and births her stillborn daughter.

Following her daughter's funeral, Rhaenyra is named queen by Ser Erryk, using Viserys' crown. Rhaenyra then sends her sons in search of allies. Jacaerys heads north and Lucerys travels to Storm's End. Upon arriving, Lucerys is greeted by Aemond who was sent for the same reason.

With revenge in mind, Aemond chases Lucerys on his dragon, Vhagar. Both lose control and Vhagar eats Lucerys and his dragon Arrax.

War has begun.

Season 2, Episode 1 is titled "A Son for a Son".

We'll see you on June 16th.

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