Good morrow, good people! Welcome back to another week of betrayal and backstabbing – and this week’s display of said debauchery did not disappoint. The main focal point of the second episode honed in on Prince Daemon Targaryen’s treason to the throne and also shed some light on the seemingly impending doom and potential threat to the kingdom. If you recall part of the premiere episode where the small council gathered together with the king to discuss some…issues of concern, with one of those bullet points regarding a certain mysterious figure dubbed “The Crab Feeder”.
We still don’t know much about this crab feeder person, but we do know he’s a potential threat to the crown and he earned this name because of how he treats his prisoners of war. That very same discussion about his name is shown to us right in the beginning, with the episode opening up to a jarring scene of a coastline riddled with dead bodies, those who are about to die, and crabs. That’s right, crabs…because this sadistic madman likes to feed his slain enemies to crabs. I feel this opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the episode because it’s something they bring us back to later on as the story progresses. The weary King Viserys learns of this problem but before he even gets enough time to think, another arises that requires his attention.
Not only does he now have to worry about the crab feeder, but now his council seems to be in peril. Corlys Valeryon (played by Steve Toussaint) urges the king to take action against this new enemy which could potentially start a war that no one is ready for. Corlys would much rather demonstrate his rule with force rather than diplomacy and it stinks to high heaven – his arrogance almost gets him in hot water with the king, and ironically, also displays his wavering allegiance. Between the premiere and this week’s episode, we see the council doesn’t always agree on matters at hand, but one thing they’re all in agreement with each other on is the perception of the king’s lineage being in a weakened state with no male heir to the throne. As a solution, Corlys and his wife Princess Rhaenys (dubbed “The Queen That Never Was”) speak with Viserys in private and propose a solution for this weakened state of House Targaryen.
This solution is sound and indeed very strategic, but for the King, it’s highly uncomfortable – for quite a few reasons. Marriage. The King would have to remarry after losing his beloved wife not too long ago, which he still hasn’t gotten over, and most likely hasn’t properly grieved for. Corlys and Rhaenys’ solution would not only strengthen and secure the king’s lineage, but it would guarantee House Valeryon more political power than it has now, and more so solidify a most favorable standing not only with the King but with the people. During all of this turmoil, Rhaenyra is begrudgingly coming to terms that she may be the future queen of the realm and even takes initiative to learn and strategize with the King and the Small Council. She learns in the blink of an eye she’s not welcomed or even wanted as the future queen.
Once Rhaenyra learns of the King’s duty to remarry, she sees Corlys and Rhaenys’ plans set in motion for herself – to which her older and more experienced cousin gives her a hard pill to swallow. An uncomfortable yet ironic truth that parallels even our world – men would rather see the world burn than have a woman lead. Rhaenyra seeks advice and guidance from Lady Alicent, who tries to play both sides by being a confidant for the King and a close friend to Rhaenyra. Lady Alicent isn’t comfortable with being this close to the King, which at first seems to be reciprocated. She tries to comfort Rhaenyra during prayer, the scene ending with them holding hands. This is a foreshadowing of what’s to come, a bond between what could be described as a close friendship, or even sisterhood, will be broken.
Daemon doesn’t make things any easier for anyone actually. He has reclaimed Dragonstone, the ancestral home of House Targaryen, and has stolen something of extreme value – further complicating the relationship between him and his brother King Viserys I. It appears to me that not only does Daemon throw these sorts of tantrums whenever he’s met with life hurdles, but his treachery knows no bounds and I dare say is on the cusp of reaching new heights, of which there’s no turning back. Just imagine being King of the realm, and facing threats both foreign and domestic, internally within your own house and from those in your own court who seek to further their own gain, satiating their lust for power and glory. Being a King means being pulled in every direction with little time to think – always in motion and making decisions not only for yourself but for your kingdom and legacy. You know the saying, heavy is the head that wears the crown.
See you next week for more coverage of House of The Dragon every Sunday night at 9pm ET on HBO.
Hey! I’m Lais a.k.a. Chipz-N-Stix and I love video games and nerd culture overall. I typically do reviews and impressions on video games as well as offer some helpful tips and tricks to enhance your gaming experience. From time to time I tend to touch on certain topics that get you thinking – things that would matter to the individual. I’m also a self-proclaimed Pokemon Master but that doesn’t mean you can outright challenge me. I have to “motivate” my team for that!