‘House of the Dragon’ recap: The 9 most WTF moments so far ahead of Season 2 from Mashable

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House of the Dragon Season 2 is on the horizon, and judging by the trailer it’s going to be every bit as dramatic as the first season.

But in terms of sheer WTF factor, can Season 2 really hope to top Season 1? Let’s recap the most shocking moments in House of the Dragon so far, so we can establish the bench mark.

1. Queen Aemma dying in childbirth (episode 1)

‘House of the Dragon’ starts on a truly grim note.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

The first key death in House of the Dragon sets the tone for what’s to come. Queen Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) goes into labor at the end of episode 1, but there are complications. Her husband, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), is called into the room and told that the maesters may be able to save his son by carrying out a caesarean section, but the procedure will result in the death of his wife. Forced to choose, he tells them to go ahead. It’s a truly horrifying sequence made even more upsetting by the fact that the child dies anyway shortly after the Queen passes.*

2. Otto Hightower encouraging his daughter to comfort King Viserys (episode 1)

Otto, no.
Credit: HBO

Nothing says “creepy” quite like sending your teenage daughter to comfort your much older friend, almost immediately after the passing of his wife. “He’ll be glad of a visit,” says ever-sneaky Hand of the King Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) to 17-year-old Alicent (Emily Carey), sending her to King Viserys’ chambers before adding: “You might wear one of your mother’s dresses.” Ick! Using your own daughter as a pawn to climb the ranks is not it, Otto!

3. Daemon and Rhaenyra sneaking into town together (episode 4)

Go home. Separately.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

No, no, no, no. Look, we know the Targaryens were all about the incest, but that doesn’t make 30-something Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) casually hooking up with his 17-year-old niece Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) any less disturbing. In episode 4, after helping Rhaenyra sneak out of the Red Keep, Daemon proceeds to show his niece some of King’s Landing’s seedier attractions — and it all ends in a brothel, exactly how you think it’s going to. On the one hand, OK, we’re used to seeing this kind of thing in the Game of Thrones world, primarily with twins Cersei and Jaime Lannister. But what makes this particular incest scene even more grim is the very large age gap. Here’s hoping they dial it back in Season 2.

4. Larys Strong murdering his family (episode 6)

This guy.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

We don’t actually see Harwin Strong’s (Ryan Corr) death, which happens within a fire at Harrenhal, but we do see the build-up. What pushes this one into WTF territory is the fact that Harwin’s father, Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes), dies alongside him in the blaze — and what makes it even worse is the fact that Harwin’s own brother Larys (Matthew Needham) was the one who arranged for the building to be burned down, purely because he thinks it’ll make Alicent (Olivia Cooke) happy. WTF, Larys?*

5. Laena Velaryon dying in childbirth (episode 6)

Laena’s is the most shocking death in ‘House of the Dragon’ so far.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), daughter of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and Lord Corlys Velaryon (Eve Best and Steve Toussaint), and Daemon’s wife, endures the most gruesome, harrowing death of House of the Dragon.

In yet another horrifying childbirth sequence in episode 6, we once again see a maester giving a father unimaginable news after complications arise in labor: a fatal c-section is the only way to potentially save the baby. Daemon asks if Laena will survive the procedure, and when the answer is “no”, it’s clear Laena hears the exchange. She decides to take her fate into her own hands. Laena staggers outside and gives her dragon Vhagar one last order, “Dracarys,” which the dragon visibly struggles with, before burning her and her unborn child to death. A truly upsetting scene.*

6. Aemond losing an eye (episode 7)

A vicious fight between kids.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Bloodthirsty fights are pretty standard fare in House of the Dragon, but the high levels of violence are always nastier when children are involved. In episode 7 the fight is all children, with a young Prince Aemond (Leo Ashton) pummelling multiple cousins after he manages to tame Laena Velayron’s dragon Vhagar after her death (see number six). Laena’s daughters Baela (Shani Smethurst) and Rhaena (Eva Ossei Gerning) take issue with his perceived dragon theft and all hell breaks loose, culminating in Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), Rhaenyra’s son, slashing Aemond across the face with a dagger, leaving the boy with one eye and a lot of internalised anger.

7. Laenor Velaryon’s fake death (episode 7)

What a ruse!
Credit: HBO

This one makes WTF status purely because of its complexity. At the end of episode 7, in order to carry out their plan of marrying each other, Rhaenyra and Daemon (you know, your favourite niece/uncle couple) appear to have Rhaenyra’s current husband Laenor Velayron (John MacMillan) killed. But all is not as it seems. The final scene in the episode is double-take worthy, as we see the still very much alive Laenor boarding a boat with his lover Ser Quarl Correy (Arty Froushan) and fleeing to pastures new. You can read our full explainer here, but in a nutshell the death was faked — the real victim was a servant.

8. Princess Rhaenys bursting through the floor atop a dragon (episode 9)

OK this ruled.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Talk about making an entrance. In episode 9, midway through the coronation of King (shudder) Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) — who has been semi-imprisoned in the Red Keep — decides to make things a little more interesting by smashing her way through the floor on the back of her dragon Meleys. It’s not WTF in the gross way that many of these moments are, but it’s certainly shocking to watch a cheering crowd suddenly becoming screaming dragon fodder.

9. Lucerys getting chomped (episode 10)

Dragon snack.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

You’ve got to feel a bit sorry for Lucerys Velaryon. The minute he steps into Storm’s End and sees Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) — whose eye he obliterated years earlier (see number seven) — you know things aren’t going to end well. Exactly how not well is made clear once he tries to flee on his dragon Arrax, only for Aemond to give chase on his significantly larger dragon Vhagar. Arrax goes rogue and breathes fire on the chasing dragon, only for Vhagar to decide enough is enough: He goes against his master’s wishes and basically chomps both Arrax and Lucerys in two. One of the major moments of the Season 1 finale, it’s not the most gruesome death in the series – you don’t really see much gore – but it’s certainly a shocking one.*

*This blurb has appeared on a previous Mashable list.

House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres June 16 on HBO and Max.

The post ‘House of the Dragon’ recap: The 9 most WTF moments so far ahead of Season 2 from Mashable appeared first on Tom Bettenhausen’s.

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