House of the Dragon Season 1 Ep 3 is the third instalment of an American fantasy TV drama series based on the Fire and Blood novel written by George RR Martin and is a prequel to the highly successful Game of Thrones TV series. House of the Dragon will focus on the war of succession within House Targaryen, the ruling House of Westeros, almost 200 years before the events depicted in Game of Thrones.
S P O I L E R S
Entitled “Second Of His Name”, House of the Dragon Season 1 Ep 3 involves yet another time jump – it’s now 3 years since Prince Daemon and the Sea Snake attacked the Crabfeeder, against the wishes of King Viserys. In that time, Viserys married Alicent Hightower and bore him a son, Prince Aegon (hence, the episode title) and the war against the Crabfeeder still rages on. It is Prince Aegon’s second name day and the story focuses on Rhaenyra’s bad mood and Visery’s frustration over his noble’s jostling and politicking for positions of power.
Rhaenyra believes – with some justification – that she will be supplanted as heir to the throne by her half-brother. The nobles are trying to convince Viserys to name Aegon as his new heir and to marry Rhaenyra off to a powerful house. Jason Lannister (remember that name?) is all arrogance and entitlement as befits his lineage and this puts Rhaenyra in a even fouler disposition. Viserys – to his credit – tries hard to keep faith with Rhaenyra – but the pressure on him is relentless.
Sad to report that once more Rhaenyra is poorly served by both the script and the acting (from Milly Alcock) – she is entirely unlikable and spends the entire episode (and probably the last three years) sulking. Considering that she was agreeable to her father remarrying, her attitude towards the situation is unreasonable. Though unstated, the real issue is that her father married her best friend rather than the 12-year-old Laena (see last episode) and that has left her feeling alone and vulnerable.
Viserys remains the only relatable character – at least he is trying hard to do the right thing, as he sees it and he is honest about his motivations. Which probably means – in light of Game of Thrones tradition – he will be the first key character to die!
The final act of House of the Dragon Season 1 Ep 3 (finally) brings us an actual battle scene (everything has happened off-screen thus far). After Viserys offers aid to Daemon and the Sea Snake, Daemon is furious and risks everything to defeat the Crabfeeder. Suffice to say, that none of that sequence makes any sense. The dragons appear out of nowhere- usually one can easily hear them coming and worse of all, Daemon kills the Crabfeeder off-screen (again!) – is this series now shying away from the gore and violence? Hmmm.
In the final analysis, the promise of the first two episodes is beginning to wane with House of the Dragon Season 1 Ep 3, and with more time jumps to come, we can probably expect things to get worse. Sigh.
Now streaming on HBO Max.
… still there’s more …