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Summary

  • Characters in House of the Dragon will commit increasingly heinous acts as war breaks out in Westeros, testing loyalties and morals.
  • Season 2 will see characters like Criston Cole and Daemon Targaryen engaging in ruthless and cruel behavior, pushing boundaries.
  • As conflict escalates, even beloved characters will make decisions that challenge audience perceptions of loyalty and morality.

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SPOILERS ahead for House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood, the book HotD is based on.HBO’s House of the Dragon characters have done some awful things, and as war breaks out in Westeros, many of them will do even worse in season 2 and beyond. Set long before the events of Game of Thrones, one of the principal similarities between the original fantasy series and its prequel is that the House of the Dragon character ensemble is filled with terrible people. The first season builds toward a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, yet even before war breaks out, characters like Daemon Targaryen have already committed atrocities.

The House of the Dragon season 1 ending saw tensions build toward a war becoming inevitable, and House of the Dragon season 2 will further unleash the worst parts of every character. When power and legacy are in question, characters in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy universe will do whatever they can to secure their positions. The Dance of the Dragons has high stakes for almost everyone involved, not just the two monarchs, Rhaenyra and Aegon II Targaryen. As conflict elevates further, even beloved characters will make decisions that leave audiences questioning their loyalty.

10 Criston Cole Beat Joffrey Lonmouth To Death

Sir Criston Cole beat Joffrey Lonmouth to death at Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding.

Criston Cole starts out as one of the most likable House of the Dragon characters, seeming like a noble knight and ally to Rhaenyra, the show’s central protagonist. However, that quickly takes a turn for the worst in episode 5, when he beats a man to death in a jealous rage. Laenor and Joffrey Lonmouth are among the few couples in George R.R. Martin’s universe that seem genuinely happy for each other, adding to the horror of Cole’s act of violence. The worst part is he never really suffers any consequences for the murder.

What Criston will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

Criston Cole will immediately be even more despicable in upcoming episodes, as the House of the Dragon season 2 trailer sees him vengefully beheading someone. As the Dance of the Dragons begins, Cole will personally see to the execution of several Rhaenyra loyalists left in King’s Landing who refuse to bend the knee to Aegon II. While these may technically be legal executions, Cole’s actions are done out of self-righteous spite.

9 Daemon Targaryen Killed His Wife, Rhea Royce

Daemon shamelessly murdered his first wife in House of the Dragon season 1.

Daemon Targaryen is one of the worst people in George R.R. Martin’s universe, yet House of the Dragon’s framing places him on the favorable side. While this may often position him as a protagonist, one should not grow too fond of the man. Among the other awful things he’s done, House of the Dragon season 1 sees Daemon directly murder his wife, Rhea Royce, freeing himself from an unwanted political alliance. What’s worse is he never demonstrates a hint of remorse for the act.

In return for Lucerys Velaryon’s murder, Daemon will hire assassins named Blood & Cheese to brutally murder one of Aegon’s children, resulting in what should be one of the Game of Thrones universe’s most brutal, disturbing scenes to date.

What Daemon will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

As war breaks out, Daemon Targaryen won’t be playing fair for his side. One of his first acts in season 2 will make Daemon one of the House of the Dragon characters audiences hate even more, even if he’s only indirectly responsible. In return for Lucerys Velaryon’s murder, Daemon will hire assassins named Blood & Cheese to brutally murder one of Aegon’s children, resulting in what should be one of the Game of Thrones universe’s most brutal, disturbing scenes to date.

8 Aemond Targaryen Killed Lucerys Velaryon

Aemond murdered Lucerys in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale.

Ultimately, Aemond gets revenge on the little boy who once slashed his eye out, but it’s a gruesome, dishonorable kill.

The House of the Dragon season 1 ending sees the Dance of the Dragons kick off in brutal fashion, as Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar give chase to Lucerys Velaryon and his much smaller dragon. In the skies, Aemond loses control of his massive dragon, and Vhagar goes in for the chomp, killing Lucerys and the dragon Arrax. Ultimately, Aemond gets revenge on the little boy who once slashed his eye out, but it’s a gruesome, dishonorable kill.

What Aemond will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

As the war begins, Aemond will finally start to live out the purpose for which he’s been training most of his life. All of his spite, insecurity, and genuine cruelty will be front and center for his character going forward, as he and his powerhouse dragon will be a continuous thorn in Rhaenyra’s side. One instance that will likely occur in season 2 is the Battle of Rook’s Rest, where he’ll be primarily responsible for killing another of his relatives, Rhaenys Targaryen, with the help of his brother Aegon.

7 Otto Hightower Used His Daughter To Manipulate Viserys

Otto Hightower used teenage Alicent to sway King Viserys Targaryen into a marriage.

Otto Hightower smiling softly in front of the fireplace in House of the Dragon.

Marriage is often used for political alliance in George R.R. Martin’s universe, and while Otto’s actions make sense in his setting, it’s still being perceived by a modern television audience. Therefore, his manipulation in sending Alicent to “comfort” Viserys early in season 1, eventually leading to their marriage, is seen as a vile, despicable act. While Viserys gives Rhaenyra freedom of choice in her marriage, Otto plants his teenage daughter in a position where she’ll be unhappily married to a much older man, permanently damaging her most meaningful friendship.

What Otto will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

Like Aemond, Otto Hightower may not have many particularly detestable moments in the near future. Still, due to his alignment with Aegon, he’ll generally be one of the less likable characters. As the Dance of the Dragons breaks out, Otto is still the Hand of the King to Aegon II, and he’ll be crucial to amassing forces from the Reach to counter Rhaenyra’s faction.

6 Alicent Hightower Tried To Cut Out A 7-Year-Old’s Eye

Alicent Hightower tried to cut out Lucerys Velaryon’s eye.

Alicent wields a knife at Rhaenyra in a scene from House of the Dragon

Luckily, Rhaenyra steps in to prevent the attack, and what could’ve been child mutilation turns into a slash on Rhaenyra’s arm.

Unlike other characters, Alicent Hightower wasn’t actually successful in her worst act. After her son Aemond loses his eye in House of the Dragon season 1, Alicent demands the eye of Lucerys Velaryon in return. This is seen as ridiculous, given that Lucerys is only seven years old. Luckily, Rhaenyra steps in to prevent the attack, and what could’ve been child mutilation turns into a slash on Rhaenyra’s arm. This is still Alicent’s lowest point.

What Alicent will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

House of the Dragon season 1 shaped Alicent into one of the more sympathetic characters among the Greens faction, though escalating tensions could see her return to the vengeful mode audiences know her to be capable of. The Blood & Cheese incident will make Alicent particularly sympathetic early in the season. Once the war fully ensues, she may grow more cruel and vindictive.

5 Rhaenyra Targaryen’s Recklessness Constantly Causes Problems

Rhaenyra often acts out of selfishness and recklessness rather than responsibility.

It’s hard to pin down one act from Rhaenyra that’s truly awful, as her negative qualities tend to be more of a compound issue with her recklessness. In a position of entitlement and royalty from a young age, particularly under Viserys as her father and king, who was highly lenient with her given his political situation, Rhaenyra often does as she pleases with no mind for consequences. Instances include jeopardizing relationships with allies like House Velaryon and other potential marriage suitors and risking her life for spontaneity.

What Rhaenyra will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

In House of the Dragon season 2, Rhaenyra Targaryen will actively lead her side in the Dance of the Dragons. Again, there won’t be one standout disturbing act for her character, though she’s never the most inspiring leader to her side. Furthermore, her viciousness following her son’s death will prompt a more dangerous side than previously seen.

4 Larys Strong Killed His Father And Brother

Larys had his father and brother killed in a fire in House of the Dragon season 1.

Larys Strong is another of the least likable characters in House of the Dragon, generally speaking. While his most disturbing moment is when it’s revealed what Alicent Hightower gives him in return for information, it’s not his worst. The worst thing Larys Strong has done is murder his father and brother, both of whom were far more likable characters. Larys is a schemer and is willing to deal death to anyone he needs to obtain power.

What Larys will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

In the Dance of the Dragons, Larys will continue to scheme and often play both sides to his advantage. Following the Blood & Cheese incident, he’ll be responsible for torturing the captured assassin, Blood, which certainly won’t be pretty. Beyond that, Larys will aid Criston Cole and the Green faction in finding Rhaenyra loyalists in Westeros to conquer.

3 Aegon Targaryen Frequents Child Fighting Pits

House of the Dragon season 1 reveals that the king often spends time in child fighting pits.

Prince Aegon Targaryen seated at a table in House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, sees Aegon Targaryen go missing on the day of his coronation. Searching for him, his brother Aemond, Criston Cole, and the Cargyll twins are sent to his usual stomping grounds to find him. One location they pass through is a child fighting pit, demonstrating the worst of the brutal, lower-class life in King’s Landing. Aegon II is a terrible person and a terrible king, with little regard for any human life or responsibility.

He’ll likely be generally wretched to watch as the authority of the Iron Throne seeps into his immature head.

What Aegon will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

With a crown on his head, Aegon II will only get more detestable, and season 2 will see him immediately exhibiting the awful mix of power and cruelty. Early in the season, Aegon II will be the only one to celebrate and congratulate Aemond’s brutal murder of Lucerys Velaryon. He’ll likely be generally wretched to watch as the authority of the Iron Throne seeps into his immature head.

2 Rhaenys Targaryen Kills Innocent King’s Landing Civilians

Rhaenys makes an epic exit from King’s Landing, killing dozens of innocents.

Rhaenys typically isn’t the most exuberant or notable character throughout most of House of the Dragon season 1, despite the importance she plays in the show’s overarching narrative and thematic exploration. She can sometimes be petty, but her only terrible act comes in her escape from King’s Landing. During Aegon’s coronation in episode 9, Rhaenys escapes with her dragon, sparing the lives of the Green faction yet killing innocent civilians on her way out without any second thought. It’s one of the stranger narrative choices in the series so far.

What Rhaenys will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

Rhaenys Targaryen will continue to fly under the radar for most of House of the Dragon season 2, and it’s more than likely that she’ll be a largely sympathetic character throughout. Her death is expected to come in season 2’s climax, occurring at the battle at Rook’s Rest. Given that she’s going to be killed by two of the most unlikable characters, her death could be framed as one of the more tragic events of the season.

1 Corlys Velaryon Offers His 12-Year-Old Daughter For Marriage

Corlys Velaryon suggests his daughter Laena marry Viserys early in House of the Dragon season 1.

Like with Otto Hightower, Corlys Velaryon’s worst action is far more inconceivable in the eyes of a modern audience than in Westeros. However, in this case, even Viserys is perturbed at the prospect of marrying Laena Velaryon, a 12-year-old girl. Following Corlys’ marriage proposal, Viserys momentarily considers the option as it does have a strategic bonus, though the scene between the king and Laena is one of the most uncomfortable in the series.

What Corlys will do that’s worse in House of the Dragon season 2.

Corlys Velaryon will probably be a likable character in House of the Dragon season 2, as Fire & Blood portrays him as a wise and respectable leader in wartime. Corlys’ naval support will be enormously important to Rhaenyra’s cause, and Corlys is even noted in the books for urging caution in the use of dragon fire when they ultimately take King’s Landing. Corlys is a proud and ambitious man, but season 2 likely won’t see him doing anything terrible.

House of the Dragon

Taking place about 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon tells the tale of the rise of the Targaryens, the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria. The popular HBO spinoff show first starred Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower before they were replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, who play the older versions of the characters. Also starring in the series is Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen) and Paddy Considine as Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys Targaryen.

Cast
Jefferson Hall , Paddy Considine , Fabien Frankel , Ryan Corr , Eve Best , Gavin Spokes , Graham McTavish , Steve Toussaint , Olivia Cooke , Sonoya Mizuno , Bill Paterson , Matthew Needham , Emma D’Arcy , Matt Smith , Rhys Ifans , David Horovitch

Release Date
May 21, 2022

Seasons
1

Network
HBO Max



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