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House of the Dragon - The Rogue Prince - Review: The Order of Things

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The Rogue Prince starts off with the return of the much-beloved Game of Thrones theme song, this time with a much bloodier intro sequence, subtly flowing its way through the Targaryen bloodline. It's nostalgic music for sure, and while it wouldn't have been easy to surpass those particular set of notes, I was left longing for a differnet, if not slightly altered, version of the theme.

That's enough nitpicking, though. House of the Dragon continues to be excellent television. Much moreso than the premiere, the second episode focuses on a lot of dialogue between characters, the focal point being Viserys' remarriage in the wake of his wife's death. Listening to Corlys and Rhaenys try to make a case for him to marry their 12 year-old daughter Laena is quite shocking, made even more gross later when seeing the child having practiced her speech to the King, in hopes of being wed. It's about as disturbing as Game of Thrones can get, and the fact that I was cheering as Viserys chose his daughter's best friend (who is also a teenager) is indictive of how unfortunate the entire situation and the choices were, to begin with.

The obvious standout this week is the Rhaenyra/Daemon standoff at Dragonstone. Following her conversation with Rhaenys, The Queen Who Never Was, and recognizing how they have a shared bond unlike any other in the realm, Rhaenyra starts to understand the order of things, if in a slightly different way. It's one of my favorite scenes of the episode, without a doubt, filled with the possibility of dragon standoffs in the future and more terrible decisions from Otto. Rhaenyra, standing between two pompous men and breaking off a potential bloodshed after Daemon steals a dragon egg to claim for his own future child, is a stunning visual from so many aspects, especially with her dragon Syrax chilling in the back, staring off at Caraxes, Daemon's "red dragon". Both Rhaenyra and her dragon remain two of the most badass characters across all of King's Landing. What a genuinely fantastic way at making us fall in love with them. More dragon square-offs, please.

The Rogue Prince promises more backstabbing and political shenanigans as Lord Corlys reaches out to Daemon in Driftmark for an alliance to help take down the Crabfeeder. This will undoubtedly have ramifications on the entire realm, most notably Viserys and his relationships with both Corlys and Daemon, and I truly cannot wait to see how it all goes down. If there's one thing this show was still missing, it's a common enemy to reunite (or rip apart?) the throne even more.

I'm a bit surprised at the slight time jump already -- supposedly, it's been almost six months since the events of the last episode. If the teaser for next week is any indication, we are headed towards more time jumps soon. It doesn't bother me too much if we are speeding our way through events; I just hope this is done with a lot of attention and not at the expense of character development. If the first two episodes are any sign, though, then we are in good hands.

Additional Thoughts from King's Landing:

- More sparks between Criston Cole and Rhaenyra this week. Gotta love him even more now after his remark to Daemon "Perhaps my Prince recalls when I knocked him off his horse".

- "Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne."

- The fallout bween Rhaenyra and Alicent is bound to be pretty ugly now that Alicent is going to marry her best friend's dad. I fully blame Otto for this, now and forever.

- "You are the king, but I do not envy you."

- What are your thoughts on the second episode? Are you hooked as I am? Sound off in the comments below!

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