House of the Dragon: Second of His Name
September 5, 2022 8:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Daemon and the Sea Snake battle the Crabfeeder. The realm celebrates Aegon's second nameday. Rhaenyra faces the prospect of marriage.
posted by suburbanbeatnik (39 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was on the meh side after the first two episodes, but "Second of His Name" won me over. You've got a lavish royal hunt with amazing production design, lots of political intrigue, great character beats, fantastic acting by Paddy Considine, Milly Alcock and Matt Smith, and nice dollops of the darkest humor imaginable. Including, but not limited to:

--"My prince! Save me!!" *squelch*

--"Perhaps may I suggest a solution... closer to home?"

Also Rhaenyra's version of Spotify with a harassed bard. I thought it was delightful, and a nice change of pace from the somewhat leaden previous episodes (to quote AdamCSnider).

The drunk, hapless, depressed Viserys steals the show, even when it takes him two times to kill the brown stag, but I also loved the moment where Rhaeyra sees the white hart and decides to let it go, which is the humane, heroic thing to do, if not the politically savvy one. (Perhaps she is truly her father's daughter?)

Jason Lannister (played by Jefferson Hall, aka Ser Hugh of the Vale in GoT!) was also a memorable twit. It seemed to me that Rhaenyra was intrigued by his description of Casterly Rock, then he came on way too strong and botched his proposal. But I doubt he sees it that way, given that he's a Lannister. "Even his pride has pride," according to Viserys.

TBH I was less interested in the denouement of the war with Crabfeeder, but it was entertaining enough in a very Miguel Sapochnik kind of way. But I think this story really sings in the political arena, and the small moments of dialogue, the way the early seasons of GoT did. IMO the show is beginning to find its groove, and the actors are getting much more comfortable with their characters.

Anyway. *rubs hands* I can't wait to find out what happens next!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:45 PM on September 5, 2022 [5 favorites]


Well put, suburbanbeatnik. I also felt the first two episodes were dull, and this one really picked up in every way. Titanic, sprawling shows like this will inevitably have weaker episodes, and also require being front loaded with setup. I very much enjoyed this episode, and the budget really, really sparkled here with amazing production design.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:30 AM on September 6, 2022 [1 favorite]


The irony of the Crabfeeder is that he breaks out in terrible hives if he has any contact with shellfish.
posted by biffa at 4:36 AM on September 6, 2022 [3 favorites]


The plan to overcome the Crabfeeder seemed pretty thin. Send in one guy to distract them while they sneak up all their men plus a flying dragon. They just needed to pick someone who is able to single handedly take down dozens of people, dodge expert archers and shrug off arrows that do hit him.
posted by biffa at 4:40 AM on September 6, 2022 [6 favorites]


The plan to overcome the Crabfeeder seemed pretty thin.

It feels like a classic GoT example of spectacle over making much sense. Sure, it was a thrilling scene, but given any thought it's ridiculous. So Daemon probably could have done this at any point in the past 2-3 years? But now he's pissed and feeling petty about his brother, the King, sending any help, so he's just gonna fake surrender and no one will see it coming? I could go on about the various plot holes in that whole scene and tactic, but don't want to harsh anyone's fun, because it was thrilling.

My second favorite parts of the episode was the white stag appearing before Rhaenyra, her choosing not to kill it, and her later bloody walk through the camp after killing the boar.

My first favorite part is obvious and this is my mood for the week.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on September 6, 2022 [11 favorites]


agreed this episode was waaaaay better. engrossing and fun and beautiful scenes of the hunt, out in the forest.
posted by supermedusa at 8:35 AM on September 6, 2022


That Crabfeeder fellow looked a bit biohazard-y. Does Daemon get greyscale, now? Or just crabs?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:59 AM on September 6, 2022


There is absolutely no way that they're going to give Matt Smith anything that mars his face and risk fan backlash.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2022 [1 favorite]


bloody walk through the camp after killing the boar

This was the best of this episode by far. The slow realization that this confident bad ass was strolling back into camp was awesome. This will definitely get some people to believe she is truly worthy for the throne. Likewise Daemon's heroics will bolster his claims/machinations on the throne. This puts both of them in direct conflict with the "baby conqueror".
posted by mmascolino at 10:39 AM on September 6, 2022 [2 favorites]


I loved the looks of awe and admiration Rhaenyra gets on her way back in to the camp, blood splattered and strutting.
posted by supermedusa at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2022 [2 favorites]


I liked this. I'm loving the memes on Reddit (Leeeeeeroooooy Jeeeeeenkiiiiiins!); the worst thing that could have happened to this show was for it to be too boring for memes.

I haven't actually read Fire & Blood (I just skim-read the wiki), but from the book reader conversations I'm getting the impression that the show is doing a good job of fleshing out certain characters and storylines which were more boring or thinly sketched out in the book. I think that it may be in a specific kind of adaptation sweet spot: the source material has laid out all the big picture storylines, but it's an unreliable narration of historical events, which means that 1) there's room to fill in a lot of characterisation and other detail, and 2) there's also room to pick between several contradictory accounts of the same event, or possibly present the truth as being something completely different.

The Rings of Power is kind of in the same position, and I'll be interested to see how that goes.
posted by confluency at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2022 [1 favorite]


worst. archers. ever.
posted by kokaku at 1:06 PM on September 6, 2022 [3 favorites]


Rhaenyra putting the bard on repeat was a mood.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2022 [8 favorites]


worst. archers. ever.

*cries in Rickon Stark*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:01 PM on September 6, 2022 [3 favorites]


I don't know, I found it a little annoying that they spent 2 episodes whispering in fearful tones about Mr. Crabs, showing us little hints of his cruelty and then this episode, Daemon is feeling his sour grapes oats and the deadly threat to the realm is taken out in one not-very-well-planned-out attack. Seems like a lot of build-up just to job out the Crab Feeder to build Daemon's street cred.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2022 [3 favorites]


What will the crabs eat now?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on September 6, 2022 [1 favorite]


My brain: Okay, we know Daemon's a dragon and cannot be killed with fire. I see what he's doing! He's going to surrender, wave the white flag, get surrounded by these dumb MFs. Get Crab Feeder to approach him, and once they're all in nice and close around him, he's going to scream DRACARYS and roast the FUCK outta these dudes. Then stroll out casually, unburnt, cackling at his highly effective plan.

HBO: Surprise! Daemon actually waited 2.5 years to fake-surrender so he could poorly re-enact an average, early-2000's Hong Kong action sequence. Even though he TOTALLY could've done the thing that you, uh, just suggested, which, uh, actually WOULD HAVE ALSO WORKED... but we didn't do that one, uh, for... reasons??? ;)

Me: :( :( :( really? um... okay???? I guess you do you, then, HBO.

*makes WTF face in Daemon's direction*
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:12 PM on September 6, 2022 [8 favorites]


I am no expert in siegecraft, but it seems like a naval force wouldn't last long in a bunch of caves. They hide and you set their ships on fire. I feel like some common sense from Lyonel Strong would have ended this battle in a weekend.

The rest of the episode was great, and even the fight was a fun spectacle even if it didn't make sense.
posted by Gary at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2022 [4 favorites]


Anyone else spend the entirey of that ridulous fight thinking "you absolute mad lad"?
Just me?
posted by coriolisdave at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2022


Yeah, even if they couldn't easily extinguish the actual dudes in the caves, surely burninating their ships would neutralize the threat to shipping? They're not going to be very useful privateers without ships!
posted by BungaDunga at 8:30 PM on September 6, 2022 [3 favorites]


It’s really hard to come up with plausible non-magic explanations why a fire-breathing dragon that can fly at night nearly without sound could not single-handedly decimate an army in the field or a fleet at sea, especially over the course of a months or years long campaign. Night raids every ten days or so, burn up a dozen ships or 50 tents on the periphery, then bug out before the flames provide enough light to counterattack.
posted by skewed at 9:13 PM on September 6, 2022 [5 favorites]


Okay, we know Daemon's a dragon and cannot be killed with fire.
In the books, Targaryens are not fireproof. Not even Danaerys; her miraculous escape from injury when her dragons hatched was a one-time thing. Lots of them ended up crispy-fried after fire-related misadventures; I believe it's going to happen in the timeline of this series.
I feel like some common sense from Lyonel Strong...
Poor Lyonel Strong is only one man; his sensible advice is already being ignored somewhere else. ;)
posted by confluency at 1:44 AM on September 7, 2022 [1 favorite]


In the books, Targaryens are not fireproof. Not even Danaerys; her miraculous escape from injury when her dragons hatched was a one-time thing.

The series made it very clear that Dany was immune to heat, so anything is possible!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:16 AM on September 7, 2022 [2 favorites]


That battle was so badly directed that it was impossible to tell what was going on or who was fighting who. They never established the spacial relationships between the sides and the dust and color grading turned everything into murk.
posted by octothorpe at 4:33 AM on September 7, 2022 [3 favorites]


Yeah, right now my biggest complaint about HoD is that both the visuals and the audio are complete garbage on my tv. Everything is murky. And it's not my tv--I switched to literally any other HBO show and it's sharp and clear.
posted by TwoStride at 5:23 AM on September 7, 2022


Wasn't the Sea Snake just complaining in the last episode that his family didn't have any dragons? Where did the grey dragon that his son (brother?) was riding come from?
posted by whir at 8:13 AM on September 7, 2022 [1 favorite]


that to me was the point - for them to win against the crabs, daemon has to relinquish his dragon to someone else. putting your best fighter on your best war machine is making one of your best weapons redundant. daemon has to set aside his ego so they can finally win.

i’m assuming (non book reader) laenar(?) the sea snakes son was not a dragon rider prior to this? seems to be a dangerous new trick to hand to one of your closest rivals to the throne. wonder if rhaenyra will give some thought to her rich, handsome, dragon riding cousin…
posted by aiglet at 8:34 AM on September 7, 2022 [1 favorite]


daemon has to relinquish his dragon to someone else

But I'm fairly sure that's not what happened. Daemon's dragon is red, with a long neck. The dragon that appeared in the last scene is grey and stockier.
posted by whir at 8:55 AM on September 7, 2022 [1 favorite]


I totally couldn't tell which dragon was which.
posted by octothorpe at 9:17 AM on September 7, 2022 [3 favorites]


I will also admit not really getting who this dragon or dragonrider at the end of the episode. It was apparently Laenor Velaryon, the Seasnake's son, who has the bloodlines to be a dragonrider, and apparently has his own dragon, Seasmoke. So Daemon and the Seasnake actually have had two dragons all this time, and haven't been able to defeat this fleet of very flammable ships up until now. Laenor was in episode two, but he was played by a different actor apparently. I just assumed when the dragon showed up it was someone sent by Viserys, which didn't seem to fit with Daemon's plan or the tone of the scene, so I guess this makes more sense... in some fashion.
posted by skewed at 9:21 AM on September 7, 2022 [3 favorites]


Hmm, well now I'm confused. They also seemed to be portraying him (Laenor) as being kind of clumsy with the dragon I thought? (which could mean he's new, or that it's not his usual dragon I suppose) And then where was Daemon's dragon at the end?
posted by aiglet at 9:47 AM on September 7, 2022


There's been a time skip since the last episode. That's why Laenor is now old enough to ride his dragon. In the book he's the younger brother of Laena Velaryon, the almost-child-bride from the last episode. She has presumably also metamorphosed into an older actor, but off-screen.
posted by confluency at 12:11 PM on September 7, 2022 [3 favorites]


(I'm assuming that nobody can ride Caraxes except Daemon, he couldn't very well arrive at the Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal with Caraxes, and he didn't want to risk trying to coordinate getting on him halfway through the battle.)
posted by confluency at 12:16 PM on September 7, 2022


This week in Unhealing Wounds: in the "you will not be supplanted" conversation between Viserys and Rhaenyra we see that last episode's maggot therapy was not successful: he has lost two fingers on that hand.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:09 PM on September 7, 2022 [3 favorites]


The costuming & wigging on this is great.

The battle scenes & their logic? Not so much.
posted by lalochezia at 2:58 PM on September 11, 2022


Wow, what a mess that last scene was. I had to watch most of it a second time to figure out what even happened. I was completely baffled as to who the dragonrider was supposed to be...if it was Laenor, who we literally just saw, it didn't really look like him to me. Setting up The Crabfeeder as this weird, twitchy member of Slipknot-slash-Keto Diet Leatherface and then having him apparently die in an insanely brutal duel off screen (!!!) was some Darth Maul in Episode I level bullshit, too. I'm not sure if Daemon was burned or gouged or just got shit in his hair, or...what. I understand leaving questions at the end of the hour, but this is more like "Huh?" I don't feel like "huh?" is the question we're meant to be asking here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:07 PM on September 11, 2022 [2 favorites]


(I'm assuming that nobody can ride Caraxes except Daemon, he couldn't very well arrive at the Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal with Caraxes, and he didn't want to risk trying to coordinate getting on him halfway through the battle.)

Dragons are intelligent creatures, though, and in telepathic communication with His Madladness.. so surely some surprise strafing runs would've been trivial to coordinate.

"Come along with the other flying lizard and wreck shit" isn't that hard to convey.
posted by coriolisdave at 9:41 PM on September 11, 2022


when a guy gets cut in half I want it ONSCREEN
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:49 PM on September 17, 2022 [1 favorite]


At this stage, one of my concerns is the back legs of the dragons - why does this MK1 generation of dragons need to have four legs then the later GOT dragons get by on two? - also, those rear legs that sit beside the tail like a bicycle stabiliser on a python - look a bit anatomically... silly, however expensive they were to create.
posted by rongorongo at 6:33 AM on October 17, 2022


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