House of the Dragon: The Burning Mill   Show Only 
July 1, 2024 4:43 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Daemon flies to Harrenhal to begin arranging an army, while Rhaenyra meets an old friend to try stopping the war from cascading.

"This is Rhaenyra’s one last stab at keeping her father’s peace and his throne all at the same time, but she’s not actually prepared to give anything up. There are no new terms for either woman to propose. Each side has murdered a child of the other, and there’s no amount of repudiation that could fix it."—Amanda Whiting's 3-star* recap for Vulture

"It wasn’t a choice we made lightly. But it’s true to Aemond that he shocks the audience. Weakness is not part of Aemond’s vocabulary."—Ewan Mitchell also for Vulture re: wang.

* I definitely thought this episode was better than just 3?
posted by bcwinters (11 comments total)
 
“Oh snap *that* Aegon? oops”
posted by hototogisu at 5:10 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I liked Daemon's dramatic conquest of Harrenhal (sucks to be the one guy who got punched really hard for no reason). I am enjoying these five seconds of levity before the grimdark resumes.

I also liked the narrow escape from Baela on her dragon -- dragons are terrifying, and this one isn't even that big.

Some people really tried very hard not to start a nuclear war.

Apparently some people have strong opinions about the dimensions of Aemond's wang. I wish that I didn't know this, and I hope that the actor isn't getting too much mail from weirdos.
posted by confluency at 5:45 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


While the "sneaking in to the sept" strained credulity, I loved the interaction between Rhaenyra and Alicent.

They are now both cursed by knowledge. They know the war is built on a lie, and they can do nothing to stop it.

----

I also loved - as always - Eve Best, particularly her monologue about war:

"When the desire to kill and burn takes hold and reason is forgotten, we will not even remember what began the war in the first place."
posted by lalochezia at 6:36 PM on July 1


I also liked the narrow escape from Baela on her dragon

Later we learn that Baela was told not to engage. Which I appreciated because I thought "burn down the forest" is a good option if you spot a Kingsguard and a Hightower important enough to be with a Kingsguard.
posted by Gary at 10:51 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


The idea that the royals themselves must fly the dragons adds a personalized dimension to warfare that really changes the game. Like, the US and Russia have nukes, but it's not like you see Putin and Biden out there flying around on them like Slim Pickens. Having to calculate the weight of losing a royal, potentially, means that the dragons can't just be deployed to take care of everything. I presume Baela was told not to engage because if she flew too low an arrow could take her out, but I have a feeling she wouldn't have been sent on this mission at all if she weren't pretty far away from the throne -- although, in a time of war, she could move up the line of succession quick.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:25 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


So lemme get this straight - Harrenhal is a vital stronghold, it's important that team black captures it, so yay for Daemon taking the initiative, I guess. On the other hand, was that place ever not a wreck? Like, it's been at least a century since Aegon's conquest, and leaving it a burnt out husk makes sense if it turns out to have been a shitty place to put a castle, but by all accounts it's a fairly solid place, so... Why not rebuild it?
posted by Kyol at 6:19 AM on July 2


From the book canon I gather that it would be absurdly expensive to repair it (for anyone who isn't a monomaniacal madman with infinite money and peasants), and it continues to function well enough as a fortification that it's not strictly necessary for any monarch to go to the trouble of rebuilding it. They just keep finding new unlucky custodians to saddle with the honour of maintaining it.
posted by confluency at 7:00 AM on July 2


Having to calculate the weight of losing a royal, potentially, means that the dragons can't just be deployed to take care of everything.

The royals are easier to replace than the dragons; if anything they have a surplus of potential riders and not enough dragons to go around.

I was hoping we'd get the grown-up return of Willem Blackwood in this episode but no such luck.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:52 AM on July 2


On the flip side it seems like Rhaenyra is handing out dragon eggs like it's the omelet station at an all you can eat buffet, which sort of makes me wonder why some of the royals don't have necky boi buddies. I assume the eggs just hatch when they're ready to hatch and some don't hatch at all?

The bigger question is whether there are enough _goats_ in Westeros for all the dragons that are currently flying and they're planning on hatching?
posted by Kyol at 11:45 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


So, how about that on-screen blowjob? Nice to know the showrunners have decided to include actual porn now!

(yes, presumably it was a fake johnson, but still)

This episode was hitting the "stupid young men love war" theme pretty strong. The opening scene shows the aftermath of a bloody battle started by a bunch of angsty teenagers, then smash cut to the dead identical twins side by side, etc. etc.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:02 PM on July 2


The idea that the royals themselves must fly the dragons adds a personalized dimension to warfare that really changes the game.


Also I feel like they're also sort of like beloved, really rare and powerful horses - they care for and value these things in a way that you wouldn't if you were discussing a nuke. It looked like Rhaenyra and her dragon mourned losses together like she did with one of her remaining sons.
posted by Selena777 at 8:26 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


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