In ‘Home of the Dragon’ Episode 3, the tempo quickens, the plot thickens : NPR
This recap of Home of the Dragon‘s third episode incorporates spoilers for … nicely, for Home of the Dragon‘s third episode. That is just about what a recap is. Proceed accordingly.
When you’re simply becoming a member of us, listed here are recaps of episode one and episode two and a glossary of individuals and locations you will have forgotten.
That is a bit extra prefer it.
Do not get me unsuitable: Home of the Dragon stays as listlessly talky as ever, and remains to be telegraphing its every narrative punch by having completely different characters make the identical level time and again, for our putative profit. However you may’t deny that the tempo is quickening, the plot is thickening, and a 3rd dragon will get added to the slooowly rising roster, with a fiery and environment friendly debut.
Woo, say I. A certified woo.
We’ll get to all of it, however first: A phrase about these deeply snazzy opening credit. (Did not point out them final week as a result of the episode that was screened for press did not have ’em, however this one did.)
We’re again to an elaborate clockwork equipment, like O.G. Recreation of Thrones. However as an alternative of 1 that appears out on the wider world, this one seems inward — and to the previous. Which is to say: These credit very a lot symbolize what Home of the Dragon is all about, neatly teeing up the central conflicts that drive it. Good job on that, present.
The primary image we see is the Doom of Valyria, the volcanic cataclysm that destroyed the ancestral house of the Targaryens and Velaryons (each Homes solely survived as a result of they’d relocated to Westeros years earlier than).
Blood flows in rivulets via the machine, gathering in swimming pools round pairs of sigils, then branching off once more. The cool factor: Every of those sigils represents a special member of the royal household — so what the digital camera’s actually as much as, in fact, is following the literal bloodline(s) — get it? — of Home Targaryen.
You may discover a few instances when two completely different bloodlines department off from one pair of sigils after which kinda … return and pair up themselves. Yep: this represents siblings marrying siblings, a grand, gross, Targaryen household custom: For richer, for poorer, in illness, and incest.
GoT‘s opening credit gave viewers a heads-up as to which geographic places would function in a given week’s episode. I enterprise to say that the HotD credit will change from week to week as nicely, to replicate the expansion of the Targaryen dynasty — extra members, extra marriages, extra blood from different Homes (or, you realize, the identical previous Home) getting into the machine.
Crabs feed, kings breed
Three years have handed because the final episode. King Viserys has married his teen bride Alicent and so they’ve had a son named Aegon, after the founding father of the Targaryen Dynasty. Alicent is anticipating a second youngster, as nicely.
In the meantime, Daemon and Corlys, with out searching for the permission of the king, have been trying to take the Stepstones again from the Triarchy admiral often known as the Crabfeeder.
It is, uh. Not going nice.
First, Daemon rides his dragon Caraxes into battle, chasing the Crabfeeder and his males into the caves on the island of Bloodstone, the place they dig in for a siege. Within the course of, Daemon performs Godzilla to one in every of his personal soldier’s Bambi, as a result of dragons are many issues, however dainty will not be one in every of them.
Again in King’s Touchdown, Ser Tyland Lannister nervously reviews to Viserys that Daemon and Corlys are dropping the Stepstones, and begs the king to intervene. However Viserys dismisses him, too preoccupied along with his son Aegon’s upcoming second birthday, and the royal hunt that has been organized in his honor.
This hunt, you will notice, takes place within the Kingswood, a forest south of King’s Touchdown that incorporates a personal searching space for the occupant of the Iron Throne. (It is on this identical wooden that King Robert I’ll later be mortally wounded by a boar, kicking off the occasions of Recreation of Thrones.)
Rhaenyra, between Casterly Rock and a tough place
Rhaenyra is studying up on historical past whereas getting dutifully serenaded by a minstrel named Samwell. Alicent comes to ask her to affix the royal hunt, however circumstances are frosty certainly between the 2 former friends. Rhaenyra feels ignored and disregarded by the king and … just about everybody else.
She’s unsuitable in regards to the king, who nonetheless desires her to inherit the Iron Throne, however she’s proper in regards to the “everybody else” half, as numerous lords spend this episode whispering in Viserys’ ear that his firstborn male son needs to be named the inheritor.
On the elaborate campsite — glampsite, actually — of the royal hunt, there may be feasting and gossip, the two-stroke engine of courtly life. Girls Redwyne and Lannister urge Rhaenyra to get her father to do one thing in regards to the Crabfeeder (drink!) and we meet Larys Robust, who’d moderately sit with the women than the lads. (Keep watch over this Larys fella, he is acquired a job to play in what’s coming.)
The oafish and overconfident Jason Lannister — the equivalent twin of nervous Tyland Lannister (whom we met earlier, performed by the identical actor) — makes an attempt to flirt with Rhaenyra. This units her fuming, and he or she confronts the king, accusing him of pawning her off for political achieve. (Final week, with Rhaenys, she acted as if she understood she would possibly get ignored for the Iron Throne; this week, we see that was clearly appearing, on her half.) (Or perhaps she’s made her peace with that, it is the “being pressured to marry” factor that is actually bothering her?)
That Rhaenyra confronts him in such a public place is unhealthy kind on her half, however the king escalates issues, in the exact same, very public place, by fuming at her about her have to marry. Everybody notices, which may’t be good.
Rhaenyra storms off on her horse, adopted by her bodyguard Ser Criston Cole. She cools down a bit, and suggests they go for a stroll via the Kingswood as a result of “It is a phenomenal day.”
It isn’t, significantly — it is overcast and the woods are beige and really, very buggy. However they do, and Criston gently reminds her of her privilege.
And we had been by no means being boar-ing
Again at glamp, there are reviews of a white stag within the forest — a uncommon and noble beast that the king’s advisors see as an indication, on condition that it was noticed throughout younger Aegon’s birthday celebration. The king seems troubled by this.
He is troubled, additionally, by Jason Lannister’s supply of a spear with which to kill the beast, in addition to his providing himself up as Rhaenyra Suitor No 1. Otto makes issues worse by stepping as much as as an alternative counsel a match “nearer to house” — younger Aegon as Rhaenyra Suitor Quantity 2.
That is proper, her personal two-year-old brother. (Let’s stipulate that this pairing will not be a lot “nearer to house” as “the calls are coming from contained in the Home!“)
Nonetheless one other lord suggests Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Corlys and Rhaenys, as Rhaenyra Suitor Quantity 3. (Don’t be concerned, we have not met him but, however we are going to, earlier than the episode is over.) You may do not forget that awkward stroll the king took final week with the 12-year-old? Yeah. Laenor is her older brother.
Assume you want a scorecard now? Hold in there, there’s extra coming.
Night time. Rhaenyra and Ser Criston have made their very own camp. They’re attacked by a boar that Criston skewers, however Rhaenrya makes shredded pork out of. That’ll do, pig.
The king drunkenly, weepily confides in Alicent. He had a imaginative and prescient when Rhaenyra was younger: He dreamed that he’d have a male son. It grew into an obsession, which drove him to sacrifice his first spouse’s life in favor of her toddler son, who died. He thought naming Rhaenyra his inheritor would ameliorate his grief and remorse. However all this political jockeying round him has acquired him second-guessing himself.
This scene is an enormous emotional breakthrough for Viserys — sure, he is drunk, however he is clearly been placing within the work on himself, processing, self-actualizing, filling out the workbooks — however Alicent simply type of … stands there. I get that she’s torn — she’s nonetheless on Rhaenyra’s facet, however she additionally would not hate seeing her son on the Iron Throne. So what are we to make of this totally clean have an effect on she’s serving us — is that this character inscrutable, or just underwritten?
Hart-breaker, do not you fiddle with me
The subsequent morning, a profoundly hungover Viserys will get some excellent news and unhealthy: They’ve captured a hart, but it surely’s simply your fundamental, Kingswood-variety brown stag, not the White Hart of Symbolic Significance to the Way forward for the Seven KingdomsTM.
He kills the animal in an successfully ugly and pathetic method. The gang applauds.
Excessive on a ridge overlooking this unhappy scene, the true White Hart of Yeah No For Actual You Are the True Inheritor to the Iron Throne, GurlTM seems to Rhaenyra and Ser Criston. This proper right here is the gods of Westeros (or at the least the showrunners of Home of the Dragon) making it official: They’re Group Rhaenyra, and so ought to we be.
Again in King’s Touchdown, Ser Otto Hightower urges his daughter Alicent — the Queen, let’s keep in mind! — to persuade the king that Aegon needs to be named inheritor. Alicent remains to be on Group Rhaenyra, however she’s vacillating. Otto presses his case, thusly:
It’s Aegon that is being robbed. He is the firstborn son of the king! To disclaim that he’s inheritor to the throne is to assail the legal guidelines of gods and males!
Yeah nicely. Extra the latter than the previous, there, Sparky.
When Alicent sees the king, who’s nursing a cup of Westerosi Alka-Seltzer, she would not press widdle Aegon’s case. But.
She does urge him to answer a plea for help from Vaemond Velaryon.
Ping! A brand new character has entered the chat!
Vaemond is the youthful brother of Corlys, and he is gone behind his and Daemon’s again as a result of they continue to be too proud to ask the king for assist, though they’re dropping the Stepstones.
And ship help he does. He additionally appears to have shaken off his earlier self-doubt, and assures Rhaenyra that she remains to be the one and solely inheritor to the Iron Throne, and nothing will ever change that.
Lower to: One thing that can most likely change that.
A crab boil with out Previous Bay seasoning?
Within the Stepstones, Daemon and Corlys are doing their finest, however the Crabfeeder and his males are nonetheless hunkered down within the caves of Bloodstone, and firing on passing ships.
Corlys, his son Laenor (Bear in mind him? Rhaenyra Suitor Quantity 3?) and Corlys’ brother Vaemond (he of the key S.O.S.) are standing over a really artsy-craftsy tactical map of the Stepstones on which — man, once more with the tchotchkes, on this present! — Home Velaryon is represented by cool-ass metallic seahorse tokens, Home Targaryen by jawbones that appear to be dragon wings, and the Crabfeeder by crab claws.
There are … nonetheless a complete lot of crab claws on the map. Simply want some picket mallets, coleslaw, cornbread and some tubs of butter and you bought your self an amazing summer time Saturday afternoon in Annapolis.
Which is why they’re apprehensive. They’re operating out of meals and willpower, and the dragons aren’t making headway, as a result of the Crabfeeder’s males simply retreat again into their caves.
Their … caves.
Their … dungeness, you would possibly say. No, you shut up.
What’s wanted, they resolve, is a volunteer to move over to Bloodstone, the island they’re holed up on, and draw them out. However who?
Here is who: Daemon. When a poor, scorching messenger from King’s Touchdown informs him that Viserys’ assistance is on the best way, he assaults the self-same poor, scorching messenger, as a result of the present needs to remind us at this juncture that Daemon has a fiery mood and stays a jerk.
Daemon rows, rows, rows his boat over to Bloodstone, and promptly begins turning a extremely stunning variety of the enemy into lump crabmeat. However then the archers pin him down, and get a number of good pictures in.
By this level, numerous the Crabfeeder’s troopers have been drawn out of the caves, which leaves them open to assault from Corlys’ males, to not point out …
Laenor Velaryon, astride his dragon Seasmoke!
(Have been you shocked by this? Did you suppose solely Targaryens might trip dragons? Bear in mind who Laenor’s mom is. He carries the dragon-riding gene down deep in his ol’ endoplasmic reticulum. As do — clip and save for later — his siblings.)
Seasmoke takes out the archers, and Corlys’ males tie up the Crabfeeder’s, leaving a wounded however unbowed Daemon to chase the Crabfeeder into his gap and make quick work of him.
Oh, positive, we see the aftermath: Daemon dragging the highest one-third of the Crabfeeder’s corpse out of the cave for all to see. However we did not get to truly see Daemon slicing the Crabfeeder on the bias, giving him a trendy, kicky, off-the-shoulder sort of dying.
- In episode 1, I puzzled if the present wished us to see Viserys as a compassionate king, or merely a weak one. In Westeros, the 2 traits are likely to conflate. However along with his conduct this episode — spiraling into drunk, surly, self-pitying, feckless rage — the king put his thumb (and his hand, and his forearm) on the “weak” facet of the dimensions. He rallied a bit, earlier than the episode was over, and he acquired that likelihood to inform us what he is pondering, however what issues in King’s Touchdown is how one is perceived by these round them, and his Q score is plummeting.
- Casting Jefferson Hill as each Tyland and his brother Jason reminds us that twins run within the Lannister household. Good.
- The present did a good bit of labor to arrange the Crabfeeder as a formidable foe, however all of that work was purely visible. He had an amazing lewk, you may’t deny it — that ravaged face hid behind a half-mask. Then there’s all that enterprise of nailing folks to poles and letting his li’l scuttlers decide away at their flesh. It was ruthless brand-management, if nothing else. However the man by no means stated something, by no means acquired an opportunity to indicate us any characterization in any respect past his physicality. (Neither did the Night time King, again in GoT, however the place that man was an immortal and immensely highly effective creature of sleepless malice who steadily constructed up his spooky repute over a number of seasons, the Crabfeeder finally ends up getting handed a chump’s dying. Seems he was just a few random jamoke in a cool duster and Spirit Halloween masks who clocked lower than six minutes of complete screentime earlier than getting hacked into ceviche.)
- Welcome to the stage: Seasmoke! The present’s third dragon! Fourth when you rely Vhagar, who acquired a fast point out in final week’s episode. However let’s not rely our dragons till we truly see them within the scaly flesh. In order of now, the Official Dragoncount stands at: 3.