'House of the Dragon' Season 2 Premiere Recap: Rage Unleashed in 'A Son for a Son'

'House of the Dragon' Season 2 Premiere Recap: Rage Unleashed in 'A Son for a Son'

In the world of Westeros, the Targaryen name has historically held a ton of weight and power throughout the realm. Although the family is in trouble when Home of the Dragon Back on Sunday night, its first episode, A Son for a Son, reminds us that some vows will be kept — no matter what.

HBO launched a mega-campaign to fuel the coming battle between Team Green and Team Black, indicating that the prequel series will ignite TV screens with tension, vicious acts of violence and, of course, dragons. As we revisit King's Landing and Dragonstone, prepare to meet a lineup of new characters who will play a pivotal role in “Dance of the Dragons” and the battle for the Iron Throne.

Get into Family Feud with our recap of the season 2 premiere episode below, and don't forget to read our A refresher on Season 1. Be warned: spoilers ahead, and it may be a little too early to pick sides in this drama.

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Winter is coming in the north.

Overhead shot of bird moving from forest to coastline, mountains, knolls, and rock fortress to the north. A narrator explains the meaning of duty and sacrifice, and how the North imposed a great duty on the Seven Kingdoms — since the days of the first men. From days of old, “We stand as guards against cold and darkness.” It is the night watch. Under his ancestor, King Torn Stark, one man in 10 was to be chosen to strengthen the watch. It is an honor and a duty for those who serve the North. The North should be prepared, because winter is coming, he warned.

Two men dressed in snow in the dragon's house Two men dressed in snow in the dragon's house

Kragen Stark, Lord of Winterfell, speaks with Jacqueries Valarion.

Ollie Upton/HBO

We meet Kerrigan Stark explaining his ancestral duty to the Jakeries. The prince explains the oath he made to King Viserys and how the unity of the kingdom is in danger. Cregan says his duties are split between the North and the South. He worries about the wall's safety – especially in the winter. Even the dragons refused to cross the wall, and Kragen asked Jackriss, “Do you think my ancestors built the wall to keep out the ice and the barbarians?” And the prince soon learns that it keeps death at bay.

Cregan offers his gray bearded strength. As they chat, Cragan is given a message from the Queen, and he looks up to Jackris. Clearly, this is news of Lucius' death.

Grief and Rage at Dragonstone

Jacaerys is away, but things are looking up back at home. A dragon lands on Dragonstone. This is Rena.

Damon is ready to kill Vhagar and tries to convince Reyna to double team him. “Son for son,” he says. Reena advises him not to act on revenge. Damon replied that if she had acted in continuity, she would have killed Aegon and his line, referencing the moment in the season 1 finale when he and his dragon burst through the floor during his coronation and all of them. Refused to roast.

For a moment, we see Queen Rheneria, looking out to sea from a cliff. His face is full of anger, grief and guilt.

Corless is shown walking the docks using a cane. He sees the ships being cleaned and prepared, and another new character is introduced: Alan Hill. Alan informs him of the ship's status, but their conversation is awkward. This is the guy who dragged Corliss out of the ocean, bringing him to safety when he was sick in Season 1. He says he owes Alan.

The man on the docks sees Corliss Valerian in the dragon's house. The man on the docks sees Corliss Valerian in the dragon's house.

Meet Alan, a seafarer in Season 2 of House of Dragons.

Ollie Upton/HBO

Fear at King's Landing

In King's Landing the cut objects are moving to the landing with Vhagar. The army is told to stand up, showing that they are ready for an attack from Team Black at any moment. Inside the castle, Aegon is in his chambers looking for his heir to give him a “king” lesson. His sister-wife Helena says she's afraid — not of the army, but of rats. It is not yet clear what he means by this.

Elsewhere in the castle, Alicent and Kristen are getting super intimate before meeting with the council. They get dressed and run to the meeting where his father, Otto Hightower, says North doesn't get answers to letters. However, Prince Amund's pact with the Baratheons in the Stormlands should strengthen their loyalty. There's a problem though, as Rhaenyra blocks the gilt with Corliss's sea fleet. The Council is also thinking that “Princess Rhaenyra” does not want to negotiate.

Since his blockade is affecting how things move in King's Landing, they need the help of the Lannisters and the Hightowers to break it. They also need the help of the Earth River, and Aegon says he'll just use Whagar to burn anyone who doesn't side with him. Elant tries to stop him, and glares at Amund, saying that Wagar must stay in King's Landing to prevent Rhaenyra from avenging her son's death.

After the meeting, the sneaky manipulator Larris Strong shares with the alien that he has killed off his old crew and recruited new ones. He is the original Littlefinger in every way.

In House of Dragons Season 2 Clubfoot looks up to someone with a look on his face. In House of Dragons Season 2 Clubfoot looks up to someone with a look on his face.

There is no reason to like this Larys Strong guy.

Ollie Upton/HBO

The Lucifers have been honored and revenge continues.

Rhaenyra and Syrax land on a beach where people find a dragon arm. In a tragic scene, she sees Lucarius' clothes wrapped in nets and cries — as does Cyrax. His pain is palpable.

At King's Landing, the inexperienced King Aegon enters the throne room where he begins to listen to the pleas of the townspeople. The first laments that his flock is being taken before winter, and the king wants to return the flock to the man but Otto advises against it. He said that people should tithe cattle to feed the dragons for war. Egon protests but Otto — always the controlling one — says no.

Then there's Hugh, a blacksmith who asks for an advance so he can buy iron to make weapons. “Our victory depends on the efforts of the little ones,” Aegon says and grants the man's request. Otto doesn't like it. Clubfoot (Laris Strong) lures Egon into his ear about Otto. They both want to control Aegon but he is convincing the kid that his grandfather's idea is bad, and that he should be “The Hand” instead.

Alicent, also under the influence of Clubfoot, argues with her father during council meetings about undermining him. She also justifies Amund's psychotic behavior by saying that Luke was never punished for gouging out his eye. wow

Conspiracies begin on Dragonstone when a crew finds Mysria, the white worm, scuttling aboard a ship. Damon confronts his ex-lover about selling secrets to Otto. She says she goes with the highest bidder and is sent to the dungeon. He then confronts Sir Eric about working for Otto. Eric once again pledges his loyalty to Rhaenyra and admits that the Hightowers turned him and his twin brother against each other. Damon exits and heads to the war room.

Rainera entered the room where everyone was gathered around the paint table. They all give updates, and the only thing she says is “I want Amund Targaryen.” Understood

Damon visits the White Worm in the dungeon and he doesn't budge. He then offers her knowledge in exchange for her freedom. We later find out that she accepts.

Jacaerys contacts his mother in her private chamber, giving her a report on who is helping, including Lord Cregan who has promised 2,000 men. He barely makes it through and starts crying while talking to his queen/mother. The family will lay Lucerius to rest.

Back at King's Landing, Alicent lights a candle on an altar, and hesitates to name Lucrece. At the same time, Ranira and family light a pyre for their son. She throws what she finds on the beach — Lucifer's cloak — but young Joffrey has a small toy that he throws into the fire to honor his older brother.

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Rhaenrya, Jacaerys and Joffrey mourn Lucifer at a funeral.

Theo Whitman/HBO

Enter the blood and cheese arena

At dawn, Damon arrives on the shores of King's Landing in a disguise. He bribes a guard who hates hightowers to let him in. He talks to the castle's rat catcher, and tries to hire him as a hitman for Aemond. We already know it won't work out how everyone thinks it will, but he accepts the gig.

Amand and Kristen are discussing battle strategy in the prince's room, and Amand complains that his mother and granddaughter are too cautious. He wants to be more aggressive, but Kristen says her mother has a soft spot for Rainera.

Kristen leaves as Otto walks in, and Grandpa already knows how Amend feels. He tells her that Vhagar and Aemond are a powerful team, but that she needs to rest as other factors are at work. To drive the point home, he tells her that her brother doesn't know how to control his emotions.

Amand and Kirsten sit in the palace in the dragon's house and plot. Amand and Kirsten sit in the castle in the dragon's house and plot.

Two peas in a pod: Prince Almond and Sir Christine.

Ollie Upton/HBO

A tense scene unfolds as we follow a rat catcher in the tunnels with a dog and another man he hires to work for. In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, the pair are known as Blood and Cheese, two ruthless assassins. They climb the castle and end up in the throne room where they overhear Aegon and his friends talking about sumac and brainstorming. The king is clearly distracted. After an argument about not being allowed to go upstairs where the royals are, the two hitmen sneak into Amund's quarters.

Not getting anywhere with the prince, they went into hiding. But they can find no royals except the sister queen and Aegon's children. The rat catchers put a knife to her throat and discuss killing her children. They force her to reveal which male is the heir, and she tells the truth. In a horrific twist, they cut off the baby's head.

Helena storms out of the room and heads to her mother's quarters where she has an affair with Kristen. Although it is not Aemond, son for son is what is delivered.

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