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House of the Dragon is back for season 2

House of the Dragon: the ultimate explainer for season 2

Need your memory jogging? Here’s everything to know for House of the Dragon season

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
June 19, 2024
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House of the Dragon is back on our screens with the first episode premiering on Sunday (or Monday, depending on where you are in the world), and viewers have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the new episode - as well as their slight confusion at just where we have left the storylines. 

After all, it has been two years since the season one finale aired back in 2022, so we think it’s fair enough that some people might need their memory jogging - so with spoilers for season one inbound, here’s everything you need to know about the plot for season two… 

WATCH: House of the Dragon: the devastating moment Vhagar kills Lucerys and Arrax

The set up 

In season one, King Viserys struggles to welcome a son, and so proclaims his daughter Princess Rhaenyra as the Heir to the Iron Throne - especially since the other potential Heir, his brother Daemon, deeply lets him down and isn’t considered trustworthy - particularly in regards to becoming the next King of Westeros. 

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, this epic series tells the story of House Targaryen.© HBO
Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, this epic series tells the story of House Targaryen.

After proclaiming Rhaenyra his Heir, he tells her a story that only Targaryen Kings of Westeros have known throughout the generations - that King Aegon I prophecised ‘the song of Ice and Fire’, a terrible crisis which would need to see a Targaryen on the throne as ‘the prince who was promised’, who will unite the realm and save the world. 

Sian Brooke as Queen Aemma Arryn in House of the Dragon© HBO
Rhaenyra's mother Queen Aemma dies in childbirth

Following Rhaenyra’s mother Aemma’s death, King Viserys weds Rhaeneyra’s childhood best friend, Alicent Hightower, who gives birth to two sons, Aegon and Aemond. Alicent’s father, the Hand of King Otto Hightower, predicts that war will be inevitable as the great houses won’t want Rhaenyra on the Iron Throne when Viserys has sons who could become King instead, alarming his daughter. 

Rhaenyra and Alicent’s fallout 

Relations between Rhaenyra and Alicent sour after Rhaenyra’s actions during a night out with her Uncle Daemon, where she is seen being intimate with him, and subsequently sleeps with her Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole. 

Ser Criston Cole © HBO
Ser Criston Cole

Ser Otto tells the King about the reports, who reacts by removing Otto as Hand of the King and sending him away. Upon learning that the accusations were true after initially believing Rhaenyra swearing that Daemon never touched her, Alicent turns against Rhaenyra.

House of the Dragon sees Matt Smith return as Daemon© HBO
Daemon Targaryen

Ser Criston Cole, who fails to convince Rhaenyra to run away with him after falling in love with her, despite his oath as a member of the Kingsguard, also turns against her, allying himself with Queen Alicent. 

Queen Alicent falls out with her old best friend Rhaenyra© HBO
Queen Alicent falls out with her old best friend Rhaenyra

Alicent and Rhaenyra go on to welcome children with their respective husbands, where the animosity continues as Alicent (correctly) suspects that Rhaenyra’s sons Lucerys and Jacaerys are illegitimate. The infighting trickles down to the children, and during an argument gone wrong, Aemond accuses Luc and Jace of being illegitimate, and Luc attacks him, resulting in Aemond losing an eye. 

Aemond Targaryen loses an eye© HBO
Aemond Targaryen loses an eye

The King’s death 

Rhaenyra eventually marries Daemon, and the pair live at Dragonstone before returning to King’s Landing due to King Viserys’ intensifying illness, with it being important to show Rhaenyra at court for her succession. 

Rhaenyra is betrayed by her half-brother Aegon© HBO
Rhaenyra is betrayed by her half-brother Aegon

The family reunite in a moment of solidarity in the hours before the King’s death. However, on his deathbed, attended to by Alicent, Viserys mutters about Aegon being ‘the prince who was promised’, and Alicent assumes that he is referring to their son Aegon, and that he had changed his mind about the line of succession. 

King Aegon II © HBO
King Aegon II

Luc’s death - and the beginning of the war 

As such, the Hightowers place Aegon on the Iron Throne, while Rhaenyra discovers that she has been betrayed and goes about reclaiming her seat as the rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. 

Rhaenyra sends Luc to rally bannermen© HBO
Rhaenyra sends Luc to rally bannermen

While negotiating peaceful terms, she sends her two sons out to bring their Bannerman to the cause. However, Luc runs afoul of Aemond during his travels, who attacks and kills him on dragon back, essentially ending any chance of peace between the two sanctions of the Targaryen dynasty, and sparking a war between ‘Team Black’ and ‘Team Green’. 

The family mourning the death of Luc© HBO
The family mourning the death of Luc

Other important information 

Princess Rhaenys and her husband, Corly Velaryon, are allies of Rhaenyra. Their grandchildren Rhaena and Baela are Daemon Targaryen's daughters whom he shared with his late wife, Laena Velaryon. 

Luc, Jace and their cousins© HBO
Luc, Jace and their cousins

Viserys and Alicent's son King Aegon married his sister, Queen Helaena, and on the show they share a son and a daughter, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera. 

Larys Strong reports on secrets and gossip to Queen Alicent, and arranged the deaths of his father and brother, who is the father of Rhaenyra's children, Ser Harwin Strong. 

Larys Strong is the Master of Whispers at court© HBO
Larys Strong is the Master of Whispers at court

Mysaria is Daemon's ally and one-time paramour, who he pretended that he was wedded to, and that she was expecting his child, and using it as an excuse to steal a dragon egg. Shocked at his actions, Mysaria leaves to avoid landing in any trouble with the Targaryens, priding her safety above everything else. 

Mysaria in season two© HBO
Mysaria in season two

Ser Erryk Cargyll and Ser Arryk Cargyll are twins who are both in the Kingsguard. When Viserys dies, the pair chose opposing sides out of their own perspective of duty and honour. 

Season two

Season two kicks things off almost immediately after the season one finale’s events, where Rhaenyra hasn’t been seen in weeks while trying to locate her son’s body, and ‘Team Green’ is trying to deal with the fallout of Aemond’s attack on Luc, with Alicent writing to Rhaenyra to apologise for the loss of her son. 

Rhaenyra in season two© HBO
Rhaenyra in season two

We won’t spoil anything else but we’d love to know, are you Team Green or Team Black? 

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