Warning: SPOILERS for House of the Dragon Season 1 Finale – « The Black Queen » – And Future EpisodesThe Dance of the Dragons will officially begin in House of the Dragon season 2, which has to answer some huge unanswered questions after the season 1 finale. House of the Dragon season 1 spanned over 20 years and two big time jumps as it set up the tragic conflict between Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and her former best friend, Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke). House of the Dragon has also drastically changed or embellished many aspects of George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood so that the historical text that book readers know has proven to be unreliable.
House of the Dragon episodes 9 and 10 depicted the fallout from the death of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) from the side of Alicent’s faction and then Rhaenyra’s. Alicent believed Viserys made their son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), his rightful heir as his dying wish. This fueled a plot already in progress by Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and the Green Council to usurp the Iron Throne and install Aegon as King. Rhaenyra didn’t even learn of her father’s death until Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) escaped King’s Landing to deliver the news that the Hightowers stole the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra was crowned Queen, but frustrated her husband, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), by not immediately plunging the Seven Kingdoms into a war over the succession. But when Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) caused the death of Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), Rhaenyra committed herself to vengeance and war, leading to these burning questions House of the Dragon season 2 must answer.
Most House of the Dragon viewers empathize with Rhaenyra and are rooting for her to win the Iron Throne. In spite of her deceptions regarding her sons, who are, in actuality, the bastards of Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Coor), Rhaenyra is the sentimental favorite to become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra also knows about the Song of Ice and Fire and believes she has to be Queen to prevent Aegon’s prophecy from coming true. The big question is whether Rhaenyra defeats the Greens and sits upon the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon season 2. According to Fire and Blood, Rhaenyra does take King’s Landing from Alicent’s faction, but her reign is tragically brief. It also remains to be seen if this event is depicted in House of the Dragon season 2 or afterward.
Aegon is the undeserving beneficiary of primogeniture as well as a good old-fashioned coup by the Hightowers. Yet despite giving King Aegon every air of legitimacy, including a public coronation in the Dragonpit, anyone who actually knows Aegon realizes he’s unfit to be King. This includes Aegon himself. But can Aegon rise to his new position and become a good King in House of the Dragon season 2? Fire and Blood indicates he does not. Aegon’s foolishness instead leads to him becoming seriously wounded and unable to rule. Aemond steps in as Protector of the Realm while his injured brother recuperates. It remains to be seen in House of the Dragon season 2 how much damage Aegon causes as King.
Once as close as sisters, Rhaenyra and Alicent feuded for years as adults. Tragically, their brief detente in House of the Dragon episode 8 was immediately torn asunder when Viserys died hours later. Alicent did what she believed Viserys wanted and installed Aegon on the Iron Throne. To Rhaenyra, what Alicent did is the gravest betrayal, although the Queen of the Greens actually stopped her father, the Hand of the King, from carrying out his plot to have Rhaenyra and her children murdered to protect Aegon’s succession. It seems like any possibility for Rhaenyra and Alicent to reach an accord is now impossible after Aemond killed Lucerys, but it will be fascinating to see what happens if the two Queens face each other again in House of the Dragon season 2.
Aemond may not have meant for Lucerys to die in the skies above Storm’s End, but he lost control of his dragon, Vhagar, who ripped Luke and his dragon, Arrax, apart. Whatever Aemond intended at the end of House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale, he drew first blood and has now started the Dance of the Dragon. Will Aemond pay for what he did to Lucerys in House of the Dragon season 2? Episode 8, « The Lord of the Tides, » showed Daemon repeatedly sizing up his one-eyed nephew. The seed has been planted for Daemon and Aemond to be rivals in House of the Dragon season 2, but which Targaryen will emerge victorious?
Daemon woke the great dragon Vermithor in House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale. Also called the Bronze Fury, Vermithor formerly belonged to King Viserys’ predecessor, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen (Michael Carter). Verimithor has been without a rider since Jaehaerys’ death, but Daemon now wants him fighting for Rhaenyra. Vermithor is the second-largest dragon in Westeros after Vhagar, and he’s a formidable weapon for the Blacks? But who will ride Vermithor in House of the Dragon season 2? Fire and Blood says a blacksmith’s bastard named Hugh Hammer, who is a dragonseed, will become Vermithor’s new rider. It remains to be seen if Hugh Hammer will join House of the Dragon as a new character or if someone else will ride Vermithor in season 2.
Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel) grew to be hated by House of the Dragon viewers when he turned on Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and pledged himself to Alicent (Emily Carey). Since then, Cole has been the adult Alicent’s loyal but rabid dog who has committed atrocities like killing Lord Beesbury (Bill Paterson) in « defense » of his Queen. Cole also trained Aemond Targaryen to be a fierce warrior. In House of the Dragon episode 9, Cole was made Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and he has a huge role to play in House of the Dragon season 2? Whether that includes dying for his terrible deeds is a big question.
Lord Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) is one of the most odious villains in House of the Dragon. Since ingratiating himself to Queen Alicent, the Clubfoot murdered his own father and brother to become Lord of Harrenhal, and Larys has imprisoned, tortured, and had many people killed for the Hightowers. Now Lord Confessor of King’s Landing, Larys revealed an obsession with Alicent’s feet as one of his proclivities. But what’s not entirely clear is what ultimate ends Larys seeks, and how far his desire for power will take him. House of the Dragon season 2 may provide the answer.
Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) seemingly died in House of the Dragon episode 9, but the odds are good the White Worm is still alive. Lord Larys Strong conspired with Queen Alicent to have the White Worm murdered after revealing that Mysania’s spy network reaches deep into the Red Keep. Larys sent a henchman to set Mysaria’s house on fire, but it is not definitive if the White Worm was inside, if she escaped, or if her little spiders warned her an attack was coming. Mysaria is important in the Dance of the Dragons according to Fire and Blood, so House of the Dragon season 2 should resolve whether the White Worm lives or not.
Thanks to Rhaenyra and Daemon, Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) faked his death and fled Driftmark for Essos with his paramour, Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan). It was both a rare happy ending for Laenor, who wanted a new life free of his bloodline and responsibilities, and it was also a case of House of the Dragon making a major change from Fire and Blood. But could Laenor return in House of the Dragon season 2, especially now that House Velaryon has pledged to fight for Queen Rhaenyra? After all, Laenor’s dragon, Seasmoke, is now riderless. Further, the fate of Laenor’s niece, Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell) is also up in the air since the death of her betrothed, Lucerys Velaryon, so what will happen to Rhaena?
House of the Dragon season 1 was a big departure from Game of Thrones because it was so Targaryen, Velaryon, and Hightower-centric. But House of the Dragon season 2 is poised to bring this era’s Starks, Tullys, and Baratheons into the Dance of the Dragons. House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale already introduced Lord Borros Baratheon (Roger G. Evans), the Lord of Storm’s End, who has sided with the Greens. Meanwhile, Jacaerys Velaryon (Harry Collett) was sent to the Eyrie and Winterfell to treat with the Arryns and the Starks while Daemon said he was going to meet with the Tullys at Riverrun. This means that some of Game of Thrones’ most popular families will be significant players in House of the Dragon season 2, but who will the Starks and Tullys fight for: Alicent or Rhaenyra?
House of the Dragon season 1 is available to stream on HBO Max.