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Biggest moments from House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 2: “Rhaenyra the Cruel”

Things are heating up in Westeros, and war is afoot.

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Luke Tittensor, Elliot Tittensor
Credits: Theo Whitman/HBO

Episode 2 of House of the Dragon Season 2 marks the first episode of the season that fans are overjoyed to see. This episode was written by Sara Hess and directed by Clare Kilner. After witnessing this episode, fans on Twitter have now forgiven Hess for the controversial Rhaenys and Meleys scene during Aegon’s coronation. Here are the highlights from Episode 2: Rhaenyra the Cruel.

Read More: Fans react to House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2, wishing for longer episodes

Biggest Moments from House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 2

Episode 2 of House of the Dragon Season 2, titled Rhaenyra the Cruel, delivers several dramatic and crucial moments:

Aegon takes revenge

Matthew Needham, Tom Glynn-Carney

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO

Aegon finally seeks vengeance for the brutal murder of his son in this episode. In a fit of rage, he destroys Viserys’ intricate Valyria model. He captures Blood, one of the assassins responsible for his son’s death, and subjects him to a horrifying torture session, beating him with a club.

His wrath doesn’t stop there. He orders the hanging of all the ratcatchers in the castle, as Blood reveals that his accomplice was one of them. This drastic measure foreshadows Aegon’s descent into a more ruthless ruler. Tom Glynn-Carney’s spectacular performance captures Aegon’s anguish and fury with incredible depth.

Read More: Aegon II agrees with Ned Stark: The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword (club)

Jaehaerys’ funeral

olivia cooke and phia saban

Credits: Max

The funeral of Jaehaerys is a sad event that quickly turns chaotic. Otto Hightower, always the strategist, uses the occasion to paint Rhaenyra as a villain. Helaena, struggling with her grief, must face the fact that appearances hold more importance than her pain in the political game. The inclusion of Jaehaerys’ toy elephant in the episode is a reminder of his innocence, making the tragedy even more heartbreaking.

Aegon, unable to console or even face her, is consumed by his guilt and anger. The riot that erupts during the funeral procession causes Otto’s plan to backfire, putting Helaena in immediate danger. This event further justifies Aegon’s later decision regarding Otto.

The smallfolk’s reaction is also significant as they hold Queen Helaena in high regard and will not forget the brutal murder of Jaehaerys by Blood and Cheese. This loyalty will play a crucial role in the coming conflicts, adding to Rhaenyra’s challenges.

Read More: An iconic funeral and movie inspired the funeral scene from House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2

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Rhaenyra and Daemon’s first quarrel

matt smith and emma d'arcy

Credits: Max

A heated argument between Rhaenyra and Daemon marks a turning point in the episode. The rift between the Blacks becomes more evident as Rhaenyra openly blames Daemon for Jaehaerys’ death, calling him pathetic. She confronts him about his instructions if Aemond can’t be found, and Daemon’s evasive response only fuels her mistrust.

Rhaenyra’s accusation that she never wholly trusted Daemon cuts deep, exposing the fragile foundation of their alliance. Daemon’s refusal to fully accept Rhaenyra as his queen adds to the tension.

Read More: Daeron Targaryen exists, confirms House of the Dragon in Season 2 Episode 2

Otto Hightower’s dismissal

fabien frankel, rhys ifans, tom glynn-carney

Credits: Max

Otto Hightower’s dismissal from his position as Hand of the King is the culmination of his actions. Throughout the episode, Otto’s decisions, meant to bolster the royal court’s image and Aegon’s standing, backfire.

By using Helaena and Alicent as political tools during Jaehaerys’ funeral, Otto inadvertently puts them in danger. His repeated insults towards Aegon further strain their relationship. Aegon’s decision to replace Otto with Cole marks a decisive moment in his reign.

Otto served under three kings—Viserys, Jaehaerys, and Aegon—but this final dismissal marks the end of his political influence. While Otto’s strategies were often shrewd, they failed to account for the personal costs to the royal family.

Read More: Otto Hightower gets fired as the Hand of the King again in House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2

Cargyll twins duel

Luke Tittensor, Elliot Tittensor

Photograph by Theo Whitman/HBO

The duel between the Cargyll twins is one of the episode’s most dramatic and action-packed moments. To deflect suspicion from himself, Cole turns on Arryk, invoking the sacred oaths of the Kingsguard and the symbolism of their white cloaks. Arryk infiltrates Dragonstone but is noticed by Mysaria.

The twins clash in Rhaenyra’s bedroom when Ser Erryk interrupts the assassination attempt. This fight is a physical battle and a clash of ideals and loyalties. The visceral nature of the duel, combined with the emotional stakes, makes it a standout scene. In a surprising twist, Arryk Cargyll wins the duel but sacrifices his life after begging Rhaenyra’s forgiveness.

Read More: Cargyllbowl took over 30 hours of rehearsal for one House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2 sequence

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Ved Prabhudesai is an avid enthusiast of all things pop culture. He has a special interest in the field of animation and art, with a background in Fine Arts and Digital Media Arts. He has begun his first into the field of Entertainment Journalism with Wiki of Thrones, and has been writing for them since 2023. He also has experience working as a screenplay writer, animator and comic book artist. His hobbies include holding discussions and organising events focused around pop culture, dissecting the importance of media in today's world. He began reading A Song Of Ice And Fire shortly before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. He has followed the series religiously and has spent hours reading Wikis learning about Targaryen history and possible plot points we will see in the Winds of Winter.

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