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The new House of the Dragon Season 2 opening credits explained

Targaryen history is unveiled through tapestries.

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Credits: Max

House of the Dragon Season 2 has a much-talked-about new opening credits sequence. The iconic Game of Thrones theme song is still here, giving the show a sense of familiarity. However, the intro is completely different, reflecting the original show’s evolving opening credits.

Season 1 showed the Targaryen family tree with blood flowing through cogs. Each cog has a symbol representing important characters in the family history. The Season 2 intro instead depicts the Targaryen family history using a tapestry. The images add details to the lore and history of House Targaryen, Old Valyria, and dragons.

Read More: 18 Details you might have missed in House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere

The Doom of Valyria

Old Valyria

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Credits: Max

The new tapestry in House of the Dragon Season 2 begins in Valyria, the ancestral home of dragons and dragonriders. The images summarize the rise and fall of the Valyrian Freehold, built on the backs of slaves and ruled by forty dragon-riding families. These families had hundreds of dragons between them and used their power to enslave and conquer millions. It begins with red spreading across the screen and what appears to be a depiction of the Valyrian Freehold.

The creation of a dragon

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Credits: Max

We then see what appears to be a headless dragon with wings of fire. People have speculated that this could be a dragon created through magic. The Doom of Valyria is a mysterious event, and many say it was caused by the Valyrians dabbling in blood magic and sorcery such as this.

Azhor Ahai and Nissa Nissa

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Credits: Max

The next image brings to mind the legend of Azor Ahai, mentioned many times in Game of Thrones. Azhor Ahai wielded the legendary sword Lightbringer, which he forged by piercing it through the heart of his beloved wife, Nissa Nissa. In Game of Thrones, Melisandre believed King Stannis was Azor Ahai, reborn.

Daenys the Dreamer

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In the next image, we see what appears to be a woman holding a dying man. Some speculate that the woman is Daenys the Dreamer, who had the rare Targaryen power of prophetic dreams and managed to warn her family of the Doom. They escaped 12 years before the tragedy, establishing their home on Dragonstone. A few other families, like House Velaryon, also escaped. In the intro, we can see threads springing from her head, which may symbolize her dreams and lead to the next image.

The Doom

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Credits: Max

The images then depict the destruction of old Valyria with volcanoes erupting and dragons falling from the sky. A few decades after the Targaryens moved to Westeros, Valyria was destroyed in a cataclysmic, Pompeii-style volcanic explosion known as the Doom of Valyria. The tapestry shows this event in all its glory, with volcanoes erupting and dragons falling from the sky. This left the Targaryens the lone dragonriders in the world, allowing them to remain unchallenged.

Read More: This fanmade animated Game of Thrones prequel gives a sneak peek into the Doom of Valyria

Aegon’s Conquest

Aegon’s Landing

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Credits: Max

The next major event in House Targaryen’s history is Aegon’s conquest. The tapestry shows Aegon and his sister-wives riding their dragons —Balerion the Black Dread, Vhagar, and Meraxes above a fleet of allied ships with House Velaryon’s seahorse sigil on their sails. It illustrates their journey from Dragonstone to conquer Westeros. Their war caused much bloodshed, which is depicted in the tapestry with fallen bodies and blood-soaked scenes. Balerion and Vhagar are shown consuming a bloody castle and its defenders.

The Burning of Harrenhal, the Field of Fire and the Dornish War

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Aegon’s conquest included many battles and led to the death of two royal lines: Harren, King of the Rivers and the Isles, and Mern Gardner, King of the Reach. The tapestry shows their sigils and a body with an axe, representing Harren the Black. He was the king who completed Harrenhal before Aegon and Balerion ended his line and elevated House Tully to the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. The central section depicts the ruined Harrenhal, which Aegon burned with Balerion when King Harren the Black refused to surrender the Riverlands.

Harren is shown in the middle, surrounded by imagery from the Field of Fire battle. In this battle, all three Targaryen dragons destroyed the combined armies of King Loren Lannister and King Mern Gardener. The shields of the fallen soldiers are shown as black and burned, indicating the devastation. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Queen Rhaenys’ silver dragon Meraxes is shown falling from the sky, depicting their deaths at the hands of House Uller of Dorne. This moment appears briefly above Harrenhal’s smoking ruin before the intro moves on.

Conquest of the Vale, Riverlands and the North

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Credits: HBO

The capacity of the Targaryens to burn tens of thousands of people influenced the next part of the tapestry, where houses Arryn, Stark, and Tully bow to Aegon without needing a battle. An interesting detail is that the Arryns and Starks wear crowns, but the Tullys do not, as the Arryns and Starks were kings before bending the knee, while the Tullys were not a royal house when Aegon granted them the Riverlands.

Read More: New cast for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms announced

The Reign of House Targaryen

King’s Landing

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The Targaryen three-headed dragon symbol appears above the castle Aegon built at King’s Landing, establishing their dynasty. Balerion, the dragon, appears in the top right corner and is ridden not by Aegon but Maegor. We see the Red Keep and the growing city of King’s Landing. Maegor the Cruel is a significant figure in Targaryen history and appears in the House of the Dragon Season 2 title sequence. The only son of Aegon the Conqueror and Visenya, he seized the Iron Throne by force.

Maegor finished the Red Keep, making it the iconic royal seat of House Targaryen. However, he was a bloodthirsty tyrant who usurped his brother’s throne, killed thousands, and built the Red Keep with trap doors, tunnels, and secret rooms.

The Death of Maegor

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Maegor’s reign was marked by tyranny, alienating his subjects and causing them to support his nephew, Jaehaerys. However, Jaehaerys did not kill Maegor; he met his end impaled on the Iron Throne, as depicted in the title sequence. His death ushered in a new era of Targaryen history.

The sequence shows Maegor’s death on the Iron Throne. He is flanked by two dragons, a bronze one and a silver one, representing Vermithor and Silverwing, the dragons of King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne, who ruled after Maegor. Vermithor and Silverwing are still alive during the events of House of the Dragon. Vermithor was seen in Season 1 when Daemon sang a lullaby to it.

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The Rule of King Jaehaerys

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The next part of the title sequence introduces Jaehaerys, the fourth Targaryen King, and his sister-wife Alysanne. After his brother died in the conflict with Maegor, Jaehaerys became the rightful heir. He ascended the throne at just 14 years old after Maegor’s death. Jaehaerys is celebrated as a great king, reigning for 55 years, making him the longest-ruling Targaryen monarch. Though his rule brought peace and prosperity to Westeros, it was also marked by tragedy, as seen by the blood-stained images below the king and queen. His two oldest sons died before him, leaving the succession in question and leading to the next significant event depicted in the tapestry.

In the quick depiction of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, the new king is shown wearing a golden crown, contrasting with the black, ruby-studded crown worn by Aegon the Conqueror and Maegor. To their left is the seven-pointed star of the Faith of the Seven, highlighting their efforts to unify the crown and the church. On their right is a bag of gold, symbolizing the prosperity and peace during their reign. Jaehaerys’ rule was a golden era for the Targaryens, but as the tapestry suggests, this peace would not last forever, hinting at the conflicts in the next panels.

Read More:

The Dance of the Dragons

The Great Council of 101

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Credits: Max

The title sequence then shows an older Jaehaerys at the Great Council of 101, a scene familiar to House of the Dragon fans from the opening episode of Season 1. Here, King Jaehaerys allowed the realm’s lords to choose his successor. The choice was between Rhaenys Targaryen, a competent dragon-rider, and Viserys, less interested in ruling. This council decided Viserys was the heir over Rhaenys, setting a precedent for favouring male heirs over older female heirs. This decision is significant as it is often used against Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne.

Viserys’ Last Supper

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This part of the tapestry captures key moments from House of the Dragon Season 1. Alicent’s green dress recalls her dramatic entrance at Rhaenyra’s wedding. The Targaryen family sitting at a table echoes Viserys’s final night, and the division between Targaryens and Hightowers foreshadows the coming war. Alicent and Rhaenyra are at opposite ends of the frame. The blood between the two could symbolize the bloody trail that Rhaenyra left when she visited Alicent immediately after her son Joffrey was born.

Dueling Thrones of the Greens and the Blacks

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Alicent’s son Aegon, wearing Aegon the Conqueror’s black crown, is shown on the Iron Throne with a green cape. The dragon sigil on his chest is gold, matching his dragon, Sunfyre. Ravens flying from a green hand below him represent the Green Council’s efforts to secure support for his reign.

Rhaenyra, wearing Jaehaerys’s gold crown, is depicted on Dragonstone’s throne. The black hand below her sends out three dragons, showing the Black Council’s response. Shields of houses aligned with each side surround them, indicating the divided loyalties.

The Death of Lucerys

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The final part of the sequence shows Vhagar, with Prince Aemond on her back, attacking Arrax, who Prince Lucerys rides. This violent scene ends with Lucerys dying, marking the first casualty of the Dance of the Dragons.

Read More: We may see a Targaryen set on fire on this season of House of the Dragon

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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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