House of the Dragon: 2.02 -- Rhaenyra the Cruel

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Both Alicent and Rhenera are facing the consequences of the murder of king ageon's heir
IMDB rating: 8.7 Runtime: 69 minutes
 
And just like that Prince Daeron is mentioned. Plaudits to the script writers
 
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The reason I didn't post yesterday was a full day of migraine. This series didn't need me to compose words with a half of brain as watching this needs a full one. If the series was a kids program instead of a complicated crossover between fantasy and costume drama, this would be a piece of cake. But it isn't.

I personally feel the same way about writing this as I do about the WestWorld. It is not easy. But let's see how this one went on...
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The aftermath of baby killings. Man the whole scene in the upper floors with people hurrying back and fort, all mixed with palace guard was what I imagined would happen if the mother would've cried. But she never said a word before she reached Green Queen's bedchambers. And even then it was a whisper instead of a yelp in anger.

Yet, somehow, the guards also managed to bring in the bloodhounds, and somehow introduce tracing even though tens, if not hundreds of people had trod over the tracks. I don't think that's how the bloodhounds work, even if their noses can do magic, and it has been proven that they can track a prey in an urban setting.

It's just Blood and Cheese were long gone, when the King Aegon started bashing the old king model to pieces, while shouting: "I declare a war," repeatedly. It was there where the servants acted logically as they closed the library doors and allowed him to rage. What I don't get is Prince Aemond finding a dragon head stamped coin under Cole's coffee table. What does it signify, because the audience are not custom with coins in the show?

The Hand told Green Queen, "The gates have been shut. The search progresses. The villain will be found," before adding, "We musn't be shaken by this. This act. The child..."

"The child..." Alicient repeated, feeling the same sorrow as the other one, "...is dead. His pain is ended. But what they've done to my girl..."

As she broke in tears, Otto said, "Yes." He stood up and went to comfort her, "And they will pay for this."

Alicient moved away from her father, shaking and distress, and yet, she somehow managed to compose herself to ask, "Who will?"

"Whosever hand did this or caused it to be done."

The Green Queen looked at the Hand, "And what if the hand that's done it is not who must be blamed?" Distressed, she broke again in tears. "The gods punish us. They punish me."

"For what sin?"

Indeed. The dialogue is almost Shakespearean, and it sounds like High English. In fact, I had trouble writing the lines because even though the lines are perfect, the dialect is unknown to me. I simply cannot wrap my head around it to be able to easily write it down, but I have to say it's beautiful. And somewhat poetic.

Otto, the Hand and the Father of the Green Queen, is the calmest and sensible person in the Red Keep during this time of distress. The King in the other hand showed how immature he were compared to the old one. At the Small Council he raved about that he could've been killed instead of acting wisely. To me, Aegon II is not the right king to be sitting on Iron Throne.

He stole it because the HighTowers felt the greed and the need to be the ones that control the Seven Kingdoms. Almost as if they've been institutionalized to be the rulers and not see themselves as the Servants of the Citizens. But you look at the War of Roses, and you'll see that the Noble Houses were going through the same madness.

One thing though, King Aegon II pointed out that Ser Cole, "The Lord Commander of Kingsguard," were not at his door, and demanded answer.

"I was abed," Ser Cole replied, not veering far from the truth.

"Abed!?!," the King raged. "Instead of guarding the sanctity of my family."

Man, I laughed, because that's exactly what Cole was doing with his sausage. He was making sure that not all the kids were going to be golden haired maniacs. Another thing was that Aegon again pointed out that the right suspect was sitting at the DragonStone, but he couldn't really guess who was the mastermind behind the act. But then again, the tyrants never need the right one, just an act to do their crazy acts.

Only Otto, the Hand, were the sensible one in the Small Council chambers. He had the right ideas on how to steer the Royal household through the crisis, while the tyrant only saw threats to himself. So it was wisdom for them to display the dead prince and gain support from the little people, instead of going straight into a mobilization.

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While the Queens travelled behind open casket through the streets of KingsLanding, Blood confessed in the dungeon from just seeing the torture instruments that Daemon had hired him and the rat-catcher to commit the act, before the King smashed his skull to bits. It's just we saw two acts of terror as the Queen Haleana were visibly distressed, almost in panic when the hearse got stuck in a pothole and crowds gathered closer to the queens carriage to show their support.

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You must wonder what the other queen was thinking when she heard Daemon explaining the happenings in KingsLanding. I doubt it was what she wanted, even though the act was clearly needed to get two parties in war. She even said so that she would never have thought about it, and not least to Haleana after losing his son. Yet, nothing could be done to fix the mess that Cruel Prince had caused.

I loved that Queen Rhae sussed out the truth in the Council table and then went to give Daemon a rightful bollocking in the private chambers for cocking up everything. There was nothing the prince could do but to confess that he'd given orders to kill Aemond, and his defence was that the assassins had cocked it up. Which makes me wonder why Daemon didn't seek the help from the Faceless? After all, they are the proper ones to commit such hard acts and get away with it.

"Cannot trust you, Daemon," the Black Queen said. "I never trusted you, wholly, much though I wished to, willed myself to. But now I have seen that your heart belong to you. And when I was a child I took this a challenge. But I'm older now, and I have challenges enough."

"I have served you faithfully," Daemon replied.

"Have you?" Queen shouted and then lowered her voice. "Or have you used me as a tool with which to grasp your stolen inheritance?"

As always, ladies really know how to twist the knife in the wound, as that line got him to stand up raving mad, ready to punish the lady. Yet, it didn't happen, because Daemon knew he was wrong and had done wrong. All because he loved the lady, but couldn't express it properly, instead of being a cunning macho man. And reading the man correctly, Rhae made him to deal that she was the head of the household and not him.

But the boy was listening, he was still mad that his plot had failed, and it had come out so easily... and that he really wanted that crown, because his brothers couldn't be trusted. It almost depicts that Daemon knew that he was to be sitting on Iron Throne instead of the other guy, and he was driven mad by that idea, so much so that he would undermine the Queen's position through his vile acts.

Again, it leads me to think, why didn't he hire the Faceless Men?

"You struck down a child," the Queen declared.

"It was a mistake," Daemon stood his ground.

"You're pathetic."

Man, I feel for you Daemon, you effed it up, royally! Then again, I haven't been calling you the Cruel Prince for nothing. You are what you are, a tool. In the aftermath, mum declared to kids that dad had "to follow his own path."

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Like many other men Daemon did the only thing he could and took the ride, while still sheeting angry that he'd cocked up things so royally. Except he wasn't going to get wasted in a titty bar or driving endless hours until his head had cleared, and he'd understood what he'd done and how he could go forward in their broken marriage. He only wanted to spill some blood in his madness, because that is the way Daemon releases steam.

The kids guessed that he'd headed the Harrenhall, while the SeaSnakes felt the Cruel Princes pain.

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The curse of broken men also struck King Aegon as well, as seeing his wife, Queen Haleana, he couldn't even give a hug and ask, "How are you doing?" because his brain never had gained that wisdom. Instead, he just shrugged and left the lady to her own devices in her time of need.

Ser Cole oversaw the clearance of Prince Jaeherys murder scene and in the evening he stood guard outside the Green Queen bed chambers. Alicent came to him and asked, "Have you told anyone?"

He looked at her and asked, "What do you take me for?"

"One who seeks absolution," she answered.

Ser Cole looked away and said, "There's none for what I've done."

Oh man, a world full of broken men. Why is it that Otto is the only who still functions?

So the door was closed. No shagging, no fun, only all the queens were left unsatisfied and angry. On the morning, Ser Cole, obviously having lost whatever brains he had left, marched into the barracks and picked on Ser Arraj, while claiming that the white cloak he was wearing was "a mark of purity." It's true that he possess a brilliant strategic mind, but he really lacks the wisdom and diplomacy.

Yet, still, Ser Arrak stood up and admitted that he'd "erred," but it wasn't enough for Ser Criston Cole as the next thing he picked up was that Arrak should've been standing guard, and not entertaining the king. That was enough for Arrak to ask, "Where were you?" and the argument got so heated that it cleared the dining tables and left the pair alone so that Lord Commander could order Arrak to "go to Dragonstone and struck down Rhaenyra in her own halls."

"How am I going to do that?" Ser Arrak asked. "The castle is defended against all enemies, now especially." He look Cole in the eye. "How would I enter?"

"Your twin serves there at the pleasure of so-called queen. They will mistake you for him if you play the part."

Ser Arrak stood on his honours and claimed not to be an assassin, or even one of the Faceless, which again struck me as the most likely participant on making the plot succesful. What Cole is really asking is for the brother to struck down another and take his place, because you cannot have twins in place where there should only be one.

When Otto heard about Cole's act through King Aegon, he whispered, "Gods help us all." And then he lashed out on the king and his lord commander on the foolish acts they'd done. But he never saw that Aegon was order him to "remove the badge." And then, "Give it to Cole."

"My king?" Cole questioned the act.

"In this hour you have proven to be more useful than a hundred old men," Aegon answered. "My new hand will be a steel fist."

"You--will--regret--this," Otto Hightower announced.

King Aegon shrugged and said, "Give it to him."

What a brilliant play and it shows how wrong King Aegon II is in his madness. He really doesn't understand how King Vizerys mainted the peace for so long, because all he can see is red. He is going through a blood lust.

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"I only gave Daemon two names," White Worm pled her innocence in the murder plot. "I did it for my freedom."

Only she also realised that Daemon had not granted it and the Queen wasn't most likely going to do that either. And with Daemon gone walkies forever, she was to remain a prisoner. Then she realised that the Queen had figured it out and Rhae accused her for being a mother for Daemon ******* child.

Then the Black Queen brought it up, "You trade in secrets. Your web runs through King's Landing unseen. And now when my enemy coils himself to strike at me--"

"I can do nothing but ask you to honour your husband's words," White Worm declared.

"It would not serve me to set you free," the Black Queen stated. "At best, I lose an asset to my cause. At worst, you betray me in some faul way."

"I have no interest to betray you, my grace."

"So you say."

I loved this dialogue, because Queen Rhaenyra knows exactly what she has and really losing the White Worm would mean a great deal to her campaing. After all, White Worm is a fixer, not just a spymaster. Yet, later on, Queen went to dungeon and honoured Daemon's word and even made sure that Ser Serrek was company White Worm to harbour and make sure she would get in a ship.

Only it didn't happen, as White Worm went to ship and spotted Ser Arryn on the way to murder the Queen. But she didn't alert the guard on the fact, instead the brother got to Queen's bedchambers to only clash with his brother and at the end, to lose his life, before Ser Erryn fell on his own blade.

What a brilliant madness.
 
Like last week’s infamous “Blood and Cheese” moment, the Cargyll sword battle has been one of the most anticipated House of the Dragon events for fans of the novel Fire & Blood. That book, written as a Targaryen history text, imbues the moment with all the emotional pathos it deserves. Some sources claim that the brothers professed their love for each other before a chivalric sword fight. Others say they condemned each other as traitors before an ugly, brutal brawl. All agree, however, that by the end of things – both men were dead.

House of the Dragon is able to find an appropriate middle ground among the many interpretations. While the fight is nasty, Ser Arryk and Ser Erryk are able to die as brothers in one another’s mortally wounded arms.

“I’ve seen that sequence a hundred times now, in having put it together through post, and I find it incredibly moving and compelling every time ,” House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal told Den of Geek and other outlets during a press roundtable.

In many ways, the success of House of the Dragon‘s Cargyll fight comes down to a triumph of casting. Finding one actor to play dual roles as identical twins is common in filmmaking. In fact, House of the Dragon employs that very set up with Jefferson Hall portraying both Ser Tyland Lannister and his brother Lord Jason Lannister. Finding actors for a kinetic battle between twins , however, would be far more challenging.

“We knew when we cast Arryk and Erryk that they were going to have to come together in this in this climactic battle,” Condal said. “Our challenge to Kate Rhode James, our amazing casting director, was ‘do you have a set of identical twins that you can’t tell apart who are also both good actors?’ To Kate’s credit, she came back with these two fantastic guys from Manchester. They’re phenomenal. They’re wonderful guys – deeply committed actors and stunt performers.”
 
This was a really good episode. Even knowing the assassination would fail it was still exciting.
 

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