Home » Forgot Everything About ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1? We Can Help.

Forgot Everything About ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1? We Can Help.

It’s been nearly two years since House of the Dragon premiered on HBO. Since then, empires have crumbled. (Succession ended.) New world leaders have come into power. (Taylor Swift began the Eras Tour.) Others have crumbled. (Donald Trump was convicted.) So much has happened in our everyday life that it’s hard to remember where Westeros is at—but have no fear. We’re here to help guide you through what happened in the first season of House of the Dragon heading into Season 2.

Hopefully, you remember the big ideas: Old childhood friends Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke) are at odds over who should sit on the Iron Throne. And odds are, you’ll recall that this comes in the wake of King Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) death—I mean, who could forget the last shots of his skeletal, leprosy-ridden body; I still have nightmares—right before the end of the season.

King Viserys in Season 1 of House of the Dragon.


But there are still a handful of other blondies roaming around The Seven Kingdoms that we need to check in with. What are the kids up to? How about Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best)? Before you watch Sunday evening’s Season 2 premiere, here’s a short recap of where the Targaryen dynasty left off:

Successor swap?

In his last waking hour, King Viserys hinted to Alicent that he might want Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) to take the throne over Rhaenyra. He didn’t say exactly that, though—he muttered Aegon’s name and then said it was up to Alicent to “unite the realm against the cold and the dark.” So…maybe he wanted Aegon to be king? Or maybe he wanted something entirely different. Who knows!

A still from House of the Dragon Season 1.

Rhaenyra and Daemon in Season 1 of House of the Dragon.


At this point, no one believes Alicent except her own father Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). But those who speak out against the new reign of terror will be immediately executed or jailed. Daemon (Matt Smith), who later heard the news from Princess Rhaenys, thinks Alicent straight-up murdered Viserys. This isn’t true, we know that, but it also isn’t factually correct to say that Viserys swapped the succession order. While his mind began to fail, he muttered some gibberish about fixing Westeros to Alicent—who, let’s be fair, he could’ve totally mistaken for Rhaenyra.

Incest woes

Following the news of Alicent’s takeover, poor Rhaenyra had a miscarriage, losing what would have been her third child with Daemon. That’s only the first death to hit Rhaenyra’s house—there’s more to come on this list alone—which is sure to inspire some fury from Daemon and those who surround Rhaenyra. Alicent isn’t guilty (yet!), but she’s certainly not inspiring peace and tranquility over in Dragonstone.

While we’re on the subject of incestuous couples, we should probably just do a run down of where we’re at, loosely. Rhaenyra is wed to her uncle Daemon. Her sons—perhaps this should be a singular son; more on that later—Luke (Elliot Grihault) and Jace (Harry Collett) are betrothed to their cousins/half-sisters Baela (Bethany Antonia) and Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell). And then there’s the real doozy: Alicent’s son Aegon is married to his sister Helaena, although he hates her. I see why!

Westeros standings

A still from House of the Dragon Season 1.

Princess Rhaenys in Season 1 of House of the Dragon.


We don’t yet know where all of Westeros sides on the Aegon vs. Rhaenyra debate, but we know a handful of opinions. Driftmark stands with Rhaenyra, thanks to a powerful allyship with Princess Rhaenys. They plan on using their fleet of ships to form a blockade between King’s Landing and the rest of the world, leaving them short on supplies.

King’s Landing has obviously gone to Aegon. In fact, members of the town watched Aegon be crowned the king, so they really have no reason to believe there’s any challenger in play. Again: Any soul who dares to call Rhaenyra their queen in King’s Landing will either be executed or jailed on the spot. On the flip side, Dragonstone belongs to Rhaenyra.

A still from House of the Dragon Season 1.

Aemond and Aegon in Season 1 of House of the Dragon.


Near the end of the Season 1 finale, both Alicent and Rhaenyra sent their children off on dragonback to touch base with territories like Vale, Winterfell, and Storm’s End. Luke ends up at Winterfell with Aemond (Ewan Mitchell). These two have some long-running beef. Back in the day, Aemond used to bully the crap out of poor little Luke, nearly killing him in several confrontations. On one occasion, Aemond went a little too far, leading Luke to cut his half-brother’s eye out in self-defense. So…this was never going to go well.

Storm’s End ultimately goes to Aegon after Aemond promises he’ll marry one of their leader’s girls, but Aemond isn’t going to let Luke leave unscathed.

Friendly! Keep it friendly!

Alicent just wants her old friend Rhaenyra back. Although Otto and the rest of her allies say they ought to kill—or at least jail—Rhaenyra, Alicent is firm in that Rhaenyra should be able to live a happy, peaceful life. She just won’t be queen.

So, Alicent wants to strike a deal with Rhaenyra to settle this without war. There should be no war. The Targaryen dynasty could fall if they disagree. No one is going to kill anyone, until…

Aemond made an oopsie with his dragon

A still from House of the Dragon Season 1.

Aemond really can’t let Luke go. First, he wants Luke’s eye, but Luke runs away on his dragon. Aemon hops aboard his much bigger dragon to stalk Luke around the sky in the middle of a rainstorm, scaring the gods out of his half-brother. It’s just a game of cat and mouse, really.

But then Aemond’s massive dragon mauls Luke and his dragon in the middle of the sky, and poof! The little schoolhouse game has turned into war. House Green has officially made the first kill against House Black. Whose side are you on?


June 2024