Dark wings, dark words

Second of His Name brought tons of action this week. But there was also action seen outside of the show. This week for House of the Dragon. One of its two showrunners, Miguel Sapochnik, is leaving the series. It sounds as though Sapochnik is just tired after spending the past three years getting the show off the ground. Ryan Condal, the current co-showrunner, will fly solo for the announced second season. However, all is not lost; the Hollywood Reporter states that Alan Taylor, who has worked on Game of Thrones, will direct episodes and serve as an executive producer moving forward.

Miguel Sapochnik directed some of the best episodes of Game of Thrones, including Battle of the Bastards. I’m sure the second season of House of the Dragon is where we’ll see the climatic battles, and having Sapochnik there to help guide them would be welcomed. Nevertheless, I still can’t wait to see those fights come alive.

Lord Jason Lannister with a gift for King Visery.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

A tale of two hunts

Nothing is subtle in this week’s Second of His Name; everything has a meaning behind it. The biggest came from the killings of the boar and the deer. Rhaenyra manages to stab that boar around 100 times, while it took someone pointing out where to stab the deer for Visery, and he still couldn’t take care of it in one blow. King’s lack of deciding anything bothers me more every week. How is this moron in charge of the entire kingdom? 

The transition between Rhaenrya, covered in the boar’s blood, and immediately seeing Visery was standing next to the fire pit, fire and blood. Not lost on me. Seeing the king fail at killing the deer, followed by the royal white deer walking calmly to Rhaenyra. I’m hoping Ser Criston Cole witnessing this event would help strengthen Rhaenyra’s claim as heir, but I know that won’t be true.

Rhaenyra was walking into camp, covered in blood, proving she was more fitting to rule than her father was simply badass. From the looks she received from the potential suitors, I couldn’t tell if they were as impressed or repulsed.

Queen Alicent Hightower comfort her husband King Viserys Targaryen.
Photograph by Gary Moyes / HBO

Crabfeeder, we hardly knew ye.

R.I.P. Crabfeeder. While your reign of terror lasted years, it felt like a fleeting moment on House of the Dragon. Seeing more of the fight for the Stepstones to help fill some of the political back and forth going on in King’s Landing would have been welcome. Giving me something to focus on besides the bumbling king and his inability to make a decision helps with pacing. Second of His Name gave him the ending he probably deserved; he terrorized the Stepstones for over three years. Not seeing Daemon take him out leaves more to the imagination; thinking about how it happened might be better than seeing.

The action in the third act this week was top-notch, the best yet for the series. Daemon would rather die than accept help from his brother, making him a dangerous foe. I enjoyed seeing Lord Corlys Velaryon with his son Laenor Velaryon and his brother Ser Vaemond Velaryon. The fact that everyone, except Vaemond, looked weathered, their armor damaged, was not lost on me. 

Seeing Daemon tear through nameless enemies, either on his dragon or with a sword in his hand, was fun. Unfortunately, not everything can be solved by dragon power shows me that Daemon has a one-track mind. He’ll just brute force his way to get what he wants; sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

Daemon receives unwelcome news.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Second of His Name closing thoughts

I feel we needed to be shown that Viserys has lost some of his fingers; it’s very hidden from the viewing audience. So you have to look for the missing digits; I feel like this was missed by many people.

The time jumps are super necessary; I was initially unsure if they would work as well as they do. Every week I think we’ll see the older versions of these characters. I will miss them once they are gone, so no hurry.

I don’t feel as though there was a standout this week. Everyone pulled their weight, but no one shined above everyone else. 

So far, House of the Dragon feels like we’re only two scenes into the opening act. Second of His Name feels like we’re nearing the end of the act; I’m hoping we’ve set up most of the key players. If I was to guess, we’re still another week away from the big-time jump that will switch actresses. Hopefully, next week will get all the big pieces ready.