9 big events foreshadowed in the House of the Dragon trailers, with receipts

If you thought the first season of House of the Dragon action-packed, season 2 will bring you fire and blood like you've never seen.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /
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Team Black or Team Green? That's the question HBO posed to viewers in a pair of trailers for the second season of House of the Dragon, one of which highlighted supporters of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and the other supporters of her younger half-brother King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), who is contesting her claim to the Iron Throne. The first season introduced us to the members of these two factions, and in season 2, they will come to bloody blows.

The trailers look great, with the kind of production values we expect out of a Game of Thrones prequel show. Also, if you've read George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, you may recognize some of the scenes. There are lots of big events on the way in House of the Dragon season 2, and many of them are teased right here in these trailers.

So let's walk through them and outline some of the major moments coming down the pike. Beware SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 2 below:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

1. Rhaenrya visits the site of Luke's death, mourns her son

The first season ended with King Aegon's brother Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) having a tense standoff with Rhaenyra's young son Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault). Both of them traveled to Storm's End to win the allegiance of its lord, Aemond on behalf of his brother and Luke on behalf of his mother. Things got heated — Aemond had never forgiven Luke for slashing out his eye in a fight back when they were younger — and they ended up in the air on their dragons, with Aemond's enormous dragon Vhagar chomping both Luke and his small dragon Arrax to bits.

In the shot above, Rhaenyra looks to have ridden her dragon Syrax to visit the site of Luke's death; you can see the spire of Storm's End in the background. With the death of her son, she's committed to waging war against the Greens, where before she was considing trying to resolve things peacefully.

In another shot, we see what looks like a funeral for Luke being held on Dragonstone, Rhaenyra's home base:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Interestingly, Rhaenyra older son Jacaerys (Harry Collett), is present for this scene, as we can see in a glossy photo HBO released separately. It looks like he's holding the clothes that Luke died in, so they must have something of the boy's remains.

harry-collett-emma-d-arcy-oscar-eskinazi
House of the Dragon season 2 /

It's a little odd that Jace is there because Rhaenyra dispatched him to the North at the end of season 1, so he either turns back to attend his brother's funeral, or they honor Luke later in the season after Jace has returned.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

2. Harrenhal

So we've visited Storm's End and Dragonstone. House of the Dragon season 2 will also take us to Harrenhal, a huge castle in the Riverlands currently held by House Strong. Harrenhal featured on Game of Thrones, too. It's where Arya Stark met the Faceless Man Jaqen H'ghar in season 2 and where Jaime Lannsiter helped Brienne of Tarth fight a bear in season 3.

That's the enormous castle of Harrenhal in the distance in the shot above. The lake the dragon is flying over is called the Gods Eye. On the right of the image, that chunk of land may be the Isle of Faces, a sacred place for the Children of the Forest who ruled Westeros before the coming of the First Men. The Isle of Faces probably won't play a huge role in this upcoming season, but it's cool to see it featured, and we might return there later.

Anyway, in Fire & Blood, Rhaenyra's husband Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) immediately goes to capture Harrenhal once the war starts, knowing its crucial strategic importance. The trailer shows him arriving at the allegedly cursed caste at night:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

In the book, Daemon arrives at Harrenhal on his dragon Caraxes, and castellan Ser Simon Strong (Simon Russell Beale) surrenders the place without a fight. That sounds like it'll happen on the show, too. "Our terms are very simple," we hear Daemon say. "Denounce the false king and bend the knee to the queen, or your house burns." Ser Simon knows better than to argue back when Daemon brought a dragon.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

3. The Battle of the Burning Mill

The first season of House of the Dragon focused mainly on the Targaryen family, with some Velaryons thrown in for variety. They will still take center stage in season 2, but we'll also meet members of other Houses as the war spreads to each of the Seven Kingdoms. The shot above appears to show members of Houses Blackwood and Bracken, ancient Houses in the Riverlands, about to come to blows.

This is probably a shot from the Battle of the Burning Mill, one of the earliest battles in the war known as the Dance of the Dragons. We've heard this battle is coming, and the trailers seem to confirm it. The Blackwoods and Brackens have been rivals for centuries, so when war breaks out, they naturally choose opposing sides, with the Blackwoods declaring for Queen Rhaenyra and the Brackens supporting King Aegon. The Battle of the Burning Mill breaks out when Lord Samwell Blackwood sends raiders into Bracken lands, inspiring Ser Amos Bracken to react in kind. The two armies meet near a mill. They fight, the mill burns, and by the end of it both lords are dead.

Martin sometimes plays the Blackwood-Bracken rivalry for laughs in his books, but it does draw blood. Neither the Blackwoods nor the Brackens featured on Game of Thrones, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of them on House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

4. The North and the Wall

We mentioned earlier that Rhaenyra had sent her son Jace north at the end of season 1. He's on a mission to meet and court Lord Cregan Stark, the young lord of Winterfell. In Fire & Blood, the two young men meet and hit it off, and Cregan agrees to support Rhaenyra. In the trailer, we get our first look at actor Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark, albeit only the side of his face partially hidden by a curtain of hair. They must want to save the full reveal for later.

It will definitely be fun to see a Stark onscreen again. In Fire & Blood, Jace meets Cregan at Winterfell, but we don't see the Stark stronghold in either of the trailers. Instead, we see Jace and Cregan talking atop the Wall, which does not happen in the book.

I'm guessing the producers saw an excuse to feature the Wall on the show and decided to go for it. The story should remain the same: Jace meets Cregan and convinces him to support the Blacks. And if we get to see the Night's Watch again and have our nostalgia bone tickled, all the better.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

5. Blood and Cheese and aftermath

This is a big one. One of the most horrific events described in Fire & Blood is something we could call "the Blood and Cheese incident." After King Aegon's brother Aemond kills Queen Rhaenyra's son Luke, Rhaenyra's husband Daemon takes it upon himself to get revenge on behalf of his wife. (Luke was Rhaenyra's son from a previous marriage.) He reaches out to a contact he has in King's Landing — probably the information broker Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) — who hires a pair of mercenaries: Blood, a former member of the Goldcloaks, the city watch of King's Landing; and Cheese, a former ratcatcher in the Red Keep who knows its secret passages very well. Their mission: sneak into the Red Keep, find the children of King Aegon and Queen Helaena (Phia Saban), and kill one of them. As the book puts it, "a son for a son."

We see hints of these events in the trailer. In the shot below, it looks like Daemon has returned to King's Landing himself, wearing his signature crime hoodie. Remember: Daemon formed the Goldcloaks back in season 1, so he still has people in their ranks willing to help him. The figure on the other side of the gate may be Blood, played by actor Sam C. Wilson. In this version of the story, Blood might be a current Goldcloak rather than a former one. He'll probably open the gate for his former boss, even if Daemon is persona non grata in King's Landing at this time.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Below, we have a shot of Blood and Cheese (Mark Stobbart) winding their way through the back passages of the Red Keep:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

In Fire & Blood, Blood and Cheese find Queen Helaena visiting her mother Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) along with her children: the twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera and the young boy Maelor. Blood and Cheese tie up Alicent, and then force Helaena to choos which of her sons they will kill, or else they'll kill them both. Under intense pressure, Helaena selects Maelor. Blood beheads Jaehaerys instead. In the show, Maelor may not exist, so the choice might be between Jaehaerys and Jaehaera.

Helaena never recovers from the incident. Above, we see her and Alicent in funeral garb. Below, Jaehaerys' father King Aegon beats someone with a club in anger. This may well be Blood, who in the book is captured before he can escape King's Landing.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

The Blood and Cheese incident is another step up in the escalation of the war. And they just keep coming:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

6. The Battle of Rook's Rest

The Battle of the Burning Mill is a fairly low-key scrap. No one asked the Blackwoods and the Brackens to fight each other; they just do that anyway at the barest provocation. Later in the season, probably in Episode 4, we will get to see the Battle of Rook's Rest, which is a battle on a whole different level.

The battle happens when Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) marches a Green army to Rook's Rest, the castle of Lord Staunton, who supports Rhaenyra. Lord Staunton calls for aid, so Rhaenyra dispatches her advisor and former mother-in-law Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), who flies in on her dragon Meleys.

But Criston Cole is ready. He's brought TWO dragonriders just in case this sort of thing happened: Aemond Targaryen is here on Vhagar, the largest living dragon in the world, and King Aegon II Targaryen is here on his dragon Sunfyre. This battle happens after the Blood and Cheese incident, so by this point the war is very personal for Aegon.

What follows is a brutal battle that plays out both on the ground and in the air. By the end, at least one major character is dead. The cast and crew spent a long time filming this scene, so expect it to be one of the biggest sequences of the season. We get some quick glimpses of it in the trailers:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /
House of the Dragon season 2, Vhagar at Battle of Rook's Rest
House of the Dragon season 2, Vhagar at Battle of Rook's Rest / House of the Dragon season 2 teaser trailer
Screenshot 2024-03-21 at 11.41.33 AM.png
Screenshot 2024-03-21 at 11.41.33 AM.png /

Hopefully, the Battle of Rook's Rest will be every bit as spectacular as the biggest and best battle scenes from Game of Thrones. Mark down July 7 on your calendar and get ready to keep score.

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

7. Cargyll vs Cargyll

Towards the end of House of the Dragon season 1, we met a pair of twin brothers named Arryk and Erryk Cargyll, played by real-life twin brothers Luke and Elliot Tittensor. (I have no idea why parents would name their twin sons Arryk and Erryk, but that's a question for George R.R. Martin.) Arryk and Erryk both join the Kingsguard, but when King Viserys dies and suddenly there are two claimaints to the Iron Throne, they split, with Arryk supporting King Aegon while Erryk backs Queen Rhaenyra. Family gatherings are going to be unbelievably awkward.

Actually, they go well beyond awkward: in Fire & Blood, the Greens hatch a plans to assassinate Rhaenyra by sending Arryk Cargyll off to Dragonstone, figuring that the rank and file will assume he's his brother. Of course the brothers run into each other and fight to the death. The screenshot above shows one of the brothers — I honestly don't know which — fighting what I assume to be the other.

The Tittensor brothers know this scene is coming. The other day they posted mirrored Instagram messages, with Elliot writing, "I swear to ward the Queen," while Luke wrote, "I swear to ward the King."

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

8. Meet the dragonseeds

Later in the season, Rhaenyra Targaryen will find herself with more live dragons than she has people to ride them. Not willing to leave such powerful weapons just grazing around doing nothing, she puts out a call: anyone who can tame and ride these beasts as part of her war effort will be given lands and titles. Many try. Most die. But a few succeed. These are the dragonseeds.

In Fire & Blood, there are four dragonseeds:

  • Addam of Hull, a good-hearted young guy who rides the dragon Seasmoke
  • Hugh Hammer, a pugilistic man who rides the dragon Vermithor
  • Ulf White, a drunk who rides the dragon Silverwing
  • Nettles, who rides the dragon Sheepstealer

In the picture above, we see Rhaenyra sitting down to dinner with three of the dragonseeds: Addam of Hull (Clinton Liberty) on the lower left, Ulf White (Tom Bennett) in the lower middle, and Hugh Hammer (Kieran Bew) in the lower right. Seated near Rhaenyra are her son Jace and her step-daughter Baela (Bethany Antonia), who ride the dragons Vermax and Moondancer respectively. Essentially, this is Rhaenyra addressing her air force.

But what of the fourth dragonseed from the book, Nettles? Well, that brings us to our final point, which is less something we noticed in the trailers and more something that's noticably absent:

9. Nettles and Daeron Targaryen are missing

Although some fans think they see Nettles in the on-set photo above, she doesn't show up in the trailer at all, nor have we heard anything about an actor playing her. Maybe the show is cutting her from the story. Maybe they're pushing her story back to season 3. Maybe Baela Targaryen will take over her role; there are several shots of Baela riding her dragon Moondancer in the trailer, which is a bit ahead of schedule from the book:

House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Time will tell if Nettles show up on House of the Dragon; I very much hope she does, sooner or later. Another character from the books who's missing from the show is Daeron Targaryen, the younger brother of King Aegon, Aemond and Helaena Targaryen. He wasn't mentioned in season 1, he doesn't appear in the trailers, and we haven't heard of any actor cast in the part.

At least House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal addressed Daeron's seeming absence. "Daeron is a fixture and a character in the show," he assured fans. "Do not fret, anybody. All in due time."

Does that mean Daeron will be in season 2 but we just haven't heard about it yet? What about Nettles? Some questions will just have to be answered when the show premieres on HBO and Max on June 16.

Next. hotd new actors. Every new actor joining House of the Dragon in season 2 (and who they're playing). dark

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