It looks like [SPOILER] won't appear in House of the Dragon season 2, and I'm upset

The second season of House of the Dragon will introduce us to a bevy of new characters, but a fan favorite from Fire & Blood seems to be completely missing, with no mention from producers.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Yesterday, HBO dropped not one but two trailers for the second season of House of the Dragon, the network's Game of Thrones prequel show. One highlighted the members of Team Black, who support Rhaenyra Targaryen's claim to the Iron Throne, and the other focused on the members of Team Green, who support the claim of Rhaenyra's younger half-brother Aegon Targaryen.

If our incredibly informal metrics are any indication, people prefer the Team Black trailer to the Team Green one, probably because characters like Rhaenyra and her husband Daemon have proven more popular than characters like Aegon and his mother Alicent. The marketing for season 2 is pushing a narrative where each side is equally worth rooting for or against, but they have some work to do before people believe them.

In any case, both trailers are full of details and easter eggs that hint at things to come in the new season. If you're familiar with the source material — the book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin — you might also note some conspicuous absences. I want to talk about one of those absences today. Namely: where is Nettles the dragonseed?

Has House of the Dragon cut Nettles from season 2?

First, some background (please beware SPOILERS for Fire & Blood below). At the end of House of the Dragon season 1, two rival factions of the Targaryen dynasty were set to go to war with each other. King Viserys, who had long promised the throne to his eldest child and only daughter Rhaenyra, whose mother Queen Aemma passed at the very start of the series. But after King Viserys died, his new wife Alicent Hightower worked to endure that her eldest child by the king, Aegon, sat the Iron Throne instead.

So we have two claimants, each with powerful allies. For a minute, it looked like Rhaenyra and Alicent wanted to try and settle things without bloodshed, but that plan fell apart when Aegon's brother Aemond Targaryen killed Rhaenyra's son Lucerys Velaryon while the two were riding their dragons. War is here.

The first few episodes of House of the Dragon season 2 will deal with the first few volleys. Later in the war, Rhaenyra will find herself with a lot of dragons on hand, but too few people to ride them. In order to assemble an air force, she puts out a call: anyone who can tame and mount of these riderless dragons and promise to fight for Rhaenyra will be given lands and titles. Many answer the call. Many are maimed or killed. But a few do succeed. They 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

Of the four dragonseeds, Nettles is my favorite, because I think she has the best story. Addam, Hugh and Ulf are all peasants, but it's implied that they all have some kind of Valyrian ancestry, which could explain why they're able to tame and mount a dragon. Nettles, on the other hand, is an ordinary girl who gains the trust of the dragon Sheepstealer by simply bringing him a sheep to eat every day. She becomes a dragonrider by her wits alone, which I think is a really fun story in a show so concerned with legacy and conflicts between powerful members of ancient families.

So it sucks that of all the dragonseeds, it looks like she's the one who's gotten cut from the series.

Although HBO hasn't officially announced everything, we've known for a while who's playing Addam of Hull, Hugh Hammer, and Ulf White: Clinton Liberty, Kieran Bew, and Tom Bennett respectively. Clinton Liberty even showed up as Addam in the first trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 back in December, watching as the dragon Seasmoke flew overhead.

Addam also shows up in the new Team Black trailer, seated at a dinner table with Rhaenyra at the head. Also present are Kieran Bew as Hugh Hammer and Tom Bennett as Ulf White. And nearest Rhaenrya sits her son Jacaerys (Harry Collett) and her step-daughter Baela (Bethany Antonia), both of whom can already ride dragons by the end of the first season: Jacaerys rides Vermax and Baela rides Moondancer. This is Rhaenyra sitting down with her dragon-riding air force. The fact that Nettles isn't there is significant.

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

Why is House of the Dragon trying to destroy me?

Looking at the picture, I wonder if the show intends to replace Nettles with Baela. We see shots of her riding on Moondancer in the trailers, which isn't something she does until later in the story in Fire & Blood.

I think this would be a mistake for the reasons I outlined above: Nettles has a unique story and I think the show could benefit by including it. But I'm starting to lose hope, even if early set photos did feature a young dark-skinned woman who matched Nettles' description. Scoop-mongers online are reporting that Nettles will not appear in the second season, and the lack of information about an actor or any sight of her in the trailer speaks for itself.

Plus, the producers aren't talking about her. That's in contrast to what they're saying Daeron Targaryen, another character from Fire & Blood who has yet to turn up on the show or appear in the trailers. "Daeron is a fixture and a character in the show," showrunner Ryan Condal recently assured fans. "Do not fret, anybody. All in due time."

Personally, I would sooner lose Daeron than Nettles, and Condal has yet to address her absence. I will hope that, if Nettles isn't in House of the Dragon season 3, she'll turn up in season 3; I have to believe that her story is too good to jettison. But for now, I'm not expecting her to charm Sheepstealer once House of the Dragon starts airing on June 16.

Next. house of the dragon. Meet the newcomers in House of the Dragon season 2, including Cregan Stark!. dark

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