PG Score: 8.5/10
House of the Dragon is available on HBO Max. New episodes every Sunday at 9 PM ET.
*SOME SPOILERS BELOW*
After the phenomenal premiere episode and the news that it had been renewed for a second season, House of the Dragon came back to Earth a bit with its second episode, "The Rogue Prince."
Since Episode 1:
Set six months after the first episode, we find that things haven't been going smoothly for House Targaryen. Still mourning the death of Aemma Targaryen, Viserys and Rhaenyra have drifted further apart, while Prince Daemon has disobeyed his brother and set up shop at Dragonstone. Political machinations are growing around the King and the more the family divide grows, the easier it is for the vultures of court to try and take their piece. On top of this, news from the Stepstones worsens as the dreaded Craghas Crabfeeder is establishing his dominance over the islands and the shipping lanes.
Stunning Sights and Sounds
The opening title is back. The same score from Game of Thrones, this opening follows a path of blood through what looks to be Old Valyria, perhaps the one that King Viserys started carving out last week. Sets and costumes are always amazing on this show, but this week's episode features even more color and house sigils. Vibrant colors drew the eye and helped establish who was whom.
This episode took us to more locations than last week's, and while we have been to Dragonstone in the last series, it was very interesting to see it with the fog and two forces opposing one another. We got to see the Stepstones and what we saw looks promising, even if all we saw was the beaches and the Crabfeeder's brutality. The last new set was inside the solar of Driftmark, the home of the Velaryon. New sets and similar scores, even without Game of Thrones, create a world that is well developed and feels like you've been there before.
Setting the Table
A lot of "The Rogue Prince" was setting up future conflicts and partnerships. Everyone is trying to marry the King off, some even to their 12-year-old daughter, despite him having named Rhaenyra his heir. Speaking of Rhaenyra, she stepped up big-time this week despite Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, doing his best to push her away. War is brewing and alliances are being made as the show continues to build tension between all involved. It was a very enjoyable episode that, while not as good as the first, is a solid prelude to a lot of what is to come.