The dust is still settling from the chaos that was House of the Dragon’s season one finale but, like the gluttonous content consumers that we are, fans are already looking ahead to where the Dance of the Dragons might be headed in season two. Of course, we’ll likely have to wait two years before we see more dragons, one-eyed war criminals, and just plain bad wigs, but the silver lining of that long hiatus is that it gives us plenty of time to theorize which book storylines might be adapted when the Targaryen civil war picks up again.
Here are some of our predictions on which events from George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood source material might make the cut in season two and, more importantly, why.
Blood & Cheese
No, Blood & Cheese is not the title of Aegon II’s debut rap album – although, if anyone was going to use their royal clout to drop a hip-hop EP, it’d be this usurper. Instead, these seemingly innocuous words represent one of the most disturbing (and bloody) events in the coming Dance of the Dragons. In the books, they’re the names of two assassins, sent by The White Worm on Prince Daemon’s behalf to murder one of Aegon’s children. (Show watchers will remember he has twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, and eventually a younger son, Maelor, with his sister-wife, Helaena.) The agents of chaos draw out their kill order, forcing Helaena to choose which boy to sacrifice, delivering on a promise made to Rhaenyra by the Rogue Prince: “An eye for an eye, a son for a son.” The show would do well to launch its second season with the story of Blood & Cheese for a few reasons. First, it deals a blow to Team Green, evening the score a bit as, up until now, Rhaenyra has suffered the most in this Civil War. Second, it establishes that both sides of the conflict are willing to commit horrible crimes in the name of power, adding a nuance to the “good vs. bad” battle waging between House Targaryen and House Hightower. And finally, it pushes Helaena’s character to the brink – something that will likely come back to haunt Rhaenyra if/when she finally takes the Red Keep during the war.
Daemon Recruits Dragon Riders
Sure, Daemon is a bit too gung-ho to go to war in House of the Dragon’s season one finale but, unlike the rest of his kin, he’s actually seen battle atop a dragon and he knows what that kind of firepower can mean in an all-out conflict. He may be stepping out of bounds by pushing Rhaenyra to harness their biggest weapon so early in the Dance, but he’s not wrong. Team Black has dragons and they should use them. The only problem? A dragon needs a rider. In Martin’s book, Daemon makes it his mission to recruit dragon seeds – low-born men and women with either Valyrian ancestry or the ability to tame dragons– to serve as dragon riders in their fight against The Greens. He succeeds too, finding illegitimate children belonging to both House Targaryen and House Velaryon to claim dragons such as Vermithor and Seasmoke. It feels pretty crucial to HOTD’s future storylines to have Daemon, and later Jacaerys Velaryon, campaign for more dragon riders to join Team Black. After all, the show promised fans we’d see more dragons, and more dragons fighting each other, than we ever did in Game of Thrones.
Cregan Stark Arrives
One fan-favorite character from Martin’s book that we’ve yet to see is the Lord of Winterfell, Cregan Stark. While Game of Thrones devoted plenty of time to that house just south of The Wall, House of the Dragon has avoided introducing most of the great lords north of the Riverlands in order to focus on the main players in the Dance. Still, House Stark swore an oath to support Rhaenyra Targaryen’s claim and they’d be a valuable ally in her war against the Hightowers, which is why she sends her eldest son Jacaerys to Winterfell to treat with its young lord. In the book, Cregan Stark is described as an expert swordsman with a formidable air and a strong sense of loyalty to Team Black. He proves instrumental in the succession rights of Rhaenyra’s sons during the latter half of the dance but season two would be a great chance to introduce the character and build his friendship with Jace before things get bloody for both men.
Rhaenys Enters The Fight
Until this point, The Queen Who Never Was has been happy to sit on the sidelines, sipping her wine and watching her family squabble over a crown that was rightfully hers. Rhaenys has seen so much loss in her short life that she’s vehemently against killing for killing’s sake. And yet, she supports Rhaenyra’s claim, all but ensuring a Civil War will break out because she views her cousin as the realm’s best chance at peace. Still, just because Rhaenys prefers a pacifist response to conflict doesn’t mean she won’t jump on her dragon and burn sh*t to the ground if need be. She’s a vital member of Rhaenyra’s war council in the book, even taking over operations with her husband, Lord Corlys, after Rhaenyra’s grief gets the better of her. And Rhaenys doesn’t waste her dragon either, entering Meleys into the fray during a battle at Rooks Rest – a port Team Black hopes to hold hostage to cripple the Hightowers’ supply chain. Whether that bloody confrontation happens in season two or not is still anyone’s guess, but we’d like to see more of Rhaenys taking the reigns and showing every Westerosi lord who voted against her succession just how stupid their misogyny made them look.
A Queen’s Landing Finale
Rhaenyra may be down for the count after House of the Dragon’s season finale, but she’s not out of the game for the Iron Throne just yet. In fact, despite suffering some terrible losses in season one, her campaign to retake King’s Landing is successful … for a time. Team Black’s dragon count, and their allies in the north, help them to build an army that takes full advantage of some of Team Green’s biggest strategic blunders, eventually leading Rhaenyra to return to the Red Keep and sit on that sword-covered seat. Plenty of battles happen before then of course, but as far as possible season two finales go, Rhaenyra’s Kings Landing comeback seems like a frontrunner.
Aemond Embraces His Villain Era
So far, House of the Dragon has painted Aemond Targaryen with a much more forgiving brush than Martin’s source material. In the book, Aemond is a raging sociopath with violent tendencies and impulse control issues. (Okay fine, so he’s not that much different.) But on the show, some of Aemond’s most significant character-defining moments have been humanized. His claiming of Vhagar felt less like an intentional slight to Laena Velaryon’s memory and more like the desperate attempt of a boy to prove himself to his family. His obsession with training and swordplay – and his tendency to draw steel to settle every conflict – felt less homicidal and more like the insecure actions of a man who was never truly loved by his parents, and viewed as a monster by his court because of his disfigurement. Even Aemond’s kinslaying moment was called into question when the show made it seem like his dragon, Vhagar, disobeyed his commands and decided to treat herself to a Team Black snack. But, if Aemond – and by extension, the HOTD writers – is smart, he’ll claim that death as a victory for Team Green, convincing everyone he meant to do it to add to his already intimidating reputation. Aemond doesn’t have to be a straight-up villain, but he needs to appear to be one to his enemies because, right now, he’s the only wild card Team Green’s got.
Our final prediction for season two has less to do with storylines and more to do with a defining feature of House Targaryen. We’re talking about the wigs, you guys. Can everyone pull off fine silver locks that wisp down one’s back like Ewan Mitchell? Of course not, but there’s no reason for some of the heinous hairstyles fans were treated to in season one. From Daemon’s early looks to those poor Velaryon children and even Rhaenys’ up-dos, the real war crimes committed on this show happened in the hair and makeup department. Let’s do better, HOTD.