Second of His Name

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"Second of His Name"
House of the Dragon episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 3
Directed byGreg Yaitanes
Written by
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byPepe Avila del Pino
Editing byTim Porter
Original air dateSeptember 4, 2022 (2022-09-04)
Running time63 minutes
Episode chronology
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"The Rogue Prince"
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"King of the Narrow Sea"
List of episodes

"Second of His Name" is the third episode of the first season of the HBO fantasy drama television series House of the Dragon. It first aired on September 4, 2022. It was written by series creator Ryan Condal and writer Gabe Fonseca, and directed by Greg Yaitanes.

The episode introduced three new co-starring cast members, Jefferson Hall as the twins Lord Jason and Ser Tyland Lannister, Matthew Needham as Larys "Clubfoot" Strong, and Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin "Breakbones" Strong.

It received mostly positive reviews from critics, with praise going towards the production values, the battle sequences at Stepstones, chemistry between Rhaenyra and Cole, and performances (particularly Smith's), though some criticized the writing and pacing.

Plot

Three years on, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Lord Corlys Velaryon's (Steve Toussaint) war in the Stepstones archipelago is going badly. Enemy commander Craghas "Crabfeeder" Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) and his forces have engaged in guerilla tactics, raiding Velaryon fleets at night and retreating into deep caves whenever Daemon launches attacks on his dragon.

Meanwhile, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) having married King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and given birth to a son, Aegon, is expecting another child and estranged from her former friend, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock). Viserys, ignoring news from the Stepstones, leads the court on a hunt to celebrate Aegon's second nameday; he hopes to kill a white hart, which is believed to be a good omen for royalty. Believing Viserys plans to name Aegon heir to the throne instead of her, Rhaenyra storms away from the camp, with only her Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), following.

Viserys dismisses Lord Jason Lannister's (Jefferson Hall) marriage suit for Rhaenyra, while Hand of the King Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) proposes betrothing Rhaenyra to Aegon (who is Otto's grandson). Master of Laws Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) advises Viserys to wed Rhaenyra to Corlys Velaryon's son, Ser Laenor (Theo Nate) as a means to heal the rift between Houses Targaryen and Velaryon.

While camped overnight in the woods, Rhaenyra and Criston are attacked by a wild boar that tramples Criston and nearly bites Rhaenyra before the two kill it. Before returning to camp, Rhaenyra encounters the white hart and allows it to go unharmed; elsewhere, Viserys takes two attempts to kill a regular stag.

After the hunt, Viserys assures Rhaenyra that he will not replace her as heir, but urges her to find an influential husband to gain more support for her claim to the Iron Throne. Privately, Otto tells Alicent that the realm's nobles will favor Aegon being king, regardless of Viserys's plan regarding Rhaenyra.

Alicent advises Viserys to send reinforcements to the Stepstones. When a messenger brings word of Viserys's decision, Daemon refuses to accept his brother's aid. He feigns surrender to lure the Crabfeeder's army into the open, at which point the Velaryon infantry, led by Corlys and his younger brother, Vaemond (Wil Johnson), launch a counterattack. At the same time, Ser Laenor cuts off the enemy's escape route with his dragon. Daemon pursues Drahar into the caverns and kills him as the Velaryon forces claim victory.

Reception

Ratings

The episode was watched by more than 16 million U.S. viewers on all platforms during the first three days following the premiere, based on data from the Nielsen Corporation and HBO. HBO Max viewership on Monday was up 27% compared to the previous episode.[1]

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the episode received an approval rating of 84% based on 105 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's critical consensus said, "After viewers acclimate to the jarring time-skip, 'Second of His Name' quickly finds its stride with a focus on infernal politicking, rousing spectacle, and some rather nasty crabs."[2]

Writing for Den of Geek, Alec Bojalad rated the episode four out of five stars and said, "In many ways, 'Second of His Name' provides the most compelling evidence yet that the show knows what it's doing. [...] [It] is almost purely an original creation of the show's writers as none of its most climactic moments can be found on any page from a distinct point of view." He also praised its writing, production design, and costumes, as well as the scene between Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole.[3] Nick Hilton of The Independent also rated it four out of five stars.[4] IGN's Helen O'Hara gave it a "good" 7 out of 10 and wrote in her verdict: "This episode is a slow burn that introduces new characters and indulges in gossip before unleashing that huge, fiery finale. [...] While it's all starting to feel a bit familiar, this episode still manages to keep our attention – and sneak in some good dragon action."[5] Molly Edwards of GamesRadar+ gave it a four out of five stars and summarized it with "another rock-solid entry in House of the Dragon's first season, shuffling the pieces into place for more epic battles to come" and further praised the performances of Smith and Carey.[6] Kimberly Roots of TVLine also praised Carey's performance.[7]

In a mixed review, Michael Deacon of The Telegraph rated it three out of five stars. He criticized the show for continuing to be a "slow-burner" and expressed his disappointment for killing off the Crabfeeder way too soon, although he praised the battle scene at Stepstones and called it "spectacular".[8] Vulture's Hillary Kelly also gave it a rating of three out of five and criticized some parts of the writing, however she praised the opening and the battle scene, as well as Smith's performance.[9] Jenna Scherer of The A.V. Club graded the episode with a "C+" and wrote, "the episode is centered around the world's most anticlimactic stag hunt, an absurdly lavish affair on the edge of the Kingswood in celebration of Aegon's birthday," while praising Alcock's performance, Rhaenyra's chemistry with Ser Criston Cole, and also the battle scene.[10]

References

  1. ^ Rice, Lynette (September 7, 2022). "'House Of The Dragon' Week 3 Ratings: HBO Drama On Pace With 16 Million-Plus Viewers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  2. ^ "House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 3, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Bojalad, Alec (September 4, 2022). "House of the Dragon Episode 3 Review: Second of His Name". Den of Geek. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  4. ^ Hilton, Nick (September 5, 2022). "House of the Dragon recap, episode 3: Heavy is the head of Paddy Considine's troubled king". The Independent. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  5. ^ O'Hara, Helen (September 5, 2022). "House of the Dragon - Episode 3 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  6. ^ Edwards, Molly (September 4, 2022). "House of the Dragon episode 3 review: "Finally, the dragons in all their glory"". GamesRadar+. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  7. ^ Roots, Kimberly (September 4, 2022). "House of the Dragon Recap: A Bloody Boar and One Very Cooked Crab". TVLine. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  8. ^ Deacon, Michael (September 5, 2022). "House of the Dragon, episode 3 review: is anyone else a bit bored of the dragons?". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  9. ^ Kelly, Hillary (September 4, 2022). "House of the Dragon Recap: Green-Eyed Monster". Vulture. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Scherer, Jenna (September 4, 2022). "On House Of The Dragon, just about everyone is over Viserys". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 5, 2022.

External links