Power-ranking the House of the Dragon characters following THAT wedding announcement
Two new unions that will rock the Kingdom to its core...
Hello and welcome to our weekly power-ranking of the characters of the first season of House Of The Dragon.
Need a quick reminder on this 200-years-earlier prequel to Game Of Thrones? Click right here.
Each week, we'll be listing all of the major characters who have died - OUT! - as well as ranking them from the least likely to make it to the next episode, all the way up to who is the most likely to be ruling Westeros as we know it come the series' end.
So here we go, the power-ranking for the second episode of House Of The Dragon, titled The Rogue Prince...
OUT! - All of those sailors fed to the crabs
We finally get our first proper look at the outside threat against the King and his Kingdom, and it isn't looking great, is it? A group of pirates that feeds their still-living victims to an endless sea of vicious crabs. No thank you. Plus that final glimpse at what we assume is the leader is definitely giving some Pirates Of The Caribbean vibes.
Is there more to this threat than simply a group of regular (albeit still incredibly violent) pirates? Have they been intrinsically changed by their time on the waves? We'll have to wait and sea... Pirate pun, nailed it.
TEN - King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine)
When you've got your almost-completely-rotted-off finger being feasted on by a bowl full of maggots, you know things aren't exactly going your way.
Poor Viserys had an awful time of it this week, between having to turn down the potential courtship of a 12-year-old (yeesh), to then informing everyone that he is replacing his dead wife with his daughter's BFF...
And that is all without mentioning the fact that he doesn't seem to be in any kind of hurry to sort out that pirate problem. He just wants to be left alone with his model city, and frankly we don't blame him.
NINE - Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno)
She had no idea that Daemon was (A) going to marry her, and (B) going to get her pregnant, so the honeymoon period is officially over between the two of them. She's also super aware now that by tying herself to the rogue prince, she's become as big a target for the king and his allies as Daemon is.
On the plus side, Daemon seemed very easily talked out of having that child, so maybe that won't be as big a problem as she'd feared. Either way, we feel she's not long for this world.
EIGHT - The various Lords and Grand Maesters on the Council
They've raised themselves slightly on our survivors list solely because they all seem so unlikely to get into any sort of fight. They'll survive purely by avoiding trouble, which is somewhat clever in its own right.
But there is no guaranteed safety even in the King's court. If there is any kind of power grab, one or more of them will find themselves at ground zero.
SEVEN - Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)
Well, he got what he wanted, didn't he? Six months ago (in case you missed it, there was a six-month jump between episode one and two, so prepare for a lot of that), he suggested his daughter go visit the grieving King, and now here we are, she's his next wife.
That subtle pawn-placement won't be unnoticed, least of all by Corlys who was convinced he was about to be father to the future queen. Otto took too much relish in the King's marriage announcement, so we're slowly getting to see the true Machiavellian machinations of the King's Hand. And it won't be long before someone reacts poorly to his actions.
SIX - Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)
Wow. He managed to piss pretty much everyone off. AGAIN. Well... nearly everyone. Snatching dragon eggs intended for the King's son before he passed away, announcing a second marriage, an incoming pregnancy, taking over an entire castle without asking permission... Daemon is chaos personified, and he's just having a ball taking a hammer to common decency.
If it weren't for that last minute team up with Lord Corlys, we'd have guessed that everyone - right down to his "Thanks but no thanks" second wife - had designs to bump him off. But aligning himself with arguably the greatest warrior leader in the kingdom is a very smart move. Unless he manages to piss Corlys off too, then he's on his own.
FIVE - Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint)
He's having his sailors killed, his daughter was rejected by the King, and the council don't seem super interested in anything he has to say.
Criston has had enough, and he's not going to take it anymore. Teaming up with Daemon doesn't seem like the smartest decision ever made, but it is an interesting allegiance, as it essentially puts the two best groups of warriors in the kingdom together. But since Criston has built most of his empire at sea, and most of the troubles right now (at least externally) are sea-based, we imagine he's about to put himself into the middle of the action.
He's clearly a great warrior leader, but will all of the recent issues cause him to be clouded by anger?
FOUR - Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best)
The Queen Who Never Was has filled her pot up to the top, and spilling that true T left, right and centre. Carpet bombing truth bombs with anyone she crosses paths with, she joins her husband in sorta-pimping out their 12-year-old daughter to the King in order to strengthen their position, Rhaenys then sets her target on Princess Rhaenyra.
The King's daughter is just as good at the vicious one-liners as her auntie, but unfortunately Rhaenys is armed with knowledge and experience that Rhaenyra simply doesn't possess. She might be a big meanie, but she's also being very honest: the men of this kingdom won't give power to women without a fight. How involved in that fight Rhaenys intends to get remains to be seen.
THREE - Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey)
We can all see where this is going, right? Alicent is going to have a male heir with the King, and that heir is going to be the biggest competition for the throne against Rhaenyra, despite the fact that she has just been named the rightful heir herself.
That final scene between Alicent and Rhaenyra was absolutely heartbreaking, as the princess begins to clock what is about to happen before the King makes the official announcement. Alicent can barely make eye-contact with her BFF, knowing the betrayal will likely drive them apart forever.
She'll hang around long enough to give the King that son, plus we know that her character remains around long enough to be played by an older actress in future episodes. But still, we feel Rhaeynra is the last person you'd want to piss off.
TWO - Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel)
Continuing to rise through the ranks of power, Criston has now been personally hired by the Princess to join the King's Guard. If they continue making dreamy eyes at each other like this, we imagine they'll be making their own potential heir to the crown themselves. The son of Criston and Rhaenyra versus the son of Alicent and Viserys, we imagine that is what this is all going to come down.
Criston has also managed to defeat Daemon both in battle and with witty wordplay, so he's officially our hero right now.
ONE - Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock)
Instead of letting Otto potentially start a war with the King's brother, she decides to get on her dragon's back, ride into the confrontation and use her wits and words to put an end to the squabble.
Rhaenyra is proving to very much have what it takes to be a capable leader, but unfortunately everyone - including her own father, who has named her future Queen himself (for now) - doesn't have the slightest amount of faith in her.
And then her BFF goes and gets engaged to the King, and Rhaenyra has learned the hard way that she probably can't and shouldn't trust anyone, even all of the people in her life she loved. That will be an important lesson going forward.
House of the Dragon Episode Three - titled Second of his Name - will be available to watch on NOW and Sky from Monday, 5 September.