House Of The Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 Ending Explained


House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3, has some of the season’s most shocking reveals and powerful moments, with a ton of new material to break down. The House of the Dragon season 1 ending saw Westeros barreling toward war, with Aemond Targaryen slaying Lucerys Velaryon on dragonback. Season 2 has seen Rhaenyra and the Black faction respond to this atrocity with a terrible, violent act of their own. The third episode importantly examines the idea that, though an understanding can be met, a cycle of blood has already begun, and there’s no going back.

House of the Dragon’s cast continues to excel in their roles. While the first season saw most of the ensemble gathered for various weddings, funerals, and other events, everyone is now spread out. Daemon Targaryen has begun his mission to bring the Riverlands onto the Blacks’ side, capturing Harrenhal with ease as he battles his inner demons. For the Greens, Criston Cole has mobilized the Hightower forces with a new strategy. Most importantly, Alicent and Rhaenyra have met for the first time since King Viserys’ demise, bringing Westeros its last chance to avoid all-out bloodshed.

Alicent & Rhaenyra’s Reunion & The Importance Of Aegon’s Dream

Rhaenyra Finally Learns About King Viserys Targaryen’s Final Words

The most significant dangling thread in Alicent and Rhaenyra’s reunion is the former’s misinterpretation of King Viserys Targaryen’s final words. In delirium, the late Lord of the Seven Kingdoms spoke of Aegon’s dream, the Conqueror’s vision that tells of the Song of Ice & Fire (the events of Game of Thrones). Alicent, who doesn’t know the prophecy, believes that Viserys changed his mind at the last moment to declare his son, Aegon, as the king. This sets the Greens’ capturing of the throne in season 1, episode 9, in motion.

Rhaenyra prods Alicent for information about King Viserys’ final words, eventually realizing Alicent’s mistake. She corrects her, explaining that Aegon’s Dream is a story, which Alicent acknowledges, realizing her mistake. It’s important to note that Alicent believed she was doing the right thing, which corresponded to Viserys’ wishes, as she loved him to some degree. This prophecy is original to the TV series, helping Alicent be a more sympathetic character, as the book Fire & Blood makes it seem as if her motivation is simply to help her son usurp the throne from Rhaenyra.

Importantly, there’s more to this scene than just the aspect of Aegon’s prophecy, as it’s also about Rhaenyra’s arc for the season. In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3 director Geeta Vasant Patel provided some insight, tying Rhaenyra’s motivations to her relationship with her late father. Rhaenyra wants to know if Viserys actually changed his mind, and she’s ultimately validated in her cause, knowing herself to be the rightful heir after all. Patel’s full quote can be read below:

In my mind, and this is what Emma [D’Arcy] and I talked about, she’s there because her dad walked down that aisle in episode 8 and told her, “I love you, and I choose you.” He had not chosen her before; nobody had chosen Rhaenyra. That was a big moment for her, and now everything that happened is thrown away because apparently he said, “No, no, I take that back. It’s not her. It’s this other guy.” Rhaenyra was there to ask, “Did my father love me? Did he lie to me?” And that’s what that moment’s about. That’s where, in the scene, you’ll see that’s where Rhaenyra is most emotional.

Why Alicent Says It’s Too Late To Stop The Civil War After Realizing Her Mistake

Alicent Knows She’s Wrong, But It’s Too Late To Turn Back

Despite Alicent realizing her mistake about Aegon’s prophecy, she brushes the fact away, saying it’s too late to stop anything. Rhaenyra came in hopes of reaching an understanding, which they do, but too much has already gone awry for things to turn around. This gives Rhaenyra the necessary closure to continue to take action, while Alicent now has to come to grips with guilt about what’s happened. She’s already begun to see how flawed Aegon is as king, but the moment he was planted on the Iron Throne, it became irreversible.

Alicent and Rhaenyra are deeply flawed, but they possess a wisdom and restraint that few characters in the series have considered.

Aegon is the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Aemond Targaryen killed Lucerys in the skies above Storm’s End, Blood & Cheese assassinated the little Jaehaerys Targaryen, and both factions have called banners and begun to march their armies for war. Alicent and Rhaenyra are deeply flawed, but they possess a wisdom and restraint that few characters in the series have considered. Still, in the same sense that Alicent has lost her grasp on Aegon and Aemond, Rhaenyra could hardly recall Daemon back to Dragonstone peacefully. The Dance of the Dragons has begun.

Milly Alcock’s Return As Rhaenyra Explained

Daemon Reflects On His Fallout With Rhaenyra In Episode 2

One of episode 3’s most shocking twists was the return of Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen. Before the magnificent Emma D’Arcy stepped into the role in late season 1, Alcock expertly laid the foundation for Rhaenyra, portraying her in her younger years. This crucially comes after Daemon and Rhaenyra’s blow-up argument in episode 2. Upon Daemon’s arrival in Harrenhal, he begins to experience delusions of his surroundings, with the dreary, ancient halls fusing with his emotions following his dramatic fallout with Rhaenyra. Geeta Vasant Patel provided some insight into Daemon’s narrative for the season, saying:

This is not an isolated scene because, if it’s just him arriving in Harrenhal, you can put it anywhere at any time. But what’s important is that Daemon gave his heart to Rhaenyra. He married her when he’s not a marrying kind of guy. He doesn’t let anyone in, but he let her in. And she, in episode 2, pushed him away and told him he was dirt; he was ugly. That hit him like a bullet, and he doesn’t take bullets.

Daemon is incredibly emotional after their argument, and his usual method of processing emotion is anger. He feels immense guilt for the role he played in murdering a child. Patel confirms that Daemon is seeing the younger version of Rhaenyra because that’s the version that looked up to him, not down on him, adding: “At least in my eyes, that’s what it was. ‘That’s the Rhaenyra I know,'” referring to how Daemon may have processed seeing her. This is the first time he’s shown regret for killing, emboldened by the shame he feels for hurting Rhaenyra.

What Baela & Moondancer Chasing Criston Cole Sets Up

The Dragons Have Been Unleashed For War

House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3, saw its first glimpse at dragon action with Baela riding Moondancer. In a thrilling scene, she catches Ser Criston Cole and Ser Gwayne Hightower out in the open, descending on them from the skies. This shows some character definition for Baela, who’s been relegated to the background for most of her time. In Fire & Blood, she takes after Daemon’s wildness and notably doesn’t listen to Rhaenyra’s orders to fly high and avoid trouble. However, the scene has broader implications for House of the Dragon season 2.

Dragons have been loosed, and episode 3 is the precipice of the Dance of the Dragons living up to its name. Criston Cole has tried his best to keep his army below the tree line, but they’ve now been spotted, and Rhaenyra’s side knows they’ve mobilized. Baela alerts the Blacks to the Greens’ movements, which moves the conflict forward, as both sides must take immediate action toward war.

What To Expect From House Of The Dragon Season 2, Episode 4

The Pieces Are In Place For The Dance Of The Dragons To Begin

Season 2, episode 4 is titled “Dance of Dragons,” suggesting a follow-up to the conflicts established in episode 3. All the pieces are placed in their positions on the board, with Rhaenyra and Alicent now openly accepting that war is the only way forward. Blood has already been spilled, but now House of the Dragon is in position to see major forces collide, with armies and dragons clashing.