Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

House Of The Dragon Just Gave Us One Of The Most Unsettling Scenes Yet In Westeros

It's safe to say that our time in Westeros has involved some stomach-churning situations that, given a chance, we'd like to take some milk of the poppy to forget about. Plenty of players in HBO's "Game of Thrones" were scarred physically and mentally via their own personal journeys, which left audiences wincing on their couches for eight epic seasons. Now it appears that after only two episodes of "House of the Dragon," the prequel series has set another bar for uncomfortable viewing in its second episode.

While King Viserys (Paddy Considine) mourns the loss of his wife, Aemma (Sian Brooke), his 'allies' have already begun moving their available pieces to get their own slice of the crown. The queen's ashes weren't even cold last week, and Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) made a swift suggestion to his daughter, Alicent (Emma Carey), to visit the king's chamber privately to provide both empathy and allure. It proved to be a tactic others were keen to replicate, as this week, Viserys was approached yet again for a potential bride through an underplayed and utterly unspeakable encounter.

Laena Velaryon's offer to Viserys was royally messed up

Many talks and tactical maneuvers have been implemented during a walk through the garden at King's Landing — discussions of death (recent or yet to occur), royal matters, and battle plans over cake and wine. And yet none may have made stomaches turn quite so slowly as the excruciating conversation between King Viserys and Laena Velaryon (Nova Foueillis-Mosé), daughter of Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussant) and Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). What begins as an innocent encounter between a child and a king becomes something far more sinister as Laena, the 12-year-old and youngest member of the Velaryon family, puts herself forward as potential marriage material to the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

The penny doesn't take long to drop for Viserys, who quickly realizes what's happening as Laena explains that when she comes of age (at 14), she'll be willing to bear children if he wishes. She might be making the suggestion, but her parents clearly constructed it. The whole sequence is a grotesque and skin-crawling discussion expertly played out by both Considine and his young co-star, Foueillis-Mosé. However, it's one that, through horrific but skillfully muted means, displays not just the nature of the characters at the moment but those that are decidedly absent from it. More importantly, it reminds audiences of just what kind of world they've been away from, no matter how many years this new visit may precede the last.

Laena's offer is an unflinching refresher in the Game of Thrones rulebook

As much as White Walkers are cold, "House of the Dragon" confirms that, even the century before Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) wed Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), females are bargaining chips first and people second. Antiquated and immoral as that is, it really shouldn't surprise us. Still, this particular moment catches us off guard for the normalcy of it all. On a stroll through the grounds, Viserys realizes what dark dealings some of his council are willing to do for their name to be alongside his. It's an unimaginable observation that says as much about the crowned Targaryen as the family wanting to share it.

While it's clear by the end of this week's installment that Corlys is happy to switch sides if necessary, the unthinkable 'proposal' he discreetly puts forward establishes that the Lord of the Tides is far more rotten than the rest at the council table. Such developments, of which the aftermath isn't massively highlighted within the Velaryon family this week, could be something that comes back on the head of the household. With a time jump set to clock in soon, we might see an older, wiser Laena settle such family matters in typical "Game of Thrones" fashion. Blood is thicker than water, after all.