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House Of The Dragon Episode 2 Proves That A Targaryen Can Get Burned

The first two episodes of HBO's epic fantasy series "House of the Dragon" take their time building the pre-"Game of Thrones" world of Westeros and populating it with a cast of nefarious schemers, heroic champions and, of course, dragons. There's also more than one prince, princess or other interested party with their eye on ascending to the fabled lron Throne. Determined to settle the succession issue in no uncertain terms, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) names his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), as his chosen heir. Not surprisingly, her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), reacts poorly to this development. Older than the Princess and also claiming to be next in the line of succession, he steals a particularly valuable and significant dragon egg intended for the deceased infant Prince Baelon, and storms off to Dragonstone to consider his next move.

Set six months after the events of the first installment, Episode 2 soon reveals that Viserys' position is rapidly weakening. Things have deteriorated to the point that Lord Corlys (Steven Toussaint) feels he must inform the King that his failure to bring Daemon and his much-feared Gold Cloaks to heel has severely damaged the King's influence. With three Targaryens in varying relationships to the all-important Iron Throne and the power it commands, Episode 2 of "House of the Dragon" reveals that even this storied Westeros House isn't immune to the occasional, rapier-sharp insult.

Daemon Targaryen gets dunked on early in House of the Dragon

In Episode 1 of "House of the Dragon," Princess Rhaenyra witnesses Ser Cristan Cole (Fabien Frankel) square off in a joust against the seemingly invincible Daemon. But to the surprise of many, Cristan humiliates the Prince by unhorsing him. Adding to the embarrassment of defeat, Cristan offers his hand to the fallen Prince, only to have Daemon slap it away.

As the series' second episode progresses, a detachment is dispatched to Dragonstone to retrieve the dragon egg being held by Daemon. It's then that the Prince encounters Cristan again. Daemon attempts to put the courtier in his place by calling him Sir Crispin and then ingenuously apologizes for not remembering his name. But Cristan responds, "Perhaps my Prince recalls when I knocked him off his horse." 

Displaying a bit more character than fans might have assumed, however, Daemon only chuckles ruefully at this quip, revealing at least a moderate level of respect for the man who bested him in combat. As Matt Smith himself said to The New York Times, his Prince Daemon "has a strange moral compass of his own," making him more than just another villain on the show. So while the mighty House Targaryen isn't a family likely to suffer insults lightly on "House of the Dragon," this incident proves that some of them can be burned and take it in stride.