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This House Of The Dragon Episode 3 Scene Is Giving Us Major Robert Baratheon Flashbacks

Contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" Season 1, Episode 3

Much of "House of the Dragon" Season 1 Episode 3 revolves around a rather pathetic royal stag hunt in the Kingswood, and King Viserys' (Paddy Considine) troubles regarding matters of family and succession. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) is technically traveling with the king, but wants absolutely nothing to do with the staged hunt, let alone the clumsy and self-serving social activities around it. It doesn't exactly help matters that Lord Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) of Casterly Rock aspires to win her hand in marriage. 

Rhaenyra chooses to distance herself from the proceedings by taking a ride in the woods, accompanied by her hand-picked Kingsguard member Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel). Their stay in the forest ends up going on quite a bit longer than anyone but Rhaenyra is comfortable with, and even includes a brief encounter with a majestic stag that's markedly different from Viserys' experience. However, that's not the only incident during Rhaenyra and Ser Criston's forest jaunt that brings an incumbent of the Iron Throne in mind. Here's why  "House of the Dragon" Episode 3 scene is giving us major Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) flashbacks.

A boar once again attacks a member of the royal family in the Kingswood

As Princess Rhaenyra and Ser Criston are hanging out in the forest, a mysterious noise from the bushes prompts them to investigate. The source of the sound turns out to be an extremely disgruntled wild boar, which charges Criston and sends the knight flying. The boar then attempts to attack and gore Rhaenyra, but fortunately, the pair manages to kill the animal in the nick of time.

"Game of Thrones" fans will immediately recognize the concept of a boar attacking a royal in the woods. After all, King Robert Baratheon is grievously wounded when a boar attacks him during a hunting expedition that also takes place in the Kingswood. This is an incredibly important event, since Robert's death in Season 1 episode "You Win or You Die" leads into the arrest and execution of Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), and sets the stage for the bloody succession conflict that fuels the rest of the series. Time will tell whether Rhaenyra's boar will have the same kind of impact on the story of "House of the Dragon."

Two boar incidents, two different endings

While there are obvious similarities between the boar attacks in "House of the Dragon" and "Game of Thrones," there are also certain marked differences. The boar attack in "Game of Thrones" is a highly shady affair, as the Lannisters have made sure that Robert had plenty to drink the night before the hunt. The attack itself also happens offscreen, as if to underline the highly underwhelming nature of King Robert's rule. 

Meanwhile, the boar scene in "House of the Dragon" happens fully onscreen, and we see exactly what happens and how Rhaenyra and Criston deal with the situation. The end result of the terrifying encounter couldn't be more different, either. While Robert dies a sad, contemplative death in bed while making a hasty attempt to set his affairs in order and right past wrongs, Rhaenyra rides back to the hunting party with the dead boar in tow, looking more regal than ever and drawing awed and admiring looks from everyone who sees her. The effect of Rhaenyra bagging a dangerous boar with just one knight in tow is further enhanced by the fact that many of the people present just saw her father's bungling attempts to put a stag out of its misery, despite the fact that people were literally holding it for him to stab. 

In other words, Robert meets a boar and his rule — not to mention life — comes to a pitiful end. Rhaenyra encounters one and not only lives to tell the tale, but gains bucketloads of the kind of respect that'll surely prove worth its weight in gold going forward.