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House of the Dragon Episode 3 Review

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  • 4 min read

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House Dragon Episode 3: Family Feud, focuses on King of Viserys’ two biggest headaches: Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra. 

Three years after marrying Alicent Hightower, the episode sees the king & his new queen celebrating the second birthday of their first son, prince Aegon.

To no one’s surprise, marrying her best friend, did nothing to improve Rhaenyra’s relationship with her father. And Aegon’s arrival only worsens things, as everyone expects the new prince to replace Rhaenyra as heir to the Iron Throne. 

But the worst news comes when the Princess learns the celebrations were all a ruse to find her a suitable husband to wed. Infuriated, Rhaenyra spends the rest of the episode rebelling against her father. And she takes out her rage on a wild boar to show everyone that she is more than a future bride.

This, of course, was all the plan of Ser Otto Hightower. From the very moment queen Aemma died, Otto’s plan was to get his daughter to marry the king. And now that Alicent has a son, all that’s left is to get Viserys to strip Rhaenyra and name his grandson, Aegon as heir.

The only roadblock to this plan, however, is King Viserys himself.  

King Viserys and Otto Hightower
King Viserys and Otto Hightower (Credit: HBO)

Despite his many poor decisions, Viserys proves in this episode that he loves his daughter and wants what he thinks is best for her. But his main problem comes from his desire to please everyone.

As Viserys says in the episode, he is forever cursed to please one half of his kingdom while angering the other. But rather than making the hard decisions, the king keeps taking advice from greedy people and is shocked when everything goes wrong.

But despite their public quarrel, neither Viserys nor Rhaenyra allow their guests get away with insulting their family. I loved hearing Rhaenyra remind lady Redwyne that eating cake all day was no better than Prince Deamon’s failing war. And when Lord Jason Lannister forgets himself, King Viserys puts him in his place.

This is the kind of family companionship I enjoy, as it shows that even in conflict the Targaryens stand by each other (too bad it doesn’t last).

One interesting character that continues to fascinate me is Alicent Hightower. Though she’s not innocent, Alicent is not malicious either, and it’s clear she’s only doing all this to please her father. Thanks to her counsel, Viserys finds a middle ground on the marriage issue with Rhaenyra. And she also advises the king to send aid to help Daemon and Lord Velaryon end their war.

However, that creates its own problem. 

The War of The Stepstones 

Prince Daemon and House Velaryon (House of the Dragon Episode 3 Review)
Prince Daemon and House Velaryon (Credit: HBO)

At this point, I should always have a Daemon Targaryen section in my weekly reviews, because the man always steals every scene that he’s in.

Two years after he and Corlys Velaryon start their war on the Stepstones, Episode 3 shows that all has not gone according to plan.

Despite facing multiple dragons, the Crabfeeder and his men cleverly use the caves of the terrain to hide from dragon fire and conduct guerrilla warfare. This results in an embarrassing loss of men and resources for both Lord Corlys and prince Daemon. and soon most of the men lose morale. 

But what adds salt to Daemon’s injuries is when he finds out that his big brother, king Viserys is sending the royal fleet to bail him out of his war. As much as Daemon hates losing, he also knows that Viserys ending a war he started would look bad, especially with all of Westeros watching.  

And so our rogue Prince devises a plan.

While I don’t like the plot armor he had in this episode, overall, I still enjoyed Daemon’s suicide run against the Crabfeeder’s men. Using himself as bait, Daemon cleverly lures the enemy out of the caves, long enough for the house Velaryon to attack them from behind.

During this amazing comeback, I almost missed the introduction of a new dragon, Seasmoke, with Laenor Velaryon (Corlys and Rheanerys’s son) using the dragon to burn the Crabfeeder’s men.

Yh, this was an awesome episode.

Verdict

Summary

Though Daemon’s suicide run was the highlight of the episode, House of The Dragon episode 3 still dives deep into the rest of its casts. As King Viserys struggles to navigate his rocky relationship with his daughter, the series continues to show that the matter of succession is far from over.

Overall
4
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Pros

  • Great Character Development
  • Nice Battle
  • Daemon Targaryen 

Cons

  • Plot Armor 

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