“House of the Dragon” Cast & Crew Discuss That Brutal Funeral in Episode 2

Child murder is nothing new to the world of Game of Thrones, and so it must go for House of the Dragon. The first Game of Thrones spinoff to make it to air, House of the Dragon has proven itself a satisfying slow burn that metes out its corporeal punishments judiciously, but when they come, they’re all the more brutal for it. In the season 2 premiere, the scheming, impatient Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) wanted to exact revenge against Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) for killing Prince Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) at the end of season 1, so he accomplishes this by paying two assassins to murder King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney)’s successor, his baby son Jaehaerys Targaryen.

Daemon’s lethal decision is yet another bloody move in the increasingly brutal war between two former friends, Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke), and their respective families and allies. The would-be queen Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent have consistently believed they could outmaneuver one another without resorting to the wholesale slaughter that usually arises when two or more men squabble for the Iron Throne. Yet their respective families and allies, like Daemon and Aemond, are not the patient types. There will be blood, to put it mildly.

The scene of the baby Jaehaerys’ murder in the season 2 premiere was thankfully handled off-screen (although we can hear the assassin’s foul work)—episode 2 includes the funeral, one of the most common gatherings for characters in the world George R. R. Martin built considering all the untimely deaths. HBO released a Behind the Scenes look at the creation of the royal funeral in episode 2, which unsurprisingly took a massive amount of detailed work to craft a proper funeral for a young royal and heir to the throne. The pomp and circumstance, the barely sublimated rage coursing beneath the gathering, and the long processional through King’s Landing managed to simultaneously remind us how well we’ve come to know the world of Westeros, yet how subtly different it was during the Targaryen reign 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The funeral also shifted the focus firmly on Queen Alicent, an intimate portrayal of her grief set against the very public backdrop of King’s Landing.

It was a moody way to open episode 2 and a reminder of just how much bloodier this war between Rhaenyra and Alicent is going to get. The Greens, aligned with Alicent and Aegon II, are now more likely to wage total war against the Rhaenyra and the Blacks. While they’ve got plenty of men whispering—or demanding—they prosecute this war in the most brutal, expeditious manner possible, these two women aren’t easily bullied or cajoled. Yet, as we learned time and time again on Game of Thrones, even the most meticulous plans made with the intention of causing the least amount of harm have a way of devolving into carnage.

Check out the Behind the Scenes Video here. House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3 arrives on Sunday, June 30, on HBO. The first two episodes are streaming now on HBO Max.

For more on House of the Dragon, check out these stories:

“House of the Dragon” Renewed for Season 3 Ahead of Season 2 Premiere

“House of the Dragon” Season 2 Timeline Revealed

Featured image: L-r: Olivia Cooke, Phia Saban. Photograph by Theo Whitman/HBO


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.