House of the Dragon Season 2 Can’t Lose Sight of What Made Season 1 Work

Old friendships die hard.

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon started as a series about succession, but now it’s all about division. It’s the Greens versus the Blacks in an epic Targaryen battle for the crown, and HBO’s marketing leaned into the show’s themes by releasing two different versions of the first trailer that encouraged the viewer to declare their allegiances.

But the two sides are one again in the latest trailer, which finally gives us a glimpse at not only the strategic implications of this conflict, but also the heartbreaking personal ones. With that comes a resurgence of one of Season 1’s best elements, one that looked like it had vanished from the show.

In the trailer, we see Queen Alicent, who declared war in Season 1, singing a different tune. “This senseless war must end,” she says to her son, Aemond. “You would not have us prevail?” he asks. “Not like this,” is her response. Despite how Season 1 ended, it looks like Alicent still retains some conscience and remembers that Rhaenyra, her enemy, is also her childhood best friend.

That’s all but confirmed by the next line, where Aemond says, “Alicent still holds love for our enemy. That makes her a fool.” Will this sympathy be her downfall, or the last holdout of civility that will reunite Alicent with Rhaenyra? Their dynamic was one of the strongest elements of Season 1, and while it makes sense that the plot was ultimately forced to abandon it, keeping two key characters completely isolated from each other doesn’t always make for the most compelling viewing.

Season 2 has the chance to pay off all the excellent character work established in the first half of Season 1 and reform the bond between these two matriarchs. They may both want the crown, but at their cores they’re still the girls in the garden we saw in Episode 1. Season 2’s brutal war will be exciting, but House of the Dragon needs to remember that wars are ultimately fought by humans.

Alicent’s son Aegon is on a new level of villainy in the latest House of the Dragon trailer.


Alicent is in a tricky position in Season 2, because while she wants the throne for her family, all her children are Joffrey-Baratheon-level tyrants and failsons. With the conniving Prince Aemond and the merciless King Aegon in control, there’s no easy way to halt the conflict she started. And while this season may be all about that war, it can’t forget what made Season 1 so great: the rich histories and personal lives of these characters. They’ve been forced by circumstance to face each other now, and as the teaser said, “There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin.”

House of the Dragon premieres June 16 on HBO.

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