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House of the Dragon – S02E01 – A Son for a Son | Transcript

While Rhaenyra struggles to come to terms with her son's murder, in King's Landing, Alicent grows concerned that Aegon's Small Council may lead them to an all-out war. Larys suggests Aegon needs a new Hand, and Rhaenyra arrives at a fateful decision.
House of the Dragon - S02E01 - A Son for a Son

House of the Dragon
Season 2 – Episode 1
Episode title: A Son for a Son
Original air date:
June 16, 2024

Plot: While Rhaenyra struggles to come to terms with her son’s murder, in King’s Landing, Alicent grows concerned that Aegon’s Small Council may lead them to an all-out war. Larys suggests Aegon needs a new Hand, and Rhaenyra arrives at a fateful decision.

* * *

(epic theme playing)

(theme concludes)

(birds chirping)

(ambient nature sounds)

(light music playing)

(raven caws)

(wind blowing)

speaker: Duty is sacrifice.

It eclipses all things, even blood.

All men of honor must pay its price.

The North owes a great duty to the Seven Kingdoms.

One older than any oath.

(dog barking)

Since the days of the First Men, we have stood as guardians against the cold and the dark.

Through its long tradition, the Night’s Watch cultivated its strength from doomed men who had their life as their only possession.

But my ancestor, Torrhen Stark, began a tradition by making an offering at the onset of winter: one in 10 men from our household was to be chosen to fortify the Watch.

This is not a sentence but an honor.

A duty embraced by all who serve the North.

Even by mine own kin.

(wind blowing)

The North must stand ready.

Winter is coming.

Coming? What is this, then, that falls from the skies and shivers my bones?

This is only a late summer snow, my prince.

In winter, it will cover all you see, and all memories of warmth will be forgotten.

It pleases me to think that over a century ago our ancestors treated in this very place.

The Conqueror and the King in the North.

You, at least, had the mercy not to threaten me with your dragon.

(lift creaks loudly)

(distant shouting)

My prince.

My lord.

My lord.

M’lord.

Surely the great Torrhen Stark would’ve sooner died than bent the knee.

Unless he believed the Conqueror could bring unity to the Seven Kingdoms.

You are right in that.

That unity is now threatened.

The realm will soon tear itself apart… if men do not remember the oath sworn to King Viserys and to his rightful heir.

Starks do not forget their oaths, my prince.

But you must know that my gaze is forever torn between north and south.

In winter, my duty to the Wall is even more dire than the one I owe to King’s Landing.

I need my men here.

Whilst your men guard against wildlings and weather, the Hightowers plan to usurp the throne.

If my mother is to defend her claim to hold the realm united, she needs an army.

War is coming to the whole of the realm, my lord.

We cannot wage it without the support of the North.

(wind blowing)

My father brought King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne to see the Wall.

His Grace stood at this very outlook and watched as their dragons, the greatest power in the world, refused to cross it.

Do you think my ancestors built a 700-foot wall of ice to keep out snow and savages?

What does it keep out?

Death.

(light, tense music playing)

I have thousands of graybeards who’ve already seen too many winters.

They are… well-honed.

So they’re old?

I can ready them to march at once.

If your graybeards can fight, the queen will have them.

They will fight hard.

Like Northerners.

Stark captain: My lord?

(footsteps approaching)

A raven’s arrived.

Urgent news from Dragonstone.

(tense music playing)

(roars)

(Meleys roars)

(Rhaenys speaks High Valyrian)

(dragonkeeper speaks High Valyrian)

Take your mount again. We’re flying out.

I alone patrol over a hundred miles of open sea, endlessly, to hold the blockade.

Meleys must gorge and rest, as must I.

We’re going to King’s Landing.

To what end?

Killing Vhagar.

I cannot face that hoary old bitch alone.

With my dragon and yours together, we can kill Vhagar and her rider.

Make it a son for a son.

Was this the queen’s command?

The queen remains absent.

I should be at Harrenhal bending knees, but I must instead remain here to wage her war.

Or perhaps, more simply, to await her return.

She has been gone for days. Too long. She is exposed.

She is grieving.

The mother grieves as the queen shirks her duties.

It was a raven that brought me news of Laena’s death.

I existed for weeks in torment… refusing to believe what I’d been told.

It was only when I saw my daughter’s mortal remains that I could begin to mourn her.

A raven has told Rhaenyra that her son is dead.

She needs to know it for certain.

She was a fool to go alone.

What if Aemond were to happen upon her?

Then I would pity Aemond.

The queen was wise to recuse herself.

She has not acted on the vengeful impulse that others might have.

If you’d have acted when you had the chance…

Aegon’s line would be extinguished.

And Luke would be alive.

Fly with me.

It is a command.

Would that you were the king.

(solemn music playing)

(dragons calling)

(workers chattering, shouting)

(animals chattering)

(people greeting Corlys)

M’lord.

It’s a marvel she was able to return from the Stepstones at all.

Barely done, but done.

Seven more ships put out to sea this morn’ to fortify the blockade.

The Gullet is vast, and we’re not like to have the numbers to cover all that open water.

Corlys Velaryon: I must have my ship back at sea to lead the effort.

Alyn of Hull: It’ll be many weeks yet, I’d wager.

But I’ll have a word with my brother… to see what reinforcements the shipwrights can muster.

The smithy delivered this earlier.

M’lord?

I had this commissioned for Prince Lucerys.

I was very sorry to hear about your heir’s death.

‘Twas the blackest of treacheries.

Pardon, m’lord, if it’ll please you, much to do.

They tell me that you are the one that dragged my body out of the sea.

It was only my duty.

I am indebted to you, Alyn.

(light, tense music playing)

(ambient nature sounds)

(indistinct chatter)

(horse neighs)

(soldier shouting)

Mind your posts!

Keep your focus, men!

guard 1 (shouts): Dragon!

guard 2 (shouts): Dragon!

Arm the scorpion!

guard 1 (shouts): Arm the scorpion!

Approaching from the southeast!

Get around!

(scorpion creaking)

(guard shouting)

guard (shouts): Scorpion ready!

Arryk Cargyll (shouts): Halt!

guard (shouts): Halt!

(Vhagar grumbles)

Stand down, it’s Vhagar!

guard 2: Stand down!

guard 1: Standing down!

(scorpion creaking)

(Vhagar grumbles)

(quiet chatter)

Where is Jaehaerys?

Attending his lessons.

And those are where?

What do you need of him?

Taking him to the small council.

He’ll be king one day.

He must begin his instruction.

What if he does not want to be king?

(whispers) Where is he?

The library.

You must not interrupt his custom.

I’m afraid.

Don’t be.

They’d be fools to come with Vhagar protecting the city.

Not the dragons.

The rats.

The queen is an enduring mystery… is she not?

(birds chirping)

(heavy breathing)

(quiet moaning)

(birds cawing)

There’s a chill in the air.

Summer is well and truly through.

We are expected at the small council, Your Grace.

We cannot.

Again.

Yes, Your Grace.

If you wouldn’t mind?

(light music playing)

(dog whimpers)

Tyland Lannister: Your Grace.

Alicent Hightower: Good day.

Aegon Targaryen: Hello! Jaehaerys must learn the ways of the court if he is to rule one day. (laughs)

Up we go. (laughs)

Good morrow, my lords.

Mother.

What news?

Otto Hightower: Our letters to the Vale and to the North continue to go unanswered.

Cunts.

Otto: The Stormlands should be ours after Prince Aemond’s marriage pact to the Lady Floris Baratheon.

I anticipate their sworn declaration.

(sighs) My brother is raising the strength of the West to mass at the Golden Tooth, but we…

Yeah, thank you, my prince.

That’s, that’s very helpful.

My nephew, Lord Ormund, musters his forces to sally forth from Oldtown.

They expect to march quickly, meeting little resistance, until they reach the Riverlands.

My letters to Rhaenyra. Has there been any answer?

An apology for her dead son?

None, Your Grace.

Between that and their blockade of the Gullet, we must presume that the princess has refused the offered terms, and that war is now inevitable.

Jaehaerys Targaryen: Na-na!

Perhaps Your Grace might lend his voice to our outreach…

Tyland: Stop! Enough!

…in hopes that new terms might, might be negotiated.

Release it at once! Would someone please?

Is the heir to the throne bothering you, Tyland?

No. No, no, not, not in the least, Your Grace.

Because I think he wants a ride.

Alicent: Your Grace.

Tyland: Uh, a ride?

A pony ride.

Wouldn’t that be fun, Jaehaerys?

Should the Master of Coin be your royal steed?

(light laughter)

Your Grace!

There are important matters to discuss… despite Sir Tyland’s interruptions.

Aegon: Very well.

No time for amusements, Tyland.

Your Grace.

Aegon: Off you go, Jaehaerys. Good boy.

Where were we? (clears throat)

Rhaenyra’s blockade has placed King’s Landing under strain.

And those pressures will multiply quickly.

Well, we should’ve just killed her when we had the chance.

Regrettably, the opportunity for surprise has been lost, and with it, the chance to end this conflict quickly.

We must play the board before us.

Tyland: If we are to break the Sea Snake’s blockade, we will need to bolster both the Lannister and Hightower navies.

We do have need for a new Master of Ships.

We could offer the title to the young Lord Dalton Greyjoy.

Aemond. What is your business here?

The king summoned me.

You do not have a seat at this council.

Aemond is my closest blood and our best sword.

I welcome him.

Path to King’s Landing is through the Riverlands.

We must establish a toehold there, at Harrenhal.

Aegon: The Riverlords will either declare for me, or they will meet Vhagar and Sunfyre together.

Ah, and-and we can burn the blockade while we’re at it.

Rhaenyra has dragons as well.

Mine are bigger.

If we lose the dragons to war, there’ll be no calling them back.

We must proceed cautiously.

No.

Fat, old Lord Tully will either raise my banner or see his burn.

We should fly to Riverrun.

You are the king, Your Grace.

You must not put yourself at risk.

And Vhagar is needed here to deter Rhaenyra from attacking in retribution for the death of her son.

Errors were made in the hours following King Viserys’s death.

We mustn’t compound them.

You’ve already demonstrated your might, Your Grace.

We must now favor patience and restraint.

(Aegon sighs)

I send ravens by the hour.

Many and more houses will declare for you in time.

History and precedent will come to your side.

(birds chirping)

(indistinct chatter)

Good morrow, Your Grace.

Good morrow, Lord Larys.

I had come earlier to have a word before the small council convened, but your handmaiden said that you were indisposed.

What is it you wish to discuss?

I have completed questioning the whole of the castle staff.

They produced rather interesting details, but I am satisfied I have exposed all who betrayed our trust.

And what of them?

They no longer breathe our air.

I have chosen your new staff personally.

(door opens)

(door closes)

St… Gi-Give me that.

maidservant: Your Grace?

(sighs) Just leave me.

Just le… Just le… Just leave me.

(door opens)

(tense, pensive music playing)

(door closes)

(Syrax roars)

(indistinct shouting)

It’s a dragon wing!

Let’s have a look!

It’s a wing.

Who cares what it is.

(yells) Dragon!

(crowd yelling)

(Syrax roars)

(yelling, panicking)

(roars)

(solemn music playing)

(crying)

(Syrax grumbling)

(Syrax roars)

Leon Estermont: All hail King Aegon!

“Aegon the Magnanimous,”

Second of His Name, King of the Andals, and the Rhoynar, and the First Men,

Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

Hail King Aegon!

“The Magnanimous”?

Your Grace.

Let’s have the first petition, my good Lord Hand.

(grunts)

(nervously) Good morrow, my, uh, Your Grace.

(laughter)

Aegon: It’s alright.

There’s no reason to be nervous.

What’s your name?

Gr… Uh, Jerard, Your Grace.

Good morrow, Jerard.

And how might your king be of service?

‘Tis my flock.

Uh, a-a-a tenth of them taken by… the Crown on…

(crowd murmuring)

…on the cusp of winter.

If I’d had the time to plan…

We should return them.

Your Grace?

Aegon: Well, you need

your goats for the winter, don’t you?

Sheep, Your-Your Grace.

Aegon: Sheep, even better.

I shall make your flock of sheep whole.

(Jerard laughs)

We already made a promise to all the Crownlands that a tithing of livestock would be necessary to sustain the dragons for their increased activity and, pray not, eventual fighting.

Right… Right.

Perhaps we could just return his sheep. He came all this way.

If you return one herder’s sheep, Your Grace, you will soon find them all at the foot of your throne expecting the same.

They won’t know.

When the king speaks, Your Grace, all hear it.

After further thought, I have decided that I cannot restore your sheep.

If war were to break out, my dragons will require feed.

Bring the next.

(crowd murmuring)

guildmaster: Salts always run scarce on the road to winter,

Your Grace.

We rely on ships from Essos

for our supply.

But now, with a blockade in place and war threatening…

Yeah, that treasonous blockade won’t last long.

I plan to send Vhagar to burn it to ash.

Bring the next.

(crowd murmuring)

Hugh, Your Grace.

The smiths are all proud to support Your Grace against Rhaenyra.

But?

But… iron costs have grown.

A lone scorpion takes weeks to build.

To put it simply, we are struggling.

If we could but have the Crown’s coin before we started work, it would bring great relief.

Not just to me, but to all the smiths serving your cause.

(sighs)

You shall be paid and paid well.

My army cannot win a war without your weapons.

You should continue their making.

Our victory depends on the efforts of the smallfolk.

You have my most sincere gratitude, Your Grace.

Aegon: I’ll hear the next petition.

(indistinct chatter)

Larys Strong: Your Grace, it filled my heart to see you on the Iron Throne.

(Aegon groans)

I was only a boy when Jaehaerys last graced the seat, but you brought forth memories of him, and you have such a deft touch with the smallfolk, just as your father did.

Thank you, my lord.

I wonder, do you have a moment for a quiet word?

It is the Hand’s wont to keep a firm grip on things.

Mm.

He controlled your father the same way.

Viserys had a certain reputation as being pliable.

I am aware.

I would think, as we find ourselves standing within a hair’s breadth of war, that you would wish to be viewed differently.

How?

Otto Hightower… was your father’s Hand, Your Grace.

Daughter.

I requested an audience hours ago.

There were many petitions.

Alicent: I find myself wondering… do we pursue the same end?

I must admit, there are days where I myself can’t be sure.

I shall tell you mine.

It’s victory.

And how would you define “victory”?

Rhaenyra bending the knee and Aegon sitting the Iron Throne, in peace.

As Viserys wished.

Well, if that’s how you describe it, then we are aligned.

Then be my ally.

I am.

An ally would not repeatedly cut my legs from beneath me at that table of men!

I sit there and I feel your anger.

Frustration.

These critical days since Viserys’s passing haven’t gone to plan.

That’s not my fault.

My sons both see you as the great example.

The Hand to three kings.

Aegon is ever-eager to prove himself and Aemond…

Aemond is angry.

Rhaenyra’s son took his eye and was never punished for it.

What he did, however vicious…

The caprice of youth.

I could only hope.

Aemond erred.

But he is fiercely loyal. He wishes to please.

And Aegon still heeds me.

In private, at least.

But if you undermine my voice, both those boys will grow deaf to it.

(light music playing)

I hadn’t seen it that way.

We only need to mind Aegon until the novelty of rule is spent.

Once he tires of it, you and I can steer our cause to victory.

A fine strategy, daughter.

But you must accept that the path to victory now is one of violence.

I know it.

But that does not mean it must be wanton.

No.

(tense music playing)

(indistinct shouting)

solider (shouts): Prepare to be boarded!

By the order of Lord Corlys Velaryon!

Erryk Cargyll: Search the hold for stowaways!

(indistinct shouting)

(goats bleating)

(music fades out)

You.

When last we met, there were two of you.

“The White Worm.”

Mysaria: Did you think I would wither in your absence?

I did not think you would flower a traitor.

You speak of highborn games. I am common-born.

How long have you been selling secrets to Otto Hightower?

As long as he had gold to pay for them.

Who sent you fleeing from King’s Landing in such disrepair, hm?

You put Aegon on the throne.

That was the Hightowers’ conspiracy.

I merely profited from knowing Aegon’s movements.

But you delivered him.

He would’ve returned home eventually for gold and for respite, as he always does.

I simply… simply sped the business along.

“Business” that ended with the theft of the queen’s throne and the murder of her son.

You only blame me because your true enemies are out of reach.

My arrangement with the Hand was purely transactional.

I held no loyalty to him.

Certainly do not now.

Otto Hightower was to me as I am to your noble ilk, fodder to be cast off.

What else do you know of him? His plans?

Little and less.

I possess nothing of value to you, Daemon.

(gasps, breathes heavily)

(door slams)

Have her moved to the cells.

She is to be treated as a traitor to the crown.

Erryk: Forgive me, my prince… but the lady speaks the truth.

She was no agent of the Hightowers.

What is it to you?

A matter of honor.

Was it honor that made you stand by and watch as the Hightowers usurped the throne?

You and your traitorous twin.

No, my prince.

I’m shamed by it.

That’s why I abandoned the Kingsguard, and my brother, and came here.

I don’t care.

Aegon was in your grasp.

You should’ve killed him yourself.

Arryk and I were named to the Kingsguard at just 8 and 10.

And we swore the same oath: to defend the whole of the royal family.

So what were we to do when they turned against one another?

(dragon roars)

(tense music playing)

Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, and the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

(whispers) Did you find what you needed?

Your council stands at the ready, Your Grace.

I will fly to Harrenhal at your command and set our toehold in the Riverlands.

Your Grace, my lord husband’s blockade of the Gullet moves into place.

All seaborne travel and trade to King’s Landing will soon be cut off.

I want Aemond Targaryen.

(music intensifies)

(music fades out)

In your years as a merchant of gossip, you surely accumulated spies within the Red Keep.

Servants who knew the comings and goings.

Scheme with someone else, Daemon.

I was once in your thrall, but no longer.

A transaction, then.

Your knowledge in exchange for your freedom.

(footsteps approaching)

(light, solemn music playing)

Your Grace.

(emotional) Lady Jeyne Arryn has pledged her support in exchange for a dragon to guard the Vale.

And Lord Cregan Stark… has promised 2,000 men…

(both weeping)

(door opens)

Alyrie Florent.

(music intensifies)

Viserys Targaryen.

(deep breath) Lucerys Velaryon.

(music fades out)

(dog barking)

(indistinct chatter)

(Daemon whistles)

A tribute.

(coins jingle)

Commander?

Never gone for long.

I’m told you bear a mislike for the Hightowers.

Fuck the Hightowers.

Keep walking.

(street chatter)

Don’t make trouble.

(dog barks)

Daemon Targaryen: The White Worm said you’re one of Aegon’s ratcatchers.

You must be busy. That castle positively crawls with them now.

I heard the White Worm were dead.

Her ghost told me you were a betting man.

Fighting pits?

Dogs… and bones.

How deep are your debts?

I was also given to understand that you possess a unique knowledge of the Red Keep.

Maegor’s tunnels.

Great big rat’s nest, it is.

I know them better than the shape of my own cock.

This is my friend.

Tonight, he’s going to be your friend.

You’re to find and slay the Prince Aemond Targaryen.

He has silver hair and one eye.

Should be easy enough to find.

But I understand he’s quite good in a fight.

You’ll want to take caution.

That’s one half. You’ll get the other when it’s done.

(dog barking)

Alright.

What if we can’t find him?

We’ve wasted precious days in this war of quills and ravens.

Words are wind.

You should be leading the van, and I should be flying cover on Vhagar.

No castle would dare to raise Rhaenyra’s banner against us.

We would bring the whole of the Crownlands to heel in weeks.

Well, mayhaps we could petition the king, privately, to send us out.

Rosby and Stokeworth,

small castles right in the shadow of King’s Landing.

They would not want us for enemies.

We could add their levies to our own.

Our host growing as we advance.

Uh, it is a canny scheme.

But moot.

My brother is hostage to my grandsire and mother,

and they tell him that a war of dragons can yet be avoided.

‘Tis inevitable. They must see that.

Otto fears to upset the order of things.

And Alicent is simply… angry.

Angry?

She blames me for starting this war after she plotted with my father’s council to usurp his throne.

“Her Grace” speaks with two tongues.

She has a gentle heart.

And Rhaenyra is a cunning spider.

Long ago, she drew Alicent into her web… intoxicated her.

It is not your mother’s fault.

She holds love for our enemy.

That makes her a fool.

(door opens)

(footsteps approach)

Lord Hand.

Return to your post, Lord Commander.

I must have a word with the prince.

(door opens)

It would concern me, grandson,

if plans were being considered beyond the ears of your king and his Hand.

You have a zeal to act. I understand.

I was young once myself… I only wish to serve my king and my house.

You and Vhagar are the greatest single power in the realm.

If it wasn’t obvious before, it certainly is now.

But there are many pieces at play here… some of which you can’t yet see.

I promise you, Aemond, you will have all the vengeance that you seek, but you must keep a grip on your impulses.

We both know that your brother cannot.

(street chatter)

(tense music playing)

(dog whimpering)

Cheese: Alright.

Take that.

Bring the dog.

(laughter)

Aegon: I need to be a symbol for the smallfolk, as well as the nobility.

Cheese: Wait.

speaker: You could always be “Aegon the Strong.”

Aegon: My nephew’s already taken that one.

(laughter)

Leon: Well, which would Your Grace prefer?

It’s the king.

Leon: To be loved or feared?

Aegon: I need to be both.

My mother and grandsire mind me like some helpless duckling.

Oh, well, you’re the king.

Who gives a shit what they say?

My brother, at least, knows his place.

He’s as loyal as a hound.

I can set him and his dragon on my foes at will.

Cheese: Keep your eyes down.

Aegon: I need a style that demonstrates power and commands respect.

Eh, no-no one knows what “magnanimous” means.

(group laughs)

Leon: You could be “Aegon the Generous” then.

That would charm the smallfolk.

Aegon: I like that.

Martyn Reyne: Is there more strong wine?

Leon: “Aegon the Dragonheart.”

Aegon: Better.

Leon: (laughs) “Aegon the Dragoncock!”

Aegon: Yes, yes!

(group laughs)

Yeah, (laughs) the untamable beast!

How do we get upstairs?

The royals live up there.

Right.

Well, it’s off limits, it is.

Different group of ratcatchers work the upstairs.

If we’re to kill a royal fucking prince, where do you think we’re gonna find him?

I got you in the castle.

I thought the rest was your bit.

(Cheese grunting)

I could end you right here,

take the rest of the gold meself.

(Cheese panting)

I know a way upstairs.

I just don’t know my way ’round.

(grunts, panting)

Show me.

Fuck off.

(dog whimpers)

(Cheese panting)

This way.

The royals live on this level.

(grunts)

(door creaking)

No one’s here.

Blood: We need to keep looking.

I’ve told ya, I’m not supposed to be up here.

Did you not hear the prince?

No head… no gold.

Set a trap.

Huh?

Blood: For appearances.

Oh.

I’ll search the next room.

(storm blustering)

(music softens)

For the rats.

(music intensifies)

(thunder rumbling)

Cheese: Quiet.

(clamoring)

Quiet.

Stay still. (laughs)

(Cheese laughing)

Who the fuck is she?

She’s the queen, she is.

“A son for a son,” he said.

Well, does she look like a fucking son to you?

(laughing) Over there.

We need to get our head and get out.

(grunting)

Shh.

They both look the same. Which one’s the boy?

Maybe that one.

Well, look for a cock.

The mother knows.

Do anything but what I ask, and I’ll bleed the whole lot of ya.

Shh.

Which?

I have a necklace.

It’s of great value.

(gasps)

That’s not a son.

N…

(gasps)

Wait.

It’s the other one. She’s not gonna give up the king’s heir that easy.

No.

She’s telling true.

Blood: Hold him down.

(muffled screaming)

No.

(blade slices)

(grunting)

(slicing flesh, bone)

(Helaena muttering)

(panting)

(gasps)

(Criston, Alicent panting)

Alicent: Helaena!

What’s happened?

(music fades out)

They killed the boy.

(music fades in)

(music fades out)

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