House of the Dragon – S02E02 – Rhaenyra the Cruel | Transcript

Both Alicent and Rhenera are facing the consequences of the murder of king Ageon's heir.
House of the Dragon - S02E02 - Rhaenyra the Cruel

House of the Dragon
Season 2 – Episode 2
Episode title: Rhaenyra the Cruel
Original air date:
June 23, 2024

Plot: Prince Jaehaerys’ murder causes chaos; King Aegon hastily assembles his Small Council, planning revenge on Rhaenyra, though Lord Jasper suggests she may be innocent. Ser Otto suggests a public funeral to tarnish Rhaenyra’s image. In the procession, a herald calls her “Rhaenyra the Cruel”; Alicent and Helaena receive the people’s condolences. “Blood” is captured, confessing to Lord Larys that his accomplice was a ratcatcher; Aegon assaults “Blood”. In Dragonstone, Rhaenyra, worried about her popularity, suspects Daemon ordered Jaehaerys’ death if Aemond were absent, and states she distrusts him. Daemon flies to Harrenhal, seeking alliances. Having escaped death, Aemond, distraught, visits a brothel. Rhaenyra grants Mysaria freedom. Ser Criston, despite failing to protect Jaehaerys, orders Ser Arryk to prove his loyalty, by killing Rhaenyra on Dragonstone. There, Arryk impersonates his twin brother Erryk, though the departing Mysaria notices Arryk; he enters the queen’s chambers. The brothers fight, Erryk committing suicide after killing Arryk. Aegon has all ratcatchers, including “Cheese”, hanged publicly, infuriating Otto, who believes this will cause popular revolt. Aegon dismisses Otto as Hand of the King and transfers the title to Criston. Otto and Alicent hope to regain control over Aegon; Alicent slaps Criston, but then they passionately kiss.

* * *

(epic theme playing)

(theme concludes)

(muffled chaos)

(indistinct shouting, screaming)

(tense, somber music playing)

(dog barking)

(screaming) I’ll kill them!

I’ll kill them all!

Traitors and villains!

They dare strike at me!

Your Grace.

I am the king!

Your Grace! Yes, yes.

I am the king!

Yes, Your Grace. Uh, please, Your Grace.

(heavy breathing) Traitors and villains!

Fire from the sky.

This is war! I declare war!

I declare war!

Otto Hightower: The gates have been shut.

The search progresses.

The villain will be found.

We mustn’t be shaken by this.

This act.

The child.

The child is dead.

His pain is ended.

But what they’ve done (sobbing) to-to-to my girl.


(Alicent sniffles, cries)

And they will pay for this.

(sniffling, breathing heavily)

Who will pay?

Whosever hand did this or caused it to be done.

And what if the hand that’s done it is not who must be blamed?

The gods punish us. They punish me. (cries)

For what sin?

Daughter, listen to me.

We will mourn as we must, but… some good may yet come of this.

And where were the members of this council while the murderer threatened their king?

Were you also threatened, Your Grace?

Aegon Targaryen (screams): I could have been!

My son is my legacy!

My son is heir to the Iron Throne!

And where were you,

the Lord Commander of my Kingsguard?

I was abed, Your Grace, having ordered the Night’s Watch.



Instead of safeguarding the sanctity of my family!

Otto: This is not the time for blind accusations, Your Grace.

We’ll know who did this soon enough.

Who did this? Who d-What?!

Is there any question who did this?!

Who would do this save the bitch queen of bastards, the smug cunt of Dragonstone?

There she sits across the bay, on her rock, laughing at me.

She’s fucking laughing at me!


You wished her life to be spared.

If I may, Your Grace.

My Lords.

The guard has detained someone.

The man we apprehended is known to us.

He’s a gold cloak.

Noted for his brutal nature.

We caught him, fleeing the Gate of the Gods with the child’s head in a sack.

I’ll kill him myself.

We’d do well to get what information we can from the blackguard.

I trust in the mastery of your trade, Lord Larys.

Oh, always studying, always protocol.

We know our enemy!

Ironrod: A king may have more than one enemy, Your Grace.

We would do well to ascertain if this is your sister’s hand… or if there is a serpent nestled closer to our bosoms.

I suppose you’re right, Ironrod.

Could be anyone.

It could be any one of you in this room.

Lord Jasper is correct.

In one sense, we must determine what happened and… if we in the Keep are still in peril.

In another sense, of course… it doesn’t matter.

You mean to blame Rhaenyra.

Tell the realm she has done this.

Aegon: I’ll have the realm told nothing.

We were assaulted within our own walls.

Within our own beds.

I will not be seen as weak.

You’re already seen as weak, Aegon.

(muttering) You fucking…



A hasty coronation, a dragon escaping the pit.

The people see an omen.

They whisper in the streets.

They say, perhaps Rhaenyra should be queen.

And so, you would name her: monster.

Slayer of infants.

Otto: I would do more than that.

A funeral progress. Let them see the child.

Let them look upon the works

of this pretender to the throne.


My king–


I will not have my little son’s body dragged through the street like a dead dog.

Otto: Not dragged! Honored!

Escorted to the dragon pit

to be burned as a Targaryen prince.

Your Grace.

No. (crying)

Let no one say I do not grieve.

Jaehaerys was my grandson.

I loved him.

I will not have him die in vain.

Those who declared for Rhaenyra, will they still support her when they hear of her depravity?

Or will they rather not renounce her?

Jaehaerys will do more for us now than a thousand knights in battle.

You will have your war, Your Grace.

But if you wait a short time, you may yet double your strength.


The Hand sets on a difficult path, my darling, but it, it might be the right one.

Let the Silent Sisters ready the prince for his final journey.

And riding behind him, his mother the Queen, and with her, the Queen Dowager.

No, I do not wish to be a spectacle.

The realm must see the sorrow of the crown, a sorrow best expressed through its most gentle souls.

I think you’ll all agree the king himself must be spared.

(waves lapping)

(birds cawing)

(footsteps approach)

Alicent Hightower: There’s to be a funeral for Jaehaerys.


We’ve been asked to ride on a wagon behind his body.

I don’t want to.

Neither do I.

But when a thing like this happens… a blow to the king is a blow to the realm.

When the people share our grief, they draw closer to us.

I don’t want them closer.

I don’t know them.

Sometimes, we have to pretend.


We are representatives of the throne. We have a duty.

Helaena, what you saw last night when you came to my room–

This is for my boy.

(solemn music playing)

(indistinct chatter)


(tense, somber music playing)

(bell tolling)

(panicked breathing)

(torture devices clink)

I was, I was hired by Daemon Targaryen.

He paid us. Half now, half when the job is done.

Who is “us”?

Blood: A-A ratcatcher.

Employed by the household.

I don’t know his right name.

(shouting) Behold the works of Rhaenyra Targaryen!

Pretender to the throne!


Deepest sympathies, my Queen.

Gods be with you, my Queen.

We support you, Queen Helaena.

herald: Defiler of the innocent!

Behold the works of Rhaenyra, the cruel!

Blood: Are you gonna hurt me?


(panicked breathing)

But I cannot vouch for His Grace.

(tense music playing)

(Blood breathing quickly)

herald (shouting): Behold the works of Rhaenyra Targaryen!

townsperson: Our Queen!

herald: Pretender to the throne!

(crowd murmuring in sympathy)


townsperson: Queen Helaena!

(heavy breathing)

(horse neighs)

Kingsguard: What’s happening there?

(crowd murmuring)

Kingsguard: What’s going on? Move it, then!

(indistinct chatter, shouting)

crowd (shouting): Queen Helaena!


(Helaena whimpers)

Queen Helaena!

(crowd clamoring)

(Helaena panicking)


Heave! Heave!

(crowd shouting)

A curse, a curse on Rhaenyra, the monstrous!

(music swells)

Maester Gerardys: It is yet unclear how the Keep itself was breached.

The boy’s head was severed from his body.

Thousands witnessed the procession.

And they are accusing me of having a hand in this.

Gerardys: It appears so.

There have been messages sent to that effect throughout the realm.

We must send our own messages, denying this vile allegation.

Gerardys: I will do so at once, but I’m not sure they will be received in good faith.

And we must double our guard, here and in Driftmark.

There will be swift retribution in one form or another–

I have seen to it, Your Grace.

Jacaerys Velaryon: Let me fly out on Vermax.

Rhaenys is needed in the Gullet and I can watch for movements from King’s Landing.


It must be said that the damage to our position is immeasurable, at a time when we most need loyalty to our cause.

B-But it’s a lie.

Having lost my own son, that I would inflict such a thing on Helaena, of all people… an innocent.

Alfred Broome: The death of Prince Lucerys was a shock and an insult.

A mother so aggrieved might, naturally, seek relief in retribution.

Are you suggesting, Ser Alfred, that my grief drove me to order the decapitation of a child?

I merely thought, perhaps, an action taken in haste.

Mind yourself.


Did you send assassins to murder children in their beds?

I sent the queen’s vengeance for her son.

What did you tell this “vengeance”?

What did you say to him, Daemon, that a boy lies dead and I am accused of killing it?

Mysaria provided me with names and a subterfuge.

I was clear in my instructions: Aemond, the brother of Aegon the Usurper.

I cannot be responsible for a mistake.

Cannot be responsible?

If Aemond was not to be found, what were your instructions then?

(sighs) They did not concern, in any way, that of a little child.

You said that it was your aim to spill Hightower blood, and if not Aemond, then anyone would do.


You have wounded me.

Weakened my claim to the throne, my ability to raise an army, my standing among my own council.

I said no.

I don’t believe you.


And so we come to it, at long last.

(Rhaenyra sighs)

Cannot trust you, Daemon.

I’ve never trusted you, wholly… much though I wished to, willed myself to.

But now I have seen that your heart belongs only to you.

And when I was a child, I took this as a challenge.

But I am older now. I have challenges enough.

I have served you faithfully.

Have you?

Or have you used me as a tool

with which to grasp at your stolen inheritance?


(Rhaenyra breathing heavily)

When Ser Erryk brought you the crown… did I myself not place it upon your brow?

Yes, but before that, you sought to lead a council of war while I labored alone in my bedchamber.

And afterward, when I thought it meet to consider the terms our foes put before us–

A folly! A folly!

To give up my brother’s throne to the traitorous lies of Otto Hightower!

My throne, Daemon, mine!

I think you used my words as an excuse to take your own revenge… to indulge the darkness you keep sheathed within you like a blade.

You think me some kind of monster–

Oh, I don’t know what to think of you.

I don’t know what you are, or who it is you serve.

(stammers) Am I not on my way, even now, to Harrenhal to raise an army in your name, Rhaenyra?! Yours!

Do you accept me as your queen and ruler?

Or do you cling, even now, to what you think you lost?

What I think I lost?

You did not lose it.

You gave it away… because you thought ever and only of your own glory, and not of my father in his grief who needed you.

Your father was a coward who knew I was the stronger son, that I was the leader of men and he was afraid to be seen in my shadow.

Is that what you understand of your own brother?

Oh, you know him better than I do, who was raised at his side?

Do you believe he made you heir because of your great wisdom?

Because of your virtue?

How dare you–

Or did he merely use you as a tool to put me in my place because he was afraid of me?

Because he knew your legacy, unlike mine, would never outshine his own.

He was not afraid of you, Daemon!

He could not trust you… any more than I can trust you.

He was a fool… who sought greatness but shrank from spilling blood to achieve it.

And I see you will suffer the same fate.

You struck down a child.

It was a mistake.

(sighs) You’re pathetic.

(heavy breathing)

(intense music playing)


You wish to see me, Your Grace?

When morning comes, take Moondancer and keep a watch on King’s Landing.

I must know which course they take next.

I will be vigilant.

I depend on you, Baela.

Stay high and keep your distance.

We can afford no further mistakes.

My father?

He must follow his own path.

(Caraxes screeching)



(music fades out)

(birds chirping)

(solemn music playing)

If you please, m’lord.

(softly chattering)

(music fades out)

Have you told anyone?

(softly) What do you take me for?

One who seeks absolution.

There is none for what I’ve done.

(tense music playing)

(music fades out)

(indistinct chatter)

(bell tolling)

What is this?

It’s a reminder of yesterday, I think.

The procession was muddy.

I’ll replace it hence.

Do it now.

The night was long, Ser Criston, and I had not eaten–

You defy my authority, Ser Arryk.

I do not.

The white cloak is a symbol of our purity… our fidelity.

Kingsguard are a sacred trust.

Will you so easily sully our ancient honor?

(indistinct chatter)

I have erred, my lord.

I’ll remedy the error.

Where were you when Jaehaerys was murdered?

With King Aegon.

And you were not in the private quarters where you might have prevented the crime.

His Grace wished to entertain his companions in the throne room.

But if you had thought to go upstairs–

Where were you, Lord Commander?

And why has Helaena the queen been granted no sworn protector?

Surely once she ascended, she–

Your brother is a thief and a traitor to the crown!

You well know how it pains me.

How are we to know that you do not secretly share his sentiments?

I denounced him before the king.

We were one soul in two bodies, yes.

If I’d shared his sentiments, I would’ve fled with him.

First, your brother betrays us.

(laughs) And then the young prince… is murdered… on your watch.

You are mad, Ser.

Mad! You cannot think that I did this!

What I think has no relevance!

You have brought disgrace upon our ranks… and now you must restore it.

How am I to do that?

(metal clatters)

You will go to Dragonstone and strike down Rhaenyra in her own halls.

The way she sought to do with Aemond.

We will pay the princess back in her own bloody coin.


Does your courage fail you, Ser Arryk?

It’s not a matter of courage.

The castle is defended against all enemies, now especially.

How would I enter?

Your twin serves there at the pleasure of the so-called queen.

They will mistake you for him if you play the part.

We are sworn to serve forthrightly, not to traffic in deception.

Put down the pretender and you will end a war before it begins.

If they see the two of us–

You must not let that happen.

You would send me to my death.

Or to triumph.

(softly) And glory.

Now, will you go?

Or must I question your loyalty to the king?

As you command… my lord.

(Baela shoots arrow)

You missed supper.

I wasn’t hungry.

I don’t think anyone was, really.

Too many empty seats.

Do you know where he went?

(shoots arrow)

Harrenhal, I would think.

Sometimes I think I hate him.

It’s hard… with fathers.

Baela Targaryen: What do you remember of my uncle?

Jacaerys: He taught us to catch fish… and sing sailors’ shanties.

He had a weakness for cake.

And… Ser Harwin Strong?

He was gentle, and fierce.

They called him “Breakbones.”

(Baela chuckles)

He loved us… I think.

Of course, he did.

(deep breath)

I miss Luke.

(drum and harp music playing)

(indistinct chatter)


Daemon sent them to kill me.

I was out.

You were with me.

In truth, I am proud… that he considers me such a foe.

And that he seeks to murder me in my bed.

He’s afraid of me.

As well he should be.

The boy is grown into a man.

Mm. No. Not here.


I do regret that business with Luke.

I lost my temper that day.

I am sorry for it.

Madam Sylvi: I am glad to hear it.

They used to tease me, you know?

Because I was different.

I would remind you only that when princes lose their temper, it is often others who suffer.

The smallfolk… Like me.

Hugh: How is she?

(child coughing)

Kat: Much the same.

(street chatter)

(metal clanking)


The markets have been running low since the blockade.

Surely the city cannot yet be short of food.

I think not, but people are afraid.

Those with means are hoarding everything they can.

I walked two hours today to find a chicken for the pot and paid three times as much as I should have.

(child coughing)

The selfishness of people.

I cannot blame anyone for doing what I myself would do if I could.

I don’t think you’d let children go hungry while you filled your own cellars.

Lucky we don’t have enough coin to find out.

The king has promised us some relief.

Did he say when?

I’m afraid, Hugh.

(indistinct chatter, shouting)

I see all your great adventures

have done nothing for your looks.


Well met, brother, after many months away.


I missed you.

(chuckles) Did you slay many pirates?

Alyn of Hull: Oh, more than you, to be sure.

Addam of Hull: Ha, a jest.

One you may regret as you’re supping alone tonight.

I regret it already.

I’ve broken my teeth on hard tack, Addam.

Say you have a pot of your goat stew simmering at home.

You’re in luck.

In more ways than one.

I hear Lord Corlys himself commended you for your service to him.

He did.

Will you sail with him when his ship has been repaired?

I am one of a dozen shipwrights now called from Hull to attend with all speed to your fleet.

He made no offer.

And I would rather he didn’t, truth be told.

Addam: Do not be foolish, Alyn.

To serve with the Sea Snake is to make your fortune.

Had I such a chance, I would leap at it.

That’s because you haven’t seen what I’ve seen.

There is a war brewing, Addam.

A real one.

Another opportunity to distinguish yourself.

Remind him of your worth.

Oh, I need no favors.

But, brother, he owes you, he owes us.

Does the stew have carrots in it?


(birds cawing)

I mistrust this silence.

Daemon flies when we most need his hand at the oar.

Devotion has never sat well with him.

Where he goes, he wishes to be his own master.

Well, he is the king consort.

But he is not the king.

Neither am I, but I manage.

I too have felt the crown pass over me.

It is a hard thing to accept.

And now Viserys is dead and all claims are in doubt.

You do not think… Daemon will challenge her?

Not as such.

But neither can he allow her to command him.


I have, on occasion, found that to be… quite enjoyable.


Let us take him at his word.

If he can take Harrenhal, all may well be forgiven.

In the meantime, I am here.

And Meleys.

(deep breath)

We will not let the queen falter.

(light, tense music playing)

(footsteps approach)

The lady Mysaria, Your Grace.

You’re aware of yesterday’s events in King’s Landing?

I am.

Tell me what part you played in their unfolding.

I had nothing to do with it.

I know you are entwined with the usurpers, that you aided them in denying me my birthright.

I took profits from an inevitability.

I regret it now.

I’m sure you do.

Who are you?

A prisoner.

I gave Daemon two names. That is the extent of it.

And I did not wish to do that much.

He said it was the price of my freedom.

Does he say otherwise?

Rhaenyra Targaryen: He is gone.

For how long?

A week, or forever. I do not know.

He does do that… doesn’t he?

You remember me now.

He said he would marry you.

He said you carried his child.

Not everyone found the jest funny.

And now it seems he’s done it again, made a promise and then slipped away.

You trade in the secrets of the Red Keep.

Your web runs unseen through King’s Landing.

And now… when my enemy coils himself to strike at me–

I can do nothing now but ask you to honor your husband’s words.

It would not serve me to set you free.

At best, I lose an asset to my cause.

At worst, you betray me in some foul way.

I have no interest in betraying you, Your Grace.

So you say.

I was brought to Westeros with nothing.

I toiled in service, I stole.

I sold my own body for coin or bread.

And I listened.

I collected confidences. I made myself valuable to powerful men.

Bit by bit, I earned my living.

A house, a household, a home.

Then they set it all aflame.

Who did?

The Hightowers, I can only assume.

The Hand… did not like it when I showed my teeth.

But I thank him for it.

For too long, I made it my aim to be of consequence.

But now, I see that was the wish of a child.

Daemon. Otto Hightower.

Makes no difference.

They will never accept me.

(chuckling) I might as well have remained a whore.

How did you get that scar?

(birds cawing)

(dragon screeches)



(indistinct street chatter)

(smallfolk chattering)

(smallfolk weeping)

(tense music playing)

Oh no.

My son.

(woman weeping)


Who are they?


In the king’s employ.

What’d they do?

(weeping continues)


(music fades out)

What have you done?

The ratcatchers!

Oh… I had them hanged.

The maggot who took my son confessed to an accomplice.

He could not say for certain which man it was, so…


Beware how you speak to your king, my lord.

The king is my grandson and my grandson is a fool!

He’s worse than a fool! He’s murdered innocent men!

And one guilty one.

And hanged them from the walls of the city for all to see!

Plot against the king, and I will pay it back a hun–

They are fathers and brothers and sons!

And their wives and children gather now at our gates to weep and curse your name!

With your child’s blood, we bought their approval.

With your mother’s tears, we made a bitter sacrifice against the deprivations to come.

And you’ve thrown it away.

After all I’ve done for you.

Thoughtless, feckless… self-indulgent.

At least I did something.

I have not answered injury to the crown with, what?

Wailing and currying favor with the fishwives?

I will not be thought weak.

Even now, news of Rhaenyra’s monstrous crime spreads through the realm.

The great houses falter.

They cannot but come to our side.

I wish to spill blood, not ink!

We must act.

Ser Criston Cole has acted.

And what… has Ser Criston Cole done?

He has sent Ser Arryk to slay Rhaenyra.


He’s pretending to be his own twin. Brilliant.

Gods help us all.

It’s time the bitch queen paid a price.

And you acceded to this, this prank without consulting me or the council?

Instead of judgment, you display impetuousness, and diminish us in the eyes of our enemy!

Ill-considered, trifling!

Do you never think of your father?

His… forbearance, his… judiciousness, his… his… dignity.

Fuck dignity! I want revenge.

My father is dead.

He is.

And we are the poorer for it.

He was right about you.

He made me king.

(Otto laughs)

Is that what you think?

Aegon: Remove your badge, Ser Otto.

You were my father’s Hand.

Not mine.

Take it off.

You wouldn’t dare.

(low chuckle)

I have dared… and I find it stimulating.

Insolent pup.

You think yourself clever, but without a strong Hand at your side… to guide?

Give it to Cole.

Your Grace?

In this hour, you have proven yourself of more worth than a hundred old men.

My new Hand will be a steel fist.

You will regret this.

Give it to him.

You are dismissed.

(footsteps passing)

(birds chirping)

(door closes)

Rhaenyra: I do not know if I trust you.

And I sense that there is danger in you yet.

But I will keep the word of my house if you say that it was given.

You may go.

(deep breath) Your Grace.

Rhaenyra: There’s a Velaryon ship in the harbor bound for Myr by way of Pentos.

I will see that you are given passage.

I’m not so unworldly as to let you fly free.

I am-Thank you.

Ser Erryk, Mysaria will be leaving us.

Let her collect her things.

Then have someone take her down and secure her berth on the “Corwyn.”

Your Grace.

(light music playing)

(birds cawing)


(tense, suspicious music playing)

A moment.

guard: Ser Erryk…

I thought you were within.

A sorry lack of vigilance.

The enemy is about, good ser.

(door closes)

(exhales, sniffs)

Elinda: Please try and lay down, Your Grace.

Rhaenyra: Thank you, Elinda.

Ser Erryk.

It’s been a strange day.

I’m restless. I will stand this evening’s duty.

(music intensifies)

Elinda: You must sleep tonight, Your Grace.

Let me ask the maester for a draught.

Perhaps that would be best.

Thank you, Elinda.

(door opening)

Ser Erryk?

Believe me… I had no choice.

I don’t understand.

(door opens)

(shouts) Brother!

(tense music playing)

Do not do this.

I beg you.

You were the one who betrayed us, Erryk.


(Elinda screams)

(Elinda whimpers)

(Rhaenyra gasping)


Run, Elinda! Run and find Ser Lorent!

(heavy breathing)




(Rhaenyra panting)



Your Grace!

Ser Lorent!


Lorent Marbrand: With me, Your Grace!

(jiggling doorknob)

Which?! Which is Erryk?!

(yelling, grunting)


We were born together.

You parted us!

But I still love you, brother.


(labored breathing)



(quiet gasp)


(body thuds)

(labored breathing)

(footsteps approach)

Your Grace.


Forgive me.





Otto: It is ignorance and vanity.

You know as well as I do that Aegon must be kept in check.

As does Ser Criston. The two of them together…

Ser Criston is not temperate… but his devotion cannot be questioned.

If it does come to war–

He’s ensured it.

He’s young and unschooled.

His faith is in steel and bone.

He has not the long view.

None of them do.

They wish now not for the good of the realm, but for the petty satisfaction of vengeance.

(Alicent exhales)

Aegon is still malleable.

It is the death of the child that has unstrung him.

I can’t stay here.

Exiled from the council.

Witness to the blundering of our plans.

I’ll return to Oldtown.

The Hightowers still have strength, and you have a son there who will take more kindly to instruction.

Daeron may yet help us in weeks to come.

Go rather to Highgarden.

The Tyrells must be taken in hand.

Their bannermen are wavering.

While you’re gone, I’ll speak sense to him.

His blood will cool.

In time, you may yet return.

The young are peacocks… all shrieking and feathers.

But we will yet prevail and bring forth peace, I still believe it.

As long as you and I hold fast.

(choking breaths)

I have sinned.

I do not wish to hear of it.

(Aegon crying)

(melancholy music playing)


(crickets chirping)

(music fades out)

(Alicent breathing heavily)


(tense music playing)

(quiet moaning)

(music fades out)

(intense music playing)


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