House of the Dragon – S02E04 – The Red Dragon and the Gold | Transcript

It's the first major battle of the war and the first dragon fight of the season, but it's come with a terrible cost.
House of the Dragon - S02E04 - The Red Dragon and the Gold

House of the Dragon
Season 2 – Episode 4
Episode title: The Red Dragon and the Gold
Original air date:
July 7, 2024

Plot: Daemon dreams of cutting off young Rhaenyra’s head as she accuses him of treason. Archmaester Orwyle makes Alicent an abortifacient tea; she asks if he knows whom Viserys wanted as his heir, but he professes ignorance. Aegon is frustrated in council, finding Aemond and Criston have planned campaigns without him, including besieging Rook’s Rest instead of Harrenhal. Criston beheads Lord Darklyn, who refuses allegiance. Daemon meets Alys Rivers, who calls Harrenhal haunted, and gives him a drink; then sees his wife’s ghost while in council. Rhaenyra returns to Dragonstone and agrees to war, volunteering to dragonride; Rhaenys volunteers herself instead. Aegon removes Alicent’s history books; she tells him to do naught as his wise advisers act. Frustrated and drunk, he flies Sunfyre to Rook’s Rest. Rhaenys on Meleys burns Criston’s troops, but he has Aemond and Vhagar hidden. However, Aemond notices Aegon arriving, and lets him advance unsupported. Meleys mauls Sunfyre. Vhagar arrives; Aemond says, “Dracarys”, hitting both Meleys and Sunfyre; Sunfyre plunges to the ground. Rhaenys attacks Vhagar, who also falls. However, as Meleys circles, Vhagar rises, bites Meleys’ neck, and Meleys and Rhaenys fall. Criston awakens from being stunned, and finds Aemond – and also, Aegon lying prone.

* * *

(epic theme playing)

(music fades out)

(ominous music playing)

(door creaking)

(footsteps echoing)

(woman speaking High Valyrian, voice echoing)


(High Valyrian continues)

I can’t understand.

(speaking High Valyrian)

Speak plainly.


Stop it.

(tense music playing)

(crown clattering)

(sword falls)

(distorted) There’s been a raven.

(door opens)

Simon Strong: Good morrow, Your Grace.

Slept well, I trust?

As I said, there’s been a raven.

Aegon’s army departed King’s Landing a fortnight ago.

The castles of Rosby and Stokeworth have both fallen without siege.

They have raised Aegon’s banner and added their levies to Ser Criston Cole’s host.

Both houses cited that sad business with the usurper’s son in their declarations.

Ser Criston’s army, now tripled in strength, might have Harrenhal as its destination.

(goat bleats)

Even if you can raise a host of Rivermen, they will not be ready in time to face him.

Let’s see what your Lord Paramount is made of.


(stammers) My prince-Uh, My-My Grace.

Your Grace.

Lord Grover is looking more hale and healthy than I expected.

Uh, this is Ser Oscar Tully, grandson to Grover Tully.

He is heir to Riverrun and the future Lord Paramount of the Riverlands.

His Grace, the King Consort, Daemon Targaryen.

Oscar Tully: It is an honor, Your Grace.

Daemon Targaryen: Indeed.

(sword clatters)

How fares your grandsire?

Sadly, he remains incapacitated.

He lies in a kind of waking sleep, unable to do much more than take meager drink.

It is barely enough to sustain him.

So, he’s alive?

Yes, gods be good.

Well, my time is short and I have need of an army.

Perhaps you might place a feather pillow over his head

and speed along your inheritance?

I-I love my grandsire, like a father.

My own lord father died suddenly, himself a young man.

Lord Grover raised me in his stead.

All very touching.

Are you here to speak with your grandsire’s voice?

For House Tully and the Riverlands?

While he still lives?

That is not our way.

Then you’re of no use to me.

I can see why the Blackwoods and the Brackens

did not fear to start a war

beneath the nose of their liege lords.

House Tully is a fish with no head.

Remind me which of your countrymen

claim to fight in the name of Aegon?

Was it, was it Bracken or Blackwood?

It was House Bracken that declared Green, Your Grace.

Who could remember.

Summon the Blackwoods here.

I require men of action

to lead my host of Rivermen.

(tense music playing)

(indistinct chatter)

(dog barking)

(birds cawing)


“Princess,” if we’re holding to formalities.

Apologies. Princess.

And you are Alyn.

Yes, Princess.

I’m given to understand my lord husband

owes you his life.

But I was not told his savior was so comely.

Your mother must’ve been very beautiful.

Corlys Velaryon: Rhaenys.

(clears throat)

Is your work finished?

No, m’lord.

(indistinct chatter)

I just had a word with your captains.

He was the sailor who plucked you from your watery grave?

(birds cawing)


You did not think to mention it?

I did not think it relevant.

I know who he is, Corlys.

Alyn’s past is no fault of his.

He saved his lord’s life.

He should be raised up and honored,

not hidden beneath the tides.

Is this why you came?

To subject me to an inquisition?

I came to tell you that Baela has called me to Dragonstone.


That council is going to dine on her and Jace for supper.

They grow restless in Rhaenyra’s absence.

Still… Where has that woman gone?

I suspect to try and draw us all back from the abyss.

(knocks at door)

(Alicent sighs)

(distant chatter)

Good morrow, Your Grace.

Good morrow, Grand Maester.

As requested.

I brewed it myself.

Thank you.

I will see it delivered discreetly.

Do report if the recipient has need of any remedy.

The tea is known to disagree with the gut.

I shall observe the girl closely.

(birds chirping)

Grand Maester.

You’ve ever been a practical man,

an honorable servant to the crown.

And you served my lord husband in his darkest hours.

Such was my duty, Your Grace.

Tell me.

Do you believe Viserys wanted Aegon to succeed him?

(birds chirping)

I could not know.

His Grace never raised the matter with me.

(distant chatter)

(door closes)

(tense music playing)




Baela Targaryen: Ser Criston Cole’s host

has taken to exploiting the tree cover

to conceal its movements.

He now only travels by night

to confound our dragons.

Bartimos Celtigar: And what is Cole’s heading?

It is difficult to say, but there were signs

of an army moving northwest, I believe.

Gormon Massey: (laughs) She believes.

You should’ve burned them when you had the chance.

Perhaps you can, Ser Alfred,

when you next sight them on your dragon.

(slight chuckle)

The only reason we know any of this

is because of Baela’s efforts.

Bartimos: What do we know, my prince?

If you ask me, it is little and less.

We know that Cole possesses a host that is growing in strength

and that it is a problem.

Gormon: Can Daemon hope to meet it

with his own in time?

And if I know the Riverlands,

he has more disentangling ahead of him

than the end of a Lyseni orgy.

Have you heard word from your father?


Maester Gerardys: Ravens were sent to Harrenhal

seeking news of Daemon’s progress with the Riverlords.

None have, as yet, returned.

Alfred Broome: Just so.

An enemy host, growing in constitution,

marches somewhere in the vastness of the Crownlands.

We could, perhaps, act if only we had a host of our own.

Or someone here to lead us.

Mind your tongue, Ser Alfred.

Does it speak falsely, my prince?

This council is rudderless.

I’m doing my best to steer it, Ser Alfred.

Why should your voice be any louder than ours, Princess?

The queen did not name you Hand.

It is her voice, and that of the king consort,

that we need to raise alliances and command our vassals.

But they are gone.

Corlys: What has come of this council?

(soft gasp)

My lord.

Our enemy is on the march.

Is there naught to be done in the absence of the queen,

but to grouse and claw for power?

(Bartimos sighs)

We do not know the queen’s doings.

But we must trust that she seeks the same

as each of us at this table.

An end to this conflict.

(rain pattering)

(tense music playing)

(birds cawing)

(indistinct shouting)

(distant yell)

Criston Cole: Men of House Darklyn.

All who bend the knee to the true king, Aegon, will be spared.

You can earn back your honor by raising his banner

and fighting in his name

against the Whore of Dragonstone.

All who refuse…

will have their death.

Good morrow, Lord Darklyn.

Is there no honor left in this world, Cole?

Sacking your queen’s own castles

and putting her people to the sword?


You are not fit for the white cloak.

This is a better death than a traitor deserves.

You should thank me for it.

Yours will come in kind.


(horse neighs)

Lord Hand.

We’ll lead the van northeast,

follow the coastline.

(horse neighs)

I realize you were neither born nor bred

anywhere near the Crownlands, my good Lord Hand,

but Harrenhal is to the west.

Indeed it is.

Fuck you. I told you we should’ve sent our dragons.

And now look what’s happened.

Daemon, of all people, has taken Harrenhal.

I give you a job, and now you just sit there.

It’s your fucking castle!

Well, that castle is more crippled than I am, Your Grace.


It’s like to drive Daemon to madness

as he attempts to make use of it.

It is beyond his faculties.

It is also penniless, as I happily control all of its gold.

So, as Harrenhal saps Daemon’s resolve,

the false queen remains trapped on her island,

and Ser Criston continues felling castles in the Crownlands.

(stammers) Wh–

I need to be informed of these things

if I am to make informed rulings.

I will not be made to look a fool in front of

my allies and enemies.

Aemond Targaryen: Harrenhal must wait.

Ser Criston is marching on Rook’s Rest.

Rook’s Re-A pathetic prize.

I gave no such command–

The castle is small,

weakly defended,

and Lord Staunton sits on Rhaenyra’s council.

After Cole smashes it,

we’ll have Dragonstone effectively cut off by land.

This war will not be won with dragons alone,

but with dragons flying behind armies of men.

No! Have him turn about. I want Harrenhal back.

Cole is already preparing his attack.

Uh, how-how do you know this?

Aemond: He sent word to me.

To you?

The two of you have been

plotting… without my authority?


(speaking High Valyrian)


(birds cawing)

(speaking High Valyrian)


(councilmember clears throat)

Harrenhal is a useful morass.

It will keep Daemon well-occupied while we strengthen our host

and weaken Rhaenyra’s support on the mainland.

We will deal with it in the Riverlands in time.

But right now. Rook’s Rest is an easy target

and a worthy effort.

Don’t you agree, my king?

(tense music playing)

(knocks on door)

(heavy breathing)


Lord Larys.

I thought I’d look in on you, Your Grace,

after your absence from the small council.

I feared something was amiss.

(sighs) You’re kind to do so, my lord,

but indulgence was my sin.

I… ventured into the lamprey pie at last night’s supper.

Too far, I fear.

(heavy breathing)

Larys Strong: Mm.

That is a rich indulgence.

But I believe it is a sin to deny your appetites.

They are what make us fully alive as mortal men.

Was anything of note discussed at the council?

Daemon having seized Harrenhal

and His Grace’s resulting displeasure.

I would’ve thought you would be the most aggrieved, my lord.

I see it as a loss for our greater good.

Dragonstone’s attentions are greatly divided.

First in the Riverlands and the Gullet, and now the Crownlands.

Ser Criston wins every challenge he faces there.

That truth alone is like to incite Rhaenyra’s fury.

He’s covered himself in glory, to be sure.

And you must worry for him?

Your sworn sword…

on the march,

ever exposed to dragons?

It is a perilous road.

Ser Criston is the Hand of the King.

We should all pray for his victory and safe return.


(sighs, inhales)

(Larys grunts)

(Alicent sighs)

If I may be so bold, my queen…

you have not seemed yourself of late.

Only weeks ago, my lord husband was alive

and the realm was at peace.

Now, I’ve… barely had the hours to grieve one tragedy

before suffering the next.

I regret if I have not been myself.


I did not know you shared your lord husband’s love…

for the histories.

If not his love, then certainly an-an abiding interest.

The voices of history guided Viserys.

He knew that his wisdom alone

could only reach so far.

Do you think that is why he changed his mind…

in the end?

No matter how suited he thought Rhaenyra for the crown,

the, uh, voices of history, as you say,

would have told him how the realm would react

to her succession.

It was impossible to know what steered his thoughts

in those final hours.

Do you now doubt his intentions?


(light, tense music playing)

Rhaenyra’s supporters will believe what they wish.

And so will Aegon’s.

The war will be fought, many will die…

and the victor will eventually ascend the throne.

The significance of Viserys’s intentions died with him.

Yes, it did.

(rain pattering)

(water dripping)

(indistinct shouting)


(sword unsheathes)


(heavy breathing)


(ominous music playing)


(rain pattering)

(torch clatters)

(eerie sounds)

(heavy breathing)

(frog ribbits)

It’s a touch late to be stalkin’ about a strange castle,

putting its people to the sword.


I’m called Alys.

Daemon: Strong?


A bastard.

Once you get to know me, you’ll find I’m not so bad.

So what are you then? Some kind of maester?

In a manner of speaking.

I inherited the duties after the last one fled in the night.

Fled? Why?

Just never settled in.


How are you settling in?

I’ve come to know the face of tortured rest well enough.

Sleep can be… thin in this place.

What would you know of my sleep?

Harrenhal’s been cursed since its first stone was laid.

Black Harren felled the grove of weirwood trees

that grew on these lands.

Heart trees, imbued with the spirits of those

who lived long before he came.

It’s said their whispers can still be heard sometimes.

A midwife’s tale.

Mm, the very bed you sleep in was made from such a heart tree.

Have you experienced anything… of note?

You are a strange kind of woman.

I’m no woman at all. I’m a barn owl.

Cursed to live in human form.

(chuckles) So, you’ve come here after quarreling with your wife?


You arrive here alone to claim the castle

and yet, send no ravens.

Do you now plan to make your own claim?

Perhaps to prove yourself to her.

Do not try me

with your insolence, witch.

It’s a hard thing, I imagine, to give

obeisance to one who replaced you as heir.

And a woman too. A…

girl child you bounced on your knee.

I mean, does it please you that her legitimacy is contested?

As you stand here…

with a castle and a dragon…

attempting to draw an army of men.

Here. Drink this.

You’ll need your sleep if you’re to win this place to your side.


Willem Blackwood: (muffled) I now rule my house as regent

until my nephew Benjicot comes of age.

The Brackens are venal cravens,

and they must pay for their treachery

against the laws of gods and men.

(normal) And against the crown.

Who are you?

Simon: Ser Willem Blackwood of House Blackwood,

Your Grace, as I said.

Well met.

What might I do for you?

It was you who summoned me, Your Grace.

I was given to understand

that you wanted an army.

Well, who doesn’t these days?

You Blackwoods certainly never miss a chance

to bloody your swords… do you?

Some 20 years ago,

my lord bent the knee to King Viserys

and acknowledged the Princess Rhaenyra as his rightful heir.

Daemon: So you fight for this old oath?

Not, of course, for your thousand-year-old feud with the Brackens.

I once vied for Queen Rhaenyra’s hand…

before she wed Ser Laenor.

I always liked her spirit.

She had the true blood of the dragon.

And you’re prepared to march without the leave of your lord…

(ominous music playing)

(eerie sounds)

(pouring wine)

Willem: Your Grace?

And once you and your dragon

bring the queen’s justice to the Brackens…

our armies will be yours.

Larys: Our lords in the Crownlands are grousing.

Their herds of livestock struggle to keep pace

with the dragons’ relentless appetites.

Vhagar’s in particular.

Ironrod: They can either provide

the crown what it needs, or we can claim their holdings.

Tyland Lannister: Oh, that would be a relief,

as we have no more coin to lend to the effort.

Resources are certainly growing no more plentiful

in the face of the blockade.

Tyland: The demand on the blacksmiths, armorers and tanners

for equipment has only grown apace

with Ser Criston’s army.

Ironrod: Well, Cole’s done splendidly, at the least,

turning every castle and army he’s faced,

including Duskendale, gods bless him.

(Aegon spinning marker)

The Kingmaker, they’re calling him.

And with Aemond and Vhagar also at the ready,

we are a formidable opponent.

(slams marker)

You bore me.

You all bore me.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Perhaps Ser Criston will be able to procure

more livestock through his campaign.

Any coin we can save will be a welcome bounty.

What are you doing here?

Where are your father’s books?

Aegon Targaryen: I ordered them removed.

(Alicent sighs)

With no thought to the centuries

of knowledge in those pages.

(birds chirping)

Your Grace.

I removed them, I didn’t burn them.

What is it?

They don’t care what I think.

(pouring wine)


Who, Aegon?

My council.

Cole. Aemond. They pursue their campaign

without seeking my aid, or even my thoughts.

What thoughts would you have?

Wh-I’m the king.

Do you think simply wearing the crown imbues you with wisdom?

Those men at your council table…

earned their seats.

It was my hope that (chuckles) once enthroned,

you would honor the burden of your new duties,

be silent,

and strive to learn from the more studied minds around you.

In the hope that you might be half the king your father was.

Tread carefully.

Or what?

You’ll hang me, as you did your ratcatchers?

Or have me banished, as you did your Hand?

I ruled

in your father’s absence throughout his long illness,

and Otto Hightower was as cunning a statesman as ever lived.

You should humbly be seeking our opinions and counsel.

You have no idea the sacrifices that were made

to put you on that throne.

(tense music playing)


What would you have me do, Mother?

Do simply what is needed of you:


(ambient nature sounds)

(axe striking)

(tree crackling)

(indistinct chatter, shouting)

Criston: On your feet!

To Rook’s Rest!

To battle!

Gwayne Hightower: It’s broad daylight.

We must hold here and ready ourselves to lay siege at nightfall.

We shall move now and strike by day.

They will not expect it.

They will not expect it

because it is fucking madness.

Did you forget the little encounter

we had on the road to Rosby?

I did not.

Dragonstone and their dragons are just across the bay.

What? Grown tired of living, have you?

Are you afraid, Ser?

Worse. I’m rational.

We advance.

(tense music playing)

Jacaerys Velaryon: I see no other choice.

We need to send a dragon.

Rhaenyra Targaryen: Where?

(clears throat) To support the war

that your vassals have been fighting in your absence…

Your Grace.

Cole’s host has grown since riding abroad.

He raised the levies of both Rosby and Stokeworth

and, with their combined strength, sacked Duskendale.


The city has fallen.

Many Darklyn men declared for Aegon.

Those who refused were put to the sword.

What of my father?

He kept his oath.

Cole took his head for it.

Where have you been, these last days?

You vanished without so much as a word.

Well, I apologize for my absence and the secrecy,

but such was necessary.

I went to King’s Landing.

To what possible end?

To meet Queen Alicent and sue for peace.

You saw Alicent?

Rhaenyra: Yes, I did.

You could’ve been taken or slain!

I inherited 80 years of peace from my father.

Before I was to end it,

I needed to know that there was no other path.

And now I do.

Only one choice remains to me:

either I win my claim or die.

We stand at the ready.

Rhaenys Targaryen: Cole’s victories have only emboldened him.

He marches on Rook’s Rest.

His host was just hours away

when Lord Staunton’s ravens took wing.

Why Rook’s Rest?

After Duskendale?

It is but a small coastal keep.

Alfred: ‘Cause Lord Staunton is a member of this council.

And because his castle is small and vulnerable and there for the taking.

Cole knows we have no army on the mainland.

Bartimos: He is brazen.

He is daring us to act.

We need to send a dragon.

(quiet, tense music playing)

There are those who have mistaken my caution for weakness.

Let that be their undoing.

I will go.

My queen–

You cannot.

I will not lose dragons to war

whilst I hide here in my castle.

Our allies raise their banners for you, Mother.

Rhaenyra: Yes, they do.

If you die, all is lost.

Send me.


I will burn Cole’s lines and withdraw before King’s Landing

could even raise the alarm.

You lack the experience.

You must send me, Your Grace.

Meleys is your largest dragon

and no stranger to battle.

I will meet Cole.


(flagon shatters)

Jacaerys: I wish only to fight for you,

for your claim and mine.


There’s something I need to tell you, Jace.

Something… I should’ve told you

when you first became heir to the throne.

It’s a secret that Viserys told me

when he named me his successor.

And it has passed from king to heir…

since Aegon the Conqueror’s time.


I never told you because I was unsure

that I believed it myself.

The Targaryen who sits the Iron Throne

is not just a king or a queen.

They are a Protector.

(speaking High Valyrian)

Rhaenyra: Ordained to lead the Seven Kingdoms,

to strengthen them…

(indistinct shouting)

…and to unite them against a common foe.

Viserys chose me to succeed him.

He held to this the whole of his life.


My father believed that I, alone,

was meant to be this Protector.

They’re 1,400-, 1,500-strong at least, my lord.


Rhaenyra: But to unite the realm,

I had to send the dragons to war.


The horrors I have just loosed cannot be for a crown alone.

That is why I must believe

what Viserys told me when he named me his heir.

What Jaehaerys had told him.

And what I will now tell you.

(Sunfyre calls)

What is it?

Aegon the Conqueror’s Dream.

He called it “The Song of Ice and Fire.”

(dramatic music playing)

(arrows whizzing by)

(grunting, shouting)

captain: Loose! New rank!

Loose! New rank!

Loose! New rank!

Push it!

guards (shouting): Dragon!


(all yelling)

Gwayne: To the Seven Hells with you, Cole!

You may as well have sounded horns to announce our coming!

Criston: Order the Darklyn levies to break off and move ahead.

We must keep the dragon’s attention divided.

Make the signal.

What signal?

Criston: All is going to plan.

(blows horn)


(indistinct shouting)

(all yelling)

(horn blowing in distance)

(blows horn)


(Sunfyre calls)


(speaking High Valyrian)




(all yelling)

Forward, Sunfyre!

(Sunfyre roars)


guards (shouting): Dragon!

Whose dragon is that?

His Grace, the king’s.

This was your secret plot, Cole?

For the king himself to lay ambush

and mayhaps die in the attempt?!

Criston: No!

Loose more signal arrows!

Stalwart men of House Targaryen,

your king has joined you!

Hold to your courage! Hold to your wits!

For the Seven have blessed and shielded

this host with divine purpose!

For the one true king, Aegon!


(soldiers shouting)

Where are you, Aemond?


(speaks High Valyrian)



(grumbles, screeches)

(screeching, roaring)

(Aegon panicking)


(all yelling)

(high-pitched calling)


captain: Another one there!

Send a volley to those Rosby men!

Give them no quarter!

(indistinct shouting)

(distant bellowing)

We’d best get you to cover, my lord.



(distant screeching)

Aegon: Thank the gods!



No! (yells)


(Sunfyre screeching)


(soldiers yelling)

Criston: Your Grace!

(music softens)

(heavy breathing)

(speaks High Valyrian)

(music intensifies)

(Meleys screeches)


(nearby growling)


(dragons screeching)

(music stops)



(music resumes)

(indistinct shouting)

(all yelling)

(grunting, yelling)

(horse neighs)

(loud thud)


(slow-motion yelling)

(slow, tense music playing)

(loud footsteps)


(Meleys grumbling, groaning)

(singers vocalizing)


(indistinct chatter, shouting)

(vocalizing continues)



(all yelling)




(music slows)


(somber music playing)

(explosion booms)

(triumphant music playing)

(music fades out)

(muffled yelling)

(muffled roaring, rumbling)

(gasps for air)


(labored breathing)

(quiet, tense music playing)

Gwayne: Fall in behind me!

Into the breach!

(indistinct shouting)

(heavy breathing)

(breathy) The king has fallen. We must find him.

(armor clatters)

(indistinct shouting)

Criston: Aemond!

(Sunfyre grumbles)

Where’s His Grace?

(Sunfyre grumbling)

(suspenseful, solemn music playing)

(helmet clatters)

(music fades out)

(light, tense music playing)


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