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House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Fire in the Sky

hello world!
Michelle Holstine
| July 9, 2024
hello world!

Do we finally have action on the screen?? Is there more to talk about than characters getting their feelings hurt? Let’s dive in and see.

First up, here’s a quick reminder to catch our show, “Decoding Dragons,” where my co-host Liza Phoenix and I break down all things House of the Dragon (also available on YouTube and podcast format) every week. We dive deep into lore, symbolism, easter eggs, and even more of Westeros and Game of Thrones. If you don’t have 40 minutes to listen or watch, but you do have a few minutes to read, continue forth, my Lords and Ladies. If you don’t want to get burned by spoilers, I suggest watching the fourth episode before fire rains from the sky!

The Epitome of Hypocritical

Remember a few episodes ago, Season 1 Episode 5 to be exact, when young Alicent confronted young Rhaenyra about sleeping with Daemon, only to find out she had slept with Criston Cole and sent her some tea to avoid any ‘problems’ and then started wearing her green dresses and ostracizing Rhaenyra? Cool, well, now that Alicent and Criston Cole are drawn together due to their spite and can’t stop sleeping together, Alicent gets some of that tea delivered to herself after Criston heads off to battle. The Maester is putting it together as he hands her the specialty brewed tea, and then this woman forgets to put the container away. Larys Strong sees the tea that she had consumed, and his suspicions are confirmed.

After this, in true Mom-of-the-year Alicent fashion, she sees Aegon coming to her for help and exasperates herself in guilting him and not attempting to be motherly in the slightest. We learn from the Small Council meeting before Aegon’s pouting that his brother Aemond and Criston Cole have been communicating behind the King’s back, setting what we find out to be later, a trap for Team Black. Since the Green Council wants nothing to do with Alicent either, both sit and mope while Alicent tells Aegon how horrible of a King he is. Things are going well, clearly.

The More Screen Time, the Sooner the Goodbye         

Rhaenys finds Corlys at the port working on his ships and finds Alyn of Hull, Corlys’ bastard son. Rhaenys, being the badass we all know she is, accepts this and gives no grief to the cause. We do get a little strife between Corlys and Rhaenys, which will be interesting to see the conclusion of in the next episode.

Rhaenyra has still not returned from her adventures in King’s Landing, and Dragonstone grows restless. Baela is now a full informant due to her shifts in the sky, and Jace is ready for battle. Rhaenyra arrives abruptly and tells everyone she went to King’s Landing and met with Alicent, which blows the collective minds of the Black Council. You did what? With who? When?! The Black Council gets into the fact that Team Green is about to take Rook’s Rest, which is when it’s decided a dragon must be released. Rhaenys needs to fly Meleys over and control the escalation. Rhaenyra wants to go on Syrax, of course, but everyone smartly clears their throats and aptly says, “Ma’am, sit yo ass down.” Jace, of course, wants to go, but Rhaenyra says no, so Rhaenys steps in and volunteers herself. 

Alyn of Hull- the Dragonseed. Important later!

Aegon the Idiot

Due to the strife between Aegon and his mother, his small council, and being made to look like an idiot with Aemond, Aegon decides to get piss drunk and ride Sunfyre into battle, wearing Aegon the Conqueror’s… everything. Armor, helm, and crown.

Aemond has been patiently waiting for anyone on a dragon to show up, except he was expecting Team Black, not his brother. As Rhaenys and Meleys enter the vicinity and start torching combatants, Aegon makes a beeline to them in midair. Meleys shows her battle experience and easily takes on Sunfyre. Aemond sees his opportunity and brings Vhagar out of waiting to attack. Rhaenys and Meleys have already decimated a lot of the soldiers, however, now all attention gets brought to the sky. Sunfyre and Meleys entangle, riders hanging on, and Aemond takes his chance at all 4, setting everyone ablaze. Sunfyre and Aegon lose their grip on the air and fall to a fiery explosion. Meleys and Rhaenys take a beat to recover and gauge Vhagar’s location. Rhaenys continues her patrol of the air and seemingly is home-free, only to turn Meleys around and continue the battle in the air. Vhagar meets them after ‘hiding’ behind a cliff and gives a similar chomp to what Luke and Arrax suffered last season. The significance is that Arrax was considerably smaller, and Meleys handled the crunch but couldn’t survive it. Meleys shares a look that will go down in history as an apology and an ‘it’s been an honor’ all in one blink, and Rhaenys gives in to the free fall until ultimately meeting the ground.

Dragon's Dancing on House of the Dragon
Meleys and Sunfyre dancing in the sky above the battle

Vhagar (and yes, Aemond is riding her, but do we care?) lands, and Aemond goes to check his brother’s crash site. Unbeknownst to the watchers, he either went to see if he is still alive and celebrate, or he went to ensure he was no longer alive. Criston Cole comes into the scene, realizing what a horrendously horrible idea this was, and they may have just gotten their king killed.

Missing Details

Even though the Battle at Rooks Rest was the pinnacle of the episode, there were quite a few Easter Eggs and lore pieces sprinkled throughout other conversations and scenes. Daemon is still in Harrenhal, where he becomes friendly with Alys Rivers, who seems to take a liking to him. However, Daemon goes from not eating peas that everyone else is enjoying to drinking tea this lone ‘witch’ gave him. Seems inconsistent, one could say. He’s also still having visions, leaving him and us uncertain as to their purpose. He is consistently met with the battlements of his conscience and the guilt he feels for the way he treated Rhaenyra. He may also be dreaming, as in Dragon Dreaming, about his future.

Daemon and Alys Rivers- Witch of Harrenhal

Alicent and Larys Strong have an interesting conversation where she finally faces the fact that this is all in error and the late King killed his intentions when he died. The factions have been set, the chess pieces have been moving, and it’s war, baby. When Rhaenyra returns from King’s Landing, it is interesting that the meeting with Alicent seems to be the pivotal point in everyone’s mind.

Rhaenyra was desperately trying to avoid war; however, now she sees there is no return, and the same can be said of Alicent. Rhaenyra begins explaining the Song of Ice and Fire to Jace since he is her eldest and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. This parallels the Battle’s beginning and proves that her attempt at uniting the realm will in fact end in death and fire.

What are your thoughts on this most recent episode? Are you keeping up with Decoding Dragons? Let us know in the comments, and keep it locked here on Couch Soup to feed your hungry nerd soul!

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