Warning: This is called Spoiler Space for a reason. The following contains details about key plot points and developments in House Of The Dragon episode 3.
I’ll let Gordon Ramsay speak for us after seeing the last 10 minutes of this week’s House Of The Dragon episode.
Back in the series’ first episode, you may recall, the opening narration taught us that the Targaryens have 10 dragons under their control at this point in history. Their arsenal is unmatched in any corner of the world. Dragons aren’t just big, trained pets; they’re weapons of mass destruction. But outside of one of the creatures lighting a funeral pyre and a few cool flying scenes, we hadn’t actually seen much in the way of actual dragons from House Of The Dragon, until now.
Episode three, well, that was more like it. That’s what we were hoping for from this show—a Targaryen dragon on the battlefield laying waste to the enemy and yeeting soldiers through the air with its talons (which was funnier than it probably should have been). This is why you don’t mess with House Targaryen.
Now that the dragons have been unleashed to fiery effect, here are some takeaways following their first real meaningful appearance.
In the past, if you messed with the Targaryens, they’d send in their dragons and your army would be toast. So no one dared go against them. But dragons are not invincible, as anyone who’s seen Game Of Thrones knows.
They’re not ideal when facing an opponent like the Crabfeeder. His strategy is not to take on the dragons directly, but to avoid them entirely. Bloodstone, the island where he’s set up shop, is dotted with rocky caves along its shore. Rather than go up against a larger force with unlimited firepower his small band of state-backed terrorists take their shots where they can and then scuttle back to the safety of their caves.
When Laenor Velaryon points out that all they need is “an offering of flesh” to draw them out, Corlys’ brother replies, “Which man here would happily go to his death? Show me the knight who will march into that hell pit, nephew, and I’ll show you a madman.”
Cue Daemon’s entrance. Laverne and Shirley couldn’t have set it up better.
Note that when King Viserys offers his brother 10 ships and 2,000 men, there’s no mention of dragons. Unlike the Targaryen rulers before him, he’s been reluctant to use them to intimidate his subjects, or anyone else. As he explains to Princess Rhaenyra in the first episode, “The idea that we control the dragons is an illusion. They’re a power man should never have trifled with. One that brought Valyria its doom. If we don’t mind our own histories it will do the same to us.” Not every leader who has the nuclear codes is keen to press the red button. But Viserys, like his grandfather King Jaehaerys before him, is a peacetime king. He’s had the luxury of restraint, but that may not be the case for long.
For his fake surrender plan to succeed, Daemon had to leave Caraxes behind. You can see the Crabfeeder nervously watching the sky for any sign of him. So even though I would have put money on Daemon being the first Targaryen in the show to draw blood on dragonback, it’s Laenor who gets to rain down fire in this episode. He may be a Velaryon, but he inherited his dragon-riding ability thanks to his mother’s Targaryen bloodline. Hearing the word dracarys in this context is bound to give any true Game Of Thrones fan goosebumps. Fun fact: according to book lore, Laenor’s dragon is named Seasmoke, which seems pretty apt in this scenario.
The first big battle scene we’ve gotten in the show so far did not disappoint. It was brutal and awesome. While Daemon went full badass, wielding Dark Sister without mercy (she’s a thirsty girl), even he had to take cover from the dragonfire. One cool detail George R.R. Martin put into his books is that not only does every dragon have its own unique color scheme, their fire comes in different forms and colors. Some shoot white-hot fireballs, while others emit cobalt flames. Both of the dragons we’ve seen breathe fire so far have had similar, solid orange streams, but there’s lots of show left to go. This may be the first time we’ve seen the power of a dragon in battle, but it surely won’t be the last. Here’s hoping at some point we’ll get to see more than one in action at a time.