Left: Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon sits at the had of his Small Council. Right: Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen slightly smirks as he sits the small council in House of The Dragon

Is It Just Me Or Is ‘House of The Dragon’ Season 2 Secretly a Comedy?

War is darkening your doorstep. Major characters (and their dragons) are dying. And you, House of The Dragon season 2 … you’re serving humor? Even in a serious episode like “The Red Dragon and The Gold”? Are you a comedy, ser?

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For four weeks now, I’ve been watching HOTD season 2 and finding several moments that made me cackle. I kept wondering if it was just me who couldn’t help but laugh. But when I browsed through memes and reactions on social media after each episode, I grew certain that this season was just written to be a comedy Trojan Horse. 

And I have receipts!

The funniest of the lot has to be King Aegon II Targaryen, who might not be a good king, and is most certainly a bad human being, but definitely brings some unexpected comic relief to this serious drama. The scenes where he is hearing the petitions of his subjects for the first time as king, and his Hand/grandsire Ser Otto Hightower has to constantly rein him in from overpromising and underdelivering are hilarious to watch! You can feel Otto’s frustration oozing from his pores!

Even when Aegon, after his son’s murder, tells Ser Otto that he is tired of a non-aggressive approach and at least “Ser Criston has acted,” Otto’s reaction and subsequent insult of Aegon (telling him his father probably didn’t want him to be king) might make anyone present snort in their wine goblet!

The formula here is simple. Let Ser Otto deal with his dumb AF family’s actions. Or, just put Aegon in a room full of people who question his authority and watch him do things that’ll make you gleefully laugh at the guy. Full credit to actors Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell (Prince Aemond) for the scene in episode 4, where Aegon wonders why Ser Criston Cole is planning strategies with Aemond instead of him, and Aemond answers him in High Valyrian before the Small Council. The scene is to establish just how insecure and unworthy a ruler Aegon is. Mitchell’s subtle sneer and veiled insults, and Carney’s faltering Valyrian delivered with utter perfection just make the scene comedic.

But Aegon isn’t the only one who gets to be funny. There’s our resident rule-breaker Daemon, who follows his own whims, giving us some truly iconic moments across both seasons, where you can’t help but guffaw. Remember when he demanded Princess Rhaenys help him start a war to avenge Lucerys’ death, and she was like, “Nope, sorry, who even are you?”

Or this epic silent exchange between Rhaenys, Rhaenyra, and Daemon when they were trying to figure out who could’ve ordered the hit on Prince Jaehaerys, and Daemon’s trying not to smile and incriminate himself?

In the latest episode, he just unabashedly tells Grover Tully’s grandson to murder his bedridden grandsire so he can assume his position as heir and Daemon can get on with his plan to gain their allegiance in the war. Sir, can you please not?!

It’s not even the most obvious moments but the way that these characters in their egos and hubris just go on to do things that make you wonder, are they for real? The unexpectedly funny scenes often sneak up on you too, like when Helaena runs from her room after her son’s been murdered, and she’s terrified, but she enters her mother’s bedroom and there is Alicent having sex with Ser Criston Cole! A completely tragic moment just became so funny because of all the irony of it being Cole who calls Rhaenyra a “whore,” and then doing it with Alicent in Rhaenyra’s old room!

Even the scene with Prince Jaehaerys and Tyland Lannister, which is meant to indicate how humiliating it is for a member of the King’s council to be treated like that and how kings and princes treat their staff like they are nothing. Yet it is hilarious because Aegon is so casual about it.

And let’s not forget, the biggest IJBOL scene of them all—when Rhaenyra realizes that Alicent made a boo-boo by thinking Viserys meant Aegon his son, when he actually was talking about Aegon the Conqueror’s dream of A Song of Ice and Fire!

Now with Aegon hurt, Ser Otto dismissed, and Daemon preoccupied in an episode of The Haunting of Harrenhal, I wonder who’s going to bring in the funny. Jaecaerys has shown promise. When he is not serving face, he manages to scold his mother in front of people, before realizing she is also his queen, and adding a “Your Grace” to his angry questions asking her whereabouts. 

This show needs to keep the comedy coming while it can because it only gets more dramatic and tragic from here, doesn’t it? 

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.