Sam C. Wilson and Michael Stobbart as Blood and Cheese in the 'House of the Dragon' season 2 premiere

‘House of the Dragon’ Fans Are Pissed About This Violent Scene in the Season 2 Premiere

House of the Dragon made its long-awaited return to HBO (and Max) with the season 2 premiere, “A Son for a Son.” The episode culminates in an extremely tense sequence that pays off the title of the episode in the most upsetting way possible—but that’s not the scene that’s pissing people off.

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Fans aren’t tuning in to House of the Dragon for the cuddly dragons or cutesy nepo babies. We know what we’re getting when we come to Westeros: senseless violence, centuries-long feuds and even longer grudges, and the occasional inappropriate smooch between family relations. You might even say that these are all reasons to watch House of the Dragon and its predecessor, Game of Thrones. Set in a sprawling fictional realm inspired by medieval fantasy, the franchise and its source material often revel in the sort of violence and creative torture (usually involving rats, no?) typically associated with the pre-enlightenment era.

The season 2 premiere ends with a surprising moment of horrible violence: A pair of sellswords named Blood (Sam C. Wilson) and Cheese (Mark Stobbart) infiltrate the castle at King’s Landing on the orders of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)—who instructs them to find and kill Aemond to satisfy his niece/wife Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy)’s desire for revenge, since Aemond killed Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys, at the end of season 1. If they can’t find Aemond, Daemon tells the sellswords to kill “a son” instead (hence the episode title). “A Son for a Son” ends with Blood and Cheese in the castle nursery, where little twins Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Jaehaera are sleeping. The men force the twins’ mother, Queen Helaena, to point out the male child, and they proceed to violently kill him—which thankfully mostly happens off-screen.

But this isn’t the scene that people online are mad about. The scene in question also involves Blood and Cheese, and concerns the latter, a total asshole, kicking his poor, sweet dog. The internet is really the only place where hurting a dog is more controversial than killing a child—at least where pop culture is concerned.

Gotta draw the line somewhere.

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.