A still from House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Opened With a Familiar Name Drop for ‘Game of Thrones’ Fans

House of the Dragon season 2 began with a Targaryen asking for a Stark’s assistance in a potential war, similar to what the fans saw in the later seasons of Game of Thrones between Daenerys and Jon Snow.

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Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and A Song of Ice and Fire books

The season’s opening exchange between Jacaerys Velaryon and Cregan Stark included a name fans had heard quite a few times in the original series: Torrhen Stark, also known as the King Who Knelt. Torrhen was head of House Stark and was known by the title The King in the North until he surrendered to Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons. After placing his allegiance to the Targaryen king, he was allowed to rule the North as Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North.

Torrhen’s decision to concede was a result of a merciless conquest by Aegon and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya, which saw Harrenhal reduced to ashes. After listening to the accounts of his scouts present at Harrenhal and his own knowledge of Field of Fire (where Lannisters were badly defeated and House Gardener was entirely wiped out), Torrhen yielded. While he was condemned by his own kin at the time, the House Stark chief surely saved more than thousands from getting slaughtered at the hands of fire-breathers and the Targaryen army.

After pledging his loyalty to the Targaryens, Torrhen helped them defeat the rebel groups that formed after his surrender and also assisted them in the surge against the Iron Islands. The Starks served the Targaryens loyally until Robert Baratheon’s mutiny against the Mad King, where his good friend Eddard Stark aided his ascension to the throne.

Torrhen Stark gets a key mention in Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice,” where Daenerys reminds Jon Snow about Torrhen swearing “fealty to House Targaryen in perpetuity.”

House of the Dragon season 2 is available to stream on Max.

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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.