Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II presides over the small council in House Of The Dragon season 2 episode 1

Somehow, ‘House of the Dragon’ Is Even Worse About One Thing Than ‘Game of Thrones’

The more I watch shows set in Westeros, the more I realize that no one is really using their brains. It’s nothing but revenge in there, and they always go about it in the worst ways possible. Game of Thrones was bad about it, but House of the Dragon is worse.

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Revenge is a constant theme in this franchise, but what I’ve realized while watching House of the Dragon is that it’s all anyone can think about, and then it royally backfires on them. In season 2 episode 2, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) is so obsessed with getting back at Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) for what he sees as her fault that he doesn’t think logically about anything. On the one hand, he’s grieving, and that makes you lash out. But also, when has Aegon … ever used his brain cells before?

This is a trend though in the series. The reason Blood and Cheese happened was because Daemon (Matt Smith) didn’t clarify what Rhaenyra wanted—or, more specifically, that he wanted them to kill Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) or Aegon, not a child.

That comes from Rhaenyra and Daemon wanting revenge for Aemond killing Lucerys Velaryon. And that whole fight started because Viserys (Paddy Considine) died, and he didn’t clarify who he wanted on the throne. Do you see the picture here? It is just a cycle of Targaryens not saying what they actually want or mean, and then when things go wrong, they’re shocked that it didn’t work out as planned.

No one thinks a single thing through except for Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), and he’s the worst guy around, but at least he’s thinking. Maybe it’s because all they do is think about conquering and procreating, but really no one in all of the seven kingdoms uses their brain.

What is going on in Westeros?

When you look at Game of Thrones, it is kind of the same. The ones using their brains either end up dead (RIP Ned Stark and Oberyn Martell) or they are controlling everything. Shoutout to Little Finger, who is smart and calculating but also the worst—a real Otto Hightower or Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), if you will.

But I do think that the lack of brain activity for most of these characters is why everything is a mess there. If the Targaryens shut off their revenge brains for two seconds and had a conversation with each other, the bloodshed would stop. Instead, Rhaenyra lost a son, so Aegon lost a son, and then Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) sent Arryk to go pretend to be his twin brother Erryk, to try to kill Rhaenyra, because Aegon … wasn’t thinking.

I don’t think that it would be as fun of a series if everyone were operating at the top of their intelligence, because I do think it is much funnier watching all these characters just make the worst possible moves ever, but House of the Dragon really puts a spotlight on how none of these characters think a single thing through.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.