The post House of the Dragon Episode 3: The Worst People in Westeros, Ranked appeared first on Consequence.
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for House of the Dragon, Season 1 Episode 3, “Second of His Name.”]
Game of Thrones was a show that became famous for the shades of grey to be found in its heroes and villains alike, and so far the prequel series House of the Dragon has shown every indication of following in that proud tradition. Thus, Consequence is happy to introduce Who’s the Worst Person in Westeros, a weekly ranking of House of the Dragon‘s most important characters, and just how unsavory they ended up being each week. Everyone on screen, including dragons, is eligible for this list (though expect the show’s series regulars to be heavily featured as we progress).
In “Second of His Name,” we go on arguably the worst family road trip since that Vacation remake where Chris Hemsworth had a fake penis — it’s baby Prince Aegon’s second name day, and so the Targaryen royal family heads out into the woods for a hunt. More importantly, Prince Daemon and Corlys Velaryon’s war against the Crabfeeder seems to come to a close, but only after a bold, arguably suicidal attack by Daemon.
It’s a classic mix of throne room politics and graphic battle sequences, but whose behavior comes off as the least (and most) deplorable? Let’s find out!
Least Worst: The Boar and the Stag
The boar did come running into Rhaenyra and Ser Criston’s camp, but really, it did nothing wrong — same for the stag murdered by Viserys. Hunting in general is gross, but even more gross is having your men tie up your prey for your hunting pleasure. Yes, these animals were created by movie magic and hopefully no real blood was shed on set, but still.
10. Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey)
At this point, Alicent’s lot in life isn’t really her fault — at least, it wasn’t really her idea to get married to her best friend’s father (who just so happens to be king). Here, it seems like she’s just trying to reconnect with Rhaenyra despite their circumstances, and she even does her best to offer Viserys advice on the war in the Stepstones (as opposed to working harder to manipulate him into naming her son as heir). If she has more nefarious plans, they are yet to be discovered.
09. Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel)
He has one job — keep Rhaenyra alive — and she seems determined to make it as hard as possible for her. Poor guy.
In the opening sequence, Prince Daemon’s dragon just full-on smushes a poor tortured soldier crying out for salvation, with the same disregard a cat has for that water glass on the coffee table. Be more careful, Caraxes!
07. Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall)
Honestly, by the standards of this show — hell, by the standards of the Lannister family — Jason’s a little obnoxious but certainly not the worst. Rhaenyra’s issue seems to be mainly that she doesn’t want to be forced into a marriage she doesn’t want. (Which, fair!)
House of the Dragon (HBO)
06. Ser Corlys Velaryon, The Sea Snake (Steve Toussaint)
Even though he’s one of the major reasons why the Crabfeeder war is happening, Ser Corlys has a pretty reasonable head on his shoulders, and refrains from any activity which might lead him to be higher-ranked on this list. We also get to spend a bit more time with his brother Ser Vaemond (Wil Johnson) and son Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate), but they don’t get enough screen time to warrant a full evaluation this week.
05. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock)
After what may have been an epic three years of sulking and pouting, Rhaenyra finally has a real conversation with her father about her fate, now that he has a living firstborn son. And it’s an important lesson for us all: As difficult as direct communication, even confrontation, might be, it tends to work out better in the long run. By the end of the episode, she seems to have gotten a little peace of mind. But we’ll see how that works out in the future.
04. Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)
As this is the first week we’re doing this ranking, this is the first opportunity we have to say “Dude, really?” Sure, being Queen has plenty of perks, but pushing your teenage daughter to marry the widowed King is a dick move for the ages. He’s overall a pretty reasonable man — hard to blame someone for trying to attain as much power as possible — but his methods kind of suck.
03. King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine)
There’s a real question to be asked as to whether or not Viserys is a good king, and certainly he doesn’t seem too kingly in much of this episode, mostly getting drunk and mopey about having to deal with the politics of his position, and even expressing doubts about one of his boldest decisions to date: Naming Rhaenyra as his heir. But by the end of the episode, he redeems himself to a degree — sending aid to Daemon’s war efforts, and assuring Rhaenyra that he has no plans to replace her as heir. He even encourages her to find her own husband! How modern of him.
02. Craghas “Crabfeeder” Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith)
There are chill ways to deal with the aftermath of a battle, and then there’s nailing your foes to posts so that crabs can literally eat them. But House of the Dragon doesn’t give us much sense of Craghas’s point-of-view when it comes to this war, and without having a clearer sense of his motivations, it’s hard to rank him as the absolute worst, considering…
01. Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)
So here’s the thing: There’s a lot to be said for a leader who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Daemon’s attack on the Crabfeeder’s army at the end of “Second of His Name” is incredibly foolish, but it does prove to be effective.
Of course, Daemon’s less honorable activities in this episode include beating up a messenger with a helmet (out of some wounded pride at getting help from Viserys), using a white flag of surrender to lure out the Crabfeeder army, and dragging half of the Crabfeeder’s corpse out to the battlefield, entrails literally spilling out of the guy’s torso. As in past weeks, Smith’s performance does just enough to pull Daemon back from the ledge of complete asshole-dom. But he’s still not great.
We’ll see how this ranking shifts next week. New episodes of House of the Dragon debut Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.