Key Differences between House of the Dragons Season 2 Episode 1 And Fire & Blood

House of the Dragon Season 2 has flown back onto our screens, bringing with it plenty of dragons, Targaryen family drama, and changes from its source material, George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood.

Here are all the biggest differences between House of the Dragon Season 2 and Fire & Blood.

1. We’re back at the Wall!

House of the Dragon Season 2 opens with shots of snowy forests and the familiar sounds of Ramin Djawadi’s Winterfell theme, which can only mean one thing for House Stark fans: We’re so back.

After spending the first season mostly in and around Dragonstone and King’s Landing, it’s a delight to revisit the northernmost reaches of Westeros.

Rhaenyra’s eldest son Jacaerys (Harry Collett) flew up there in the Season 1 finale to treat with Lord Cregan Stark of Winterfell (Tom Taylor), and by the time we catch up with them at the beginning of Season 2, it seems like they’ve become good pals.

They’re taking a field trip up the Wall, bantering about the time Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror, and discussing how the North can aid Rhaenyra in her war efforts.

House of the Dragon skips over quite a bit of material to get to Jace and Cregan’s allyship. In classic Fire & Blood fashion, there are several conflicting accounts of Jace’s time in Winterfell in Martin’s work.

Of his many historical “sources,” Grand Maester Munkun writes in his True Telling that the two became inseparable and swore a blood oath of brotherhood, while Septon Eustace claims that Jace badgered Cregan about converting to the Faith of the Seven.

The most scandalous of all the accounts belongs, naturally, to court jester Mushroom, who says Jace fell in love with and married a bastard named Sara Snow, even though he was betrothed to his cousin Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell).

With only eight episodes in this season, House of the Dragon likely didn’t have the time to get into all this potential Northern drama. We’ve got the Dance of the Dragons to kick off, people! Still, you can bet we haven’t seen the last of Cregan Stark.

Differences in House pf the Dragon Season 2 and Fire and Blood
Harry Collett and Tom Taylor in House of the Dragon | Source: IMDb

2. Alicent Hightower and Criston Cole’s torrid affair.

As a bit of a shock to me, and certainly not in Fire & Blood, Dowager Queen Alicent and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) are knocking boots.

From Alicent’s insistence that they can’t keep fucking—as if—as if—that must have been some time ago. Question is, when did this affair start? When did Cole come back around to the whole “breaking his Kingsguard oath of chastity” thing? When did Alicent decide, “Eh, screw it,” and just start doing exactly what she hated Rhaenyra for doing?

Alicent and Criston’s hypocrisy here doesn’t faze me at all, since it is entirely in character with their overly righteous characters. And it just makes sense something would happen between these two.

They’re all but attached at the hip, and their mutual resentment of Rhaenyra gives things a delicious psychosexual sheen. Indeed, as Alicent struggles to deal with the increasingly erratic men in her orbit, from her sons Aegon II to Aemond, it stands to reason she’d try to reclaim some agency elsewhere.

What does bother me about this is Criston doesn’t deserve it. No nice things for Criston, please!

Differences in House of the Dragons and Fire & Blood
Olivia Cooke in House of the Dragon | Source: IMDb

3. Blood and Cheese

In what is undoubtedly one of the darkest scenes ever featured in House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, two assassins, known simply as Blood (Sam C. Wilson) and Cheese (Mark Stobbart), sneak into the Red Keep and murder Aegon and Helaena’s (Phia Saban) infant son Jaehaerys.

Differences in House of the Dragons and Fire & Blood
Phia Saban in House of the Dragons | Source: IMDb

The monstrous act comes at the behest of Daemon (Matt Smith), who seeks “a son for a son” in retribution for the death of Lucerys (Elliot Grihault).

The horrific Blood and Cheese storyline brings the opening episode of House of the Dragon season 2 to a horrifying end. After Rhaenyra tells Daemon that she wants Aemond killed for what he did to her son, the Rogue Prince decides to take matters into his own hands.

It’s after he’s learned from the White Worm about the identity of two men who seem to have access to the Red Keep. He recruits both of them, enlisting nondescript Blood and Cheese, a palace guard and rat catcher, respectively, to infiltrate the royal quarters in the palace in search of Aemond to kill him.

However, following through the corridors, they don’t find the one-eyed prince but instead stumble upon Queen Helaena and two of her children.

They demand to know which of them is the boy with a knife to her neck and threaten to kill all three of them if she doesn’t say.

She points to her son Jaehaerys, and Blood and Cheese decapitate him as Heleana runs through the palace with her daughter to Alicent’s rooms. “They killed the boy,” she tells the Queen Dowager and Criston Cole before the screen cuts to black. Yikes.

Probably one of the darkest moments in Martin’s Fire & Blood is the Blood and Cheese storyline. A somewhat similar tone is set when Daemon seeks to avenge his brother Lucerys’ death upon Aemond; for that matter, he hires Blood and Cheese to help carry out the deed.

However, in contrast with the series, right from the start, their aim is to kill one of Aegon and Helaena’s sons. During episode 1, ‘A Son for a Son’, the screen fades to black after hitmen ask Daemon what to do if they don’t find Aemond so it isn’t clear if he tells them to kill the baby. In Martin’s novel he leaves no room for doubt.

Consequently, Blood and Cheese use the information that Helaena frequently takes her children to pay a nightly visit to Alicent before she retires for the night to their advantage.

The Queen Dowager is bound, and they lie in wait for the Queen and her children in her bedroom. When she finally does, they kill her guardsmen and barricade the door so the young Helaena must decide which of her sons will be killed – it’s worth noting that in the book she has all three children with her, Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor.

They threaten her with rape and vow to kill all three children if she doesn’t decide; Helaena offers herself first, but after deciding they’re probably too young to know what’s happening, she chooses Maelor. Blood and Cheese behead Jaehaerys instead.

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4. About House Of The Dragon

House of the Dragon is the prequel series to HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.

Set three hundred years before the events of Game of ThronesHouse of the Dragon will show Westeros under the Targaryen family’s rule before the dragons went extinct. It will follow the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fought for the throne after the death of their father, Viserys I.

Directed by Ryan Condall and Miguel Sapochnik, the show stars Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Craney as Aegon II Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, and Graham McTavish.

Siddharth Sood

Siddharth Sood

Meet our Founder - Siddharth Sood, aka ‘MC SID’ is an entrepreneur selling official licensed Fan merchandise by day and a Wedding Rapper by night. Sharing his opinions on pop culture is his true passion. Also its worth mentioning Batman and him have not been seen in the same room at the same time ever, just saying.

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