Everyone knows this is a bloody show, but that doesn’t mean we can always be prepared for what we see.

The latest installment of House of the Dragon featured shocking and disturbing imagery.

If this week is any indication, this season will not pull any punches, and it can only get more intense from here.

Shoutout to the casting team because Tom Glynn-Carney’s portrayal of a grieving father in this episode was outstanding.

His outbursts of anger and sadness were heartwrenching and believable.

As I said in my review of the House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere, I’m on Team Black.

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But the devastation of losing a child isn’t something I can imagine, nor is it something I would wish on even the worst people.

My son is my legacy! My son is the heir to the Iron Throne!

Aegon II

Sadly, most significant characters in the Game of Thrones-adjacent universe seem to have some experience with it.

The misery on poor Helaena’s face as she grieved her baby boy was almost too much to bear witness to.

Even Alicent’s heartbreak (mixed with the weight of her guilt) was awful to see.

The pain of losing her grandchild, seeing her children grieve, and the blame she holds for it must be a rough combination.

We know Rhaenyra would never order the death of a child, especially not after losing Luc and Visenya.

We also need to keep in mind that little Jahaerys was her nephew. No matter what issues she has with her family, this is not a pain she’d wish on them.

But of course, Aegon II is looking for someone to blame, and who better than the sister he believes will do anything for his throne?

He’s also looking at the situation through the lens of knowing what Aemond did to Lucerys. Aegon wants blood for what happened to his son, so why wouldn’t Rhaenyra?

Of course, he doesn’t know what we know.

Back at Dragonstone, Rhaenyra realizes what Daemon has done, and accident or not, she is livid.

She reads the riot act before telling him she doesn’t trust him and that her father never trusted him. You can almost see Daemon shrinking with Rhaeynyra’s every word.

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She’s totally justified; Daemon is responsible. Now that the people think Rhaenyra would do something so cruel, why would they support her?

Even with all of the rat catchers in the city hanging by their necks in the streets (Aegon’s not-so-subtle way of ensuring the one who killed Jahaerys is punished), she still comes off worse here.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get the image of that toddler with his little head sewn back onto his neck for his funeral.

Otto is a harsh man, but from a strategic perspective, he was right about holding the funeral procession.

Now that the people have seen that same harrowing visual, anyone supporting Rhaenyra will likely have second thoughts.

If you caught the conversation between Rhaenys and Corlys, there was talk about whether Daemon would challenge his wife/niece for the throne.

I agree with Rhaenys that he likely wouldn’t do anything to her (for appearances, at least), but he craves power with a hunger that only a Targaryen can.

As much as I love Daemon, something must be done to stop him.

His actions now are sabotaging Rhaenyra’s bid for a queen, and if she succeeds despite him, it’s hard to imagine him bending the knee for her.

We’re two for two so far this season in having to watch women suffer for the actions of men.

In the premiere, Rhaenyra’s grief over Luc was the pain du jour, while episode 2 saw Helaena and Alicent paraded around the city for everyone to see.

On the bright side, Mysaria (the White Worm) came across a stroke of good luck when Rhaenyra freed her from Daemon’s cage after extracting the needed information.

Related: House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 1 Review

Even as she walked to the ship that would set her free, she hesitated and turned around when she saw Ser Arryk heading into Dragonstone.

We love to see a girl’s girl in action. Kudos to her for putting her freedom aside to intervene in something nefarious.

Did she know what Ser Arryk was there to do? Or did she pass Ser Erryk on her way out, so she knew this couldn’t be him?

Either way, her quick thinking likely saved Rhaenyra’s life, so good for her.

In the highly stressful final scene of the episode, Arryk clears obstacle after obstacle and manages to make it to Rhaenyra’s bed before he’s stopped.

At the same time, we’re shown that Rhaenyra is letting all of her safeguards down. What are the odds that she’d agree to take a sleep aid tonight of all nights?

(On that note, I’m a little suspicious of the handmaiden. I’m watching you, Elinda.)

The bloody battle between twin brothers is terrifying for Rhaenyra, but at no point was I worried that Arryk would succeed in wiping out the show’s main character in Episode 2, so I found it a little anticlimactic.

That said, I didn’t see the seppuku coming for Erryk at the end, and honestly, he made the right choice.

Let’s be realistic here.

Even after the first brother died, Rhaenyra couldn’t be sure that the remaining brother was Erryk.

What if she trusted him, and he turned out to be Arryk and killed her at a later time?

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Plus, the sheer trauma of killing your twin in such a gruesome way would have made Erryk (justifiably) a human wreck.

Eliminating the drama was the right move on the writers’ behalf.

Of course, it was still sad, but hopefully, it will be a wake-up call for Rhaenyra that her strongholds aren’t as strong as she thinks.

(Side note: whose idea was it to name twins Arryk and Erryk? George R. R. Martin? Of all the fantastic, creative names in this universe, that’s what you went with?)

The episode opened up a few questions using subtle moments like Alicent’s underwater dip in the bath (is she suicidal?), Aegon’s dirty look, and snubbing of Helaena in the halls (does he blame her for Jahaery’s death?).

The short scene between Allyn and Addam of Hull, in which they discuss whether an alliance with the Sea Snake is a good idea, was also curious.

Will Corlys find a way to screw them over?

Baela had a couple of moments that suggested a more important role to come for her character.

She and Jace connected over their grief and memories, and later, Rhaenyra summoned her and asked her to act as a mole.

It remains to be seen whether Baela will report on her own father to her stepmother and whether this will affect her relationship with Jacaerys.

There’s a distinct difference in mothering styles in the episode.

During a strategy meeting, Jacaerys says he wants to do something to help, but Rhaenyra says no. It’s pretty clear she’s worried about losing another child.

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But in Kings Landing, Alicent walks in on Aegon II sobbing and chooses to walk away instead of comforting him.

Granted, a lot was happening; he had just fired Otto as the Hand and given Criston the honor instead. Who knows what was going through Alicent’s head?

The choice to — ahem — go polish Ser Criston’s sword, if you know what I mean, was bold. I guess letting him go all Colin-Bridgerton-in-the-carriage on her took priority over her son.

I have to say, I enjoyed a laugh a couple of times in an otherwise very serious episode.

Rhaenyra’s constant movement while getting her hair braided, met with obvious annoyance from the braider, was a funny human moment.

When Ser Criston questions Ser Arryk about why he wasn’t there to protect the Queen and her children, all of the other guards choose to grab their food and leave simultaneously.

Related: Aegon’s Conquest: HBO to Develop New Game of Thrones Spinoff Described as ‘Direct Prequel’ to House of the Dragon

“Not my circus; not my monkeys,” those guards, probably.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us everything in the comments. We look forward to seeing you back next week for episode 3!

Don’t forget to check out HBO to catch up on missed episodes!

Haley Whitmire White is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.

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