Warning: This article contains spoilers from episode 2 of The House of the Dragon
Episode 2 introduced us to a new villain. Let’s dive in to this week’s power rankings and see how the Seven Kingdoms are shaping up after two episodes. See episode 1 power rankings before digging in.
1. The Crabfeeder
Are crabs the new white walkers? This episode opens with people being eaten alive by crabs. It turns out, this is the doing of the Crabfeeder, aka Craghas Drahar. We haven’t seen the Crabfeeder interact with any of the main characters yet, but it’s clear that he’s being framed as the villain of this season. The Crabfeeder is taking over the Stepstones, which is an integral passage for Lord Corlys’ mighty fleet of ships. Lord Corlys wants to get rid of the Crabfeeder right now, but King Viserys doesn’t think it’s worth a battle quite yet. This sets the stage for a big meeting between Lord Corlys and Prince Daemon later in the episode.
2. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
Princess Rhaenyra swooping into Dragonstone on the back of her dragon Syrax is a sight to behold. She shows off her power when she forces her uncle, Prince Daemon, to back down and even gets the stolen dragon egg back in the process.
It feels like Syrax and Rhaenyra will have a date with the Crabfeeder at some point this season.
3. Otto Hightower
Well, well, well. The Littlefinger of the show has gotten what he wanted: his daughter Alicent is going to be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. This episode features a battle of overbearing, power-hungry parents trying to sell their daughter to King Viserys. Otto Hightower beats Lord Corlys in installing his daughter as the next queen of the Seven Kingdoms. This is due in large part to his 4D chess move that he pulled six months before Alicent is named the future queen. Right after Queen Aemma passed away, Otto Hightower sent Alicent to comfort the king. It wasn’t until six months later that Lord Corlys proposes marrying off his daughter to King Viserys. In this case, the early bird gets the worm.
4. Lady Alicent Hightower
Lady Alicent looks to be all-in on her dad’s plot at this point. Six months after Queen Aemma passed away, Lady Alicent is having regular conversations with King Viserys in his chambers. On top of that, she even fixes King Viserys’ broken dragon toy (gasp!). Despite the Small Council’s expectation that Lord Corlys and Prince Rhaenys’ daughter, Laena, will be the next queen, King Viserys announces that he is marrying Lady Alicent, despite the marriage offering no political advantage to the king.
Syrax got the dragon egg back. Syrax is the best.
6. Ser Criston Cole
When Princess Rhaenyra is looking to recruit a knight for her dad’s Kingsguard, she’s specifically searching for someone who has battle experience. Princess Rhaenyra interviews a couple dudes whose only fighting experience has come during tournaments. Those guys are considered contenders for the Kingsguard simply because of their families. If they become part of the Kingsguard, their highly regarded families could build a strong alliance with the Targaryens — but Princess Rhaenyra doesn’t want any part of that. That’s when Ser Criston Cole, the winner of winner of the jousting tournament from episode 1, comes in. On top of winning that tournament, we learn that Ser Criston has extensive battle experience and has proven himself as a worthy warrior in war. This earns him a well-deserved spot in the Kingsguard, much to the chagrin of the Hand of the King. It’s clear that Otto Hightower wants one of the guys who comes from a highly regarded family as part of the Kingsguard — not Ser Criston, who comes without any connections that we know of.
7. Lord Corlys Velaryon
As mentioned in last week’s power rankings, Lord Corlys knows how to play the political game. He tries to make his daughter the queen, but loses to the strategic Otto Hightower. However, his next play may end up being the best one. His alliance with Prince Daemon may result in the two becoming the strongest men in the Seven Kingdoms. It’ll be interesting to see Lord Corlys and Prince Daemon go against the Crabfeeder.
Familiarize yourself with this fiery cast of characters in our House of the Dragon guide.
8. Prince Daemon Targaryen
It seemed like Prince Daemon would move his way up this list after stealing a dragon egg from King’s Landing. However, that changes when his niece, Princess Rhaenyra, shows up on the back of Syrax at Dragonstone. Princess Rhaenyra tries to goad him into hurting her, and he backs down. He even tosses the egg back at her! Maybe that shows how much he loves his family. It’s still unclear what Prince Daemon’s motives are — especially when Lord Corlys tries to recruit him at the end of the episode to fight the Crabfeeder. When Lord Corlys talks trash about King Viserys, Prince Daemon replies with “I will speak of my brother as I wish. You will not.” In any case, Prince Daemon’s almost certain to fly toward the top of these rankings in no time. It seems like he and Lord Corlys are ready to make a show of power
9. King Viserys
This episode shows the innocence of King Viserys. He’s just a guy who loves his toys. He has a model of Old Valyria in his chambers. As soon as Lady Alicent fixes his toy model of the dragon, Balerion, it is clear that he is a fool in love. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place when he is offered the hand of Lord Corlys and Rhaenys’s daughter, Laena. We’d like to forget that scene with Laena altogether, to be honest.
Overall, King Viserys has some tough choices to make, and his decisions are pretty bad. He knows that he wants to marry Alicent, but he didn’t tell his daughter before the announcement, despite the two women being best friends. He turns down Lord Corlys’ offer to marry his daughter in front of the Small Council, which embarrasses one of his strongest allies. Lastly, he gets a maggot manicure — rough week for the king.
10. Rhaenys Targaryen
Princess Rhaenys’ daughter is turned down by King Viserys, which is already rough for her. To add insult to injury, Princess Rhaenyra tears Rhaenys down when Rhaenys asserts that men will never accept a queen on the Iron Throne. Princess Rhaenyra says, “They denied you, Princess Rhaenys. They bent the knee to me as the heir.”