House of the Dragon Season 2 Review — An Epic Masterpiece Filled with Spectacular Set Pieces

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Very few shows have ever caught my attention the way the world of Game of Thrones has the opening title sequence. The music hits, sending chills down my spine, knowing I am ready to be engulfed in this world of lies and deceit. We’ve waited close to two years to reenter the world of Westeros, but House of the Dragon has returned for a second season, and I’ve got so much to say about it.

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House of the Dragon Season 2 Plot

King Viserys Targaryen’s death sent shockwaves through Westeros as a succession plan backfired in the face of Princess Thaenyra. Westeros is on the brink of a bloody civil war between the Black and Green Councils, fighting for Queen Rhaenyra and King Aegon, respectively.

house of the dragon
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO

The Critique

We knew that season 2 of House of the Dragon would be filled with explosive moments because season 1 felt like the calm before the storm. So many storylines would play out, including the idea of a potential war among the houses. As a result, the writers don’t waste any time, as the first episode knocks you straight on your ass with some bold and daring writing that leaves your jaw on the floor.

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As tension builds between the Black and Green Councils, the writers deliver spectacular side stories that only amplify the drama. There are plenty of moving pieces, but it never feels overwhelming as you are watching things unfold. Of course, rewatching each episode made me catch specific things I missed the first time. I don’t say that as a bad thing either; I say to the point that so much happens, the way it all unfolds makes you WANT to watch them again, and you pick up on a few different things along the way.

house of the dragon
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO

There have been so many shows over the years that clung to the idea of keeping specific characters around due to the success or popularity of the person. That said, we know that in the world of Game of Thrones and now with House of the Dragon, the writers don’t care about who you like, as they will kill our favorite characters if it serves the purpose of the overall story. This makes these shows stand out on an island where you are shocked by what you watch.

Top to bottom, this cast does not miss. House of the Dragon season 2 explores many new boundaries, including several from season 1 stepping up to take charge like we haven’t seen before. At the top, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen is an actor showcase in this season. You are watching a man navigate many different obstacles, especially the battles he faces within himself. There are several scenes in which he rips your heart out.

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The Battle of Queens Alicent and Rhaenyra, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D’Arcy, respectively, highlight these two, upping the ante from their work in season 1. My clear MVP of the season is Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen. Throughout the season, I will be doing recaps of each episode of House of the Dragon and will be able to explore why, but for now, take my word for it.

Everything below the line (costumes, production, sound, etc.) is remarkable. The world they build within this series is a true spectacle in each episode. With the vast war sequences, dragons fighting, blood, guts, and gore, you feel front and center and part of the action. How they build these cities with the set pieces, costumes, and sound only to watch them all crumble with these massive wars—every little detail is vital, and each person crushes it. I smell a clean sweep for everyone come next Emmy season.

house of the dragon
Photograph by Theo Whitman/HBO

Conclusion

Despite how great season 1 of House of the Dragon was, season 2 only raised the bar. Every little moment within this series feels more important than the next. The writers guide us through this epic war of families in a way that continues to force us to pick a side. This cast is exceptional, and what they were able to deliver is worthy of all the accolades that will come their way. You don’t want to miss out on one of the best shows on TV, so catch up before the season starts because you will be left out in the cold otherwise.

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House of the Dragon’s second season is bigger, bolder, and even more daring than season 1. It is a visual spectacle that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

10/10

10 out of 10

House of the Dragon Season 2 debuts on June 16th on HBO. Four out of eight episodes reviewed.

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Written by Ricky Valero

Articles Published: 17

Ricky Valero is based in Nashvile, TN. He has a huge passion for film and tv. He is a proud member of the Critics Choice Association . While not watching movies, he has a huge love for crappy reality dating shows.