House of the Dragon Fan Reactions Are Split Over Latest Episode

Warning: SPOILERS follow for season 2, episode 3 of House of the Dragon.


  • Fans divided over
    House of the Dragon’s
    adaptational changes and some accusing it of following
    Game of Thrones
    ‘ season 8 trajectory.
  • Rhaenyra and Alicent’s emotional conversation in King’s Landing is a show-only scene, sparking controversy.
  • House of the Dragon’s
    adaptation differs from George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, with characters’ ages and relationships altered.

The latest episode of House of the Dragon premiered last night, and the reactions from fans have since come pouring onto social media. And, it seem that fans are split. While some fans continue to praise the show’s stellar cast, others are torn about some of the series’ adaptational changes. Some fans have even gone so far as to accuse the show of following the season 8 trajectory of sister series Game of Thones. Here’s hoping that is not the case…

House of the Dragon‘s newest offering, season 2, episode 3 “The Burning Mill” is a slow-burn episode. Although Aegon (Tom Glynn Carney) is ready and willing to take to the battlefield, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) still finds herself full of doubt. Even after blood has been spilled, it seems that Rhaenyra is still trying to keep the peace — if there’s any chance to avoid war, Rhaenyra is willing to try it out.

House of the Dragon

Taking place about 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon tells the tale of the rise of the Targaryens, the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria. The popular HBO spinoff show first starred Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower before they were replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, who play the older versions of the characters. Also starring in the series is Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen) and Paddy Considine as Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys Targaryen.

Release Date
August 21, 2021


Game of Thrones


To that end, Rhaenyra sneaks into King’s Landing disguised as a septa. While in King’s Landing, Rhaenyra makes her way to the Sept of Remembrance, where she encounters Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke). The two have an emotional conversation, but Rhaenyra is unable to persuade Alicent that the war can still be avoided. This moment is a show-only scene, and it’s proven to be quite controversial.

“Me looking at the work of House of the dragon’s writers,” one X/Twitter user said, captioning their post with a picture of Phoebe Campbell’s Rhaena looking on, distraught. “#HouseOfTheDragon I suddenly remembered that part of this season was written during the writers’ strike and now everything makes sense,” another user wrote. But all is not lost for House of the Dragon: other fans were ecstatic to see Cooke and D’Arcy share the screen again. “House of the Dragon has always been about Rhaenyra and Alicent. That’s not changing,” a user on X/Twitter mused.

You can check out more reactions ot the latest episode of House of the Dragon below.

Ultimately, House of the Dragon has chosen to center the Team Black vs. Team Green discourse around Rhaenyra and Alicent. The scene between Rhaenyra and Alicent does not exist in the books, but some leeway does exist. George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the source material for House of the Dragon, is told like a history book: not all the facts of the story are known to the reader. On the other hand, the story being told in Fire & Blood has already been changed quite significantly for House of the Dragon.

Most notably, Rhaenyra and Alicent are not similarly-aged in Fire & Blood — Alicent is more than ten years older than Rhaenyra in the book, and she has little love for her stepdaughter. House of the Dragon‘s latest adaptational change is something that falls more in-line with the TV versions of the characters. While it’s clearly a departure from the source material, time will tell whether the rest of the story hews as close to Fire & Blood as some fans hope.

House of the Dragon
is currently airing its second season on HBO and the Max streaming service.