Well, that was one climactic battle in House of the Dragon episode 3, Second of His Name.


The Game of Thrones prequel continued on from the previous instalment which saw King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) shock the Small Council when he announced his intention to marry his daughter's best friend, Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), to the pleasure of her father, the Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).

Meanwhile, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) made peace with her father and also managed to subdue the insubordination of her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith).

However, in the aftermath, the Rogue Prince appears to be uniting with Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) to take on the sadistic sailor they dubbed 'The Crabfeeder' in a war for the Stepstones.

So, we have you covered for a full in-depth recap for the events of House of the Dragon episode 3 and the changes from the book Fire and Blood.

More like this

**Spoiler warning for House of the Dragon episode 3**

House of the Dragon episode 3 recap: Second of His Name

Daniel Scott-Smith as The Crabfeeder in House of the Dragon
Daniel Scott-Smith as The Crabfeeder in House of the Dragon HBO

In the action-packed opening scenes of the episode, the creepy Craghas Crabfeeder torments the sailors on the Stepstones until he is attacked by the red wormy dragon Caraxes, ridden by Prince Daemon Targaryen. Despite the attack, Prince Daemon is shot with an arrow and is forced to flee. Perhaps this isn't going as well as the roguish prince hoped...

Two years (!) on from their engagement, in the Red Keep, King Viserys Targaryen enjoys time at court with Queen Alicent and their firstborn son, Prince Aegon Targaryen. Small council member Ser Tyland Lannister informs King Viserys of the disasters on the Stepstones as the war continues. King Viserys ignores the calls for aid and instead wants to know where Princess Rhaenyra is.

Outside in the Godswood, while she is listening to music, Princess Rhaenyra is approached by a pregnant Queen Alicent who she is cold with but Queen Alicent pulls rank with her as musician Samwell departs. Queen Alicent asks Princess Rhaenyra to join the family and the Queen tries to mend bridges, to no avail. It seems Alicent is the more diplomatic party here but awkward for Rhaenyra that your best friend may have supplanted you in the line of succession with a new baby.

The Targaryen family heads to the large forest named the "Kingswood" to celebrate baby Prince Aegon’s birthday, but Princess Rhaenyra remains cold with Queen Alicent. King Viserys reminds Princess Rhaenyra of her duties but she knows she is not considered important now since Prince Aegon’s birth.

Emily Carey and Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon
Emily Carey and Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/ HBO

Arriving at the birthday celebrations, the family are welcomed and much love is shown for young Prince Aegon, while Princess Rhaenyra is clearly unhappy.

In a tent, a polite Queen Alicent sits with her ladies and is joined by the disabled Larys Strong, son of Lord Lyonel Strong on the Small Council. Queen Alicent speaks highly of Princess Rhaenyra who denies that the Crown is at war with the Crabfeeder despite the present Lady Redwyne insisting they are due to the actions of Prince Daemon and Lord Corlys. Princess Rhaenyra bites back at her, however, to Queen Alicent’s pleasure.

Princess Rhaenyra is soon approached by Lord Jason Lannister who speaks of his "dull" twin brother Ser Tyland who serves on the Small Council and invites Princess Rhaenyra to his ancestral seat of Casterly Rock, boasting of his wealth and clearly being suggestive of a potential marriage between the two of them. An angry Princess Rhaenyra takes her leave.

Elsewhere, in the tent, Princess Rhaenyra angrily approaches her father about his suggestion of suitors and he angrily scolds her for refusing to marry and all can hear. Ser Otto Hightower approaches the King about the sighting of a white stag to shoot for Prince Aegon’s name day. An angry Princess Rhaenyra leaves on her horse and is followed by her sworn kingsguard Ser Criston Cole.

Milly Alcock and Fabien Frankel in House of the Dragon
Milly Alcock and Fabien Frankel in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/ HBO

Catching up with her near a lake in the Kingswood, Ser Criston asks Princess Rhaenyra what troubles her and she admits it is her marital prospects and Ser Criston jokes that he could kill Lord Jason for her. Sexual tension is clearly in the air. The pair explore the Kingswood and they speak of romance and Ser Criston’s past love life. Princess Rhaenyra makes clear how unhappy she is with her lack of freedom. Romance surely beckons for these two.

The court hunts in the Kingswood, including King Viserys. Otto suggests the sighting of the white stag is a sign of Prince Aegon’s glorious future.

In his tent, Lord Jason approaches King Viserys with a golden spear for Prince Aegon and hopes King Viserys will use it to kill the stag. Lord Jason makes clear his desire to marry Princess Rhaenyra and to add strength to House Targaryen and compensate Princess Rhaenyra for (he expects) her losing her title as heir to the throne. However, King Viserys makes clear that he will not discard his daughter as his heir and suggests any that go against this will be considered rebels. King Viserys drinks and Queen Alicent watches before Ser Otto approaches him about the stag and asks about Jason’s proposal. Ser Otto suggests that King Viserys orders Princess Rhaenyra to marry Lord Jason but the King wants her to be happy. Ser Otto suggests that Princess Rhaenyra marries her half-brother, Prince Aegon, too but this angers King Viserys.

Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister in House of the Dragon
Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/ HBO

An increasingly drunk King Viserys tires of the court and celebrations and Queen Alicent notices. Lord Lyonel Strong approaches and says Princess Rhaenyra can’t be found and King Viserys laments his lack of control over her, but Lord Lyonel suggests this was true for the late King Jaehaerys and his children too. Lord Lyonel suggests a match and King Viserys assumes it will be his own son but the honourable Lord Lyonel actually suggests Ser Laenor Velaryon as a match for Princess Rhaenyra to mend the ties between House Velaryon and House Targaryen and provide wealth and pure Valyrian blood - if Ser Laenor survives the war in the Stepstones.

In the forest, Princess Rhaenyra sits with Ser Criston by a fire at night and she asks him if the realm would ever accept her as their queen but he says they will have no choice but to. The pair are disturbed by an attack by a wild boar but Ser Criston strikes the boar before Princess Rhaenyra stabs it to death and is covered in blood.

At a bonfire, King Viserys is approached by Queen Alicent and he tells her that he no longer believes, as he had a recurring dream of a young boy in a conqueror’s crown. King Viserys blames his obsession with a son for killing Queen Aemma but feels conflicted as he now has a son despite naming Princess Rhaenyra as his heir.

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon HBO

In the Kingswood, a large stag is found and presented to the king but it is not white. Lord Jason hands King Viserys the spear to kill the stag and he does but it is slow and he must stab it twice. King Viserys is clearly unhappy to have done so. The court applauds him.

A blood-soaked Princess Rhaenyra watches the camp from a hilltop with Ser Criston until they spot the white stag. Ser Criston draws his sword but Princess Rhaenyra forbids him to do anything else and lets the white stag flee. The pair return to a shocked group of onlookers in the camp with the dead boar as Princess Rhaenyra passes by covered in blood. Another badass moment from the Princess.

Ser Otto visits an unhappy Queen Alicent and he pushes the importance of Prince Aegon becoming the heir to the Iron Throne. Queen Alicent wants to be happy for her son but notes Princess Rhaenyra would be a good queen and she is uncomfortable if Prince Aegon takes the throne from her. Ser Otto pushes that Aegon will be king and that Queen Alicent should guide King Viserys "towards reason". Let your daughter be happy, man.

Queen Alicent approaches King Viserys in his chambers to discuss Princess Rhaenyra and the Queen suggests she will marry if she believes it is her choice to do so. King Viserys shares a letter from Lord Corlys’ brother Ser Vaemond Velaryon pleading for help in the Stepstones. King Viserys does not want to support Prince Daemon and Lord Corlys after their rogue behaviour. Queen Alicent pushes King Viserys to do what is best for the realm - and that is to vanquish the Crabfeeder.

Emily Carey as Queen Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon
Emily Carey as Queen Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon HBO

Later, Princess Rhaenyra approaches her father after he gives an order to send aid to the Stepstones. King Viserys wants to save Prince Daemon despite his lack of personal requests for help. Princess Rhaenyra makes clear that she is angered at eventually being replaced by Prince Aegon and fears she will be sold off now that all she is good for is marriage. King Viserys notes the importance of marriage but does not want to replace Princess Rhaenyra and wants to see her content and happy. Princess Rhaenyra comments that King Viserys did not marry for advantage either but King Viserys wants her to strengthen her claim through marriage and find a match that pleases her. Princess Rhaenyra leaves after King Viserys swears on her mother’s memory to not let her be supplanted.

Near the Stepstones as the war flounders, Lord Corlys speaks of the need for support but hopes to press on despite the concerns of his younger brother Ser Vaemond and only son Ser Laenor. Prince Daemon returns on his dragon but Ser Vaemond lacks faith in Prince Daemon’s warfare. The commanders are approached by messengers from King Viserys offering support but Prince Daemon brutally beats the messenger. The message notes that boats and soldiers will be sent to aid Prince Daemon and King Viserys hopes for his brother’s safe return.

Wil Johnson, Matt Smith and Theo Nate in House of the Dragon
Ser Vaemond Targaryen (Wil Johnson), Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Ser Laenor Targaryen (Theo Nate) in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/ HBO

In response, a defiant Prince Daemon rows out to speak with the Crabfeeder alone with a white flag of surrender. The Crabfeeder’s men emerge and draw arrows at Prince Daemon who lays down his sword, Dark Sister. Prince Daemon soon turns on the soldiers and kills many as arrows are fired. Evading the shots between various blocking obstacles, Prince Daemon charges through and kills various attackers. More are sent out by the Crabfeeder to finish off Prince Daemon but he kills then all again as arrows rain down, killing some of the Crabfeeder’s own men. Prince Daemon takes multiple arrows but then seeks shelter in the wreckage of a boat. Numerous soldiers are sent out to attack Prince Daemon once again but he once again draws Dark Sister.

The Triarchy’s troops surround Prince Daemon but then the Velaryon army emerges along with Ser Laenor Velaryon atop a dragon which burns the enemy troops, including the archers on the mountainside. Prince Daemon pursues the Crabfeeder himself into a cave before returning with half of his enemy's body sliced down the middle. Victory at last for House Targaryen and House Velaryon - and less embarrassment for Prince Daemon compared to last week!

What book changes are in House of the Dragon episode 3?

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon HBO
  • The timeline of events has slightly shifted. In the book, Queen Alicent gives birth to Prince Aegon after Prince Daemon defeats the Crabfeeder.
  • In the book, the war with the Crabfeeder is regularly financed by the Crown despite its being considered a private war and the series fleshes out the events of the war and what happens with King Viserys’ support of Prince Daemon. Prince Daemon does indeed slaughter the Crabfeeder himself. No mention is made of Ser Laenor or Ser Vaemond’s roles in the war, however.
  • Ser Vaemond Velaryon is Lord Corlys' nephew in the book, but here he is his younger brother.
  • Queen Alicent’s issues with Prince Aegon supplanting Princess Rhaenyra are new for the series and add greater complexity to her character who is endlessly encouraged by her father Ser Otto here. In the book, Queen Alicent is always out for securing her son's advancement.
  • Princess Rhaenyra is shown to be upset at the marriage of Alicent to King Viserys here due to her own feelings for her former best friend but in the book, she initially is at peace with the marriage - until later.
  • The age changes for King Viserys, Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent remain.

We'll have to wait and see if Prince Daemon's actions manage to reconcile him to King Viserys!

The next episode is titled King of the Narrow Sea and sees Prince Daemon make his long-awaited return to King's Landing, but how will King Viserys and Princess Rhaenyra handle his return?

Meanwhile, will Princess Rhaenyra finally take a husband? Or will she find herself tempted by a forbidden romance?
Read More

House of the Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and is available on NOW. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.