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Westeros.org on Episode 2: The Rogue Prince


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Another new episode of House of the Dragon, and another episode of Linda and Elio discussing it! This time we look into some of the changes to a couple of Kingsguard knights, and dive more into House Velaryon now that the episode reveals a change the show has made to their relationship to the Targaryens.

You can see the episode below:

Share your thoughts on the video, and let us know if there’s any changes or background details you’d like us to discuss in future episodes!



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Thanks for your insights. I find myself in agreement with most of your points.

I've been surprised by you pronouncing Celtigar with a hard c as in the Elvish (Keltigar instead of Celtigar). Does that comes from George (or David Petterson)? Or is just a personal choice?

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A couple of things:

The Vhagar thing Linda was going on about - Visenya referring to her as growing old in 41 AC when she urged Aenys to allow her to burn Oldtown - was actually dropped from the final version of FaB. Presumably and correctly because Vhagar was not, in fact, all that old at the time.

We also know when she hatched (52 BC) since we know how old she was when she died in the Gods Eye in 130 AC (181 years). This kind of implies that Visenya wasn't her first rider, but merely her first known rider.

Both the Vhagar-Meraxes thing as well as Dreamfyre being older than Vermithor yet apparently never reaching his size very much implies that different dragons can have a different growth rate. That's the way to go there. When Meraxes died in 10 AC she cannot have been older than 124 years since she didn't hatch in Valyria, yet at least her skull was still somewhat larger than Vhagar's at the age of 181.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Both the Vhagar-Meraxes thing as well as Dreamfyre being older than Vermithor yet apparently never reaching his size very much implies that different dragons can have a different growth rate.

Fully agreed. I'm not saying any dragons could've grown as big as Balerion (maybe Meraxes and the Cannibal), but there were definitely ones that could've outgrown Vhagar, had they lived as much as she did: Specifically Vermithor (especially), Syrax, Tessarion and Seasmoke. In the case of Tessarion and Seasmoke: Tessarion was pretty impressive if he was from the cradle egg of Daeron, just as Seasmoke, in case he was around the age of Laenor. Compare that to Drogon being larger than Moondancer was at her death, and the sign is clear: Dragons don't all grow at the same pace, and they have different potentials when it comes to size.

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Not sure why other dragons shouldn't be able to grow as big as Balerion. Vermithor may have been able to pull that off, Caraxes, too, since he was half the size of Vhagar despite the fact that he wasn't even approaching 100 years at the time of his death.

Other thing:

If you guys do talk to Condal in the near future: Ask him about cut scenes and what they intend to do with them. You yourself mentioned Criston's investiture into the KG being filmed, and there seem to be other scenes that were filmed and cut from the pilot and the first episode. It would be great to get those in some fashion, preferrably as extended cuts on Bluray, etc. but we would all likely also take them as deleted scenes.

The pilot's cut from the tourney to the double funeral wasn't that good, and the intercutting of the investiture/crypt scene could also have worked better, not to mention that it seems that Daemon's actual 'Heir for a Day' speech was missing.

'The Rogue Prince' was only about 50 minutes long, so it could have worked better with some more scenes, especially if they were to jump right ahead two years at the beginning of the next episode.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

'The Rogue Prince' was only about 50 minutes long, so it could have worked better with some more scenes, especially if they were to jump right ahead two years at the beginning of the next episode.

I think that the show might have needed a full season before the time skip to the new actresses, even if that would have been difficult.

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6 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I think that the show might have needed a full season before the time skip to the new actresses, even if that would have been difficult.

Yes, that was my original wish. It would have doable, I think, if they had started with Prince Baelon's death, the subsequent succession crisis, covering the Great Council in an entire episode, and the introducing Otto and his family, having young Alicent become the Old King's reader, etc., followed by building up the Triarchy and the Stepstones war as a bigger threat. The fact that the Dornish later join the Triarchy in their fight against Daemon/Corlys could have provided enough justification for a proper alliance with Dorne, having some fighting in the Stormlands/Reach, etc.

The ending could have then been Rhaenyra's first wedding, connected with Daemon giving up his Stepstones crown for Laena. It would have also helped, I think, with the romances we have for Rhaenyra (Daemon, Criston, and Harwin are a lot to juggle, and I'm not sure they are doing all of them justice the way they are depicting them).

Then a jump ahead in the second season where the focus could have been on the deepening of the rift, the proper fleshing out of the children, the decline of Viserys, and a proper setup of the secondary players.

A great addition there could have been a kind of double progress in the 120s with Rhaenyra and Daemon touring the Realm at Viserys' behest ... but Alicent drags Aegon and Helaena along, so the Realm is effectively presented with two future royal couples (and some of their children). That could have made for great imagery.

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1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Another way to deal with it might have just been to widen the Stepstone war into a full on season engagement. Corys, Daemon, and the others in Westeros fighting against a "season villain" in the Crabfeeder and company.

Yes, of course, in such a scenario this would have been a bigger threat, with the fighting spanning multiple episodes. There could have been a plan to attack Driftmark, Dragonstone, and KL itself since the Stepstones campaign drew most of the dragonriders away from the capital.

Hell, it could have been easy to have a Lysene son of Saera's as the secret sponsor and mastermind behind the entire thing, intending to mount one of the larger riderless dragons of KL or Dragonstone and usurp the Iron Throne. Or establish himself as a dragonlord in Lys.

Something like that could have foreshadowed the devastating effects of the eventual infighting.

As I said multiple times earlier the way to make this work is to not set up the eventual opposing factions too early. It could have been great to see Rhaenyra, Alicent, and Otto work hand in hand in KL to beat back an outside threat.

So far the time jumps are pretty easy, but the big time jump replacing some of the actresses would have been better served at the end of a season.

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I think they needed a HUGE element for season 1's ending . the way you guys are imagining the series would have been better and frankly was my initial wish . especially that characters like Laena and Harwin would probably get an episode each. frustrating considering I saw them as the actual love matches for Rhaenyra and Daemon.  however , to be a bit realistic, Rhaenyra's wedding and a foreign war is hardly any upgrade from GoT . not to mention , devoted book fans tuning out complaining about a "fan fic" that is a much more developed war of the stepstones . while in the current structure , you'd have hype of a family drama as well as an ending with a bad ass dragon fight!

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@Ran

You mention you're interviewing Ryan Condal in a few days (congratulations). I figured I might as well list off some questions I hope you'll ask (if you haven't thought of them already):

  • What's going on with the Velaryons (obviously) - and not just "because we wanted diversity" - I mean accepting that as a given, he said "we changed it in a way that fits the universe" - he claimed that. Okay, fine...and that way is what specifically? Did he change the family trees? We just want clarification (i.e. why does Rhaenys call Boremund "cousin" and not "uncle" at the tourney? Is this a change?)
  • Timeline and Dates - I'm actually pleased with how the first two episodes have been keeping track of dates and times, though of course they had to age-up Rhaenyra. Specifically calendar dates, which GoT avoided (it was easier than keeping track of them!) -- Instead of Aemma dying in the second year of Viserys's reign, she dies in the ninth year of his reign. Great Council stated to be in 101 as in books.  Did Jaehaerys live another two yeares and die in 103, as in the books? This has led to considerable debate for wiki purposes. Given that Rhaenyra was born in 97 AC in the books, so she's 8 when her mother dies in 105 in the books...and 8 + 7 new years = 15. She's 14 in episode 1 but turns 15 by six months later in episode 2. Thus the ASSUMPTION I have on this is that Jaehaerys indeed lived another two years, and thus episode 1 is the year 112 AC. The old show didn't give us dates, I'm looking forward to the new show giving us dates. Short version of this question is "did Jaehaerys die two years after the Great Council as he did in the books?"
  • Heraldry - exciting to see NEW heraldry designs here, for House Rowan, and others we've seen them copyright that weren't in the original show (Bar Emmon, Staunton, etc.) -- MOST Game of Thrones heraldry was made in one big burst at the beginning of season one by Jim Stanes. Who does their heraldry now? And why didn't they fix the god-damned seahorse?!  Also who on the prop team is in charge of making those wonderful maps?
  • Dragon breeds: in a prior interview Sapochnik mentioned that there are basically three dragon types/breeds based on skull shape: "T-Rex shaped" (Dany's dragons), "Wolf-shaped", and "Horse-shaped, between those two extremes". Seems Caraxes is wolf-shaped, Syrax horse-shaped.  What were these specific types bred for? Is one like a dragon-destrier (built for strength and warfare) but another like a dragon-palfrey? (built for endurance?)  Because this brings us into Jack Vance "Dragon Masters" territory with the grephs bred for specific roles.
  • Will we see other megafauna/exotic animals in the show? Not many in the core regions in Westeros the story is set, but they only mentioned shadowcats on-screen briefly in Game of Thrones season 1, and never mentioned Aurochs at all; would be fun to pass by a farm in the riverlands that just casually has aurochs in it. At least we got the crabs in episode 2 (great CGI on them :) ( I of course want to see pouch-tigers in the menagerie of the Sealord of Braavos, lobsters the size of horses in the Shivering Sea, etc. ...but we'll porbably have to wait for the Sea Snake prequel about Young Corlys for that, or the Nymeria show for turtles the size of elephants). 
  • Based on casting agency info, we see that there's some new Lannisters in episode 3 who aren't in the books; the generation before Jason & Tyland. This had to be done for a couple of families in season one, where we know the members at the time of the Dance but not much about the preceding generation (i.e. the Blackwoods and Brackens cast for this season are original characters). How much does GRRM himself sign off on these invented characters? Because you might not ask him for "minor member of the Mallister family trying to join the kingsguard", but something like "we invented roles to be Jason & Tyland's parents" seems kind of important - did you ask him about that? At least in terms of coming up with names etc?

    If I had to pick only one to "submit", the most pressing and least controversial is, "Hey, like in the books, did Jaehaerys live another two years before Viserys succeeded him?"
Edited by The Dragon Demands
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To address the dragon in the room, I think the Velaryon change is obviously one from the books but I'm not sure that it really deserves the attention it's getting from the fandom. Elio and Linda have done a fantastic job explaining that House Velaryon is not a group of color and in detail but they've also been forced to spend roughly 40 minutes this episode defending their position to against attackers, which they shouldn't have to.
 
I guess my perspective is, "it's a change, everyone acknowledges it's a change, and that's a thing we note. Next topic, please."

It's sort of like Cersei and Robert's stillborn baby in Game of Thrones. It's a change that is absolutely a change and that has a huge amount of ramifications in relationships, past actions, and so on versus the content of the book.

But it is what it is.

I feel like I'd much rather hostile fans and the Twitter mob encourage the site hosts to give their feelings on other matters than try to attack them on their opinion here.

My second major thought on this episode is that I do think it's a bad thing by the showrunners that Elio and Linda WEREN"T consultants. You two deserve to paid at least something for all the fantastic work you did in setting up what eventually did become this show. Get some heraldry suggestions!

:)

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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Oh, another thing which would be great to know is if the Valyrian talk between Daemon and Rhaenyra confirmed that Syrax is actually a cradle egg dragon, and not a hatchling given to Rhaenyra ... and if so, if that's something that came from George or whether it is something they made up for the show.

Book-wise, the only confirmed cradle egg dragons are Rhaenyra sons and Daemon's daughters. Daeron's Tessarion may have been a cradle egg dragon, but Sunfyre apparently wasn't in the books. Although I expect he will turn out to be a cradle egg dragon in the show.

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On 8/30/2022 at 1:56 PM, C.T. Phipps said:

But it is what it is.

No. I hate that phrase “it is what it is” - a thought terminating cliche. 
 

(sorry but that phrase is triggering; Benioff would brush off criticisms of plot holes with “hey, it is what it is”) :(
 

Cersei having another son who died in the cradle never mentioned after season one was just lazy writing. It isn’t “just one of those things” that can be ignored and folded into the background of everyday viewing.

these are new showrunners who claim “even when we make changes we’ll do it in a way that respects the lore”….ok, this is the elephant in the room, they haven’t given an explanation yet. And I think it’s a GOOD change, but what’s their specific in universe explanation? They have several options.

I’d even cheerfully accept an explanation like “Alyssa Velaryon never married Aegon the Conqueror’s son in the Tv version”

maybe they’re worried we won’t like their answer…but NOT giving any answer is the worst course of action

 

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8 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

No. I hate that phrase “it is what it is” - a thought terminating cliche.

(sorry but that phrase is triggering; Benioff would brush off criticisms of plot holes with “hey, it is what it is”) :(

Cersei having another son who died in the cradle never mentioned after season one was just lazy writing. It isn’t “just one of those things” that can be ignored and folded into the background of everyday viewing.

these are new showrunners who claim “even when we make changes we’ll do it in a way that respects the lore”….ok, this is the elephant in the room, they haven’t given an explanation yet. And I think it’s a GOOD change, but what’s their specific in universe explanation? They have several options.

That's my point, though. They've given an explanation and it is something that they are standing by.

"Yeah, there's black Valyrians. There's always been them."

Which is the thing they've said from the beginning.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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