A comprehensive recap of everything that happened on 'House of the Dragon' season 1

A woman in a black cape with a crown on her head.
Emma D'Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra in "House of the Dragon."HBO
  • "House of the Dragon" season 2 premieres Sunday on HBO.

  • The show's first season was dense, fast-paced, and full of time skips.

  • Here's a recap of the important info you need to remember before season 2.

Warning: spoilers ahead — obviously — for all of "House of the Dragon" season one.

"House of the Dragon" season two is finally almost here — but it's been a few years since season one aired on HBO.

If you're anything like us, you probably need a bit of a refresher on everything that happened in the show's complex, time-hopping first season. Season one served as a kind of prequel to the true action of "House of the Dragon": the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

We've got a comprehensive summary of everything particularly important that happened in season one of "House of the Dragon," from King Viserys becoming the heir to the throne over his cousin Rhaenys to Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar killing Rhaenyra's son Lucerys and his dragon Arrax.

Here's everything you need to know before diving into "House of the Dragon" season two.

Aegon the Conqueror has a prophetic vision that's been passed down the Targaryen royal line.

Viserys tells his daughter Rhaenyra about a prophecy passed down the Targaryen line: "A Song of Ice and Fire," which should be a familiar name.

In Aegon's prophecy, a threat will descend on Westeros from the North — a long and dangerous winter. According to his vision, that threat can only be defeated by a realm united with a Targaryen on the Iron Throne.

The Grand Council names Viserys Targaryen the heir to the Iron Throne after King Jaehaerys, over Rhaenys Targaryen.

paddy considine as viserys targaryen in house of the dragon. he's a middle aged man with silver blonde hair, grey stubble, and wearing a crown
Paddy Considine as King Viserys in "House of the Dragon" season one.Ollie Upton/HBO

Near the end of the first century of Targaryen rule, a Grand Council convened to determine the path of succession following King Jaehaerys. Both of Jaehaerys' sons were dead, and the council decided that Viserys Targaryen would be his heir rather than Rhaenys Targaryen, his eldest descendant, a daughter.

Viserys assumed the throne after Jaehaerys, while Rhaenys came to be called the "Queen Who Never Was."

Viserys names his daughter Rhaenyra his heir over his brother Daemon before he has two sons with his second wife, Alicent Hightower.

The relationship between Viserys and his brother, Daemon, is strained following the death of Viserys' newborn son, Baelon. Daemon calls him "Prince for a day," which is the final straw in the two's strained relationship, following the City Watch's excessive use of violence under Daemon's orders.

As a result, Viserys names Rhaenyra as his sole heir, which Daemon takes very badly. But everyone else pledges to Rhaenyra as the future ruler.

Following his wife Aemma's traumatic death during childbirth, Viserys is pressured to marry Laena Velaryon, but instead, he chooses Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), who also happens to be Rhaenyra's closest friend. This is the inciting moment that starts to divide the girls.

Over the years, Alicent gives birth to three Targaryen children: Aegon, Aemond, and Helaena.

Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon defeat the Triarchy in the Stepstones.

matt smith as daemon targaryen, standing in an open doorway with a sword and wearing a makeshift crown. his hair is cropped short
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in season one, episode four of "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

The Triarchy is an alliance between the cities of Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh that takes over the Stepstones to control the shipping lanes. Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Daemon work together to battle the Triarchy, but they struggle to wipe them out with Daemon's dragon, Caraxes, because they keep retreating into the caves.

Daemon surrenders himself to get the army's leader, Craghas Drahar — AKA the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith) — out into the open. With a little help from Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan) and his dragon, Seasmoke, Daemon wipes out a wave of Triarchy soldiers before butchering the Crabfeeder in a cave.

He emerges victorious by dragging out the Crabfeeder's bisected torso.

Rhaenyra marries Laenor Velaryon, Corlys Velaryon's son — but has a sexual encounter with Ser Criston Cole.

Under pressure from Viserys to marry, Rhaenyra entertains several potential suitors as a young woman, but none of them are to her fancy. She arrives at King's Landing at the same time as Daemon, who returns from the war in the Stepstones. She and Daemon venture into the city together in plain clothes, and they're spotted kissing at a pleasure house — unfortunately, word makes its way back to Otto Hightower.

When Rhaenyra returns to her room, she has sex with Ser Criston. Alicent confronts Rhaenyra after hearing the rumor that she had sex with Daemon, which Rhaenyra vehemently denies. After hearing the report from Otto, Viserys sends Daemon back to his wife in The Vale and tells Rhaenyra that she's to wed Laenor Velaryon, Lord Corlys' and Rhaenys' son. However, he also strips Otto of his position as the Hand of the King.

Rhaenyra and Laenor establish an understanding — their marriage will afford both of them the freedom to make their own sexual pursuits. But all's not well at their wedding: Alicent learns from Ser Criston that Rhaenyra was not a maiden when she was wed and arrives at the wedding dinner in green — for a Hightower, the color of war.

Laenor and Rhaenyra are wed, but not before Ser Criston brutally kills Laenor's paramour, Joffrey, at the celebration.

Rhaenyra and Laenor have three sons together — but they're actually Ser Harwin Strong's bastards.

A woman and man (Princess Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor) in a grand room.
Rhaenyra, Laenor and baby Joffrey in "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

Years later, Rhaenyra has given birth to three sons: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, all under her marriage with Laenor.

However, it's an open secret that none of those children look like Laenor — in fact, they rather resemble Ser Harwin Strong.

Rhaenyra's sons each bond to a dragon: Jacaerys to Vermax, Lucerys to Arrax, and Joffrey to Tyraxes.

Viserys expels Otto Hightower as his Hand, appointing Lyonel Strong — but later takes Otto back.

Otto Hightower, Alicent's father, became the Hand of the King under King Jaehaerys, Viserys' predecessor. He retains the position under Viserys until the King expels him in season one, episode four, wary of his self-serving political maneuvering.

Viserys appoints Lyonel Strong as the new Hand. Lyonel attempts to resign in episode six, saying that his son Harwin Strong has brought disgrace. Viserys doesn't let him do so but does grant him leave to escort Harwin to Harrenhal, the seat of House Strong. Unfortunately for both, Larys Strong has edged his way into Alicent Hightower's inner circle, and he orchestrates a fire to kill both Lyonel and Harwin.

After Lyonel's death, Otto reassumes the position of Hand, though Alicent cautions her son Aegon II to dismiss some of his council as he assumes the throne.

Daemon kills his first wife and marries Laena Velaryon, who dies after giving birth to two daughters.

matt smith as daemon targaryen, kneeling in front of his pregnant wife, laena targaryen, played by nanna blondell. daemon has his hands over laena's belly, and she's looking down at him
Matt Smith and Nanna Blondell as Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon in season one, episode six of "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

Daemon murders his first wife, Lady Rhea of The Vale, with whom he never consummated their marriage. After Rhaenyra's wedding, he marries Laena Velaryon, Lord Corlys and Rhaenys' daughter. They have two daughters: Baela, who is bonded to the dragon Moondancer, and Rhaena, who is unbonded.

Laena goes into labor while giving birth to their third child while the family resides in Pentos, but the birth goes wrong. Laena chooses to face Vhagar, her dragon, and commands her to kill her by fire. With seemingly great reluctance, Vhagar does.

Alicent and Viserys' second son Aemond claims Vhagar, Laena Velaryon's dragon.

After Laena's death, the Targaryen and Velaryon families attend her memorial at Driftmark. While there, Aemond, Alicent, and Viserys' second son bonds with Vhagar, Laena's dragon.

Baela, Rhaena, Jacaerys, and Lucerys confront Aemond for having stolen Vhagar, when one of Laena's daughters should have been the one to bond with her. The conflict ends with Aemond hurling insults about Rhaenyra's sons' parentage and Lucerys cutting Aemond across the eye.

The adults judge the conflict, and Alicent demands one of Lucerys' eyes in return for Aemond's. That doesn't happen, but Alicent does wound Rhaenyra with a knife.

Many of the Targaryen and Velaryon children are betrothed to one another.

As the children grow older, there are a few betrothals at hand. Rhaenyra proposes that Jacaerys, her eldest son, and Helaena, Alicent and Viserys' daughter, be wed to help bring peace to their families. Alicent decides instead to betroth Helaena to Aegon II, her brother. They are eventually wed and have children together.

Jacaerys and Lucerys, meanwhile, are betrothed to Daemon and Laena's daughters, Baela and Rhaena, respectively. Aemond is a free agent, though Aegon appears to offer him as a marriage prospect for one of the Baratheon daughters to secure House Baratheon's support in the war.

Daemon and Rhaenyra help fake Laenor's death and marry.

matt smith and emma d'arcy as daemon and rhaenyra targaryen, dressed in beige and red wedding garb and pressing their foreheads together. rhaneyra has a heacpiece on her head
Daemon and Rhaenyra's wedding in season one, episode seven of "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

Shortly after Laena Velaryon's funeral, Rhaenyra and Daemon conspire to fake Laenor Velaryon's death with the help of Ser Qarl, his paramour. Laenor's parents, Corlys and Rhaenys, discover a burned corpse in a Driftmark fireplace — and, crucially, suspect that Rhaenyra is somehow responsible. Qarl and Laenor presumably leave together to live somewhere across the Narrow Sea, never to be heard from again.

That opens the door for Rhaenyra and Daemon to marry at the end of episode seven. Rhaenyra eventually gives birth to two of Daemon's sons: Aegon III and Viserys II. In the season one finale, she prematurely gives birth to a stillborn child — her only daughter, Visenya.

Lord Corlys' ailing health causes a conflict over the Velaryon succession.

Lord Corlys was grievously wounded at sea six years after Laenor's death, making the matter of Velaryon succession an imminent concern. Vaemond, Corlys' brother, does not want Rhaenyra's son Lucerys — who Corlys previously recognized as his heir — to take the Driftmark throne because he believes that Lucerys is a bastard (not wrong!).

The matter makes its way to King's Landing, where Vaemond and Rhaenyra make their cases in front of an ailing Viserys. Rhaenyra asks Rhaenys to back her in exchange for betrothing her sons Jacaerys and Lucerys to Rhaenys' granddaughters, Baela and Rhaena.

Ultimately, Vaemond accuses Rhaenyra's sons of being bastards before the King, and Daemon chops off half his head. Lucerys is established as the heir to Driftmark.

Viserys' illness finally takes him, and Alicent installs her son Aegon II on the throne.

tom glynn-carney as aegon targaryen, standing in front of a crowd at his coronation and holding up a sword. behind him are his mother, wife, and ser criston cole, as well as a three headed golden dragon banner
Aegon II Targaryen's coronation in season one, episode nine of "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

In episode eight, it's very clear that Viserys doesn't have long left after suffering from a degenerative disease. He has open wounds across his face, he's missing his right eye, his left arm, and several fingers.

During his final moments, he mistakes Alicent for Rhaenyra and starts talking about Aegon Targaryen's prophecy that has been handed down over hundreds of years through the line of succession to Viserys.

However, Alicent thinks he's referring to her son, Prince Aegon, and mistakenly believes that Viserys is telling her that Ageon is now the heir to the throne.

In episode nine, it's confirmed that the Small Council had actually been planning for Aegon to take the throne all along. But unlike Simba in "The Lion King," Aegon really, really does not want to be king, and he goes into hiding. However, he's eventually dragged back to the Red Keep to do as he's told, and a coronation is planned.

Mysaria, the White Worm, helps the royal family find Aegon.

sonoya mizuno as mysaria in house of the dragon. she's a relatively young woman, wearing a blue shawl and with neat hair, sitting at an outdoor tavern table
Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria in season one, episode nine of "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

"House of the Dragon" introduces Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) as a prostitute Daemon sees. In episode two, Daemon steals an egg and occupies Dragonstone, saying that he intends to take Mysaria as his second wife and that she carries his child. Mysaria, however, isn't too happy about being used as Daemon's political pawn — she came to him for liberation. She leaves him.

Years later, Daemon again encounters Mysaria in King's Landing after his night out with Rhaenyra. But her most significant role in "House of the Dragon" happens in episode nine, after Viserys' death. Mysaria, who now has a functioning information operation, hears from a source in the castle about the King's death and secures Aegon II. She then bargains with Otto Hightower: Aegon's location, in exchange for protection for the children in Flea Bottom.

Unfortunately, things don't turn out well for her, and she appears to get burned to death on Larys Strong's orders.

Rhaenys doesn't take the opportunity to kill Aegon while leaving King's Landing.

In one of the first season's most memorable moments, Rhaenys (Eve Best) breaks out of her quarters in the Red Keep with the help of Ser Erryk (Elliot Tittensor), at the same time as most of the civilians are ushered into the Dragonpit to watch Aegon's coronation.

Rhaenys uses this to her advantage by heading down into the caverns under the Dragonpit to reunite with her dragon, Meleys. She causes chaos when Meleys bursts through the floor of the arena, killing a number of people in the process. Although she has the opportunity to kill Alicent, Aegon, Otto, and the rest of the Greens, Rhaenys chooses to let them live.

Rhaenyra is reluctant to start the war — but Aemond kills her son Lucerys.

rhaenyra, emma d'arcy, holding her sun lucerys, elliot grihault, in front of a strategy war table. she's looking at him intensely, and cracling his neck
Elliot Grihault and Emma D'Arcy as Lucerys and Rhaenyra in "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton/HBO

After Aegon II assumes the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra is reluctant to be the one to start the war, and knows that bringing dragons into the fray is an irreversible decision. Her council takes stock of their supporters and, most importantly, their dragons, which outnumber those under the Greens' possession.

Rhaenyra sends her eldest sons to secure support from a few key houses: Jacaerys to House Arryn and House Stark and Lucerys to House Baratheon. Both of them pledge to act only as messengers and not fight.

Unfortunately, when Lucerys arrives at Storm's End to speak with Lord Borros Baratheon, Aemond has beaten him to the punch and offered a betrothal to one of the Baratheon daughters in exchange for his support. Lord Borros rebuffs Lucerys, but doesn't allow them to fight. Lucerys flees on his dragon, Arrax, and Daemon pursues him on his much, much larger dragon Vhagar.

At first, it seems like Aemond only intends to toy with Lucerys. But Arrax attacks Vhagar of his own volition, and both Aemond and Lucerys lose control of their dragons. Vhagar tears Arrax — and Lucerys — to pieces with her teeth.

That's about where things end in season one, leaving plenty of aftermath for "House of the Dragon" to tackle in season two.

Read the original article on Business Insider