The new title sequence shows the (literal) bloodlines of House Targaryen and the inheritors of the Iron Throne.
Episode two was the first time we got to see a brand-new opening credits sequence for “House of the Dragon.” Though the same theme music from “Game of Thrones” was repurposed, the visuals are entirely new.
Instead of moving across a map of Westeros, this title sequence shows the flowing blood that runs from the early Targaryens all the way down to Princess Rhaenyra as the new heir to the Iron Throne.
Several major Targaryen rulers (or their wives and siblings) are shown via little circular cogs. The very first one hints at the Doom of Valyria — a mysterious cataclysmic event that destroyed the whole city and all its dragon and dragon rider inhabitants.
Rhaenyra’s map marker is the symbol from the necklace Daemon gave her in episode one.
The opening credits move through various royalty until we land on Rhaenyra, the heir to the Iron Throne. She doesn’t have a crown like the one that symbolizes her father Viserys’ place in the Targaryen line of succession.
Instead, Rhaenyra is represented by the circular symbol that was on the necklace Daemon gifted to her in the first episode. The necklace is made of Valyrian steel, the special metal that is precious to Targaryens due to its link with dragon magic.
Ser Criston Cole set himself apart from the other knights with his battle experience, but the show emphasized his humbler beginnings by having him be the only knight without a squire.
In the scene where Princess Rhaenyra gets to select the newest member of the Kingsguard, the four most strategically important knights are accompanied by their squires. (You may recall Podrick Payne in “Game of Thrones” during his squire days, where he’d stand with the House Lannister banner while serving Tyrion and Bronn.)
Ser Criston Cole, who came from a lesser house, was only raised to knighthood because he fought alongside Lord Dondarrion — the ancestor of Ser Beric Dondarrion, the knight who was raised from the dead by Melisandre in “Game of Thrones.”
Within the fictional society of Westeros, pages and squires are usually boys from noble houses who are on a pathway to knighthood. Clearly the common-born Ser Criston is not yet at a high enough station to be considered worthy of a highborn boy’s assistance.
This scrappy edge is appealing to Rhaenyra, who wants to know that her Kingsguard can fight and not just serve as ornamental political strategy tools.
If you’re wondering how old all the younger characters are, they’re all considered to be children between 12 and 15 years old.
Cocreator and writer Ryan Condal told Insider that the team made a commitment early on to only have characters recast if they started out in the show as “truly children.” That means Rhaenyra and and Alicent (who are both 14 years old at the start of the series) and twins Laena and Laenor (12) will have new actors step in to play them when the show does a time jump later in the first season.
Both Viserys and Daemon Targaryen already well into their adulthood, while Ser Criston Cole is in his “very early 20s,” according to Condal.
Viserys’ history with Balerion the Black Dread — the largest dragon to ever live in Westeros — has an interesting backstory.
During his chat with Laena, Viserys talks about how he once rode Balerion, the dragon that Aegon the Conqueror himself rode when he came to take over Westeros.
In “Fire and Blood,” the fictional history upon which “House of the Dragon” is based, author George R.R. Martin wrote that Viserys entered the dragonpit and successfully mounted Balerion when the future king was just 16 years old.
But Viserys only took Balerion for a short ride, saying later that the dragon seemed to be lagging in old age and Viserys didn’t think he’d make a longer journey.
This makes for an interesting contrast between Viserys and his brother and daughter. Daemon and Rhaenyra are skilled dragonriders who have built a strong bond with their dragons. But Viserys never tried again to claim a dragon for his own.
Daemon’s dragon, Caraxes, is nicknamed “Blood Wyrm” for his slender neck and torso.
So far in “House of the Dragon,” we’ve only met two of the infamous creatures bonded to Targaryens. Caraxes is Daemon’s dragon, and he’s recognizable for his reddish scales and long, lean body and neck. According to “Fire and Blood,” Caraxes is one of the fiercest dragons currently in Westeros.
Caraxes was formerly ridden by Prince Aemon Targaryen (Daemon’s late uncle), which means he’s older than Rhaenyra’s she-dragon Syrax. Unlike her uncle’s mount, Princess Rhaenyra’s dragon has only known a single rider in her lifetime.
For more fun facts about the new series, read our breakdown of the best 14 details you might have missed in the premiere.
New episodes of “House of the Dragon” will premiere Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.