Larys Strong standing in a doorway in House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 | Agents of Fandom

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 3 Recap & Review: Larys Puts His Foot in the Mix

Ser Criston Cole somehow comes off even more insufferable in the third installment of Season 2.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3, “The Burning Mill.”

HBO’s series based on George R.R. Martin‘s Fire & Blood novel is picking up steam and ready to breathe fire as it barrels towards the mid-season finale. House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 is now streaming on Max and delivers several exciting moments and locations that fans have been waiting for.

The Game of Thrones spin-off show is operating at the highest level, with each installment even more intriguing than the last. Like both previous entries, Episode 3 contains important details; ensure you didn’t miss any of them with our House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 recap.

Rhaenyra Gives Rhaena an Important Job in ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 3

Baela and Rhaena standing side by side looking at each other in House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
Rhaena has an important task to complete by order of the queen, but that doesn’t mean she needs to be happy about fulfilling it. Image Credit: HBO/Warner Bros.

The episode opens with the Brackens and the Blackwoods feuding over land before cutting to the land covered in bodies. We’re then taken to Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Jace (Harry Collett) standing over the bodies of Erryk (Elliot Tittensor) and Arryk (Luke Tittensor). Rhaenys (Eve Best) thinks they can convince Alicent (Olivia Cooke) to come to a peaceful resolution but Rhaenyra doesn’t agree. Meanwhile, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) visits the High Council, and they discuss the brewing war between the Brackens and Blackwoods.

Criston Cole plans to ride out and put a stop to the war and King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) wants to come with but they don’t think that’s a good idea. Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) requests a spot at Rhaenyra’s court and proves she has valuable knowledge, so Rhaenyra accepts. Rhaenyra then sends Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell) to Pentos to raise her youngest children and protect the young Dragons.

Daemon (Matt Smith) and Caraxes arrive at Harrenhal to claim the castle and the Lord, Simon Strong (Simon Russell Beale), pledges fealty to Rhaenyra immediately. Simon knows that Larys (Matthew Needham) is a snake and Daemon asks to visit with Grover Tully, but Simon says that won’t be possible. Daemon wants the Riverlands so he can and take the throne. Back in King’s Landing, Alicent introduces her brother Ser Gwayne Hightower (Freddie Fox) to Criston and tells him he’ll be marching with them.

Rhaenys Wants Corlys To Name a New Successor

Lord Corys and Rhaenys standing on a balcony in House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
Rhaenys makes some good points, but Corlys is still unwilling to do something as drastic as changing the heir to Driftmark. Image Credit: HBO/Warner Bros.

House of the Dragon Season 2 continues when Alicent gives Ser Criston her blessing and he rides off. Back on Dragonstone, Rhaenyra’s council tries to convince her to strike, but she wants to wait it out and play the long game. On Driftmark, Rhaenys fills in Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) on what’s been going on in the war. She tries to convince him that Rhaena would be a more suitable heir for Driftmark, but he disagrees.

On Dragonstone, Team Black sees Rhaena off to Pentos to look after the young princes and dragons. Meanwhile, at the Red Keep, Alicent and Helaena (Phia Saban) talks about grief and Helaena tells her mother she forgives her for all she’s done. Larys then visits Aegon — who is preparing to join Ser Criston Cole despite pleas not too — and tells him what the common folk are whispering about him; Aegon tells him he may have use for his talents.

Because he doesn’t want his brother and mother to take over for him, Aegon decides to stay in the keep and not go out to battle. The young King then visits a local brothel, buys everyone a drink, walks in on Aemond being snuggled, and begins to tease him. Out in a field, Criston Cole and Gwayne argue before realizing Baela (Bethany Antonia) is closing in on her dragon, Moondancer. They narrowly escape into the woods and Baela flies back to Dragonstone to report her findings.

Rhaenyra Can’t Get Through to Alicent in ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 3

Alicent Hightower looking over her shoulder in House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
Alicent can see that she made a mistake crowning Aegon, but she’s too far into that mistake to back out now. Image Credit: HBO/Warner Bros.

House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 continues on Dragonstone when Rhaenyra’s counsel once again urges her to take action — she says she’ll consider it. At Harrenhal, Daemon has a vision of a young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) holding Jaehaerys’ body, which turns to a vision of the Weirwood tree in the Godswood of Harrenhal. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra meets with Mysaria who advises her to visit King’s Landing disguised and meet with Alicent, face to face.

Rhaenyra then makes her way through the streets of the capital dressed as a woman of faith and sees Alicent in the courtyard heading towards the Sept. Rhaenyra sits down beside her and offers her a path towards peace, and Alicent reminds her that Viserys (Paddy Considine) changed his mind about her, however she doesn’t believe her. Alicent tells Rhaenyra what he said the night of his death and Rhaenyra realizes the grave mishap that’s happened.

Rhaenyra tells Alicent that the story she heard was about Aegon the Conqueror, not her son Aegon. Alicent heard Viserys tell her the Song of Ice and Fire because the dying King thought she was Rhaenyra — he was not naming a new heir. Despite realizing what’s happened, Alicent refuses peace and confirms to Rhaenyra that there is no fixing the situation as the episode comes to a close.

‘House of the Dragon’ Is Breathing Fire Near the Halfway Point in Season 2

Rhaenyra standing beside Rhaenys in House of the Dragon | Agents of Fandom
Rhaenys may be the only one in Rhaenyra’s counsel not afraid to tell her the truth. Image Credit: HBO/Warner Bros.

House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 continues the Season 2 trend of strong episodes. Between Rhaenyra struggling to decide what to do, Criston Cole being more hateable than ever, and Alicent living under a web of guilt and deceit, every storyline is equally compelling. With strong performances from the cast to tie it all together, House of the Dragon Season 2 could very well stand as one of the best seasons of any Game of Thrones property by the time it’s all said and done.

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'House of the Dragon' Season 2, Episode 3 "The Burning Mill" Review

'House of the Dragon' Season 2, Episode 3 "The Burning Mill" Review
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The Good

  • The entire cast delivers outstanding performances.
  • The visuals and set designs are otherworldly.
  • Each story stands on its own but also weaves together to create a compelling narrative.

The Bad

  • Can be tough to follow if you're not paying attention.
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