The following are spoilers for Episode 3 of House of the Dragon.
We took a step forward in time in the third episode of House of the Dragon. This time, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) has now had a son, while Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) has been on his way to a losing war in the Stepstones. This was the most terrifying narrative thread.
Viserys is completely uninterested in discussing the conflict, merely attending to his son's birthday and an upcoming public service hunt. He begins to question himself and the direction he is taking in the Daemons war. He continues to fight his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) after she becomes largely outmaneuvered by the Crabfeeder Prince Craghas Drahar.
Daemon reacts in a rage and literally assaults the messenger when he receives an offer of help, which he was largely reluctant to do. It also demonstrates how both men, worlds apart and unsure of the future, are attempting to maintain their own narrative.
The looming sense of dread continues to creep along in Episode 3, often involving several characters making an appearance to make a point before quickly disappearing into the background. He recounts how he frantically attempted to bring back a desire for his wife when his obsession led to his death. He then asks Alicent, what if I was wrong?
The subsequent scenes of Daemon and the harm he has done to those around him are quite telling of his similar state of mind. Daemon was willing to die for the purpose of establishing a personal legacy that he could bolster with political power. Both actors are equally convinced that their own personal destiny is more powerful than their own.
The fact that Daemon is bailed out and survived will only bolster his ego even further. This is already evident in the most recent look ahead at the next episode where both men feel it is necessary to pursue greater conflict for their people. It is this shared desire for their own people that sets the stage for yet more chaos in the kingdom.
While we do not know that any of these characters' future is bright, this slowly unfolding catastrophe remains enthralling. It was "Second of His Name" that showed, when it all comes down to it, that both brothers are woefully out of their depth yet will sacrifice anyone to prevent themselves from drowning in their own desires.