House of the Dragon, season 2: the shocking scene at the end of episode 1 explained

Actress Phia Saban speaks to Première about her vision of the horrible sequence which concludes the first episode, online on Max.

It is an introduction worthy of Game Of Thrones : season 2 of House of the Dragon begins with an infamous crime, which risks having serious repercussions for the rest of the conflict. Warning spoilers!

The episode concludes with a long sordid sequence, known as “Blood & Cheese” to readers of George RR Martin, based on the two unnamed assassins who were hired by Daemon to kill Aemond and avenge Luke's death. An Eye for an Eye… Except that the two goons end up in the wrong room and kill the young son of King Aegon and Queen Helaena: Jaeherys. They cut off his head in his bed, under the horrified gaze of his mother, Helaena Targaryen, who must make a choice to save her family and decides to sacrifice her son to escape with her daughter, Jaehera, in her arms.

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With an impassive look, the unfathomable Helaena leaves her child to his sad fate. An act of absolute bravery for Phia Saban. The actress of House of the Dragon explains the scene to Première:

“Helaena has a knife to her throat. She knows that if she does not give her son to these men, she will be murdered along with her entire family. So she summons all the strength she has within her, like these mothers' stories who managed to lift a car to save their children. She finds this strength in herself, even if it's not the kind of strength you see conventionally.

The actress then explains that the sequence was not easy to perform: “This is truly the worst possible situation for a human being. Obviously, I've never experienced anything like this and I hope it never happens to me… I played the sequence in a natural way, as if I was in his place at the present moment . Not by telling myself: I have to play the most horrible thing in the world!”

House of the Dragon 2
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It should be noted that the sequence does not unfold quite like that in the book. Fire & Blood of George RR Martin. In the pages, Blood & Cheese first tie up Alicent, rape Helaena to force her to choose among… her three children. Indeed, in addition to Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, she also has another boy in the book: Maelor. And it is precisely him that Helaena chooses. Except that the assassins are amused and decide to kill Jaeherys instead. “Maelor isn't even in the show's storyline so we had to make changes.”justifies the showrunner Ryan Condal in TVLine.

Whatever happens, the sequence will mark Helaena forever, she who takes a more important place in this season 2 of House of the Dragoneven if she seems out of step with her family: “I don't know if Helaena has autistic syndrome” resumes Phia Saban for Première. “But what is certain in my opinion is that she is hypersensitive. She has above average intelligence and has a particular vision of what is happening around her. She is fully aware of the dynamics in place at the castle, but she has great difficulty communicating in a way that is acceptable to her family. Because of this, she is perceived as strange, different. She doesn't wear a worldly mask, and that makes her weird. Helaena is undoubtedly part of what we today call neurodiversity.”

House of the Dragon, season 2, to watch on Max in France.



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