House of the Dragon Premiere + She-Hulk Ep 2 & More Ask the Maester | Crooked Media
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August 26, 2022
X-Ray Vision
House of the Dragon Premiere + She-Hulk Ep 2 & More Ask the Maester

In This Episode

Send all House of the Dragon inquiries to


On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight smell like dragon! First in Previously On (2:17), Jason and Rosie recap and discuss She-Hulk episode 2. In the Airlock (42:40) they dive deep (deeep) into the premiere of HBO’s House of the Dragon, recapping the episode and attempting to prophesize the ramifications of a major new piece of lore. Then in the second XRV appearance of Jason’s classic segment Ask the Maester (1:38:14), he and Rosie answer listener questions about House of the Dragon and Westeros.




Jason Concepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for the premiere of House of the Dragon folks. If you have not watched that, this is coming out Friday, so you’ve watched it. But did watch that first, then come back. There’s some Game of Thrones spoilers there, and of course there’s going to be some spoilers for She-Hulk. Episode two. Be careful. Hello. My name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Podcast, where we are diving deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. Today’s episode action, super action packed episode folks. On the Previously On We will be discussing She-Hulk, the second episode, of the fantastic Disney Plus series, She-Hulk. And then in the airlock folks were diving into The House of the Dragon premiere and giving you our second edition of the Ask the Maester column and to join me today, as we ride dragons across the beautiful skyline of King’s Landing. It is the number one comics historian, the number one Godzilla Kaiju stomping on the competition is Rosie Knight. Rosie, are you?


Rosie Knight I’m glad to be here with the number one top Game of Thrones historian, top Game of Thrones podcast.


Jason Concepcion I mean.


Rosie Knight Knowledgeable guy. And also to talk about House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones because it’s not something we’ve gotten to do before and I’m super stoked for that.


Jason Concepcion Shouts to, I forget the name of the person on Twitter, after I tweeted that the official House of the Dragon Pod is the number one podcast in the country. Just to keep my feet on the ground, and I forget the username, but it was just like, Hey listen, Apple over waits their algorithm, over waits new subscribers, so we’re going to fall off. Don’t worry about it. And I just want to shout out that person who I, again, I forget for keeping my feet on the ground. I appreciate you.


Rosie Knight Got to stay humble.


Jason Concepcion But let’s jump into it. First up, She-Hulk episode two. Delightful show, continues to be delightful. This is Superhuman Law, written by Jessica Gow, directed by Kat Coiro. Let’s dive into it. So Jennifer’s courtroom debut of her Hulk Powers. It’s all over the news. We learn that Titania is a superpowered influencer, whatever that means. And the name of She-Hulk is coined as a reporter is talking to a witness who saw the events there. He’s describing her and he’s like, she’s some kind of like a female hulk. Kind of like a She-Hulk. Yeah, that’s it. A She-Hulk. Later that night, Nikki and Jen who is in She-Hulk form, at Nikki’s behest, hit the Legal E’s Bar and Grill to wild chants of She-Hulk from the patrons. Jen does not like the She-Hulk name. It is a dumb name when you think about it.


Rosie Knight Oh, it’s really dumb.


Jason Concepcion As is Spider-Man, as is Ant-Man. They’re all kind of dumb. The Iron Man.


Rosie Knight And she did like. And she and this show does like a really fun job of just like lamment, kind of like sparing the fact that any time for a long time in comics, any time a woman became a hero, they were like She-Hulk, Supergirl. They were just like, How do we just put thing? And, you know, in Supergirl’s case, it was also Superman. So like you said, everyone’s getting silly names.


Jason Concepcion Everyone’s name is pretty silly, Batman. Like pretty silly when you think of it. Anyway.


Rosie Knight He came up with  that one himself. Like that is his own theory.


Jason Concepcion Jen doesn’t like the name, but  she’s going to have to deal with it. Dennis, fucking Dennis comes over and this guy, this guy, his superpower is his unbelievable male privilege and regard for himself. He comes over and whines like a fucking itty bitty baby about how Jen has powers to now is not fair. And that whole display in the courtroom was undignified. And how’d she get those powers anyway? Probably nepotism, which is not totally out there. And then excuse me, there’s a hot chick over there. I’m going to go talk to it, he says.


Rosie Knight Dennis is the worst.


Jason Concepcion Literally of the worst. Jen, please throw this guy to like to Orange County.


Rosie Knight It’s where he belongs.


Jason Concepcion Nikki meanwhile loves that Jen is a superhero, loves it. But Jen very much does not want to be an Avenger, does not want to do any kind of hero-ing. She’s like, Do they get paid? Do they have health care even? That’s not a job. It’s a hobby. To which Nikki says. Here’s the thing, though, Hulk Jen is a total snack, which Nikki is awesome and I hope that they Darcy Nikki and we just see her again and again and again, in various Marvel fare. Then unfortunately Jen gets fired.


Rosie Knight She’s fired.


Jason Concepcion She’s fired. The district attorney’s office didn’t win the case. The case was declared a mistrial because apparently when you save the lives of the jury from a super villain, it could possibly prejudice the jury towards you, and that is actually a fair argument. And a mistrial was declared. And it’s all a mess. Jen interviews for numerous job positions, and it’s all no’s because apparently it’s too distracting to have a She-Hulk.


Rosie Knight And they call her like a sideshow. It’s mad disrespectful.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. After many failed job interviews, we see Jen, Nikki scrolling for for new jobs on on the computer. And there are a ton of Easter eggs here, including a headline reading Man Fights with metal claws in bar brawl.


Rosie Knight Sounds like Wolverine. Sounds like someone we know.


Jason Concepcion This is very Logan behavior. It’d be interesting to know where, like, where. Where did this occur? Upstate New York?


Rosie Knight My.


Jason Concepcion Manhattan?


Rosie Knight My feeling is like Is like magic, magical. Says Bard. Definitely like this page is so much fun. We also get what I believe is like the first acknowledgment of the fact that Tiamut’s face is like frozen and it’s like, why is there? It’s why is there a giant man sticking out of the ocean is one of the headlines. And I’m like, thank you to Jessica Gow and Zig I please somebody acknowledge the giant frozen celestial sticking out of the ocean.


Jason Concepcion Then Jen discovers that she has to go to a family dinner. She does not want to go. She tries to get Nikki to go. Nikki is like, I have a date. Very you know, I have a date, that I just am mentioning right now. Sorry. And dinner is, you know, messy in the way that family dinners are always messy. Cousin Ched immediately mentions that Jen got fired despite being told not to talk about it. Mom tries to set up Jen on a superhero mentoring phone meeting. Dad is like, what is so Hawkeye, does he pick up the arrow?


Rosie Knight The big question everyone wants to know.


Jason Concepcion This has been a question with regards to Hawk-Eye for four decades, literally since the time that he has first appeared. Boomerang arrows are a thing for exactly this reason. Aunt Melanie wants Jen to do her hair more like She-Hulk, and she’s offering to help her with that. Later, Dad checks up on Jen. Jen is not doing super great. It’s clear she has a lot to process obviously with with her getting fired and the way that her powers were revealed in the most public possible way. And her dad is so nice and so supportive and he makes a great point. He says this isn’t even the first time we’ve had to deal with a Hulk in the family and you didn’t even destroy a city, which. Great point.


Rosie Knight Yeah, thanks dad.


Jason Concepcion Honestly Rosie.


Rosie Knight Really just I mean, this is the funniest thing is I think that this show’s doing a lot of really interesting stuff about like hyper visibility and the way that people’s powers. And also because Jen has a consciousness, she has to deal with being She-Hulk and people knowing. Whereas for Bruce it was like, smash, smash, my smash smash. And then Bruce went on the run. Whereas this is like it’s Jennifer Walters. She is She-Hulk. She’s a superhero in an age of superpowered influences. So we’re in a situation where you immediately become the most famous person on earth when your powers are revealed.


Jason Concepcion Also, Bruce’s identity was a secret and now a national security secret. So no one really knew that Bruce was the Hulk. And they didn’t know that for for quite a while. So Bruce at least had that, despite the fact that he had again destroyed an entire college campus.


Rosie Knight You make such a great point, because also a.


Jason Concepcion Wrecked Manhattan.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Just destroyed everything. And that will come into play here as well in a way we haven’t seen in the MCU, but something I think you’re so spot on about this continues something that we’ve been talking about. A lot of superhero stories are based on a huge lie, which is the secret identity you can’t tell your family, so it puts them in danger. Spider-Man’s family is constantly in danger because he’s always keeping the secret, you know, Superman and Clark. All these things happen. The MCU was based on that for a long time, but it’s shifting away from that. Ms.. Marvel’s family knows she’s a super hero. Everyone in the world knows Jennifer Walters is She-Hulk now. So that kind of switch between the secret identity and the double life of a superhero to being a public facing superhero where people know both sides of your life, that feels like it’s becoming a trend in the MCU. That’s quite interesting.


Jason Concepcion It really is. Back it Legal E’s Jen is in Jen form the better to have her body absorb the effects of whatever alcohol is cheapest because she doesn’t have a job right now. Mr. Holloway shows up from GLK&H, the H in Holloway, one of the opposing lawyers from the from the trial. He would like to hire Jen. GLK is looking to create a superhero law division. And who better to head it than an actual superhero lawyer? Jane says, one condition. I have to bring Nikki over. I hire my own paralegal, and Holloway is like, I literally I don’t finish.


Rosie Knight He’s like, I do. I don’t care.


Jason Concepcion I do not care. She starts Monday over at GLK’s beautiful skyscraper in what I assume is Century City. Jen discovers that she’s going to be expected to come in every day, as She-Hulk and argue in court, as She-Hulk. Jen, her Jen’s wardrobe, and the budget of She Hulk, attorney at law,  is unhappy about this, but as the face of the superhuman law division, you understand what GLK is going for.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Jen hates it and she hates that people will assume that Powers are the only reason she got the job. But don’t worry about that. You’re a great lawyer, first of all, and fuck everybody. Holloway wants to know how Jen feels about it, and she says, weirdly, that she’s agnostic.


Rosie Knight I don’t know. I think because she’s she’s breaking the fourth wall and talking to us and telling us, I don’t want to have the powers while Holloway is explaining something. And at the end, he’s like, Yeah, how do you feel? And she’s like, agnostic. So we don’t actually know what she’s he could have just been telling her something like super important, and she was just fourth walling herself to death. So she’s like, Oh, which is kind of interesting because also now we know that whenever she’s talking to us, she is not listening.


Jason Concepcion She’s in her head.


Rosie Knight To whatever else is going on.


Jason Concepcion It’s a it’s a very Fleabag moment. That moment in Fleabag with the with the high priest where he’s like would you go just now? Would you do would you go? And she’s like, Why? And then she turns to us again and he’s like, and then he’s like, You did it again. You did it again.


Rosie Knight Just I wonder if we’re going to get the fourth wall within the fourth wall, because that was such a huge moment in Fleabag and it kind of like changed how people perceive those fourth wall breaks. It was so powerful. I’d be very interested to see if we’ll get to a similar kind of like someone else acknowledging that the fourth wall is happening.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, there’s a there’s also a nice, a nice nod from Jen to her own accent. She’s like, after that she says, agnostic. She turns back to us and is like, I’m only thinking about that exchange for the rest of them.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s like, she’s like, I have no idea what. I just thought about this and he thinks that he’s think she’s like, so smart. He’s like, interesting, and she’s like, I have no idea what I just said. This is an incredibly relatable superhero show. I feel like this is the relatable face, like you had Ms. Marvel, now you have this.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. That’s such a great point because it’s part of, I think, the charm of this show. Listen, Hawkeye,  was a grizzly. Oh, yeah. Fucking a grizzled super soldier slash Avenger, multiple times serial killer, international, international, mass murderer. And then Kate, who listen, love Kate lived in what was probably a $4 million apartment, like on her own rich kid. You know what I mean?


Rosie Knight Private school, like fancy gold medalist.


Jason Concepcion Is a fan is love her maybe not the most relatable but Jen feels very relatable.


Rosie Knight Kate was like Kate was like the the gateway to relatability. She made Hawkeye more relatable even though she wasn’t personally very relatable. But now we’re getting Ms.Marvel, Jen, and this Jen.


Jason Concepcion Is very relatable and very relatable.


Rosie Knight Jen specifically, like living in L.A., Mid-thirties is relatable, which I feel like is really targeting us.


Jason Concepcion You’re so, right, it’s like Ms.Marvel and now She-Hulk super relatable. Jen sees her office and her office is fucking sick. Nikki is thrilled. She’s like, There’s a mini fridge, fully stocked and a desk. It’s a of course there’s always a desk, but it’s a great desk. Jen is complaining she’s going to have to get a whole fucking She-Hulk wardrobe now and Nikki’s like, Listen, you can afford it. They meet Pug.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion Who is who is also in the superhero law division. He comes bearing gifts of snacks of office supplies and a handy map to the best pooping bathroom, which whenever in a new office Rosie super important.


Rosie Knight This is a very interesting way of setting up like we met Dennis, who just sucks, right? Borkowski Yeah. And then you meet Pug, who is another She-Hulk character from the comics who is like a perennial, kind of always has a crush on her, is her friend, is her ally. But here they really set him up as like a legitimately good person, not like a good guy, as I’m sure Dennis sees himself just as like an actually nice person who brings them this really thoughtful set up and is like, let me know if you need anything. And you can tell he’s going to become a little like third part of their trio.


Jason Concepcion When I worked in a in a weird, like biotech office for a while, one of my coworkers had developed this technique, which he called poop shoes. And it’s exactly what you think he would go. He would go to the to when he had to do two, he’d go to the bathroom because it wasn’t there wasn’t like a private there weren’t a selection of bathrooms at this place. And he brought a pair of shoes in a backpack, and he would slip them on so that when people looked after the stall, they would not they would not be able to identify him by his shoes so he could feel free and unanxious.


Rosie Knight Wow.


Jason Concepcion About his body.


Rosie Knight So that is incredible. That’s like very committed. But you know what probably makes you feel way less anxious. So, like, I’d.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely, so the smell. Yeah. And it’s not anxious about the smells and sounds and it’s poop shoes. I thought it was a little extra, but it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.


Rosie Knight Pretty extra, but hilarious.


Jason Concepcion It’s brilliant. In a Costanza like way.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah. It’s extremely Costanza.


Speaker 1 Jen has a meeting in Holloway’s office, and I got to say, maybe Holloway is a supervillain that he’s very much like he is in the comics like an asshole kind of guy. Like he’s talking about, you know, he’s getting various memos and he’s like, Yeah, send Wilson. Send Wilson to Minnesota. He hates the cold, so let’s send him there.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And we should say, like, you know, we were talking we’ve talked about this a lot, but the, the, the Dan Slott, Adi Granov She-Hulk stuff with those famous Greg Horn covers. This is all from that. GLK&H, this is all from that that era. She’s been fired. She’s hired by the superhuman law division. There’s even an arc called superhuman law in that series like so we’re really getting to see it. And if you want to kind of have a vision of what you might be about to see again, go pick that up, have a little read. But yeah, HOLLOWAY, He does not get any less potentially evil in this scene.


Jason Concepcion And by the way, GLK&H. GLK: Goodman, Lieber and Kurrtzberg. A references, of course, to the to the iconic figures.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion Behind Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby.


Rosie Knight Martin Goodman.


Jason Concepcion And and Matt Martin Goodman. Yeah. So there you have it. The only people that ever worked at Marvel Comics, as we all know.


Rosie Knight And Stan would probably tell you it was just one.


Jason Concepcion He would just be like Lieber, Leiber. Jen gets her first case from Holloway. It is the case of Emil Blonsky, who is up for parole. GLK is taking this case pro bono, which is interesting, I think, about why they are taking this for free. Jen is like, isn’t this a conflict of interest? He tried to kill my cousin. And Holloway is like, who gives a shit? I don’t care. And also, Blonsky signed a waiver saying he doesn’t care either, so it’s fine. So are you going to take the case? Jen goes to see Blonsky at the Department of Damage Control.


Rosie Knight He also, say that.


Jason Concepcion Houses.


Rosie Knight He also says, are you going to take the case? And she’s like, eh, he killed my cousin. And he’s like, if you don’t take it, you don’t have a job. So he really sucks.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, he really does suck. So she goes to see him at the DoDC facility that houses him. Expect to see more. Of these kind of facilities like the raft in the comics. And what’s the one in Colorado? The vault. That’s the one. The big one. So there are various prisons like this in Marvel Comics. And I’d expect as as the population of superheroes and supervillains grows in his department of damaged cult becomes more a player in this world expect more of these super prisons which I am I’m a fan of the raft in the vault because that gives us super villain escapes which I love, I love, I love a good supervillain escape from the super prison plot line.


Rosie Knight Yeah, we’ve seen and we’ve seen like we’ve seen the a version of the raft. Which is where, you know that during civil war where they put some heroes that they weren’t really feeling. And so they’ve already got a precedent for putting heroes or people who disagree dissent against the government in these places. So you can kind of expect to see some fun plays on that, I reckon. You might be unexpected who you might find in those places.


Jason Concepcion I mean, listen. New Avengers, Bendis. New Avengers. They got together because of a supervillain escape at the raft that almost killed Spider-Man. And Daredevil, I think, was was there as well. And they that new Avengers team got together because they needed to round up all those super villains. And it’s just always fun. I love I love it when supervillains escape from prison or super heroes. I love when they escape.


Rosie Knight And let’s be real as well. We know that. Okay. So Emile’s is obviously in a much higher security part of the prison, but we saw. We saw in Ms.. Marvel, the Clandestines escaping from a DoDC facility. So we know not all of them have like really great high security. So I think we could see a lot of prison breaks.


Jason Concepcion Emile is in it like a Hulk style clear cage ringed by lasers. He updates Jen and us on who he is. Russian born British Special Forces officer on loan to the US government. He delivers, Tim Roth, delivers that line wonderfully.


Rosie Knight So he is like, maybe my favorite thing about this episode. He is just it’s so good.


Jason Concepcion He is so. There is a dryness with which he says some of the craziest things that are said in this episode and its wonderful.


Rosie Knight And it’s also this balance between like absolute comedy and like ridiculousness with like this really deep truth of what he’s saying about some of the problems the MCU has had in the past with its treatment of like people who are powered or people who are exploited by the Super Soldier Serum Program specifically.


Jason Concepcion So Emile would like to get out. He would like to start his life anew. He has been conversing with seven people through the prison penpal program who are now his soul mates. More on that in a second. Emile brings up this fight with the Hulk. He says it wasn’t personal. He notes that he was ordered to kill the Hulk by the US government, who, by the way, also pumped him full of uncooked super soldier serum, which then reacted with the gamma blood that he did take on his own accord. And which resulted in him becoming The Abomination. It’s not fair, Emile argues that the Hulk is a hero while he’s locked up. And I think these are all good arguments. Let’s for a second talk about these seven. Seven is a very specific number, no?


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s very specific. It the whole thing is very hilarious and hints, it’s unclear in this moment whether it’s going to be like something big or something really silly. You know, that’s kind of the best thing about She-Hulk is everything is like, is this a huge moment or is it just going to be like a funny gag? But it is because it’s specific.


Jason Concepcion It feels very specific. Like, I don’t know, I, I would not be surprised if whatever entity is organizing the thunderbolts isn’t like that’s our Hulk. Let’s get this guy.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Also as well. I do. The other thing I think is really interesting here is like so I was thinking a lot about thunderbolts and how, you know, Thunderbolt Ross existed in this universe who, by the way, was the one who did all of this to Emile and kind of really sucked if you watch those old movies and generally sucked throughout the MCU. But I wonder if now, you know, William Hurt tragically passed. I wonder if they’re going to make the Thunderbolts and say it’s like in the memory of Thunderbolt Ross because, look, he was doing this already. He was getting these soldiers and he was making them better. So you bring back Blonsky, you have U.S. agent. It seems like that is probably on the table.


Jason Concepcion I, I, I agree. Jen is like, hey, listen, the parole board is going to want to know if you feel remorse. And Emile says, yeah, check out these haikus I’ve been writing from the bottom of my heart, My Tiny Ears Here. And then she’s like, No, no, no, no. I love it. I love that. As a reference to Abomination’s character design and, you know, very pointy ears. It’s fucking wonderful. He then says, Listen, I just want to live my life. I want to live in peace on a large piece of property purchased for me by my seven soulmates. Again, leading us to wonder, who are these seven people? Jen calls Bruce for advice. But it’s not really advice. She’s basically telling him, hey, I’m going to take this job and I hope you’re okay with it. I’m defending Blonsky and Bruce. Is like, Yeah, yeah. Blonsky once he actually reached out, he sent me a letter with a very nice haiku and it’s yeah, he seems like he’s in a good place. I think it’s fine. Jen’s like, Are you coming to visit L.A. anytime soon? And Bruce is like, No, you think I’m in my lab slash office right now? But actually, I’m on a spaceship ready to Sakaar.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I got some things out, Bye.


Jason Concepcion Somewhere.


Rosie Knight No, no, no.


Jason Concepcion Bye.


Rosie Knight Jessica Gow did confirm we were right. Bruce is going to Sakaar.


Rosie Knight So he’s going to Sakaar.


Jason Concepcion We were right.


Rosie Knight We were right. He’s in a Sakaarian and you know class a cruiser I think it is or something and he’s he’s off to Sakaar, he’s got some things to deal with and Jessica Gow confirmed that is correct. So yeah, I think like we said last week, go back and listen to last week’s episode because he’s probably going to see his son.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, and let me just say, man, the cell service on I don’t know if it’s over wi-fi or how that works on this spaceship. Amazing


Rosie Knight It was fine until he went into like hyperdrive and then she’s like bye, okay. But I was like, How were you just chillin in space, talking on the phone that someone Stark technology. Tony gave him that phone definitely.


Jason Concepcion Very, very, very, very great technology. Jen tells Holloway this, I’m going to take the case. I got this shit sewn up. It is in the bag, baby. I know what going to do. No problem, Blonsky getting parole. Holloway is like, That’s fucking great. By the way, turn on the news. On the news, they are reporting that video was leaked of Emile Blonsky, in Abomination form, fighting Wong in some underground fight club. Where have we seen this before? That means Emile has escaped. And this is clearly not good for Emile’s case. And Jennifer is like shit. Stinger, we see Jen putting her brawn to work around the family home. What a delightful episode, which I love. I love that they tied in the events of Shang-Chi into this. So I wonder is Emile does. Here’s the question, it felt like in that in the Shang-Chi scene, the fight fight club scene, that Wong and Emile have done this before. This is it didn’t feel like a first time thing. Right. So, okay, video of that is now leaked. Are we to are we to believe that Emile has been going back and forth like Wong gets him out, and then puts him back?


Rosie Knight That’s my guess. My guess is that Wong using the sling ring. You know, he’s it’s very easy for him to to transport somebody out of like high security prison. But the big question is, why is Emile back in the prison? You know, like that’s kind of, I think, the big question. And also, there’s just so much fun stuff here. Like I really never expected them to to go this hard back into The Incredible Hulk because it’s like it is the most financially, like least successful MCU movie. It’s not like totally beloved, though. There is a lot of really fun stuff in there, Tim Roth is great. But I’m really happy to see it. And  in this episode, we also get one of the first real references to that movie in a very good fourth wall in a She-Hulk way, where when she’s talking to Bruce, she’s like, Are you sure? And he’s like, Yeah, this was, you know, this that fight was such a long time ago. Like, I’m a completely different person now. And then, he says, literally. And Jen looks at the camera and goes, Huh? And it’s like, Yeah, because that was Edward Norton, you know, it was Mark Ruffalo. And I like that we’re at that level now, like 15 years in. That is how it should be. We should be able to joke about this stuff and have fun with it and and kind of poke fun at that, the franchise nature of it all, these things kind of come and go and yeah.


Jason Concepcion I absolutely love that. You can tell that there are some real comics nerds in the in the production of this and because like we’ve said it a million times and I’ve said it numerous times on this pod, like that’s what I love about the, the, about ongoing storytelling, specifically in comics and the way it just kind of rolls on and on and on and how when you kind of like step back from the fictional law and and look at everything that happened, it’s fun and it’s ridiculous. And when you plug that back in and like acknowledge it within the story, it just is it’s it adds some spice to it. It makes it fun and exciting. And it’s a nice wink to the fans who have been paying attention.


Rosie Knight Exactly. And I think, like, you can really tell. I mean, I sent Zig a message when I watched the episode and was just like, Dude, this is like so good. And you can just tell that these guys have so much fun. They know the comic book lore. Like there’s a there’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment in this episode. And I’m going for the I’m going for the X-Ray Vision was right because this just to me proves like these are. WandaVision to me is is the the bar to beat for weird comic book references but She-Hulk is coming up on that even after two episodes. So when Jen is walking through the GLK & H offices, which H, here is for Holloway. You see a guy walking out of an office that is just full of comic books and you’re like, Wait, why are there comic books there? Ha ha. If you have read the comics, the Marvel Comics, if you’re a wierdo and you know this stuff really deeply in the Marvel Comics, there is a precedent in She-Hulk and other comics for them using comic books as evidence in court trials, and that is the reason they would be there. There is some weird so I want to know, right. So of course, there is just hours just spent just going through and pausing them and and trying to understand which comics they are. And I have a list, but like.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, let’s talk about this list. This is amazing.


Rosie Knight So I really want to talk to Jessica or Zig or anyone and be like, Look, were these just comics you had like laying around the office or do they mean something because like so they have like War Machine 19 from 1995.


Jason Concepcion Which is a wild pull.


Rosie Knight First appearance Eidolon war wear, which is like this crazy alien suit like that Iron Man 290, which if you’re a big theory guy, that is the return of Iron Man after Rhody and everyone else thinks he’s dead. So, like, are they telling us something? Probably not, but it’s very fun. Like, they have a ton of armor wars, tangent stuff like Iron Man three, volume three from 1998, there’s a Mourdock in the Mail Blonsky issue that is a Return of Captain America issue, which is the Avengers four from 1964. There’s like a Thor and Thanos cover, which is an old Captain Marvel book. There’s like, What If, which is What If, Captain America had led an army of super soldiers and there’s like Rise of the Black Panther, which has like a crazy Adams variant cover, and there’s even a foil cover, which I feel like for the ninties kids that is like.


Jason Concepcion No, you got to have the foil cover.


Rosie Knight And I’m sure that those were just like funny issues that were hanging around and they’re very blurry, but like that level of detail and hinting at something like maybe we won’t see it in this season, you know, maybe it won’t be this season, but maybe it will be next season or maybe it will be somewhere else in the MCU. That level of teasing something so cool from the comics, especially when that would be a big deal, because really, like we said, you know, Ms.. Marvel, one of the things we loved about it was the cartooning aspect. But we haven’t seen apart from like Captain America, where we would see like the USO style propaganda comics that we use. We haven’t seen like real Marvel Comics in the MCU very much like that. We’ve never seen a wall of Marvel Comics like that or different ones. So I’m very interested to know, I mean, 15 years in it would make sense, especially post the blip that somebody started making comics about these these superheroes who are out in the world saving stuff. I just want to know how that’s built in. And would it mean like, could we see She-Hulk creators on the stand in this show talking about the comics they made? I believe it. I believe we could see that. I think that’s like so matter in so much in the vein of what they’re doing but it’s just it’s such a fun show.


Jason Concepcion It’s those Easter eggs are fantastic. I so in the Dan Slott run, one of the cases that Jen takes on is the case of Samuel Sterns, the leader, and I, we’ve talked about it previously, but you got to feel like he’s around. And of course, it was Stearns who injected injected Emile with the gamma blood after seeing him, you know, after taking one look at Emile and saying, you’ve got it, you got a lot, a little something in you as well. Right. And then injects hime and he becomes Abomination. I wonder if it’s not him writing the letters. If he’s not trying to put together like a Gamma team or just reunite with his.


Rosie Knight It feels like he was. I feel like also like we never really the leader is like a big deal in the comics and and it feels like obviously that was teased to lead to something and like you said, one of the joys of these things is like not everything gets picked up the next issue or the next movie, but, you know, 15 years later, somebody can pick it up and be like, Oh, the leader. We haven’t seen him for a while. So I think you’re right. Maybe, you know, I think with this the the thing about Bruce going to Sakaar and everyone getting really excited about that, that obviously speaks to a possible idea of like World War Hulk or something like that. So but Bruce is already a good guy on Earth. I can’t imagine a scenario where he’s going to lose control again. So what if that version of World or Hulk is kind of more like the Incredible Hulk arc where they put together like a Hulk team, and maybe they have to come together with that team because the leader has put together a team of like gamma anti-heroes will say, let’s not call them villains, but I love the idea and I feel like the leader feels like by the end of this season we all will have seen or heard from him.


Jason Concepcion And we should also add, like part of the reason why we haven’t seen a Hulk movie is because of the kind of naughty ownership of the Hulk rights which are owned by Universal. And Marvel is not able to use the Hulk.


Rosie Knight They’re not allowed to make a Hulk titled  movie.


Jason Concepcion It’s got to be a multi-character film, like an Avengers film. She-Hulk, by the way, is a great.


Rosie Knight Thor Ragnarok.


Jason Concepcion Thor Ragnorok, and the introduction of She-Hulk and more gamma powered characters is a great way to make a Hulk movie without making a Hulk movie.


Rosie Knight Oh yeah. Yeah. Because also, That’s actually such a good point, because Marvel obviously owns the rights to She-Hulk, right? Currently they’re not licensed away. That’s why they can make the show. So if they make a world they have a Hulk themselves, then they could surely make a World War Hulk movie or a Planet Hulk movie, though Ragnarok was basically Planet Hulk, but with with the Hulk, like you say, it’s She-Hulk, it’s, you know, World War She-Hulk or whatever, but you just call it Hulk. She-Hulk has also had her own comic in the last few years where she was just has had the Hulk mantle. So that would have precedent as well. I think that is very smart. Jason.


Jason Concepcion This is such a fun show. Can’t wait to continue talking about it. Up next House of the Dragon time.


Jason Concepcion <A.D>.


Jason Concepcion We are stepping out of the Airlock and back into Westeros to discuss the premiere of House of the Dragon. Rosie, are you ready?


Rosie Knight I am ready.


Jason Concepcion We open in the year 100 slash 101 AC. Old King Jaehaerys looking super, super old and gray. He has gone like 0 for multiple on kids on heirs. He has missed every shot on trying to get an heir. And so what’s happened? The Realm has called a huge meeting. This is the Great Council, that legendary Great Council of 101, which took place at the the ruined castle of Heron Hall, the biggest castle in all of Westeros. And there, the new ruler, the the person who would succeed King Jaehaerys was chosen and listen, it was it was not that close. But we had two really good claims. Princess Rhaenys and her younger cousin Prince Viserys and the realm went with Viserys because of misogyny basically, right?


Rosie Knight Absolutely. It was the only she is the eldest child. She was the heir. But they didn’t want to set a precedent for what will many times in this episode be called a girl heir. So it’s misogyny.


Jason Concepcion And it’s an interesting thing because listen, when Aegon the Conqueror came over from Dragonstone to conquer Westeros, he was riding Balerion, the Black, the Black Dread. But there were two other dragons, and those were written by his sister slash Queens, Rhaenys and Visenya, so 66.66% of the Dragon Armada was piloted by women. Yet Westeros does not respect the right of women to rule. Anyway, we flash forward a golden dragon streaks across the waters of Blackwater Bay to King’s Landing, the capital city. This is the Dragons, Syrax, a piloted by Princess Rhaenyra. She climbs off. She’s greeted by Harald Westerling of the Kingsguard. He’s like, Oh my God, thank God you came back. Because if you didn’t, I’m legitimately dead. Like, it’s my fault and I’m gone.


Rosie Knight Head on a  spike.


Jason Concepcion Head on a spike. I’m finished. Also very happy to see her. Her friend Alicent Hightower there. They’re wonderful, wonderful friends. And I’m sure that will last forever and ever and they will be great friends forever and ever until time.


Rosie Knight And maybe, maybe they’ll be girlfriends and there’ll will be no conflict and they’ll live happily ever after. Who knows?


Jason Concepcion Rhaenyra and Alicent walk arm in arm through the Red Keep. And we see this wonderful tableau of all the courtiers in the attendance and all the people that populate the seat of government here in Westeros. Rhaenyra goes to see her mom, Queen Aemma. Who is super duper, super duper pregnant with the long hoped for heir to the Iron Throne, to King Viserys. And they have a little conversation and Queen Aemma is like, listen. Do we have wombs? A child bed is our battlefield, and this is what we’re going to have to deal with. This is this is that the prison cell that we are in. This is our this is the only responsibility we are given is just pumping them out, pumping them out, pumping them out. Rhaenyra doesn’t doesn’t love that. And also Rhaenyra stinks of dragon, which her mom is like, you fucking you smell. Go take a shower. Rhaenyra goes to the small council chamber where she has a job as the cup bearer and she’s late. King Viserys is in the middle of it telling a joke and we get this really wonderful scene. We get a feeling of what all of the different members of the small council do. Right. There’s Corlys Velaryon. He’s the master of ships. And guess what? He cares about ship stuff. He’s like the triarchy. The triarchy, which is a a amalgamation of three different cities from Essos. They are pushing into the Stepstones. Then the leader of this Triarchy fleet is this guy, Craghas Drahar, the Crabfeeder. And as you know, as one would expect, being the master of ships, Corlys is very, very focused on anything that has to do with ships. King Viserys and Otto Hightower aren’t, like, super locked in to the pirate issue. King was serious is like, well, hold on if if the Crabfeeder is going to Stepstones and and clearing out the pirates and that’s good, right? And I was like, yeah. What the king said, isn’t that good? And then Rhaenyra enters. She she’s still stinking. She has not taken a shower. And King Viserys is like sniffs her and is like you smell like you smell like dragon, which is embarrassing if that happens in front of, like, the most powerful people in the realm. Right. If your dad is like you smell.


Rosie Knight It is. I also think it’s like a really interesting bit of the world building we get here. In Game of Thrones, Dragons were this mythical thing that hadn’t been around. Here, everyone’s like, This is your pet and it smells bad like a dog. Please leave us alone. They are taking the Dragons for granted. At least the people who don’t fly with them are.


Jason Concepcion We get some more conversation and again, learning what each member of the small council does. Lord Lyman Beesbury, the Master of Coin. He pipes up regarding the King Viserys’ brother, Prince Daemon’s massive expenditures in re equipping and retraining the City Watch. Acab in this case absolutely pertains to Daemon Targaryen. Daemon’s expenses regarding the City Watch are mainly like a different, a more upgraded training regime that’s basically making them more bloodthirsty and the fancy gold cloaks, which will become the symbol of the City Watch in later years. Prince Daemon, as usual, is not here. He’s not here. And no one can ask him where the money went because he’s not here. Viserys is like, Hey, guys, I understand my brother’s spending a lot of money on the city, watch stuff, but, like it’s actually great because it keeps him busy. And we all understand what a fucking wild card that guy is, right? Lord Corlys goes back to the Crabfeeder. He’s like, hey, not, you know, like trade in the Narrow Sea is going to be impacted by this. Also, you know, kind of unspoken is like my house on Driftmark is right there like can we do something another and other interesting and kind of like unspoken bit of context to all of this is, so the Stepstones are like are like this series of islands that were once like an unbroken land bridge between Westeros and Essos. So it’s kind of like the boot of Italy, like if it extended across to, you know, Albania. So that got broken. And so they’re called the Stepstones now. But, Dorne, during this time, approximately 109 or whatever, 110 is not part of the kingdom. It is an independent region. The Aegon the Conqueror was not able to conquer Dorne. In fact, he lost one of his sisters in the war against Dorne. So it’s actually like kind of alarming that the triarchy is pushing into the Stepstones. And then if Dorne decides to cooperate and link up with them, all of a sudden you’ve got this big, big problem right here on the continent. So that’s Corlys is right to be concerned about this. Otto Hightower shuts all this talk down about the City Watch and stuff, and he turns the conversation to the Heirs tournament. And the king loves this subject because he’s got a great feeling that this time, Rosie, this time, I know that there’s been a lot of pregnancies, a lot of miscarriages from Queen Aemma. We only. They only have the one surviving child Princess Rhaenyra. But man.


Rosie Knight This time.


Jason Concepcion This time he’s got a great feeling about it. And not only does he have a great feeling about it, they they booked the date in the in the sports arena and everybody’s coming, counting the chickens way, way before they’re hatched. We are put it on the books. We write it down. This child is being born and it’s going to happen this day. And we had a great tournament and it’s great.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I also think like you were bringing up this kind of greater context. Part of the reason why he’s missing it is he is obsessed with the idea of having an heir and having a male heir. He needs the stability and it means that many things happen in this episode because of that, there are clearly going to, you know, create massive, terrible waves in the future.


Jason Concepcion Grandmaster Melos is is like, hey, listen, we did our best on the prediction of the delivery date, and this feels like it is right. But don’t quote me on it. Beesbury, Master of Coin again says, hey, also, this is really expensive, maybe we push until after the child is born. What do you think about that? Lord Strong, Lionel Strong is the Master of Laws. And he’s like, Hey, listen, everybody’s already booked their flights. Okay? We can’t change it now because everybody’s on the way here. Like, you know, again, Westeros is very, very large. And so people would have been on the road. Certainly if they’re coming from the north, they probably got on the road like a month and a half to two months prior so people are in motion and you can’t just call it off now. And what could go wrong? Right. Like we know it’s going to be a boy, number one, and it’s going to be fine.


Rosie Knight Yeah, pregnancy is notoriously safe to say. And then, you know, hundreds of years ago in a fantastical country, nothing could go wrong. And you can definitely tell the gender of a baby and it’s going to be fine.


Jason Concepcion Princess Rhaenyra is informed by her personal Kingsguard bodyguard, Harold Westerling, that Prince Daemon, the king’s brother, has returned to the capital and nobody knows he’s there except for Harold Westerling and now Princess Rhaenyra. And this gives you an idea of how elusive Daemon is, how scared, how scary that is, too, for his foes. He’s able he’s one of the most famous people in this world. He’s a Targaryen, he rides a dragon, and his feats are spoken of. And he is, despite all that, he is able to sneak into the castle without anybody seeing him. This is gives you an idea of what a threat Daemon Targaryen is. So Rhaenyra goes to see him. He’s in the throne room and he’s sitting on the throne. Harald Westerling is like holy shit. The fuck? This is, you know, implicitly feels like a threat, unless, you know, Daemon, who is just kind of like a jokey troll kind of guy. He gives Rhaenyra a necklace. It’s of valerian steel, who that he acquired, who knows where in his travels. You know, Valerian steel, they’re not making more of it, but it can be reforged into different forms. So one would assume that this is a very, very old necklace.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And she she’s very taken by it because she’s like, like Dark Sister. Like, she knows what valerian steel is. And this is, like, a really interesting moment because, like you said, Daemon’s got this, like,shit  post personality, but he’s obviously a threat, but he loves his family. It’s like this really interesting, complex nature of this character that’s just summed up in, like, one scene, disrespects the throne, but gives his niece this, like, incredibly rare, specifically made piece of jewelry that stands for the legacy of their family and where they come from.


Jason Concepcion It’s quite clear that whatever Daemon’s issues with other people.


Rosie Knight All of them.


Jason Concepcion He really loves he he clearly has a very special bond with Rhaenyra, his niece. Later, Rhaenyra and Alicent are hanging out in the God’s wood. They’re doing homework, kind of Alicent is trying to get Rhaenyra to do her homework, which is a lesson about Nymeria one of the most legendary figures, certainly in Dornish history and in the history of Westeros. One of the one of the most well-known female heroes in the lore of Westeros. Rhaenyra is doesn’t really want to do stuff and Alicent is, she thinks she’s that Rhaenyra is worried about being overshadowed by her brother that is about to be born, but that’s not really true. Rhaenyra, meanwhile, understands that her father really wants this son, because he just never, ever, ever, he never stops talking about all he does is talk about the son, the son, the son, the son. And then to give you an idea of what a sharp customer Rhaenyra is, she then immediately reels off the entire history of Nymeriaa’s journey to Dorne like it was written on the back of her dragon. She just knows it.


Rosie Knight I love the scene so much. There’s like so much innate chemistry. And both actors did say, like, the vibes of them maybe being more than friends or having that kind of sapphic like coming of age relationship is intentional and there’s so much closeness and it’s so intrinsically done just by positioning and you learn so much about them. And by the end of the episode you just know where it’s going to go. And it’s, you know, it’s heartbreaking.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. Because they’re, you know. It’s it’s already such a fucked up world where women in particular are burdened with all types of dangers that are just inherent in this society. But in this moment, they are just two great friends.


Rosie Knight Yeah, they’re just two kids lazing around and, like, fucking with each other, like, no, I don’t want to, I don’t want to do it. Like, you’re going to get in trouble because you’re not teaching me. Oh, actually, I know this stuff by heart. This is it’s a very Aria moment. They’re not really areas history, like knowing it off by heart. There’s there’s so many great little moments we get to see as cool backs here.


Jason Concepcion In the King’s Chambers, we learn that the Iron Throne is actually taking a toll on the king physically. A cut from one of the many blades has become infected, and Grandmaster Melos is like, you know, we can cauterize it. I’ve sent some samples to the to Old Town to see what they can come up with. Meanwhile, Otto Hightower, who is very, very concerned about any kind of hint of weakness. Right. Any kind of suggestion that people could latch on to, that the king is weak, wants to make sure that this is not widely known. Now, should, should add, this is it’s it’s an interesting irony, right? You’re sitting on a chair made of blades. And if you get cut by them, people will absolutely take that as a sign that.


Rosie Knight You’re not supposed to sit on it.


Jason Concepcion You’re not supposed to sit on it. And we should add we mentioned Meagor earlier, Maegor the Cruel, the third king of Westeros. He died literally on the throne. Stabbed multiple times by the blades through his body. So you can get cut. You get cut by that.


Rosie Knight And it feels like it’s going to become bigger because there’s a mystery over why it won’t heal. Is this like what’s happening to it? What’s the reaction? It feels like. Viserys, as well, I think you learn a lot about him because he’s like, this is nothing. It’s just a cut, you know, it is but a wound. And that follows into the way that he treats Aemma when it comes to her fears about the pregnancy. Everything’s fine.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. Viserys goes to see Queen Aemma, who is in her bath. Aemma, in this scene, Aemma’s misery at at this being at the stage of pregnancy really contrasts sharply with Viserys’ almost like irrational joy. He could not be happier about the fact that he is going to have a son. He is absolutely sure. Aemma tells Viserys that, you know, Rhaenyra is already predicting that it’s going to be a girl who she is calling Visenya, which is very notable and so Viserys, then says, you know, this family already has its Visenya. So Visenya was one of the sister queens of King Aegon. She was the more like warlike and fearsome one of the sisters and her child was Maegor, a.k.a. King Maegor the Cruel. So to say this family already has its Visenya is clearly a reference to Daemon and is a kind of it’s a window into how people look at Daemon and how hism how his own blood, how the king looks at Daemon as a a chaotic and and unstable threat to the realm, like a danger that we don’t want to close to power, basically, even though he very clearly loves his brother, Viserys then tells his wife about this dream he had that their son was born wearing a crown, the crown of Aegon the Conqueror. And then he and then, you know, he heard the the sounds of battle and roaring dragons. And this dream was like as real as a memory. And Aemma is like, listen. That’s great. But I’m not doing this again. I can’t I can’t do it. And I think one of the most, like I really, this got me when she says and an incredible performance right here, Shawn Brooke, where Queen Aemma says she basically apologizes.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion For like never having managed to produce an heir to this point. And it’s like, what? It’s it’s really, really sad that she feels like this is something she should apologize for in this moment.


Rosie Knight Yeah. The foreshadowing they do of her journey in this episode from that beginning where she says, you know, the birthing bed is our battlefield to this, where she’s like coming to terms with not producing an heir and apologizing for it, but also has this last bit of hope, but is also taking agency and saying, I’m not going to do this again. It’s going to destroy me. It’s very smart writing that makes what we see later even more heartbreaking.


Jason Concepcion That night, Daemon addresses the, his, his brand new upgraded City Watch. They’ve got those beautiful gold cloaks on. He gives this stirring, almost like a football type speech about my brother city is falling into squalor and saying that they are like hounds. They have been trained and now they are ready to take the city back. And then he lets them loose. And what follows is just an orgy of dismemberment and castration and beheadings that take place right in the city streets.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And it is, it’s rough stuff.


Rosie Knight It’s like an episode worth of, like, Battle of the Bastards level violence in, like, 5 minutes. And it is just, like, absolutely brutal. This is also very I find this very interesting because we have that moment in the throne room that feels so intimate and so authentic and real and true to who he is. And then they just pull the rug out and they’re like, But he’s this guy, too. Like, he’s just he’s doing this for no reason. There’s no there’s never a reason for it. But in the in the political machinations of Game of Thrones, there’s not like a crime has been committed or something terrible that has been done to his family. This is something he is doing to create fear so that he can have power over the people.


Jason Concepcion I’ll tell you what I think. I don’t even think it’s power, although obviously, like he he enjoys wielding his power. I think at the at the very core of it, he is like a younger sibling who just wants to be noticed by the older sibling.


Rosie Knight Attention.


Jason Concepcion Just like, look at me, look at what I’m doing. Look at what a good job I’m doing. I’m doing this. I’m doing that. Pay attention to me, my brother, the king, and this is what he’s doing. And he’s doing it by just like.


Rosie Knight Unhinged.


Jason Concepcion Decapitated.


Rosie Knight Unhinged man.


Jason Concepcion And committing various murders. The next day, the small Council and Otto Hightower, in particular, are scandalized by this violence. Prince Daemon is in attendance for once because, of course, he wants to soak in the accolades from his brother, King Viserys. He’s got blood dried, like on his armor, on his face.


Rosie Knight He’s looking very smug. He’s looking very happy with himself.


Jason Concepcion Otto practically begs the king to reign in his brother and Daemon, it’s it’s oh, it’s so jarring when Daemon all of a sudden does voice of reason and he does it here. He points out quite reasonably like, Hey the realms most important families are coming here for the named tournament, the heirs tournament shouldn’t the streets be safe when they arrive, huh? And King Viserys is like, actually, that’s a good point. Otto, of course and the rest of the small council are, it’s very concerning that the King’s brother has a personal army that is loyal only to him. That is a problem. And in fact, Otto is like, Shouldn’t you go home to your wife, Rhea Royce, in the Vale? Like, why don’t you go home? You know, where’s your wife at? And Daemon makes a bunch of rodney. Do I? My wife, please. You want me to go back to the Vale with the sheep? I don’t get no respect here. Daemon makes a bunch of jokes and then he makes a very unkind comment to Otto about the recent passing of Lady Hightower. And Otto gets mad and King Viserys has to step in and be like, Listen, okay, Otto, you know that Daemon likes to fuck with you. And Daemon, great job with the watch, but just chill out with the crazy shit, okay? Later on, Daemon, as he wants to do, is blowing off some steam in a brothel with his paramour, Mysaria, a native of Lys and the Free Cities of Essos. But he can’t, you know, a not uncommon problem. He can’t he can’t continue because he is so worried about being displaced by the the heir that Queen Aemma is potentially going to give birth to. And Mysaria’s like, don’t worry about it. The king, will ever forget about you. But it’s another window into how much Daemon just needs to be next to his brother, just needs to be noticed by him. The tournament begins in conjunction with the Queen’s labors. So the Maesters, let’s take a victory lap, folks, you got it right. Nice job with the predictions. You nailed it.


Rosie Knight Very impressive. I mean, they still can’t do that nowadays. So I’m like very impressed. That’s one of the most fantastical moments of this of the show, the suspension of disbelief. Can they guess it right? They got, they guessed it right.


Jason Concepcion They guessed it right. We get some some a here are some notable tournament highlights we get, we meet Lord Borros Baratheon, the Lord of Storms and here he asks Queen Rhaenys for her favor, addressing her as the Queen Who Never Was. Of course, this a reference to the fact that she lost the the great council election of 101. That irks the box clearly and she’s you can tell that she’s like enough with the fucking Queen Who Never Was shit like, okay. Otto,  I think sincerely.


Rosie Knight Oh, yeah.


Jason Concepcion Suggests to King Viserys like, you could have Borros Baratheons’s tongue out, you know, why not do that? Which is? He’s calmed down, man.


Rosie Knight Otto needs to chill out. He’s like.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight We it seems very out of character in the moment because you’re just like, I thought you were meant to be the serious one. But then you realize he’s obsessed with staying in power. And staying in power means Viserys staying in power. And that means he doesn’t he sees anything, any talk of anyone else who could have been heir or king or queen is a threat, but also like chill out.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. And we see that, by the way, in the scene where in the royal box Rhaenyra and Alicent, again, just like girls doing girl stuff, great friends, they are gossiping about the various families. Who’s pregnant, who’s hooking up. All that kind of normal stuff. We see that Lady Alicent is a worrier, anxious, and she’s pulling at her nails all the time. Sir Criston Cole causes a stir by dunking on two sons of of House Baratheon. And Criston Cole, we learn, is the the son of the steward of Lord Dondarrion of the Dornish Marches, in the Storm Lands. So interestingly, Criston Cole here is like.Beating the shit out of the sons of his Lord Paramount, which is very interesting. Prince Daemon shows up and as his, as Viserys knew he would because Prince Daemon loves the tournaments and the Prince continues the theme from the earlier small council meeting of trolling Otto Hightower. He loves it. First of all, he selects Otto Hightower a son, and then goes out of his way to beat his fucking ass. Then he goes to the royal box is like, Oh, Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto. I would love it if you would give me your, wouldn’t that be great? Could I have your favor, Lady Alicent, as he like locks eyes with Otto and there’s interesting moment there too, where Rhaenyra, you could see on her face that she knows what he’s up to. She’s like, oh you’re fucking with Otto. I get it. It comes down to Criston Cole versus Daemon. Sir Criston wins. It is a great, a great battle, a great fight. He removes his helmet and Alicent and Rhaenyra realize with surprise that he is of Dornish, oh my gods. He’s Dornish. Now, the show refers to Criston as of Dornish heritage. So and this is not necessarily a book change because he is in the books. He is also like the common born son of Lord Dondarrion Steward, the steward of Black Haven. But making him have Dornish blood is a new is a new wrinkle and I also love the fact that. They can tell he’s Dornish this because he’s got brown hair and he’s hot.


Rosie Knight Yeah, that’s it. I was like. I was like, you know why he’s Dornish. We’ve seen people from Dorne before. He was like, This is obvious. I feel like this is another one of those things where there’s a few little choices here of how they introduce people or slight changes or, shall we say, expansions because of what this is based on. This is based on history that’s constantly changing. You know, and I think this one is going to be huge, especially looking at Criston’s kind of journey.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, Queen Aemma is in labor and it is horrific. The king is eventually called because she’s having a lot of trouble and he makes the decision to attempt to save the life of the child by cutting it out of Aemma’s body. Thus, killing Aemma, but potentially saving the child. And it is a horrific bloody scene. The Queen dies in agony.


Rosie Knight Where was the milk of the poppy? Give that lady some,  I guess they didn’t want to get the baby drugged, I guess, but I’m like.


Jason Concepcion Let’s overload it milk. Let’s overload with milk of the poppy. There’s no reason.


Rosie Knight Just in case.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. Let’s go crazy with the milk of the poppy.


Rosie Knight Yeah, that Shaun Brooke, did that scene where she’s like, just before it starts to happen and she’s.


Jason Concepcion So sad.


Rosie Knight Begging Viserys, like, please, I’m scared. Like, don’t do this and that that the choice is it was horrible, heartbreaking one. But in this circumstance, it’s just incredibly brutal. And it shows you, again, the obsession with the heir.


Jason Concepcion Obsession. And, you know, it is not to put too fine a point on it, but when the government of a of a place is embodied in the physical form of a person. It actually does. And I’m not making excuses for this.


Rosie Knight But this was actually fine. This was okay.


Jason Concepcion You understand why because if you don’t get that heir, that means we don’t know who’s next. That means there’s going to be a war. And that means, like, I don’t know, 2 million people die because we’re going to fight over the throne unless a person that we all agree is the rightful ruler shows up and hopefully that is this prince that was born that the king names Baelon. But of course, the child dies quickly after the mother. King Viserys and Rhaenyra are both absolutely shattered, Daemon also. But he’s you know, he expresses it in different ways. As we will see at the funeral, it falls to Rhaenyra to command her dragon Syrax to light the funeral pyres. At the next small council chamber, the funeral pyres are not even out yet.


Rosie Knight They’re smoldering.


Jason Concepcion They’re smoldering still. And Otto Hightower is like, hey, I don’t want to be the one to do this, but I’m going to be the one that does this let’s talk about the succession. Otto, give it give it like a month. Can we do that? Can we not have just like.


Rosie Knight Give it two or three weeks.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Especially, like, Rhaenyra is like, so incendiarily angry. Like there is so many. It’s not just like Viserys is devastated, blah, blah. You made that choice, my guy. But like, there’s so many layers to it where rushing this is going to be a bad idea. It’s just you just know that it’s going to end badly. And also, like, again, Otto, your true colors are showing and they’re going to be showing even more in the next like 5 minutes of the episode. But please, please, just like I think it’s literally like within 24 hours, I’m like, my God, please.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I mean, it’s like the very next meeting. You got to please. You’ve just got to calm down. Anyway, he doesn’t. And in Otto’s mind, this is an issue which needs to be addressed now, because for the good of the realm, the stability of the realm, and of course, he understands that the king has various infected wounds on his body, so he’s concerned about it. Now it comes down to two choices that they have right now. There are these two. It is one, Prince Daemon, the king’s brother and an easy choice, if not for the fact that everybody understands he’d be terrible.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he is. The established precedent set should be the heir. Apart from the fact we just saw what happened. Everybody saw it. Everybody knows that he is sneaky as fuck. It’s going to be a bad idea.


Jason Concepcion Otto says he would be a second Maegor or worse. Again, Maegor the Cruel, the the third king of Westeros. King Viserys is the fifth. So you know it would be, seventy, like 70 years earlier, Maegor’s reign. So it’s kind of it’s not fresh in everybody’s mind, but it is present in the history that we can’t let this happen again. And of course, Maegore succeeded one of my favorite Targaryen kings, the second Targaryen King, King Aenys Targaryen or as I like to call them, the Deuce.


Rosie Knight The Deuce.


Jason Concepcion And King Aenys. A-E- N-Y-S. King Aenys was was a weak king and Maegor was not. Maegor was a warrior. He was knighted at a very young age. Everybody was like, Wow Maegor. What a warrior. And that allowed Maegor to come in and seize power. And what followed was six years of really, really terrible shit. And nobody wants to do that again.


Rosie Knight No, but they also whoever planned this, this great place to have your meetings, didn’t think about the fact that the walls are full of holes. So then we see that Daemon is listening.


Jason Concepcion Oh, my God.


Rosie Knight To him getting shaded. But he snuck in and is listening.


Jason Concepcion Let’s so, Maegor the Cruel notably, had played a huge role in the construction of the Red Keep. You know the construction of the of the Royal Castle had started before his reign. But he was the driving force in it. And he wanted the particularly the the kind of most sensitive areas to be, like riddled with these secret passageways. And once construction was finished, in order to keep those passageways secret. He threw a big feast for all the construction workers and then had them killed.


Rosie Knight Shocking.


Jason Concepcion Now, what, what we are meant to understand by one, the fact earlier, that Daemon was able to come to the castle without anyone seeing him. And then two, this scene where he’s listening to everything that’s going on is Daemon knows where these passages are.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion He knows where this shit is. He’s probably he’s been doing this since he was a kid looking for them. And he probably is the foremost expert during this time of where all the secret passageways in the Red Keep are.


Rosie Knight Yeah, and the cut to him hearing that comparison to Maegor is not a coincidence.


Jason Concepcion It’s not a coincidence.


Rosie Knight That’s why it happens. And you just wonder, you’re like my guys. This was the best place like you could have chosen anywhere else. Lo and behold, they just keep shading Daemon.


Jason Concepcion Well, let me just say this also. It’s 110 ish, 109 110 AC. So, you know, the, the the Red Keep has been built for some 70 plus, 80 years hey. Let’s get the maesters in here and let’s map the fucking secret passage. What are we waiting for? What are we waiting for? Somebody get in here and map these things. Anyway.


Rosie Knight It’s working out for Daemon.


Jason Concepcion So, that’s number one candidate to succeed to the Iron Throne is Prince Daemon. Everybody’s like, that guy is too much of a wildcard we can’t have it. The second candidate, of course, is Princess Rhaenyra, whose main strike against her is she’s a woman. And the end, therefore, the realm or a good portion of the realm would not easily support her. Corlys then is like, Hey, let’s not forget about my wife, guys. Princess Rhaenys, the Queen That Never Was. What about it? Can we. Can I get a round of applause for my wife? Otto Hightower is like, Oh, yeah, great. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.


Rosie Knight Oh, no, wise guys in here. Please, everybody, leave.


Jason Concepcion The Grand Maester, Grand Maester Melos,. Then not so subtly raises the possibility that like, Hey, what if I’m just saying, like, what if, Daemon, you know, what if he does something against the king and then, you know, now a big argument has broken out. And the king, of course, cannot stand this. His his wife and newborn son literally just died. He made the decision that ended his wife’s life in complete horrific agony. And he can’t stand this. He storms out. Later, Otto sends a secret message to Old Town. Now, this is, we must wonder what this is. Right. I wonder what it is. I wonder what he’s trying to say here. I wonder who is sending it to Oldtown. So one would assume he’s keeping very in touch with his family about, you know, about various things that would impact their standing in the realm. But this is something to keep note of,  that Otto.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I also wonder if it’s like he’s, you know, we know about the king’s illness and how he sees that as a weakness. Like what conversation and what message is going to whom that message is. We know how big a raven or message can come back to be, and I feel like this is going to play into the rest of the season pretty importantly.


Jason Concepcion I agree with you because he very clearly right now sees things at a very sensitive juncture. So the very next thing that happens is he’s writing this letter. He gives it to Grand Master Melos to send off, and his daughter Alicent comes in and he’s like, Hey you should go see the king. You should go see the king. You should. He’s hurting right now. And you should put on your mom’s nice dress. And you should go, you know, provide comfort to the king. And Alicent is like in his chambers. Are you saying go to his bedroom and do this? And Otto is 100%. That’s what Otto was saying. That is what Otto is saying, that that night across the city at Daemon and Buster’s Daemon Targaryen has rented out an entire brothel for all of his officers of the City Watch. And he is burying whatever sadness he has under piles of copulating flesh. And of course, he’s got this. He you can tell that he’s a little, he sad, but he also has this image of, like the cocky, swaggering prince of the city to uphold. And so when one of his guardsmen is like stand for the Prince of the City, Daemon Targaryen is going to make a speech. He then makes a speech in which he refers to deceased Prince Baelon as, quote, the Heir For A Day. Bad idea. Really bad look. Shocking stuff. And of course, Otto Hightower heard about it. He hears about it. Is this connected to the message he was sending? We don’t know. But will we understand is that Otto has eyes and ears around the city. He tells the king. And the king is pissed. And rightfully so.


Rosie Knight He’s pissed, pissed, pissed


Jason Concepcion He is. He calls Daemon to come see him in the throne room. He’s got his kingsguard arrayed in front of him. He is holding Black Fire, the sword of Aegon the Conqueror. He has got the crown on. And he is like, Did you say it? And Daemon is like, Yeah. I said it. That was fucked up. But I did say it. And then he’s like, You’re going back to the Vale. You’re going. You’re going to back to your wife, Rhea Royce in the Vale. You’re going right now. And if you remain in the city, basically like it’s on pain of death, like you must leave. I am ordering you, as you’re king, to leave. Daemon clearly isn’t going though, because we later see him at the Dragon Pit with his with his dragon, the Blood Worm, Caraxes and his mistress, Mysaria, so wherever they are going, they are not fucking going back to the Vale. Because you don’t bring your mistress to the Vale to meet your wife. Later, in the crypt of Balerion,  the Black Dread, the the famous dragon of Aegon the Conqueror, the oldest living thing when it was still alive, the last living thing to have gazed upon old Valeria, King Viserys meets Rhaenyra, his daughter, and he shares with her a, a, a actual like story recontextualizing secret. One. Both for the books and the show.


Rosie Knight This is the moment.


Jason Concepcion This is a big deal.


Rosie Knight There is so much great character work and foreshadowing and little moments that play into each other. But if you have the take away moment, this is the ground shattering. This is about the way we look at everything moment.


Jason Concepcion 100%. He says that Aegon the Conqueror. It was said that he looked at Westeros and saw a prize worth taking and that’s why he invaded, with his with his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, but not the case. Aegon had a dream that a long winter was coming and that only a Targaryen on the throne of Westeros could be the hero to stop it. And this secret, apparently, we learn, has been passed down from ruler to heir since the days of Aegon and since Rhaenyra is now the Viserys’ heir, he is giving her the top secret conquerer file and telling her This is the mission of House Targaryen. You now have this responsibility on your shoulders. And later we see in the throne room the various noble houses of the realm. Called. You know, they were already there for the for the heirs tournament. So apparently they stayed around and now they are kneeling before Rhaenyra in the presence of the king and swearing fealty and allegiance to her in front of the eyes of the entire realm. And I’m sure that will. That’s it. We’ve. It’s fine now. Rhaenyra is. Her reign is going to be unopposed because everybody agreed to it.


Rosie Knight That’s why it’s called House of the Dragon. It’s just Targaryens chillin. It’s going to be fine.


Jason Concepcion Yes. So. First of all great pilot episode. They, that is that that was a masterclass in how you give exposition in a way that doesn’t feel like someone’s reading you hit it, like the lore of a place like that was that felt like Game of Thrones when Game of Thrones was like firing on all cylinders.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think something that is so intrinsically clever about House of the Dragon is the fact that it is essentially based on a history of Westeros means you can have people in the show explaining the history as a narrative part of the show of the people. I mean, we meet so many houses that we never met in Game of Thrones just in the first episode. Like, there is so much to take in, but there’s these quiet character moments and set ups that weight it down with a humanity. Even in this space of of the dragons. And then just when you think like, oh, this is the conflicts really hold up, they’re like, oh, by the way, everything, you know. Is completely different from the way you thought it was.


Jason Concepcion Now, apparently that little tidbit came directly from George, who has been very you know, has been super, super involved in this show. And it’s legitimately a big deal. And it was funny because when. I saw this, I reflected on the fact that like when you when you read the books, you don’t know anything about Aegon. Like you. We know what he did and we know what his sister is. We know the painted table. You know, he came over from Dragonstone, etc., with maybe 300 men. Three dragons. But no. But you don’t know anything about his personality. We don’t know, like what he liked, what he didn’t like to do. We get the feeling that he, that he was, had warm feelings for his sister Queen Rhaenys. And that kind of was just like whatever about Visenya, but maybe was in love with Rhaenys. But we don’t know a lot about him. And this is the first time that we’ve really got a sense of mission and motivation about Aegon.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And learn something like that is such a big deal about him that not only recontextualize what we know about him, but the action.


Rosie Knight Everything.


Jason Concepcion Of all the Targaryen things that came after.


Rosie Knight Because also imagine this. So we’ve gone from Aegon the Conqueror, Aegon going to conquer Westeros to destroy it, to defile it, to take the power to going there, to unite it. Yeah, that’s huge. And also, like I really I mean, I’m glad to hear that confirmation because it obviously felt like it had to come to George for me, because that recontextualize is the world, that is his world, you know. But it’s kind of cool as well to build on that Targaryen tradition of like Daenys having the dreams and the prophetic dreams. And.


Jason Concepcion Oh yeah.


Rosie Knight Daeron, the drunken, and it’s very cool to see that built in. But this is the dream, you know, this is yeah, the this is the reason that Targaryens probably were ever gifted with prophetic dreams was for this dream. And the fact, like, it’s so poetic and this is something I love about being about doing a prequel, right? You get to do it and you get to have him say Aegon called His Dream The Song of Ice and Fire. And he says the thing. And it’s so fun when you say the thing and then you we know that it’s true, but we know that it’s it is truly a song of Ice and Fire because it’s John Snow who saves the realm. You know, it’s like this.


Jason Concepcion Or is it? Because like, you know, like I mean, it’s a great point. We will.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion On later episodes, I’m sure we will get into the whole Prince Rhaenyrs’s promise, but you could see Jon Snow, half Targaryen, half Stark. Right. Okay. Literally Song of Ice and Fire


Rosie Knight Yeah, you could argue that’s what it means.


Jason Concepcion At the same time. Man when when Viserys is saying this to Rhaenyra, he’s got his hand on that Cat’s Paw, blade. That famous dagger that that Joffrey, in his pettiness, gave to a cut throat and sent to go kill Bran Stark, who is already in a coma from being from falling from the tower in episode one of Game of Thrones. And it just shows you number one Joffrey’s immense, irrationality that he sent an assassin with, like a priceless and historic weapon. But it’s, it’s meaningful to me that, one, Viserys has got his hand on that dagger as he’s telling Rhaenyra that secret. And then later. It is Aria stabbing the Night King with that dagger that ends the threat.


Rosie Knight Yes, yes, yes, yes. And yes, yes, yes.


Jason Concepcion And you know who’s to say that that’s not the Song of Ice and Fire.


Rosie Knight Exactly, you know, because also I like that reading, because look, a Targaryen needs to sit on the throne, for the Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms to be saved. Right. But then Daenerys’s was on the throne. So there’s a Targaryen on the throne, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the exact moment isn’t Aria with the Cat’s Paw blade, because that’s that uniting coming together as well. I love that reading. I think that’s really cool.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I’m so excited to continue to talk about the show. It’s been fun to get back into it. It’s been fun to, like, just be talking with my Game of Thrones friends. Again, you know? And I think people will be like, Oh my God, what do you what do you think this means? Is this a big deal? Man that the Aegon prophecy and of course for Targaryens, dreams are a big deal. You mentioned it Daenys the Dreamer. 12 years before the doom of Valeria destroyed old Valeria had that dream.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion That, that the land was going to be destroyed in a cataclysm. Convinced her dad that it was going to happen. And they pulled up stakes and left. And that is why amongst all the, you know, the Dragon Lords of old Valera, only the Targaryens survived and the Targaryens were not even if they were, they were not like the most powerful house anywhere  near it. They were just like a lower middle class, dragon riding Noble House, but who had this touch of prophecy and good fortune that allowed them to survive. So any dream like this. I mean, you want to know why Viserys is putting so much stock in this dream that he had about having a son. It’s the same reason that he is so almost messianic about this Song of Ice and Fire dream of Aegon’s. It’s that dreams legitimately saved the entire family from destruction at one time and he’s put a lot of stock in it.


Rosie Knight Okay. So this is a question I want to ask you then, because I was thinking about this a lot with the dreams. So Viserys had that dream. Aemma died. The baby died. We saw Alicent then go to his chambers. There is obviously something going on there. Is there a version of Sarah’s dream where that comes true? But it’s not his and Aemma’s baby. Like, do you see that as it’s a it’s a prophetic dream. It’s just far more in the future then what I thought.


Jason Concepcion I think that would be in line with the way that prophecies and often work in this world. You know, it’s the same thing with the with the prince that was promised or, or the lore or any of the prophecies of the lore. There’s always, always, always, always in George R.R. Martin’s stories and in these in this world, various different ways to like to to to look at we had to.


Rosie Knight Pasrse.


Jason Concepcion Parse a prophecy and figure out what it means. And it’s always the trickiest windiest. Not straight.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s like general.


Jason Concepcion Forward motion. Yeah.


Rosie Knight There’s always like some. You think it means one thing, but you read a different way and actually means this. And I’m very interested to see how they play with prophecy more because like in the books, like Daenerys had prophetic dreams and stuff and, and I would love to see, I love that aspect of this stuff. And I feel like with the Dragons there’s even more of that supernatural kind of prophetic aspect to it. So I was really excited that this is clearly going to be like a big part of this season going forwards.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I can’t wait. Up next, the premiere of House of the Dragon.


Jason Concepcion <A.D.>


Jason Concepcion Series, House of the Dragon, is a prequel set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon tells the story of House Targaryen locked in an epic battle for the Iron Throne and power over the Seven Kingdoms. The epic series promises more drama and betrayal than ever. Listen to the official Game of Thrones podcast, House of the Dragon, HBO, Max the iHeartRadio App, or wherever you get your podcasts. And to celebrate we’re answering your questions from The Citadel. And here we go.


Rosie Knight Carra, Alex and Amanda ask in the council meetings, they keep putting stones on round disks in camera shots that feel significant and pointed. Why does everybody have a stone ball and what’s their deal?


Jason Concepcion This is a non book edition and apparently this just came from production. One of the set decorators, the art design people just decided this would be a fun way to represent that. You know, each member of the council is present and ready to begin work essentially. Ryan Condal is quoted in a Hollywood Reporter story saying, quote, Everybody shows up for work and they punch in. I thought it was really cool. It’s a way of visualizing the formality of the small council chamber. It’s enjoyable. We should have things that we like in this world. So just like a fun addition.


Rosie Knight I love that.


Jason Concepcion I like it too.


Rosie Knight I love it. I love some good production design that kind of adds to a world building.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight Meredith asks from the conversation Otto Hightower has with his daughter Alicent. It’s implied that he wants her to sleep with the king while he’s grieving. To  Alicent, too much of Alicenst’s dismay, but all we see is her, comforting Viserys. Are we supposed to infer that anything else happened between them or just that she shared his grief? Obviously, I hope nothing happened for Alicent’s sake, but I wonder if that means something will happen with him later on.


Jason Concepcion Otto is absolutely a planner, and this is. He understands that he is sending his daughter, who he knows is a very. Openhearted and sympathetic person and who recently lost her mother. He knows that he is sending her in there and my read is he’s not thinking that they’re going to sleep together. And in fact, that would be horrendous for the fortunes of his house, like for her his daughter to be like dishonored in that way. I think it would be bad. But he is looking to certainly to improve the fortunes of his house. And he is thinking, oh, here is an emotionally vulnerable king. My daughter has experience with grief. And maybe they have something to talk about. And certainly if they do, and she’s wearing a nice dress and she looks great, that will benefit my house. As Daemon says in the throne room about Otto, he’s a second son, and he’s a cunt. What does that mean, his second son? Well, the first sons inherit everything. The first sons become lords. Right when their Lord Father dies. The second sons, you know, get a smaller tower and maybe get to go be a knight somewhere. They don’t really get to inherit anything unless the older son dies. So this is Otto, in that kind of grasping way, trying to make something happen. And again, I don’t think he’s I don’t think he’s thinking that the king and his daughter are going to sleep together. Certainly not now, but maybe in the future. You know, he’s certainly looking to build a bond there. And we should note that in the books, Otto, in the in as Old King Jaehaerys was getting very, very, very old in his final days in the books, Otto, in a very similar way, sends Alicent to go take care of the elderly and ailing king. And it was said that King Jaehaerys thought like that he was that she was one of his daughters, like because he was so addled at that time. So Otto is looking to do that. He is looking to build bonds and bridges between the Targaryen house and his own to lift up House Hightower.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. It very much leads into the the medieval kind of British monarchy influences on the show. It’s very Henry VIII.


Jason Concepcion Very, very Henry VIII.


Rosie Knight The royal family, the locals around them send oh, my daughter, she’s very good, you know, cleaning and being a companion. She can read books. It has a very big vibe. So I like your answer to that. I think it’s true and generous, quite generous to all.


Jason Concepcion I mean, listen, it’s is a sleazy thing to do. Let me just say that.


Rosie Knight It’s not, it’s still sleazy, but it’s not as easy as it could have been.


Jason Concepcion Right. Exactly. But it is absolutely sleazy.


Rosie Knight Ryan, Tom, James and Nathan ask, how does the revelation of Aegon’s vision. His naming of the Song of Ice and Fire and the Targaryen secret change your view of the overall narrative that ties these stories together.


Jason Concepcion Oh, my God. It’s huge. It’s a huge reveal. And the thing that I can’t stop thinking about and then I’ve been texting my my Game of Thrones,  A Song of Ice and Fire Friends about is how it would work, you know? So according to Viserys, Aegon had that dream. The dream isn’t passed as a secret from ruler to heir since the days of the conqueror and it. It’s not as straightforward as it would appear so. Okay. Aegon and his sister, Rhaenys had a son. I mentioned earlier in the in the episode Aenys, a.k.a. the Deuce. King Aenys. He followed his his dad, Aegon, to the throne, became the second king of Westeros. And so far, very straightforward. Right. Aegon is getting older. He names Aenys as heir and he tells Aenys the secret. Okay. Now, Aenys was a weak king, rich kid. He didn’t fully appreciate the fire and blood that Aegon expended to unite Westeros. He thought, Oh, everybody loves us and really loves the Targaryens. So he was very surprised when various challenges to his rule popped off as soon as Aegon had died. And now here’s this new young king that everybody wanted to test. And Aenys’ heir, with his with his Queen Alissa Veleryon was a Prince Aegon, his son Aegon, he named him after his dad. Now, when Aenys suddenly passed away on Dragonstone. His brother Maegor, who was the the son of Queen Visenya, he had been in exile in Essos, Visenya, as soon as he she realized that King Aenys had passed away, she flew to Essos to get him, flew back and Maegor seized power. So okay, how would this have worked? Right. Who? Who told Maegor the secret? Certainly. If he wasn’t supposed to be the heir. And then after that. How did Jaehaerys find out, considering that Maegor, you know, died in a in a really sudden way as well. Okay. So let’s first let’s talk about Maegor first. So Maegor’s attempts at siring heirs were very unsuccessful. He he went through various methods, including marrying three women at once to try and maximize those opportunities to create heirs. None of it truly worked. Then came Jaehaeryss, who ascended the throne, age 14, ruled for 64 years. Right. Okay. So how did how did these two find out about this secret? The most straightforward answer, I think, is that Aegon told his sisters. Aegon told Visenya and Rhaenys you know, when they were planning for the invasion. Maybe that’s how he convinced them to do it, you know, because it’s kind of a big ask, right, to be like, hey, let’s invade this entire continent with no army. So, you know, if Aegon had a reason, a secret to tell them, a secret mission that only the Targaryens could fulfill. Maybe that is what motivated them to support their brother. Another fascinating wrinkle to this is, you know, in the books it’s said that Aegon’s best friend, his closest friend was Borros Baratheon, the founder of House Baratheon. They were supposedly bastard brothers. And you wonder if Aegon told Borros.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion But anyway, Rhaenys died in Dorne, in like eight or nine AC during the the the war to try and bring Dorne into the realm. Visenya, of course, survived. And then her son, born in 12 A.C., was Maegor the Cruel. And we mentioned how when when King Aenys died, she went and got Maegor the Cruel and brought him back and he was crowned king. So if the sisters knew, okay, it’s easy, Visenya just tells Maegor the secret right. Now, Maegor ruled for and this is very cute. Six years and 66 days, a.k.a. six, six, six. Just to let you know.


Rosie Knight That’s right.


Jason Concepcion What a guy Maegor was. He died very suddenly after a very, very violent and paranoid and bloody and despotic reign. He was found on the throne with the Blades of the Iron Throne, like literally stabbing him, piercing his body. And King Jaehaerys was crowned. Okay, so from what we know about Maegor, one, he didn’t seem like the kind of person who’s going to end it in a very sober and responsible way, tell his heir about this incredible mission that House Targaryen has. And also he died violently, without we would we would assume a chance to tell anyone and certainly not Jaehaerys the secret. And Vasenya had passed some years earlier, so she couldn’t have told Jaehaerys. Now, Jaehaerys was the prisoner when he was a child of the Visenya for a little while, but why would she tell him then? Because there is no kind of indication that that Jaehaerys would that ascend to the throne at that time. So. I was talking with my friend Aziz, who along with his partner Shire, runs the history of Westeros Pod and the YouTube channel of the same name. There they are. They just know their stuff. They’re the best. And Aziz brought up a good he had a good wrinkle to this. He said, what if what if it was Rhaena Targaryen who who passed the info to Jaehaerys? So Raena Targaryen was the daughter of King  Aenys and the wife and sister of the rightful heir, Prince Aegon, the one that Maegor usurped from. So she she would later, during the Maegor years she fled to Fair Isle. Was forced to wed Maegor at one point. But she’s got all these connections to people who potentially would have known. Right. She’s King  Aenys’ daughter. Might he have told her?  Prince Aegon, the heir? Certainly would have known from King Aenys, so possibly when he was going off to fight Maegor, he would Maegor would kill him in battle. But perhaps understanding the danger he was in was like, Hey, I got to tell you the secret that my dad told me and maybe that’s how it lived on. She was called later on after the Maegor year. She was called the Queen in the West and then the Queen in the East respectively, for when she stayed on Fair Isle and then later on Dragonstone. And this was because, taking, you know, the fact that she was a woman aside. It was you know, they were it was it seemed like the succession could have passed through her because she was King Aenys’ daughter. And also she was the wife of the rightful heir, Prince Aegon. So it’s possible. I think she’s a great suspect for being the person who told Jaehaerys. Now that there now there are other really, really interesting implications to this as well. So Aegon the Unlikely, Aegon the V was the 15th Targaryen king and the brother of Maester Aemmon, who we know from Game of Thrones of the Night’s Watch, and a one time companion of the hedge knight known as Ser Duncan, the Tall, who, if you’ve read the Duncan Egg stories you know about. So he came to power in kind of fluky circumstances. The king the previous king had died. King maker died in a rebellion, and there was no clear heir. So a council gathered. They offered it to his brother, Aemmon, who passed. He was like, I don’t want to do it. You should give it to my brother, Aeg and Ammon took the black and went to the wall. And Aeg became king. Now, when Aeg ascended, the realm was in this in the middle of a brutal, brutal winter, six year long winter. And later in his reign, he became obsessed with the idea that that dragons needed to come back. He wanted to hatch these dragon eggs that he had. And so that’s how he died. He was at the Targaryen vacation Palace of Summer Hall, and he apparently was doing some sort of ritual to to try and hatch these dragon eggs. And the castle caught fire and he died. Now, what if. You’d imagine if you knew this prophecy right. And all of a sudden you’re a Targaryen king. And it’s the middle of this long winter, the longest winter that anyone can remember. It’s really bad. And you’re thinking, Oh, shit, what if it’s this one? What if it’s this? What if this is the winter of prophecy? I bet there’s a good chance that if he, if Aegon V, knew about this prophecy, he would be really concerned that that winter was the winter of prophecy. And maybe that’s why he became so obsessed with trying to bring dragons back. All of a sudden, all these different.


Rosie Knight I love that theory.


Jason Concepcion Some of these Targaryen Kings like they change in they shift a little bit and in addition the fact that the flukey circumstances of of his ascension. Right. Master Aemmon, Prince Aemmon passed and then goes to the wall and he goes to the wall with with with Blood Raven,  formerly a rebel and a hand to the king. All of a sudden, that looks like a weird plan. Right. Like something, like, maybe acting on this understanding of the prophecy. They decided, you know what? We need to be close to winter. We need to be close to the lands of ice to kind of keep an eye on things. And you see, you stay here King, And you try and hatch the Dragons and may and we attack it that way. So that’s really that’s that’s the thing that I can’t stop thinking about is how this prophecy would have been passed on, how it would have worked. Did it get to King Aerys, whose son, of course, was Raegor Targaryen, who was overthrown by Robert Baratheon. And then ended up being, you know, killed by Jaime Lannister? Was he in the right mind ever to tell Rhaegar? There’s a lot of suggestion that he had that he had become very distrustful of his heir at a certain point. Be fascinating to know this. Another thing that my friend Aziz, from History of Westeros brought up, was Baelor the Blessed. King Baelor was a religious extremist and it’s very possible that if this prophecy is written down anywhere, that Baelon would have hated it. Would have not liked it. And he would have had it purged. So there’s a possibility that it was lost at that time. But I tell you, the the actions of Aegon V seem they hit different now that we know about this prophecy, and it’s just fun to think about.


Rosie Knight I totally agree. And as a prophecy lover, I will say I don’t think this will be the answer because it feels a little bit too easy. But I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe more than one person had the dream, you know, if it hadn’t got passed down, potentially they have the dream and they think they are the bearer only of that dream. And that could fill in some gaps. But I just love prophecies.


Jason Concepcion And the other question is like is this is this written down anywhere?


Rosie Knight Yeah. It seems like it would be in a world of maesters and sparrows and spies and all this? It seems like there would be a version of it somewhere. But then the big question would be why didn’t ever go to Game of Thrones? Jesus asks, there are at least two characters from Game of Thrones, that are possibilities to show up in Hot D. Bran, the one eyed Raven and Melisandre. I can see either one of those two showing up at some point to influence events to ensure a defeat of the Night King. What are the odds of these characters making an appearance? And who else from Thrones do you think could show up in the new show?


Jason Concepcion It’s interesting. I doubt we see Bran as a time traveler or Melisandre just because I feel like the showrunners will probably think the audience would be confused by that. That said, it is possible that Melisandre is running around. And you know, we we don’t know how old Melisandre is. Karese Van Houten, who played Melisandre, has been quoted as saying something like, She’s way over 100. Does that mean she was alive during this time? We don’t know. But again, I don’t think we we see her. But I love the idea of her being in the mix somehow during the time that this story is taking place.


Rosie Knight Dana asks, Did Otto in the Maesters conspired to kill baby Baelon in order to clear the air so he could wed Alicent to Viserys? Whew


Jason Concepcion Yeah, that’s just. No, no, no, no way. Maester Melos in the whole realm in general would have been relieved if Baelon survived to bring stability to the realm they want that. Even Otto would be like, Thank God, you know, now it is not a uncommon thing for Targaryen children to die in infancy or for. First of all, it’s not an uncommon thing in this world for children to die in infancy, period. The Targaryens, specifically, had problems because they practiced incestuous marriage, which means that Targaryens are a mixed bag in terms of their temperament, see the Mad King and their overall health. Maegor the Cruel, notably sired multiple children who were born, stillborn and having physical deformations so that the genetic makeup is not great. And of course, Targaryen pregnancies are often troubled. Queen Aemma, whose half Targaryen half Aerin, had numerous miscarriages. Like many, many, many, Princess Rhaenyra is the only one of King Viserys and Queen Aemma’s children who survived to adulthood. But she was pregnant a lot before this and did. None of those were successful, successfully carried to term. So this isn’t a not uncommon event.


Rosie Knight Joan and Calvin ask, when you watch House of the Dragon, are there technological things that you notice that tell you we’re 200 years prior to the Game of Thrones? In Bran’s flashbacks on Game of Thrones, it always struck me that the clothes, gear, transport look the same no matter where we were in time. But I might have been and continue to be missing a whole lot.


Jason Concepcion No, you’re not. Technology evolves extremely slowly in this world. And I think the way to to think about Westeros during this time in Game of Thrones and House of Dragon is that this is essentially the Dark Ages after the doom of Valeria. Valeria was like the most advanced. Most powerful culture in the world at that time, right? They made like think about Valerian Steel, which was this incredible substance created through the merging of spell casting and advanced metalwork. And after the doom, of course that knowledge was completely lost. Completely lost to the point that though there are the various houses families and in fact, like entire cities in Essos, where, you know, Valerian lineage is strong, the knowledge of how to make more Valerian steel did not survive. That was a tightly held secret that even the Targaryens don’t know how to do it. So in a sense, we’re in a dark ages where technology has really come down a significant notch from the high point of Old Valyria. So that’s a good way to, I think that’s the way I think about it. Now, there are other moments in time, like in the in the far, far, far history where you could feel technology change in a way that was that that altered the the history of the kind of like wider world. For instance, the original human inhabitants of Westeros were the so-called first men, and they were displaced by the Andals, who came over from Essos and invaded and eventually pushed the first men. You know. Yeah, almost all the way out of the lands of Westeros, south of the north. And they were able to do that because they had better steel, like, you know, better or better warfare technology. And the first men, as you know, they were still fighting with bronze and stuff like that. So in the far, far past, you can feel that that kind of like technology change, but it’s, it moves very, very slowly. And again, it was really the Valerians who had the most advanced technology, think they had the pyromancer as they had wildfire, they had valerian steel, all that stuff. But that’s mostly gone now except for, you know, the wildfire and pyromancer. But most of that technology has been has been lost with the destruction of Old Valeria. And that’s it for this segment of Ask the Maester. Don’t miss the new HBO Original series, House of the Dragon streaming now on HBO, Max. And send us your questions at A big thank you to Rosie Knight for joining us on X-ray Vision, Rosie. What do you have to plug?


Rosie Knight Oh, yeah. This weekend I will not be there, but my amazing collaborator, Oliver Ohno and our amazing cover artist, Mark Martinez will be at nostalgic comics in San Gabriel. And I signed a bunch of copies as one of the only shops that I know in the L.A. area that still has copies. I signed them. Mark and Oliver will be that sign them. So definitely make sure to go and jump on and see that you can follow me on Instagram @RosieMarx, where I talk a lot about this podcast and comics and other cool stuff also on Letterboxd. And then here, obviously. Yeah. Just before we wanted to go as well, we just wanted to say thank you to everyone who emailed about getting a copy of Godzilla Rivals Versus Batra, which came especially from Jason’s secret stash. And some of the some of the emails were just so lovely that we actually just wanted to read a couple of them. So this one came from Joe and it says, Hi, Jason and Rosie. I’d love a copy of Godzilla versus Batra. I have a seven year old son who loves listening to X-ray vision with me, though I have to be quick with the mute button from time to time. Understandable, and has very recently gotten into comics after I managed to get hold of a bunch of my old comics from the late eighties. His name is Abe, and we’ve been running a list of things that we want to do when the virus goes away, the top of which is to go into an actual comic shop. I’m positive that that would be so great. We can’t wait for you guys to do it. You have to tell us how it goes. I’m positive that he would be over the moon for a copy of Rosie’s new comic as in addition to his growing collection. Thanks for your consideration. And I cannot overstate how much this podcast has meant to him and I.


Jason Concepcion Oh, that’s so sweet. We’ve got it.


Rosie Knight Thank you, Joe. Yeah, you got it. You got it. And I’m so glad that it means so much to you. And I really hope you enjoy the comic. The good thing is this is a comic that is suitable for both of you. So I’m very happy that I went into it with that mindset. Jen says, My husband and I love X-ray Vision. We listen every week. You two is such a delight and so knowledgeable. Thanks for the part.


Jason Concepcion Thank you so much.


Rosie Knight Thank you for listening. Yeah, thank you, Jessica. Our final email read says, Dear Rosie and Jason, X Ray team and Crooked team, shouting out Everyone, thank you for that, Jessica. I listened to your Pod every week. Love listening to your thoughts, breakdowns, recaps and critical musings of my favorite and soon to be favorite films and shows. I would love to read Rosie’s Godzilla issue. When I was a wee youngster, I would watch Godzilla on TV and when I was lucky, catch a double feature our local theater on Saturdays. Now that I’ve reached middle age and I’m thoroughly enjoying sharing all the old flicks with my 12 year old and his buddies, a fresh new comic is something I can enjoy, but also something I can share with a bunch of kids that really need to be pushed into reading. I hope I made the cut. You guys rule.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, Jessica exactly. Made the cut. You made it.


Rosie Knight You did make the cut. You made it. And I hope the kids enjoy it and I hope you enjoy it. And thanks again to everyone who wrote in. And yeah, if you if you write some reviews, you could also have them read out like that and hear us being very stoked and grateful for your support of th podcast


Jason Concepcion Thank you. X-ray Vision has a new home. The Takeline YouTube and Twitter channels are now dedicated to all things X-ray Vision. So go check out XRV pod on Twitter and X-ray Vision on YouTube. Plus our X-ray Vision Discord, it’s waiting for you. Come join the community.


Rosie Knight It’s popping.


Jason Concepcion The link link is in the show notes. Rosie and I are active there regularly, so come talk with us. Catch the next episode on September 2nd for more She-Hulk, more House of the Dragon, plus the premiere of Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power. I cannot wait to talk about this. Let’s go.


Rosie Knight Let’s go. I’m ready. Hobbits.


Jason Concepcion Folks, we want your five star reviews. Send us those five star reviews anywhere you can leave them on Apple. You can leave them wherever you get your podcasts. And if you send them to us and we like them, we will read them here on the air. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vazquez for our theme music. See you next time.


Jason Concepcion Hey, Mike. Yeah. I want to talk about the heirs tournament today, Mike. Daemon Targaryen, Listen, this guy’s the prince of the city, the great warrior. We gave you the dragon Caraxes. Well, yeah, we understand what the deal is, Mike, but listen, you got beat, okay? Christon Cole. It was a good fight. It was a good battle. And listen, we let it go. When you speared the horse, that’s against the rules. But everybody let it go cause you’re Daemon Targaryen. But then guess what? You got your clock cleaned by Christon Cole. And I’m sorry, but you got to shake the guy’s hand. Maybe I’m old fashioned, Mike, but I like to see you out. I like to see a little respect for your competitor when you get bested. Be a man, stand up and shake his hand. Don’t bat his hand away like that, Mike. Well, what kind of what kind of lesson is that for the kids who are watching, the kids who sit there, they’re getting blood splattered on them. Heads are going exploded and chopped off and now they got to see the worst thing they see all day, which is the prince of the city, Prince Daemon, acting like a schmuck who can’t just shake a guy’s hand because he got beat. I’ll take my answer off the air, Mike. Thank you.


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Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it? 


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The Listener’s Guide for all things X-Ray Vision!


She-Hulk (2004-2005) and She-Hulk (2005-2009) by Dan Slott and Juan Bobillio (iconic covers by Greg Horn, some of which have inspired posters for the show). One of the most well-known She-Hulk comic runs and a big influence on the series.


New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by various, including David Finch, Steve McNiven, and Leonil Francis Yu.


Samuel Sterns aka The Leader – Played by Tim Blake Nelson in The Incredible Hulk; debuted in Tales to Astonish #62 in 1964.


The History of Westeros YouTube channel & podcast.


PLUS Rosie’s Tin Foil Hat™ list of comics from the GLK&H offices


War Machine #19, 1995


Iron Man #290, 1993 


Iron Man Vol. 3 #3, 1998


Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 #287, 1983


Avengers Vol. 1 #4, 1964 


Captain Marvel Vol.4 #13, 2001 


What If…? #28, 1991 


Rise of the Black Panther #6, 2018 with Art Adams variant cover 


Avengers #360, 1993 with foil cover