With 3 episodes down already, we now know that a House of the Dragon episode is incomplete without some solid Game of Thrones Easter eggs. Till now, every episode has a reference to either the show or the books, or has parallel themes. In short, it seems like Westeros did not change much over the century that lies between the events of the two shows.
House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 3 is no different. From Nymeria to the Lannisters, the third episode gives us major nostalgic joyrides back to the glorious days of Game of Thrones. Apart from the fact that the sets and the cinematography are pretty similar, there are many Easter eggs that only OG fans like you and I can spot.
Here are some of them that I could spot in the episode. Feel free to add to the list.
1. Reference to Nymeria
Towards the beginning of Episode 3, we see Rhaenyra insisting on listening to one song in particular. The lyrics were “She fled with her ship and her people..under the dragon’s eye”. No prizes for guessing that the lyrics refer to warrior princess Nymeria.
Nymeria led her people, the Rhoynar to Dorne after a massive war with the Valyrians with 10,000 ships, which is also mentioned in the song. As you may recall, Arya Stark named her direwolf after Nymeria. So, there’s your first Easter egg!
In fact, this is not the first time Nymeria was mentioned in House of the Dragon. In Episode 1, Rhaenyra and Alicent were reading about her from a book.
What’s more exciting is that among the several GOT spinoffs that are under development by HBO, one of them is 10,000 ships and is rumored to follow Princess Nymeria and her journey. These subtle mentions could also be Easter eggs pointing at the upcoming spinoff.
2. The Introduction of the Lannisters
Episode 3 features the lions of the GOT universe for the first time. Yes, I am referring to the Lannisters. We’re introduced to Lord Jason Lannister, and his twin brother, Tyland is mentioned. Tyland serves in the King’s court, while Jason is introduced as a potential suitor for Rhaenyra.
It is not at all surprising that Lord Jason seems to have the characteristic pride, arrogance, and vanity of the Lannisters. He quickly reminded me of the likes of Tywin and Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. Naturally, he mentioned the Casterly Rock, which was mentioned numerous times through GOT and also seen in Season 7.
While wooing Rhaenyra, Jason praised Casterly Rock, the home of the Lannisters, lavishly. He said that one could see as far as The Wall and the Sunset Sea from Casterly Rock. The massive wealth of the Lannisters was much talked about in Game of Thrones, and that too found a mention in HOTD.
Jason slyly mentions that he has the “means” to build dragon pits, so that they may hold Rhaenyra’s dragons. This was his way of asking her hand in marriage. However, Lannisters and Targaryens haven’t gotten along well historically. It was well implied in Game of Thrones and Rhaenyra’s dislike for Lord Jason further proved the same.
The Wall and the Sunset Sea are also locations mentioned in Game of Thrones. There’s no introduction needed for The Wall, and Sunset Sea is what lies west of Westeros, where Arya set sail in the GOT finale.
3. The Kingsguard’s White Book
Go back to the Game of Thrones finale (I know you’re still suffering from PTSD after watching it. So am I, but hear me out): remember that one moment where Brienne of Tarth looked through the White Book where every Kingsguard member was mentioned and their notable achievements were noted?
It was one of the few satisfying moments from the finale, in my opinion. Brienne wrote for Jaime Lannister in the White Book, mentioning that he died saving his Queen, Cersei. Brienne wanted him to be remembered as an honorable man (not in a Shakespearean way), and she made sure he was.
The White Book finds a mention in the latest HOTD episode, through Ser Criston Cole. He mentioned his name being written down in the White Book, which reminds me of Brienne’s scene from the GOT finale.
4. The Wild Boar Hunt
This isn’t a reference per se, but rather a parallel. As we may recall, Robert Baratheon was killed after being gored by a wild boar, after the Lannisters made sure he was drunk enough during the hunt.
In HOTD Episode 3, a similar wild boar attacks Rhaenyra and Ser Criston in the woods. Criston manages to kill it, after which Rhaenyra stabs it multiple times to let out her frustration and anger in the present situation.
This reminds me of Robert Baratheon’s fate, especially since Rhaenyra faces a similar but much harsher fate than the Baratheon king. In the books, she is eaten by Aegon II’s dragon, Sunfyre, as her son, Aegon III, is made to watch.
Also, Robert Baratheon was the King himself, while Rhaenyra is the heir to the throne. It may be the makers’ way of saying that Rhaenyra will have a lot of danger awaiting her, and enemies will wait to pounce on her. It is an indication of her vulnerable position after the birth of Aegon II.
5. Rhaenyra Is the “Realm’s Delight”
If you’ve read Fire and Blood, this Easter egg definitely excited you the most. Viserys calls Rhaenyra the “Realm’s Delight”, which is a phrase used by George R.R. Martin himself in the book. The term was used frequently in the books to describe Rhaenyra.
In the book, Rhaenyra was loved and accepted by most people in King’s Landing. She was declared heir to the throne at the age of eight, and many loved her youthful charm and delightful nature.
6. The Laws of Gods and Men
Otto Hightower mentions “the laws of gods and men” in the episode, while talking to his daughter about how Aegon II should be named heir to the Iron Throne. According to him, keeping Rhaenyra as the heir and not naming Aegon despite him being the King’s firstborn male child will be defying the laws of gods and men.
Now, this one is for an observant fan. If you remember, “the laws of gods and men” was the title of an iconic Game of Thrones episode. It was the name of Episode 6 of Season 4, which featured Tyrion Lannister’s trial for Joffrey’s murder.
The clever use of the same phrase in the script hints at the futility of such man-made laws, just like Tyrion’s trial did. Despite being innocent, Tyrion faced betrayal at court by Shae and was about to be punished for a crime he didn’t commit. Similarly, a law that proclaims that Aegon must be heir to the throne simply by virtue of his gender, when he is too young to prove himself worthy, is another flawed law in the realm.
This points to the biased, sly judgment of Otto Hightower and his manipulative tactics. Such tactics were also the reason for Tyrion’s meaningless trial and imprisonment, so the parallel is pretty evident.
7. The Crab Feeder Might Have Greyscale
According to the books, Prince Drahar aka Crab Feeder hides mysterious burn marks on his skin with the strange mask that he wears. But if we take a closer look at him, it seems like he might have a disease that GOT fans are quite familiar with: greyscale.
Greyscale is a disease that was mentioned various times in Game of Thrones. Stannis Baratheon’s daughter, Shireen had greyscale. Ser Jorah Mormont had it, too. It is an infectious skin disease. People who have greyscale are banished from society and live as stonemen in the abandoned city of Essos or ruins of Old Valyria.
Crab Feeder generally keeps his face under the mask, but we can see some of his skin, which looks similar to how Jorah Mormont’s skin looked after Samwell Tarly operated the greyscale out of his skin.
In Game of Thrones Season 7, Ser Jorah caught greyscale and was sure that he was heading towards death. However, survived greyscale after Samwell Tarly found a way to remove the infected skin from his body.
Crab Feeder’s skin looks quite similar, and it seems like much of his skin was burnt or removed. There could be a probability of him having greyscale. Maybe he hides the parts that aren’t entirely cured, and was able to remove or burn some of the infected skin. Greyscale may be the ‘mysterious reason’ behind his burns.
8. Crab Feeder and Daemon’s Battle Reminded of Battle of the Bastards
This is not a clear Easter egg, and anyone can differ in opinion, but it seemed like the climax battle between Daemon Targaryen and Crab Feeder was shot to remind viewers of the iconic Battle of the Bastards.
Battle of the Bastards was fought between Ramsay Bolton and Jon Snow. Both were born out of wedlock, which is why the battle was so named. Similarly, both the Crab Feeder and Daemon Targaryen seem to have similar backgrounds.
Crab Feeder is against the power of the King in King’s Landing, while Daemon is the rogue prince who was abandoned by his own brother. So, there’s a parallel in that sense.
Moreover, Daemon going straight for Crab Feeder is similar to Jon Snow going straight for Ramsay. There’s also the last-minute arrival of Laenor with the dragon Seasmoke which reminds us of the last-minute arrival of Knights of the Vale.
After all, Battle of the Bastards was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who is the co-showrunner of House of the Dragon Season 1.
9. About House Of The Dragon
House of the Dragon is the prequel series to HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.
Set three hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon will show Westeros under the Targaryen family’s rule before the dragons went extinct. It will follow the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fought for the throne after the death of their father, Viserys I.
Directed by Ryan Condall and Miguel Sapochnik, the show stars Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Craney as Aegon II Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, and Graham McTavish.