HOTD Has More Than Just Dragon Eggs: 35 Easter Eggs In House Of The Dragon
There is no doubt that Game of Thrones (GOT) was once considered the finest series on television. George R. R. Martin’s impeccable storytelling was carefully captured on screen, and the fans couldn’t get enough of it. Then one day, it all went down the gutter. GOT lost its flair after Tywin Lannister died. The season finale was a disaster, and it left millions feeling crestfallen.
In 2022, HBO came out with House of The Dragons (HOTD), likely in an attempt to salvage the series’ reputation. The prequel captures the Targaryen civil war and the infamous dance of the dragon — the significant events that shaped the GOT universe.
We will never get over how GOT wounded us, but HOTD‘s intricate connection to GOT is a good place to find the lost magic.
Warning: This listicle contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Fire & Blood.
The Dagger That Started It All
We all gasped when this familiar-looking Valyrian steel dagger appeared in King Viserys’ hand. Yes, this is the same dagger that started the gruesome war of five kings that took away many of our faves. This is also the same dagger that Arya used to take down the Night King once and for all.
Its appearance in HOTD enhances the significance of this dagger. It was actually the weapon of Aegon the Conqueror; he knew of the Azor Ahai and imprinted the prophecy on the blade. The dagger became a Targaryen heirloom and somehow ended up in the hands of Littlefinger. The Night King dying from this dagger all makes sense now.
It Was Foreshadowed That Targaryens Have The Power Of Prophecy
House Targaryen is renowned for its mighty dragons and fabulous ivory hair. However, they have a power that even they don’t pay attention to — the power of prophecy. Historically, the reason why their house survived the doom of Valyria is because Daenys the Dreamer foresaw the future. Hence, they moved to Westeros.
Similarly, Aegon the Conqueror dreamt of the long night and the Azor Ahai. Meanwhile, King Viserys also dreamt that he would one day have a prince. Daenerys Targaryen saw the future, with herself in front of the Iron Throne while it was snowing. Sure enough, she claimed the Iron Throne when it was snowing.
Helaena Targaryen Is No Ordinary Woman
Our theory is that the innocent Targaryen princess is actually a powerful foreseer, just like Daenys the Dreamer. As we saw in the series, Heleana is constantly absent-minded and lost in her thoughts. She plays with insects and mumbles what people think is gibberish. It’s as if she’s not in the physical world.
For example, in episode six, Aemond is enraged that his brothers humiliated him for not having a dragon. Seeing his distraught state, Helaena mumbles that he’ll have to close his eyes if he wants a dragon. That’s literally what happened. Aemond tamed Vhagar, the mightiest dragon. In exchange, he lost an eye.
Rhaenyra’s Position as Cupbearer Is Actually Very Significant
Many of us were very confused as to why Rheanyra, a princess, served as a cupbearer in Viserys’ small council. It made no sense that a member of the royal family would pour wine for cranky old men. However, her position there foreshadowed her rise to power. The importance of cupbearers is highlighted in the Bible and Greek mythology.
Though it seems like a simple post, cupbearers are actually trusted confidants of the monarch. They were present during important state affairs discussions and were privy to confidential information. Though, we bet that Rhaenyra didn’t also serve as the official poison-tester.
Foreshadowing Daenerys Targaryen
George R. R Martin killed off many female characters in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, often while they were in labor. HOTD counted two cases, the first of which was Queen Aemma Arryn. Medieval women had it difficult, and she was a prime example. The poor queen was used as a broodmare and suffered many miscarriages.
She was exhausted mentally and physically. However, her husband wanted to have more since he was waiting for the destined prince. Aemma joked that she wouldn’t be too surprised if she hatched an actual dragon. This was a foreshadowing of her descendant Daenerys, who actually hatched three dragons 172 years after the events of HOTD.
House of the Dragon References Tyrion’s Trial
We can all agree that Tyrion Lannister’s Trial after being accused of regicide is one of the finest moments in television history. Scenes like those are what attracted fans to GOT. Peter Dinklage’s outstanding performance made it so memorable. His years of grief and frustration for being born as a dwarf was extremely well captured.
Like any good series, GOT has the tendency to repeat phrases. For example, key characters have signature lines, while different houses have mottos. The title for GOT season four episode six, which contained the aforementioned trial, was “The Laws of Gods and Men.” The same line was repeated in HOTD episode three.
The History of The Word Dracarys
“Dracarys” is probably the coolest word from the ASOIAF universe. Although commoners on our Earth use the word, it’s actually a high Valyrian word dating all the way back to old Valyria. The dragons are somehow genetically hardwired to only respond to high Valyrian commands. When “Dracarys” is spoken by the rider, the dragon unleashes its firepower.
After Daenerys hatches her dragons, she struggles to control them. However, after she started commanding them in Valyrian, things started working out. In HOTD, we find out that “Dracarys” wasn’t only used by Daenerys. The Targaryens and house Valeryon also used that word with their dragons. It makes sense since Dracarys means “fire” in Valyrian.
Women Fight Their Wars on The Birthing Bed
Being a woman is hard, even in these modern times, so you can only imagine the hardships medieval women went through. HOTD perfectly portrayed the struggle of motherhood. We have already seen that miscarriages and maternal death are common themes in the ASOIAF universe. HOTD alone carried multiple of these instances in one single season.
Within the first episode, our hearts were overflowing with sympathy for queen Aemma. When she said, “the birthing bed is the woman’s battlefield,” she meant it. Her death was proof enough. And later in the series, the powerful dragon-rider Laena Velaryon suffered the same fate. Queen Rhaenyra also suffered the horror of a miscarriage.
Lyonel Strong Was The Perfect Hand of The King
King Viserys had it rough. His small council was filled with selfish people. No one was trustworthy. However, only Lyonel Strong did his job correctly. He used his intelligence for the right causes and helped Viserys far more than anyone during his service as The Hand. No wonder the greens were threatened by his diplomatic skills.
Otto was knowingly causing a rift between the monarchy and nobles. It was obvious he wanted his own descendants on the throne. However, Lyonel was able to see the bigger picture and suggested Laenor as Rheanyra’s husband. It proved to be the best match for her. Although it wasn’t a traditional marriage, they were amicable.
King Viserys Has Greyscale
It was introduced very early on that something was horribly wrong with King Viserys. Merely sitting on the Throne caused him to have rots all over his body, and a small cut led to him losing a finger entirely. Worse yet, the only relief he had were flesh-eating maggots.
Many believe that Viserys had a mutated version of greyscale. We have all seen what this menace of a plague can do; Shireen and Jorah were infected by it. Thankfully, Samwell Tarly found a cure to save Jorah. Sadly, for Viserys, he was infected two centuries too early. There was no Sam to help him.
The Name Nymeria Has Great Significance
In case you don’t remember, the name Nymeria was used twice in GOT. Arya Stark’s dire wolf was named Nymeria, as was one of Oberyn Martell’s daughters, Nymeria Sand. Canonically, Nymeria was actually a mighty warrior princess. Despite the misogynistic society of ASOIAF, Nymeria was widely credited for unifying Dorne under the Martel rule.
The bravery of Nymeria was also referenced in HOTD as well. In episode three, Rhaenyra kept using the court musician like her personal Spotify account. He repeated the lyrics “she fled with her ship and her people….Under the dragon’s eye.” The book that Rhaenyra and Alicent read in the godswood also refers to Nymeria.
Costume Colors Represent That Character’s House
Houses are a prominent part of the ASOIAF universe. Almost all medieval dramas contain houses, however, no one ever went into the details of European house culture as much as ASOIAF did. Houses have their own sigil and motto. For example, house Targaryen’s sigil is of a three-headed dragon and contains red and black.
Therefore, Targaryens often adorn black and red clothes. However, their attire can shift colors if their allegiance falls to another house. For example, Rheanys Targaryen married into the Velaryon family. Hence she started wearing blueish shades. However, Alicent kept wearing green despite being married to the Targaryens as her loyalty lay with her Hightower father.
The Queen That Never Was
The casual misogyny in HOTD was established within the first few minutes of the series. King Jaehaerys had nominated both Viserys and Rheanys as his heirs. However, the people made Viserys the king simply because he was a man. Although Viserys was a good man, he wasn’t king material as he was too kind-hearted.
Rhaenys was perfect as she was both kind and fierce. Sadly, she lost the battle. Years later, when Viserys’ own daughter became the heir, Rhaenys knew it wouldn’t be so easy. She told Rhaenyra bluntly that “it’s the order of things.” She was right. Despite being the rightful heir, Aegon was crowned the king instead.
Promises carry a lot of weight in the ASOIAF universe. Those who break their promises are shamed and labeled as “oathbreakers.” Jaime Lannister is a prime example of that. Whenever someone makes an oath, they have to mean it their whole life. Therefore, promises are not taken lightly.
For example, Lyanna Stark made Ned Stark promise that he would take care of her son. The same boy, Jon Snow, turned out to be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Viserys made Rhaenyra take an oath when he spoke of Aegon’s song. Despite the turmoil, she only mentioned it to Daemon, who she thought knew.
Dragons Are Considered Sacred in HOTD
We can all agree that dragons are one of the greatest attractions of GOT. HBO manufactured the finest dragons in television. Half of the reason why HOTD had such hype was probably fans were implicitly promised a lot more dragons. The series will also portray the tragic “Dance of The Dragons” that led to their extinction.
Dragons are majestic no matter how feral they are; however, their sacredness wasn’t shown much in GOT. Daenerys mostly used them as flying nukes and for power displays. However, in HOTD, their treatment was much different. Dragon eggs were put in the cradles of Targaryen children, who grew alongside them and respect their ferocity.
The White Hart was symbolic
ASOIAF is filled with hidden symbolism. For example, the Iron Throne is the symbol of the brutality to obtain power. Even house sigils symbolize their members. For example, the house Tyrell sigil is a golden rose. The members look beautiful and elegant from the outside, but they also have thorns hidden like roses.
During the royal hunt, Rhaenyra came across a majestic white hart. This was similar to Arya meeting a white horse in GOT. Both she and Rhaenyra have the same independent nature. They also admire the warrior-princess Nymeria and refuse to submit to social norms. This alludes to how they were similar and both destined for greatness.
The Before and After State of The Dragon Pit
HOTD sated the fans with a wide variety of dragons. Not only do they have different designs and personalities, but we even got to see one of the three OG dragons, Vhaghar. The show depicted how these mighty dragons were taken care of during peaceful times. They had their own dragon pit and specialized caretakers.
The Targaryens came to the pit to train their mounts, and the high Valyrian-speaking caretakers assisted them. We saw the same pit in GOT — Daenerys and Cersei met there for the first time. The pit was visibly in shambles compared to the pristine-looking ones in HOTD.
Many may think HOTD is just house Targaryen vs. house Hightower. However, there is another house that is involved in this warfare very covertly. All the house Strong members we have seen so far play a significant role in the story development. First of all, there is Lyonel Strong — the loyal Hand of the king.
There is also Harwin strong who sired three illegitimate children with Princess Rheanyra. Their questionable ancestry put the princess’ succession at risk, which eventually led to a full-blown civil war. Despite being a clubfoot, Larys Strong pulled many strings from the shadows. Lyonel’s son Alys will also become a major character in the next season.
The Foreshadowing That Alicent Will Ruin The Targaryen Dynasty
ASOIAF is littered with foreshadowing. One of the greatest foreshadows this season happened in King Viserys’ royal chamber. There is a large and elaborate stone model of the city of old Valyria in the middle of his bedroom. There, he and Alicent would talk about the history of Valyria and his family issues.
When Alicent accidentally knocked over a miniature dragon sculpture from the Valyrian model, it broke. Seeing that, Viserys lamented that Valyria was doomed anyway and it would never come back. However, it was a foreshadowing that the Targaryens would come to an end just like the old Valyria and Alicent would be responsible.
A Lannister Came Back to Pay His Debts
HOTD gave us a glimpse at the ancestors of the houses we adore from GOT — there is no doubt that the Lannisters played a crucial role in ASOIAF. They are known to be cunning, ambitious, and lowkey murderous. Most of these traits are derived from Tywin Lannisters’ teaching. HOTD displayed how different things were before he was born.
We met Jason Lannister, the great-great-great-grandfather of Tywin, and the two couldn’t be any more different. Jason was an arrogant fool who lacked the bravery and tact of Tywin. Interestingly, we have actually seen this man before in GOT. The same actor also played the role of Ser Hugh of Vale. Sadly, he was quickly killed off.
Daemon Is Compared to One of the Cruelest Rulers
Most of the fans may have come to HOTD for the dragons. However, they all stayed for prince Daemon Targaryen. Despite his less-than-holy behavior, he quickly became a fan favorite. He is simply too charming. Perhaps it’s the way he’s written, or maybe it’s his actor Matt Smith. Either way, fans can’t get enough of him.
Unlike the fans, Viserys’ small council detests Daemon with a burning passion. Since Viserys’ failed to produce a male heir, he contemplated leaving the Throne to Daemon. That suggestion horrified the council. They insisted he was too cruel and the realm might see another Meagor. King Meagor Targaryen was considered the abomination of the Iron Throne.
A Feast for Crows
King Viserys had it rough. Not only did he have to make solid decisions for the welfare of Westeros, but he also had to secure his legacy by producing a male heir — none of which was going well in Viserys’ case. His councilmen were all self-serving while his wife was tired from giving birth and having miscarriages.
During the Tournaments, he contemplated the state of his life. He was like the dead champion fallen on the floor. Everybody tried to manipulate him while he was helpless. He commented that his council was like the crows that feasted on the dead body. It’s an homage to Martin’s book A Feast for Crows.
The Iron Throne Is Cursed
The Iron Throne is the main goal of ASOIAF. All the events of both GOT and HOTD were motivated because of the lust for the Iron Throne. Aegon the Conqueror had literally made the Throne out of the swords of his thousand enemies. However, there’s a belief that whoever spills blood on the Iron Throne is cursed.
A seat that is literally made of blades should logically be a seating hazard. However, it’s the ultimate price in this universe. Viserys had cut his finger from one of the blades in the Throne. However, that cut never seemed to heal. Instead, it kept spreading and rotted his flesh while he was still alive.
The Difference Between Targeryens and Baratheons
If you have seen GOT, you already know how the Targaryens lost their Throne. Robert Baratheon started a rebellion and came out as the winner. He became the king. Then, he was mauled by a wild boar and succumbed to his injuries. Finally, his death began another domino of chaos that ignited thousands of deaths and wars.
During the royal hunt in HOTD, King Viserys killed a stag — the sigil of the Baratheons. Meanwhile, princess Rheanyra stabbed a wild boar to death. This defined the difference between the Targaryens and Baratheons. However, this could also be an ominous sign that another chain of bloodshed and agony will begin in HOTD.
Winter is Coming
Even people who haven’t seen GOT know the Stark motto. As it turns out, it’s just not the Starks; even the Targaryens knew that winter was coming. That may have been the reason why they conquered Westeros. Aegon the Conqueror apparently knew that dragons could save humanity from the White Walkers.
HOTD happened 172 years before the events of GOT. Even then, Viserys knew of the impending doom that was coming towards humanity. It was all due to the song that Aegon imprinted on his dagger. This is why Viserys was hellbent on having a son, as he was convinced his child would be the Azor Ahai.
Dragons Are Also Coming
HOTD depicts both the golden and the dark eras of dragons in Westeros. The first season has already given us many unique dragons, and we can see how they were cared for back in the day. However, there is more to come in the upcoming seasons. We will get to see how dragons and riders bond.
The tragic Dance of the Dragons will have all the existing dragons fighting to the death. On the bright side, we’ll be introduced to more iconic and mightier dragons. The season one finale already gave us a teaser of Vermithor, the bronze fury. There will also be wild dragons such Cannibal and Sheepstealer in the next season.
The Doom Of Valyria
When you think about it, all of this started when old Valyria fell. With the ancient land collapsing, Aegon the Conqueror came to Westeros and unified the seven kingdoms. With Aegon came the Iron Throne, the ultimate seat of power. Despite being the catalyst of all the events, no one really knows why Valyria fell.
Even Targaryen descendants scratch their heads while theorizing about the doom. Some say that it was because of the active volcanoes that resided in Valyria. Some say it was the retribution for practicing dark arts. However, HOTD might offer us an answer to this in the next season. The blame might fall on the dragons.
George R. R Martin’s Stamp of Approval
George R.R Martin has a pen of gold. Whatever comes out of it, becomes a masterpiece. Thus, many will suggest you read the ASOIAF instead of watching the HBO adaptation. You should note that the book is yet to be completed. Thus, the show deviates quite a lot from the canon texts.
However, George R. R Martin participated in the writing of House of The Dragon. There are certain requirements that he made sure were absolutely met. The books portrayed distinct features of all dragons, and Martin made sure the CGI did them justice. He also put emphasis on heraldry, and wanted to discuss King Jaehaerys Targaryen II.
The Gold Cloaks are Canonically Brutal
Prince Daemon Targaryen had a knack for casual violence. His cruelty was so vast that the small council compared him to the worst monarch in the Targaryen dynasty. They were desperate to take him off the line of succession. It was no wonder that his personally trained army, the gold cloaks, shared the same ferocity.
They went around the city and publicly tortured many criminals. Men were castrated; heads, legs, hands, and everything in between were cut off to send a message to the city — no crimes will go unpunished. However, the council thought he was too extreme and wanted to seize his army. The book version of Daemon also had no chill.
Why Crabfeeder Wears that Mask
Craghas Drahar, AKA the Crabfeeder, is quite a piece of work. He may not look like it, but he is actually a prince from Myr. He was a nuisance to the throne as he sank Valeryon ships and created a blockade in Stepstones. His distinct feature are his mask and thin long hair.
HOTD did not give us a clear shot of his face, but it is obvious that something has gone terribly wrong under that mask. His visible skin looked like it was rotten. However, the book gave us more clues. The canon Crabfeeders’ skin looked like it had been burned, which was a sign of greyscale.
Casterly Rock — The Home of The Lannisters
Casterly Rock is the ancestral stronghold of House Lannister; GOT fans had heard of this castle far too many times. It was the prized possession of Tywin Lannister. After winning against Stannis, Tyrion Lannister asked for the castle only to be shamed. Ironically, as the last Lannister, the castle now belongs to him.
HOTD also introduced us to the ancestors of the Lannisters. They were nowhere as interesting as the Lannisters from GOT. However, as Lannisters, they of course resided at Casterly Rock. When Jason Lannister attempted to seduce Rheanyra, he name-dropped many familiar possessions of the Lannisters. The old fans will of course recognize all of them.
The Crabfeeders Mask In the Driftmark Throne Room
The Crabfeeder put up quite a fight. Sadly, it was not enough to win against the joint collaboration between Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Valeryon. How can one man put up with two fiery dragons and naval fleets? He was a massive problem for Corlys Velaryon, who was damaged financially as the Crabfeeder had sunk his ships.
Of course, his death had brought Corlys immense joy. After Daemon brought out the Crabfeeder’s dismembered body, Corlys took his signature mask as his trophy. The mask was placed in the Valeryon house throne room as a display of power. When Viserys visited Driftmark for Rhaenyra’s marriage proposal, the Crabfeeder’s mask was shown proudly.
The Trade Route That Might Lead To War
The blockade at the Stepstones is something that the council did not pay much attention to. They were too busy discussing light-hearted issues such as parties and tournaments. The master of ships, Corlys Valeryon, tried bringing attention to it multiple times only to be shot down. The council strongly insisted on not going to war.
Otto Hightower ignored the bigger picture and suggested that the king should compensate the master of ships for his sunken ships. Basically, they ignored the long-term damage and wanted to give Corlys a temporary settlement. Even if his ships are refunded, it wouldn’t take away the problem sitting at their major trade route.
Similar Battle Strategy
ASOIAF depicts many battles, and the television adaptation did not hold back at all. They made sure all the gore and bloodshed were accurately portrayed in the show. Another underrated part of the show is the various battle tactics they display. Whether it’s Robb Stark or Tyrion Lannister, they all have their own war strategy.
The first major war of the HOTD was the Battle of Stepstones against the Crabfeeder. Although it happened nearly two hundred years before the events of GOT, the war tactic of this fight is very similar to that of the Battle of the Bastards. The similar wet, muddy war zone, and the soldier placements are uncanny.
Balerion The Black Dread
Balerion was undoubtedly the largest and the mightiest dragon that ever flew in the skies of Westeros. He was mounted by Aegon the Conqueror. Balerion’s battle prowess was a big reason why Aegon managed to unify Westeros. His fire was so hot that it could melt a man’s armor and cook the person inside.
The skulls of Balerion The Black Dread still decorate the basement of the Red Keep; it’s understandable why. Balerion is half the reason why Red Keep even exists. It’s only right he finds his final resting place there. The same skull was seen in HOTD. King Viserys was his last mount, and often visited him.