House of the Dragon’s Aegon star on episode one scene that will ‘split’ viewers

House of the Dragon actor Tom Glynn-Carney has spoken about the divisive final scene of the second season’s first episode.

After much anticipation, the HBO epic returned to screens for its second outing on Monday 17 June, or Sunday 16 June for US viewers.

Fans were delighted to see Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, and Matt Smith reprise their roles as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Alicent Hightower, and Damon Targaryen, respectively.

Among those returning to the cast is Tom Glynn-Carney, who portrays the newly anointed King Aegon II Targaryen, son of Alicent and Viserys (played by Paddy Considine).

Warning: Spoilers for ‘House of the Dragon’ season two, episode one below

The series got off to a slow start, with much dialogue surrounding Aegon’s recent ascension, which is strongly contested by Rhaeynra and her following.

Helaena and Aegon Targaryen (Phia Saban and Tom Glynn-Carney) in ‘House of the Dragon’ (Ollie Upton/HBO)
Helaena and Aegon Targaryen (Phia Saban and Tom Glynn-Carney) in ‘House of the Dragon’ (Ollie Upton/HBO)

Factions are emerging across the Seven Kingdoms as Alicent and the Greens attempt to shore up support for their rule, while Rhaeynra and the Blacks try to do the same for their cause.

Rhaeynra’s uncle Damon, meanwhile, is seen eager to take revenge on behalf of Rhaenyra’s young son, Lucerys, who was killed by Alicent’s son Aemond in the final episode of season one.

Towards the end of the episode, Damon enlists a rat catcher to breach the walls of the castle and murder King Aegon.

When the rat catcher fails to find Aegon, however, he and his accomplice stumble upon Queen Halaena and her infant twins, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, who are in their beds sleeping.

In lieu of killing Aegon, the men decide to kill Jaehaerys instead and begin stabbing the silver-haired child in bed.

The awful act of infanticide is not depicted on screen, however, with just the men in view but not Jaehaerys.

The showrunners have been praised for showing restraint by deciding not to show the terrible violence.

In a new interview with The Independent, Glynn-Carney, who plays father of Jaehaerys, King Aegon, said that he predicted that the show’s choice not to show violence would divide fans.

“That will split the audience,” said the actor of this particular scene.

Explaining why he believed it would prove divisive, Glynn-Carney said there is a certain expectation for violence that comes with a show such as House of the Dragon or its predecessor Game of Thrones.

“Some people turn on a show like this because they want that blood and gore, that shock factor,” he said. “But I think what our imaginations can do is often way more shocking.”

Elsewhere in the interview, he spoke positively about the critically maligned eighth season of Game of Thrones, and also spoke about House of the Dragon’s more “sustainable” approach to nudity and sex scenes in comparison to the “oversexualisation” of women, which he said Thrones sometimes bordered on.

You can read the full interview here.

House of the Dragon season two launches on Sky and NOW on Monday 17 June, with episodes released weekly.