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How the Starks Factor Into House of the Dragon Season 2

Harry Collett as Jacaerys Targaryen and Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark in 'House of the Dragon' Season 2.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of House of the Dragon.

When we last saw Jacaerys Velaryon (played by Harry Collett) in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon, he and his dragon, Vermax, were setting off on a mission to secure alliances with the Arryns and the Starks in support of his mother’s claim to the Iron Throne. Now, nearly two years later, we finally know how his attempts to treat with the Vale and the North turned out.

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The Season 2 premiere of House of the Dragon picked up shortly after the events of the previous episode, with Jace having made it all the way to the northernmost border of the Seven Kingdoms, the Wall, alongside Lord Cregan Stark (Tom Taylor), the head of House Stark known as the Wolf of the North. As the pair rode a lift to the top of the 700-foot ice barrier, Jace—and viewers—were subjected to a crash course on the important role the Wall and its guardians, the Night’s Watch, play in keeping “death,” i.e. the White Walkers, out of Westeros.

Of course, anyone who watched Game of Thrones already knows how well that ultimately worked. But the context Cregan provided about his Stark ancestors was useful for understanding why the North would be in favor of Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) sitting on the throne rather than her younger half-brother, Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney).

Read More: Breaking Down That Brutal Death in House of the Dragon’s Season 2 Premiere

As Game of Thrones fans well know, the Starks are all about duty, honor, etc., etc. So it makes sense that Cregan would abide by the oath that his father, Lord Rickon Stark (David Hounslow), swore to King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) in Season 1 to support Rhaenyra as the rightful heir. Jace also reminded him that while Cregan may feel his main duty is to the Wall, there was a reason his ancestor, Torrhen Stark—the final Stark to rule as King in the North before Robb Stark reclaimed the title following Ned Stark’s death in Game of Thrones—pledged loyalty to Aegon I Targaryen when he conquered Westeros and established the Targaryen dynasty nearly 130 years earlier.

“Surely the great Torrhen Stark would’ve sooner died than bent the knee,” Jace told him. “Unless he believed the Conquerer could bring unity to the Seven Kingdoms.”

While Cregan eventually agreed to pledge thousands of seasoned (read: old) Northern soldiers nicknamed graybeards to Rhaenyra’s cause, he also recounted how his father once brought Viserys’ predecessor, King Jaehaerys Targaryen, and his queen, Alysanne, to see the Wall, and watched as their dragons, the greatest power in the known world, refused to cross it. It was a reminder that, while the Starks don’t know about Aegon the Conqueror’s prophetic “A Song of Ice and Fire” dream, they are committed to guarding Westeros against whatever darkness lurks beyond.

Read More: House of the Dragon’s Searing Second Season Has More to Offer Than Just Fire and Blood

Cregan will eventually have a major role to play in the Dance of the Dragons—which you can find out more about by reading George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the A Song of Ice and Fire companion novel on which House of the Dragon is based. But for now, Sara Hess, a lead writer on the show, has warned fans not to get their hopes up for an expansive Season 2 storyline about House Stark.

“Expect very little,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Our POV is the Targaryens, and our POV is split between King’s Landing, Dragonstone, and then when Daemon goes to Harrenhal. We just don’t have the eyes to really be everywhere at the same time.”

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