Last week's episode of House of the Dragon set up a new status quo for Rhaenyra Targaryen, Viserys, and his wife-to-be, Alicent Hightower. This development caused ripples that will bring forth disastrous consequences down the road. This week, though, we see the seeds planted in last week's installment get watered further as several conflicts start to arise. We take a look at this House of the Dragon episode 3 ending explained to learn what really went down.

House of the Dragon episode 3 ending explained

House of the Dragon, HBO, Entertainment

This week's episode of House of the Dragon starts with Cragas Drahar, better known as Crab Feeder, attacking House Manderly and feeding a victim to crabs. All of a sudden, Daemon Targaryen appears riding on Caraxes to lay waste on Crab Feeder's forces. He calls Crab Feeder out as countless warriors rain down fiery arrows on the prince. In turn, he flies off.

Back in King's Landing, Viserys and Alicent Hightower celebrate their son Aegon's name day. As this happens, he belittles the danger posed by Drahar to the Stepstones and seeks to find where Rhaenyra is. She is located by Alicent under a Weirwod tree and asks her to join the king in a hunt. She agrees with a heavy heart.

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During the journey to the Kingswood, Viserys lightly admonishes Rhaenyra for being amiss with her duties. The princess answers back by saying no one is there for her.

At a banquet, the princess is humiliated by several highborn ladies who question her about the mess Daemon and Corlys Velaryon stated in the Stepstones. She answers back at Lady Redwyne, which makes everyone uncomfortable, including Queen Alicent. She goes outside and is greeted by Lord Jason Lannister, who starts to give signs that he intends to marry her. This makes Rhaenyra angry and she starts to lash out at his father. In turn, Viserys admonishes the princess for her refusal to take anyone as his husband. Otto intervenes as he implores the king to start his hunt. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra runs off alone as Ser Criston Cole follows her.

Criston manages to reach Rhaenyra. They speak about her frustrations about being forced to marry Jason Lannister. Viserys, on the other hand, follow the trail of a white hart, a legendary stag residing in the Kingswood. He returns to the banquet where Jason presents to him a spear in commemoration of Prince Aegon's second name day. He also asks to take Rhaenyra as his wife as Jason assumed the prince to be named heir. This angers Viserys as he stands by the decision to name Rhaenyra as the next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. This prompts Otto to speak to the king and suggests Prince Aegon be named Rhaenyra's husband. Again, Viserys grows mad at this proposition because Aegon is still a child.

After a couple of drinks, Viserys starts to become drunk. Ser Lyonel Strong approaches him and suggests that Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys and Rhaenys, is the ideal match for Rhaenyra due to his Targaryen blood. Viserys walks away with no response.

Out in the open, Rhaenyra is with Ser Criston as the pair continue to talk about the former's worries as the heir to Viserys. The knight, meanwhile, was run over by a wild boar before he and the princess slaughtered it. The king, meanwhile, speaks alone to Alicent about his dream about a son wearing the conqueror's crown. This dream became a recurring one and he deemed it as an obsession that killed Aemma, the former queen. He admits his doubts about renaming Rhaenyra as heir now that he has a son in Aegon.

The following morning, the white hart has been captured by the king's men. Jason gives him the spear he gave earlier to use on the stag as the king kills it shortly after. In another part of the Kingswood, one from a high area, the true white hart appears to Rhaenyra and Ser Criston before running away. They return with the princess all bloodied from the night before, much to Viserys' surprise.

Back in King's Landing, Otto speaks to Alicent about the future of his grandson, Aegon, and why he should be king. This prompts the queen to convince Viserys to change his mind about Rhaenyra and name Aegon as heir. He also discusses a letter sent by Vaemond Velaryon, Corlys' brother, about sending reinforcements to the Stepstones since they are losing the war against Crab Feeder. Alicent further convinces Viserys to take action against Drahar.

The following day, Viserys sends word to Daemon that help will be coming. Rhaenyra, meanwhile, admits that she feels slighted as every lord there is in the Seven Kingdoms wishes Aegon to replace her. Viserys tells her that it is not his wish and wants her to marry to strengthen the succession. He also says that it is now Rhaenyra's decision on who she wants to marry. Viserys ends by promising the princess that she will not be supplanted.

Over in the Stepstones, Corlys holds a council with Daemon, Laenor, and Vaemond over the war against Crab Feeder. They all receive Viserys' letter. Without telling anyone what was in it, Daemon knocks out the letter's messenger. It is then revealed that a considerable force is coming from King's Landing to reinforce them in their battle. This leads Daemon to go directly to Drahar with a white flag to surrender. Before being taken captive, he suddenly launches into battle and strikes the Crab Feeder's men. All on his own, Prince Daemon tries but falls to several arrows. At this moment, Corlys, his men, and Caraxes arrive to save him. Laenor is seen riding the dragon, much to Daemon's surprise.

As the battle rages on, Daemon appears before the battlefield holding Crab Feeder's mutilated body. The episode ends with his victory in the Stepstones.

What just happened? A House of the Dragon episode 3 recap

This episode presents time jump from the last one. Here we see Viserys gaining a new son in Aegon, the battle between Daemon and Corlys against Crab Feeder rages on, and Rhaenyra's succession has been placed in doubt. We see most of the third installment deal with the princess and her fear of being supplanted, Viserys dealing with the politics of succession, and ends with a victory for Daemon in the Stepstones.

Most of the third episode, like the one before it, elevates the tension between Alicent and Rhaenyra. This is expected to pay off during the latter half of the first season when the different houses will pay their allegiance to both of these women with differing claims to the Iron Throne – Rhaenyra with her own while Alicent fights for Aegon. It remains to be seen how this conflict will play out in the coming weeks.