House of the Dragon season 2 new opening credits reference key moments in Targaryen history – here's what they mean

House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon has returned. Season 2 has already brought with it a seriously shocking moment from the book – and it seems we're in for plenty more fire and blood where that came from. 

But, the biggest change from season 1 so far is the brand new opening credits seen in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1. While season 1 featured that Targaryen blood running down a stone family tree, the new opening sequence is a tapestry of significant moments in the dragon-riding family's history. But just what does it all mean?

Below, we've broken down the references to Targaryen history in the House of the Dragon season 2 new opening credits. It's all totally spoiler free for episode 1, too, so you can read our guide even if you haven't watched the premiere episode just yet. 

House of the Dragon season 2 new opening credits explained 

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

One of the first images we see in the new opening credits appears to be the Doom of Valyria – an apocalyptic event which completely destroyed the capital city of Old Valyria and, soon after that, the entire Valyrian peninsula. This also essentially erased Valyria, too, by destroying all record of its history, magic, and culture. All of Valyria's dragons were also wiped out. Basically, imagine Ancient Rome fell spectacularly in one day and left almost no trace behind.

Multiple volcanic eruptions caused the Doom, though whether these occurred naturally or were triggered by magic is a mystery. 

But, since the Targaryens had already relocated to Dragonstone at this point, this Valyrian bloodline survived the Doom – and so did their dragons. After the Doom of Valyria is depicted on the tapestry, we see three dragon riders laying waste to their enemies: Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters/wives Visenya and Rhaenys (no, not the same Rhaenys who's played by Eve Best in House of the Dragon). We see two dragons destroying a castle of some kind, which seems to be an event known as the Field of Fire: this is the only battle in Aegon's conquest in which all three dragons participated. 

After this image, we see a Targaryen king dead on the throne. This is Maegor the Cruel, a tyrannical ruler who was indeed found dead on the Iron Throne, with conflicting stories about how he might have ended up that way. 

Then, we see King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne, parents of King Viserys. The next image is of the Great Council that opened House of the Dragon season 1, which decided Viserys should be Jaehaerys's heir (and not Rhaenys). 

Beyond that, we're shown a figure in a green dress, which appears to be Alicent Hightower's grand entrance at Rhaenyra's wedding to Laenor Velaryon. The tapestry then shows both Aegon II and Rhaenyra crowned as rulers, then Lucerys's death at the hands (and jaws) of Aemond and Vhagar, bringing us up to date with the show so far. 

House of the Dragon continues weekly on Sky and NOW in the UK and HBO in the US. For even more on the show, check out our pieces on: 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.