**Warning – Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon**

While the Game of Thrones franchise is known for its violent and often stomach-turning scenes, House of the Dragon Episode 3 was certainly not a favorite of animal lovers.

We explain what a White Hart stag is and what it means to the royals, as well as provide an episode preview for next week’s entry.

Created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal for HBO, House of the Dragon will serve as a prequel to Game of Thrones starring Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and more, following the beginning of the end for House Targaryen including the family’s war known as the Dance of Dragons.

House of the Dragon | Fire Will Reign Official Promo Trailer | HBO Max

House of the Dragon | Fire Will Reign Official Promo Trailer | HBO Max

House of the Dragon Episode 3 Recap

Second of His Name saw Viserys take time out from his son’s name day celebrations in search of a White Hart.

Even though his soldiers failed to secure a white-colored stag, they proceed in capturing a normal-colored stag for Viserys to kill.

While the animal is meant to be killed in one stab, Viserys fails to do so and has to stab it twice in order to kill it, symbolizing him as an unfit ruler.

Paddy Considine as Viserys in the forest in House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon – Cr. Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO, 2022. Warner Media, LLC

What is a White Hart Stag and What Does it Mean?

In Game of Thrones lore, George R.R. Martin depicts a White Stag to be a good omen, and capturing said rarity and killing it is meant to prove the strength of the king and ‘White Hart’ is just the name for a white stag.

In Viserys’ case, however, his soldiers are not able to secure a white stag nor is the king able to kill the regular stag in one blow, which is symbolic of Viserys being an unfit king and weak in some respect.

Later in the episode, we see a white stag appear to Rhaenyra, which obviously is a good omen towards her being worthy of the throne – as far as omens go.

Episode 4 Preview – King of the Narrow Sea

HBO has released a teaser trailer for House of the Dragon Episode 4, titled King of the Narrow Sea, which sees Daemon confirm to Viserys that he has been named the titular king after defeating Crabfeeder.

The teaser also promises the spread of gossip that brings some shame to Viserys’ family and Alicent points the finger at either Rhaenyra or Daemon.

Episode 4 will presumably not feature the major time jump that viewers are expecting, but will instead stay in the present timeline seen in Episode 3 or perhaps only jump ahead slightly.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

House of the Dragon is now streaming on HBO Max.

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