Movie Reviews

Why The Gullet Is So Important & What It's Setting Up In House Of The Dragon

Includes MAJOR SPOILERs for the bookFire & Blood, which House of the Dragon is based on.


Summary

  • House of the Dragon season 2 sets the stage for a critical moment in the series at “The Gullet.”
  • The blockade of the Gullet by House Velaryon puts pressure on King’s Landing and the Greens.
  • The Battle of the Gullet, a key naval battle, is hinted at in season 2, with a likely appearance in season 3.


House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1 makes important notice of “The Gullet,” setting up a critical moment for the series. The HBO prequel series is based on the book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, which explores the fictional history of House Targaryen, beginning with Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros. House of the Dragon sees the dynasty at the peak of its power, though events in season 1 build toward a pivotal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. In the Westeros’ timeline, it’s a major historical event defined by several key battles.

The season 2 premiere sees the early stages of the conflict between Rhaenyra’s Blacks and Aegon II’s Greens, the two rival factions vying for control of the Iron Throne. Lord Corlys Velaryon has declared his house for the Black faction, offering Rhaenyra the most powerful navy in Westeros. While the war hasn’t broken out with a battle just yet, Lord Corlys has established a blockade of King’s Landing at a location known as the Gullet. Not only does this have immediate implications, but it also foreshadows some massive moments soon to come.



Where The Gullet Is & Why It’s Such An Important Route For Ships

The Gullet Is A Body Of Water That Covers Many Of King’s Landing’s Sea Trade Routes

The Gullet is a body of water between the island of Driftmark and the peninsula tip of the Crownlands, “Sharp Point.” Driftmark is notably the island home of House Velaryon, with Corlys Velaryon’s blockade putting immediate pressure on King’s Landing. The Westerosi capital is a port city, meaning a significant portion of its economy is driven by trade from other ports in Westeros, as well as many of the port cities of Essos, such as Braavos. Establishing a blockade on the Gullet held by the world’s most powerful navy, supported by dragons in the sky, is a huge move.


House Velaryon blockading the Gullet puts pressure on the Greens to act.

House of the Dragon has done a phenomenal job so far, acknowledging the importance of minor houses, strategic strongholds, and geographical locations, which much of the later seasons of Game of Thrones ignored. The series makes a point to note that war in George R.R. Martin’s world can’t simply be won by dragons fighting dragons. As shown by Aegon’s throne room scene, economics plays a crucial role in wartime, and the peace of the common folk must be maintained. House Velaryon blockading the Gullet puts pressure on the Greens to act.


House Of The Dragon Season 2 Is Setting Up The Battle Of The Gullet

The Battle Of The Gullet Was Fought On Sea With Ships And Dragons

The Battle of the Gullet is a critical naval battle in Fire & Blood, which House of the Dragon has carefully planted the seeds for. Season 1 saw a conflict stir in the Stepstones, with Prince Daemon and Corlys Velaryon fighting a war for years. While that plot was seemingly finished, there are still those in the Triarchy who despise Daemon, and Otto Hightower uses this to the advantage of the Greens in the Dance of the Dragons. Otto’s plan to dispose of the blockade was to request the aid of the Triarchy’s navy, which ended up being a success for the Hightowers.

The Triarchy is an alliance formed by the Free Cities of Tyrosh, Myr, and Lys.


While the Black faction won the battle due to its navy and the support of dragonriders, it was a costly victory. Prince Jacaerys Velaryon was killed in action, as the Triarchy had experience with combatting dragons due to the War in the Stepstones years prior. The conflict also wiped out a third of House Velaryon’s fleet. Ultimately, the Greens were able to deal a significant blow to the Blacks’ naval and dragon power without sacrificing any of their own direct forces.

When Will The Battle Of The Gullet Take Place In House Of The Dragon?

The Naval Battle Likely Won’t Be In House Of The Dragon Season 2

house of the dragon battle of the stepstones 103
Courtesy of HBO


House of the Dragon will likely have to space out its major battles for budgetary reasons, and a naval/dragon battle would be an enormous spectacle. With House of the Dragon season 2 covering the Battle of Rook’s Rest as its main war set piece, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Battle of the Gullet was postponed to season 3, perhaps early on. An important aspect of the battle is that it was Otto Hightower’s plan, and the season 2 premiere has already shown the Greens discussing how they’d be responding to the blockade.

While it’s not entirely clear how many seasons House of the Dragon, the timeline from Fire & Blood can be used to get a general idea of how battles will be spaced out. The Dance of the Dragons is a far more compact conflict than Game of Thrones, but given the added character details and arcs established in the show, the battles could be spaced out more from how close they are in the novel. For now, House of the Dragon is preparing audiences for the Battle of the Gullet, which should be one of the show’s most visually stunning spectacles.


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