A new 'House of the Dragon' teaser pic shows Aemond Targaryen conspiring with this character

Ewan Mitchell HBO House of the Dragon Season 2
(Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO)

Given that explosive "House of the Dragon" season 1 finale, it shouldn't come as a shock that Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) will play a vital role in the upcoming second season of the "Game of Thrones" prequel series and the ongoing succession battle between his siblings Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) over their late father's throne. And a new teaser pic from HBO is ominous proof. 

In the image, which was posted to the official "House of the Dragon" Instagram page on March 28, you can see the prince known as Aemond One-Eye (for obvious reasons) strategizing over a spread of maps alongside Ser Criston Cole, played by Fabien Frankel. The caption to the photo reads, "Challenging kin," which clearly suggests that Aemond is gearing up for battle against his Targaryen brethren.

Cole is an interesting character in the civil war. He has ties to Rhaenyra as her former personal guard and lover; however, his anger and heartbreak over Rhaenyra's arranged marriage to her first husband Laenor Velaryon lead Ser Criston to switch sides and vengefully lend his services to Aegon II. And readers of "Fire & Blood," the George R. R. Martin book series on which "House of the Dragon" is based, will remember that Aemond and Criston are found frequently side-by-side in battle during the Dance of the Dragons, so it's fitting that the Targaryen prince would seek out the knight out in his scheming. 

In case you need a refresher on that season one finale — spoiler warning! — we last saw Aemond at Storm's End trying to convince Lord Borros Baratheon to support Aegon's bid for the crown by promising to marry one of the lord's daughters. However, the presence of Aemond's nephew Prince Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), who had come to speak on behalf of his mother Rhaenyra, caused a bit of a family feud, as Aemond still resented Luke for wounding his eye when they brawled as kids. Their argument at Storm's End turned into an all-out dragon chase between the uncle and nephew, with Aemond's dragon Vhagar killing Luke.

Needless to say, going into season two, Rhaenyra isn't just out for the throne — she's out for blood. The recently released dueling trailers, representing the "blacks" (a.k.a. Rhaenyra, Daemon and their Dragonstone forces) and the "greens" (Aegon II, Aemond and the King's Landing crew), see Rhaenyra taking a more active role in the succession war than she did on the page, and we're going to assume vengeance against her half-brother is no small part of that. 

"House of the Dragon" season 2 is set to return on Sunday, June 16 on HBO — graciously, that's a lot earlier than we initially thought — with eight new hourlong episodes packed with plenty of family drama and fire-breathing dragons. While you wait to see how Aemond's wicked plans against the rest of the Targaryens play out, you can revisit "HOTD" season 1 with a Max subscription. And bookmark Tom's Guide for all new intel and updates on the second season of "House of the Dragon." 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.