House of the Dragon Season 2 has stirred significant discussion among fans and critics alike, particularly with its adaptation of the infamous Blood and Cheese storyline. The Game of Thrones prequel wasted no time in diving into intense drama and brutal conflicts, picking up from the tragic death of Rhaenyra's son, killed by Aemond's dragon, Vhagar. Seeking revenge, Daemon hires assassins Blood and Cheese to target Aemond, but the plan takes a horrifying twist when they instead enter Queen Helaena's chamber and behead one of her twins, Jaehaerys.

The plot deviation has sparked disappointment among book fans, prompting George R.R. Martin, the author of the source material, to address the backlash. Writing on his blog, Martin defended the show's approach, stating, "The only part of the show that is drawing criticism is the conclusion of the Blood and Cheese storyline. Which ending was powerful, I thought, a gut punch, especially for viewers who had never read Fire & Blood. Well, there's a lot to be said about that, the issues are too complicated. There's a lot to say."

Martin's reaction to the new season has been mixed. While he appreciated the overall plot, he expressed reservations about certain story arcs and characters added by the screenwriters that were not present in his original narrative. However, he singled out one addition for particular praise: a dog that accompanies Cheese, one of the assassins. Despite his usual disapproval of adding new elements to his work, Martin found the dog's inclusion to be a brilliant touch.

"I am not usually a fan of screenwriters adding characters to the source material when adapting a story. Especially not when the source material is mine. But that dog was brilliant. I was prepared to hate Cheese, but I hated him even more when he kicked that dog. Later, when the dog sat at his feet, gazing up, that damn near broke my heart. Such a little thing but his presence, the few short moments he was on screen, gave the ratcatcher so much humanity. The silent presence of that dog reminded us that even the worst of men, the vile and the venal, can love and be loved. I wish I'd thought of that dog. I didn't, but someone else did," Martin wrote.

The altered narrative, where Jaehaerys is killed in the series instead of Maelor as in the book, has been particularly disturbing for fans. In Fire & Blood, the assassins force Queen Helaena to choose which of her children should die. Helaena picks her youngest, Maelor, who is absent from the series, but the assassins kill Jaehaerys instead. This harrowing choice is compounded when the assassins ensure Maelor knows that his mother chose him to die before they leave with Jaehaerys's head.

Despite the uproar, the inclusion of the dog provided a nuanced layer to the character of Cheese, highlighting the complexities of human nature even among the vilest characters. Martin's unexpected praise for this addition underscores the multifaceted storytelling that House of the Dragon aims to deliver.

As the series continues to unfold, viewers remain engaged and speculative about how closely it will adhere to Martin's original work. The show's ability to blend new elements with established lore will be crucial in maintaining the delicate balance between innovation and fidelity to the source material.