House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 “Driftmark” Recap

Driftmark High Tide, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), 1x07 (1)

And you thought your breakups got ugly.

Spoiler Note: This recap and the comments section may contain mild spoilers from George R.R. Martin’s novels and Westeros histories, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. If you have not read the books and wish to remain completely Unsullied, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap by Oz of Thrones!

Driftmark, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), Viserys Targaryen(Paddy Considine), 1x07 (1)After the devastating events of last week’s episode, Houses Velaryon and Targaryen and friends gather on Driftmark (home to High Tide, seat of the Velaryons) for Laena’s funeral at sea. Otto Hightower is back in action, restored to his role as the Hand since the fire wiped out Lyonel Strong. After a lovely Valyrian eulogy  from Ser Vaemond, the families mingle. Helaena’s a charming bug kid, Aegon is grossed out by his sister/future wife, and Jace and Luke (Rhaenyra’s boys) are sad about the whole affair. Daemon and Viserys have another tense reunion. Larys Strong watches it all happen, with the new confidence that comes from bumping off your family to climb the chaos ladder.

Laenor wallows in his grief over his sister quite literally, until Corlys sends his son’s boyfriend Qarl to fetch him out of the sea. Toxic masculinity is no one’s friend, Sea Snake.
Driftmark High Tide, Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), 1x07 (1)
Rhaenys and Corlys mull over their loss. She challenges her husband and his persistent questions about the throne, calling out his ambition. She proposes changing the inheritance of their home to Baela, away from Rhaenyra’s son who is obviously not a Velaryon by blood. Corlys rejects this.

At night (which is totally filmed in the day and then tinted gray, c’mon it looks weird), Rhaenyra and Daemon go for a romantic walk and get caught up. They make love. It’s emotional. (I think. It was hard to see.)

Somewhere else at night (hopefully not too close to the sex tent), young Aemond seeks out the dragon Vhagar who has just lost its dragonrider in Laena. The boy makes a few tentative passes, but finally mounts the massive Vhagar. He barely survives the ride,  which is more or less like joyriding a 747 while being crouched on the roof.

leo-ashton
Aemond reveals his success to cousins. The kids have a straight-up rumble with name-calling and accusations of dragon theft. They fight dirty, like real kids do. Luke ends it by slicing Aemond’s eye, making Helaena’s prophecy from last week come true.

All hell breaks loose when the adults finally show up and find a maimed prince. Aemond is questioned about the bastard rumor, and carefully avoids giving up his mother, blaming Aegon instead. Viserys is fed up with everyone and everything, but doesn’t take any decisive action once again. His queen Alicent demands a very literal eye for an eye.
olivia-cooke-emma-d-arcyEveryone refuses to cooperate because that’s a totally insane thing to ask for.

Alicent snaps, grabs her husband’s Catspaw dagger, and tries to attack the boy who took her son’s eye. Rhaenyra blocks the way, and the women grapple for a moment while Alicent rants. It’s clear that Alicent resents the freedom Rhaenyra has enjoyed, and the queen isn’t happy with her own choices and sacrifices. Rhaenyra is sliced deep in the scuffle but it ends without more loss.

Aemond announces he gained a dragon, and so the loss of his eye is a fair enough exchange (maybe should’ve told the adults about it sooner, you lil shit).

olivia-cooke-paddy-considine
In private, Otto Hightower is firmly back on his bullshit, applauding his daughter’s fierceness. He didn’t know she had it in her.

Laenor and Rhaenyra have an honest conversation about their life and marriage. He recommits himself to her and the children, while admitting he hasn’t done enough.

Alicent and Viserys head back to King’s Landing but the king is clearly unwell. The children go with them, along with the dragon Vhagar. Larys stokes Alicent’s ire, and offers his assistance once more; this time she clearly accepts his services and it seems, her role in the game.

Rhaenyra proposes to Daemon lovingly, which seems like bad news for her already-existing husband Laenor. Oh dear. Daemon pays off Ser Qarl, who we see dramatically challenging his boyfriend to a fight before the scene cuts away. Afterward, Corlys and Rhaenys rage in grief for another child- they’ve discovered Laenor’s burnt body in the fireplace.

matt-smith-emma-d-arcy
Rhaenyra and Daemon marry with Baela, Rhaena and her boys as witnesses in an intimate Fire-and-Bloody ceremony. It makes sense- Westeros weddings always have a body count. Or do they?

Ser Qarl escapes Driftmark in a boat…with a newly head shaved LAENOR!…biiiiitch he faked his death for FREEEDOM. As Rhaenyra mentioned earlier, the sea is an escape. It’s Laenor’s escape from a life not meant for him, and now Rhaenyra and Daemon can forge a future together.

john-macmillan-arty-froushan

Thoughts

The Kids are Alright: Actually they’re great. Best scenes of the episode are easily the ones centered on the children. Kid can be so awful and nasty but also so full of heart. Leo Ashton (Aemond) is such a star. And we’re in for another time jump next week so we’re saying goodbye to them this week. Give it up for the kids!

Let’s do the Time Warp Again: The dizzying speed of the season is a bit much. I can’t figure out why the writers are in such a rush. I know, you want to do the Dance, but you’ll get there eventually. Constant time jumps make it hard for people to connect with the characters and develop a relationship with them. I won’t nitpick why some actors age and why some are recast, but it’s weird and confusing. At the end of the day, it’s about telling a good story with interesting characters, and jumping around all over feels like the writers are wasting a ton of great material. (I wasn’t here the last two weeks, due to work and vacation, so this is a cumulative observation of the past few episodes, really.) I think we’re going to see a lot of good (and some probably bad) articles and discussions at the end of the season, speculating on how the season might have been split into chunks differently.

Playing with History: One of the neat things about Fire and Blood the book is that it’s a subjective history told by maesters (and a fool) so it can be wrong at any time. And that’s why it’s absolutely fair play for Laenor to be plot-twist-ALIVE and on his way to more chill parts.

Alicent Snaps: About time, too. She is so jealous of Rhaenyra’s freedom, she seethes with it. It’s a relief to see Alicent begin to own her feelings and take active steps. There’s no fun in seeing someone used by their father and manipulated by a creep like Larys. Alicent is the queen of greens, and she’s finally stepping up.

The Curse of Grayscale: And by that I mean the heavy amount of grayness they tried to pass off as night in this episode. I’m one of the people who actually didn’t have a visual problem with GoT‘s ‘The Long Night” or other dark episodes (gotta good TV with nice settings, I guess). I did not like how this episode looked in those “night” scenes. I would rather they just set the Rhae/Dae scene in the daytime. I can see in a dragonriding scene THAT long why they would want to hide some of it with nighttime coloring, so I’m a little more forgiving.

Valar Morghulis

Laenor Velaryon….NOT. Good luck in Essos! Invest in some hair dye (go blue, live it up), and have fun.

That one guard though: Suppose he had to be sacrificed for the plan to work. RIP to you, my guy.

Aemond’s eyeball: OUCH. Fuck. I have a thing about eyes.

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

68 Comments

  1. What Alicent tried to do was definitely crazy, but do we really think Rhaenyra wouldn’t have tried to do the same if it had been her kid who lost an eye?

  2. THAT was quite the episode. I’ve enjoyed the show thus far but each of the first 6 episodes for the most part had one main scene as the talking point. In this episode it seemed like every scene in the second half could be the main talking point. It was great.

  3. Normally I don’t complain about darkness on GoT, but this was so obviously filmed in the light that I kept squinting and adjusting my brightness – twas a little frustrating.

    I’d be lying if I said I minded D&R together, and not just because I knew it would happen. They’re messy and terrible for each other and it’s perfect.

    I didn’t mind the time jump last episode, but I was kind of meh about Alicent’s decade of personality changing. I find it hard to hate her as she was essentially pimped out by her dad to a person who will never love her, but yeesh.

    I love it when Viserys stands up for something…anything…I just keep expecting his vertebrae to play Jenga and completely disassociate into a heap o’ King. That was a weird thing between E5 and E6 as well – he went from keeling over, bleeding from the face, etc. to, a decade on, seeming less fall-apart-y, aside from the hair. I continue to love Paddy’s Viserys and am gonna throw a fit, I just know it.

    I feel for Laena’s girls, and not just because of the worst wigs on the show. They lose their mom, and then her dragon.

    I can’t feel bad about Aemond, although I did feel for him last week. Aegon continues to be ambivalent. E8 should be interesting, with Aegon not looking anything like what I would picture, and Aemond looking like Legolas crossed with what Euron SHOULD have looked like.

    Anyhoo, Otto and Criston can still go play in traffic and all the acting has been great.

    They totally got me with Laenor. I wasn’t looking forward to him dying. And then suddenly he didn’t. Then I felt bad for cheering that some innocent dude died. Then I remembered which show I was watching, and my feelings can’t be relied upon to make sense anyway.

  4. Went from pissed (and fearing the bury your gays internet explosion that was coming) to elated (minus the innocent guy having his neck snapped) in 20 seconds at the tail end there

  5. As I mentioned in the open chat, most of the episode was so dark I could hardly see a thing. Seems to be a trademark of Sapochnik and he needs to consider that not all viewers are young with 20/20 vision or can see well in the dark.
    The same happened in GoT with the Battle of Winterfell. Just an almost dark TV screen for most of that episode 🙁

  6. Dude playing the new Aemond going forward was AWESOME on The Last Kingdom netflix series. I think stuff is about to really get going….i wonder when we pick up how many of D+R children will have been born…all of them or all of them that they will include?

  7. Black Raven,

    You should adjust your TV settings. I’m not being sarcastic; most default settings are terrible. “The Long Night” was beautiful when watched with proper settings; and in a dark environment, too (there’s not much a TV screen can do, whatever the settings, if you have lots of light shining into it, obviously.)

  8. I’ve been pretty open that Alicent Hightower, in large part thanks to the absolute brilliance of Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke, has been my favorite character in House of the Dragon so far. Does that mean I’m overlooking her deep and obvious flaws? God no. But those flaws and justifications are readily apparent in every single character in this show, and I find Alicent’s navigation of those contradictions to be the most fascinating of them all. In any other show, a mother’s impulsive rage over her child being maimed would engender at least some degree of sympathy. I find the extent to which she’s being outright vilified for it in certain circles to be more than a little simplistic for a show that’s working so hard to craft such understandable characters on both sides. But so the battle lines are drawn, I guess.

    Really loved the reveal that Laenor actually survived. Is that “Canon”? I don’t know, and I don’t care. That’s one of the beauties about Fire & Blood being deliberately written as a subjective and far-from-omniscient history. Would the historians cataloguing this time period have been able to account for such a carefully plotted deception? Probably not. And so it gets lost to history – and a tortured man finally gets to be free (not without cost, mind you – Rhaenys’s agony over believing she lost her second child in as many days was haunting). But in this world, no peace is easily won.

    And on a lighter note … yes, this episode was probably a little too gray-tinted for my taste. I don’t object to the effect in practice, but when it takes up most of the episode it becomes distracting in a way that an episode authentically shot in darkness does not (I will stand by how great I think The Long Night looks until the day I die).

  9. Jared,

    I agree about Alicent. She became my favourite character after episode 6, which surprised me, because she wasn’t even in my top 3 before that. She just suddenly became the most interesting character to me. She somehow has aspects of both Cersei and Ned. Like Cersei, she’s a Queen working within a system stacked against her, who’s worried for the safety of her children, who she is ruthlessly trying to put on the throne, and carries a grudge against people who the system has benefited. Like Ned, she’s obsessed with “honour and decency”, always does her duty and tries to uphold the law. Plus, she’s trying to prove the bastard nature of the King’s named heirs…

  10. The kids carried the episode, especially Aemond.

    Viserys really should be getting more heat for his unwillingness to solve the problems he himself creates. He’s a bad king and tbh this episode has shown he is a bad father. A lot of the blame for how things got this bad lies on him.

    I feel so bad for Rhaenys. 🙁

    I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to be gaslit about the Strong boys being bastards when it’s so obvious they are.

  11. Flayed Potatoes:
    The kids carried the episode, especially Aemond.

    Viserys really should be getting more heat for his unwillingness to solve the problems he himself creates. He’s a bad king and tbh this episode has shown he is a bad father. A lot of the blame for how things got this bad lies on him.

    I feel so bad for Rhaenys. 🙁

    I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to be gaslit about the Strong boys being bastards when it’s so obvious they are.

    Yes, gaslit, bt you risk IMO falling into the same blind righteousness trap as Alicent if not careful.

    Laenor is gay, everyone knew he was gay, but they expected him to produce children with a woman anyway. As is obvious from the scenes between him and Rhaenyra, as well as Rhaenyra’s conversation with Daemon, that was not really a reasonable expectation.

    The hereditary system forces people into roles they can’t fill with life or death consequences. Rhaenyra absolutely HAD to produce heirs but her husband could not do his part in that. Meanwhile the system requires that the kids be seen as legitimate regardless. If Alicent had any kindness left in her she would have opened her eyes a bit to the predicament, but to do so would not serve her purposes so she chose bitterness. She gets gaslit because she keeps pushing the issue for her own ends, not because what she says is untrue.

  12. Another good Episode, this show is getting better every week (apart from Ep 5, which I didn’t like at all). Aemond deserved it!!!! I’m kind of sad that we didn’t see Laena claim Vhagar, but we had to suffer through that twerp claiming her instead. They obviously didn’t want to repeat the scene, but I would have enjoyed seeing both with different emotions.

    It was weird that nobody seemed bothered by the dragon stealing during that confrontation, Daemon doesn’t give AF does he? I don’t like him at all. Just a waste of space. Having sex with your niece on the day of your wife’s funeral. CLASSY.

    I totally agree about the lighting, bizarre choice

  13. The funny thing is, I didn’t even notice the fake darkening until everyone pointed it out afterwards, and now I can’t unsee it. XD

  14. Luka Nieto,

    Yeah, kind of have to agree, or maybe watching it on HBO Max could also make a difference. Tho since this happened twice already they could maybe appoint someone to see the episode of on a TV that compresses the image so they have a better idea of what people would see on a normal TV instead of the HQ monitors I assume they color correct it on.

    I didn’t have the same problem as other people have had with the lighting and (little expressing my emotions) it’s kind of frustrating since I didn’t have the same experience with The Long Night and I don’t relate to what people are complaining about for a second time in a row (but yeah, the nighttime filter was a bit weird).

    Great episode, tho. This was my favorite so far of the season, shows you characterization and build-up (even if it’s far from perfect) can go a long way when hitting these emotional beats.

  15. Malcolm Ferguson:
    The funny thing is, I didn’t even notice the fake darkening until everyone pointed it out afterwards, and now I can’t unsee it. XD

    nitpicking IMO. I didn’t notice either. Watched the episode again and was not distracted at all.

    As for the darkness this common complaint has everything to do with people’s screens and settings. I have never struggled at all to see a GOT episode! I personally do not mind when things that happen in dark rooms or at night are, you know, dark! Over-lighting looks fake and is irritating because of it.

  16. The brightness depends on your screen. I watched it first on my smartphone since it’s airs here in Europe at 4 AM and I was too tired to get up, when I adjusted the brightness I could see everything perfectly. But when I rewatch it on my laptop with extra screen it’s too dark and I cannot get it adjusted. Don’t know yet how it is on my tv-screen.

    But I loved the episode. Really longing for more. I had read Fire & Blood but found it boring and had trouble remembering all the characters. But I have now reread a part of Fire & Blood, and now since I watched the show I do find it interesting. I did not reread it until the end on purpose so I could be surprised by the plots on the tv-show. I am going to reread it completely after the show.

    I am going to miss the child actors, they were very good. And also Milly Alcock was very good. I wished to have seen more of them. But I remember the same with The Crown, I loved Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and prince Philip. I needed some time to adjust to the new actors, who were also excellent. For Matt Smith the role is not that different since he again will be king consort and was a prince who lacked all social conventions.

  17. The battle against the night king was perfect and never thought it was dark.

    Watched this episode on the same TV.

    I could tell it was “tinted” to make it looks like night. I didn’t have an issue with it except the scene they were walking the beach the tinting and the refocusing was highly distracting if I’m being honest.

  18. I got a new tv this year and I was able to see, but the night filter just looked really obvious and cheap to me.

  19. Malcolm Ferguson:
    What Alicent tried to do was definitely crazy, but do we really think Rhaenyra wouldn’t have tried to do the same if it had been her kid who lost an eye?

    I don’t think Rhaenyra would have done the same thing. In fact, she really can’t. The table has turned. The free-spirited young Rhaenerya now has to be THE most steady and uncrazy person in all of Westeros to overcome what’s stacked against her just by being a woman. She was deliberately goading Alicent that whole scene to make the contrast more plain.

    But Alicent, on the other hand, actually gets to be as unhinged as she wants to b/c she herself isn’t in line for the throne. Her only job is to slap Aegon around to make him more credible.

  20. The funny thing is, Aegon might be the one doing the most to prevent war. He has no interest in the Throne and doesn’t want to challenge Rhaenyra; he knows Rhaenyra’s children are bastards, but keeps quiet about it (until he was pressured in this episode) AND seems to actually get along with them; hell, even his immature, lecherous behaviour will make people less likely to support him. XD

  21. Malcolm Ferguson: hell, even his immature, lecherous behaviour will make people less likely to support him.

    Yeah, he doesn’t seem to want that kind of responsibility. In a way, his path mirrors Rhaenerya’s… he doesn’t seem himself as heir until one of his parents starts putting that on him. They both, at that age, wanted to live a very different life. I’m guessing he’ll change his tune.

    But I can’t agree that behavior will put people off him. We have only to look at US politics (and a certain supreme court confirmation) to see the examples that run counter to this argument. If it were two men, maybe they’d care. But, in the patriarchy, unqualified men get promoted over women all the time.

  22. I watched this on a projector screen, and the lighting was not only fine, it was beautiful. My friend said the same thing about his projector. Even watching it now on my computer screen in the daylight, it looks fine. I have to agree that this is a TV screen issue, not the filmmaking itself.

    I genuinely felt vertigo during the Vhagar scene, probably thanks to my large projector screen. That was such a great scene.

  23. Best episode yet, felt like a classic GoT ep and a return to form! Noticed the daytime filmed as nighttime but didn’t have an issue seeing it and wasn’t distracted by it.

  24. Do we know whether Laenor’s escape was due to his own arrangement with Qarl, or was it all a part of Daemon&Rhaenyra’s scheme?

  25. Pepi,

    Honestly, I have no idea but i’m leaning towards a plot involving all 4 of them. But that goes against Daemon’s character, he isn’t the type of person to allow loose ends

  26. Pepi,

    Well, we saw Daemon kill the guy whose body they used for the cover-up, so Daemon was definitely in on it, which means Rhaenyra probably was too.

    Plus, I think Daemon said something along the lines of “We alone know the truth of the matter.”

  27. Malcolm Ferguson,

    Yea, I thought it was pretty clear that Daemon and Rhaenyra arranged all this.

    The only thing I am a bit unclear on is what Laenor thinks about all of this? I’m sure he’s happy to disappear with his lover, but he can never see his family again.

  28. Pepi,

    Daemon provided the stand in corpse, the guy who got his neck snapped just before the fight scene.
    Honestly, if Rhaneys was brought in to the conspiracy to get Laenor out of Westros, I believe she would have not only gone along with it, I think she would do anything to help, including provide money. I don’t think that is what happened based on what we’ve been shown now, but it might change in the future.

  29. Pepi,

    I thought it was rather obvious a plan starting with Rhaenyra and her thoughts by the sea. She talks about the sea being an escape- and then literally sends Laenor out that way. Daemon was her helper.

  30. WolfHart:
    Pepi,

    Daemon provided the stand in corpse, the guy who got his neck snapped just before the fight scene.
    Honestly, if Rhaneys was brought in to the conspiracy to get Laenor out of Westros, I believe she would have not only gone along with it, I think she would do anything to help, including provide money. I don’t think that is what happened based on what we’ve been shown now, but it might change in the future.

    Having that knowledge could put Rhaenys’ life in jeopardy though. Besides, Laenor can never see his family again in order to keep himself safe, so I feel like telling Rhaenys could potentially be a fatal flaw in their plan.

    As painful as it is, it’s probably better for all parties involved if everyone thinks Laenor is dead.

    However, wouldn’t everyone kind of catch on pretty quick that Rhaenyra gets married so quickly after her husband “dies”? Wouldn’t everyone think she killed him?

  31. Oh, right! Thanks for clarifying, everyone! Didn’t manage to put 2 and 2 together and realize that the guard kill’s function was to provide the corpse. To my defense, it was rather early in the morning, when I watched it, and the passage itself was quite fast paced.

  32. It looked like Prince Daemon put something in Ser Qarl Correy’s hand…

    Was in Gold? or was it maybe an Faceless Man Iron coin?

    ?????????

  33. As painful as it is, it’s probably better for all parties involved if everyone thinks Laenor is dead.

    However, wouldn’t everyone kind of catch on pretty quick that Rhaenyra gets married so quickly after her husband “dies”?Wouldn’t everyone think she killed him?

    They WANT people to think they killed him. They want people to be scared of what they might do. We know from their conversations that the fear was half of the point.

    However I disagree that they don’t want Rhaenys to know. I think they will leave Corlys out of the loop, but Rhaenys was always more cool about him being gay and would understand the why of it. At the same time telling her would help keep House Velaryon as allies in the war they know is coming. They do NOT want to lose allies. So my hunch is they will tell Rhaenys.

  34. awol,

    Seems like it would just give her enemies more fuel to add to the fire, IMO. I don’t see this as a positive for Rhaenyra or Daemon at all, but we’ll see how it plays out.

    Sometimes I think Rhaenyra cares more about her own personal desires and pursuits rather than being a responsible ruler. If her main goal is independence and doing what she wants then she should stop pursuing the Iron Throne, IMO. She’d probably be much happier.

  35. Mr Derp:
    awol,

    Sometimes I think Rhaenyra cares more about her own personal desires and pursuits rather than being a responsible ruler.If her main goal is independence and doing what she wants then she should stop pursuing the Iron Throne, IMO.You have to learn the art of politics and compromise as a ruler.She doesn’t seem interested in any of that.

    I agree with this. While Alicent is certainly no saint, a lot of the things she says about Rhaenyra are very true. I feel like a good chunk of the fandom doesn’t want to acknowledge that though. XD

  36. I had an average TV when The Long N8ggt aired and had no problem. Still have an average TV. I couldn’t see anything in the love tent. The only night stuff I could see well were the claiming of Vhaegar and the fight. But I think TLN was actually shot at night?

    The time jumps have gotten tiresome for all the reasons you mentioned, plus leaving some big questions. Yeah, Criston’s butt hurt, but we needed to see something in the middle of those 10 years for why he got that nasty. Also, I feel like more than Rhaenyra’s lie had to make her and Alicent’s relationship irreparable. And then there’s Aemond. Bullied kids grow up either empathetic or to be bullies themselves. I get his power trip with the boys, but with the twins? Who were never there and have no history of teasing him? I also love that the little part about Aemond going after them with a rock wasn’t part of the kids’ spill. One of them would’ve said it, so convenient writing lapse there.

  37. tbf it wasn’t Rhaenyra’s idea to marry a gay man who for whatever reason couldn’t father her children. They didn’t get into the details, but she would either be childless or stuck in her current situation. For a future ruler, particularly a woman, that is a disaster.

    She certainly wasn’t a good politician in her youth, Viserys named her heir and shut her out of every decision. He taught her nothing. Then she goes off on the worst PR tour ever. During Episode 4, she said something like ‘who cares what the people think’ err… you should if you plan to rule them. She is arrogant, and she was given a lot of freedom in her youth, compared to Alicent anyway. She had to toe the line and the resentment is obvious.

    The show hasn’t really concerned itself with her ability to rule. That final speech was the first serious consideration of it and she made some fair suggestions in the Small Council Meeting last week. Out of all of these characters, who has shown an affinity for ruling? I’d say nobody. The small folk have barely factored. GOT handled that better imo

  38. Jenny: tbf it wasn’t Rhaenyra’s idea to marry a gay man who for whatever reason couldn’t father her children.

    He couldn’t father her children because he’s gay.

    Rhaenyra was given time to select her own husband, but I believe she selected Laenor only after she couldn’t find one and she was threatened with losing her inheritance to the IT, right?

    I feel like she was openly picky with Viserys about finding a mate, so why didn’t she tell him that she can’t marry Laenor because he’s gay? Would Viserys believe her anyway? I don’t know.

    IMO, if we’re staying consistent with her character, then she could’ve searched for a mate outside of the ones that were officially presented to her and found one that would make her happy, but that’s just my opinion.

    Maybe that’s my issue with her character. It seems like she wants to rule more than anything, yet she doesn’t seem like she cares very much about creating a reputation that would give anyone confidence in her ability to rule very well. She’s also not really playing the game either. You have to play the game of thrones if you want the crown. I feel like she wants to have her cake and eat it too.

    There’s already whispers about her children being bastards and a lot of misogynistic unrest about her being the heir, so she thinks that “killing” her husband and ruling by fear is a good idea? We’ll see how this plays out, but I don’t get it. None of this seems particularly smart to me.

    I agree Viserys didnt set her up very well to rule. He should’ve taught her better and done more to set her up for success. Especially given how unpopular his decision to name her heir was.

  39. 9/10, my favorite episode. The funeral was done very well and I absolutely loved the children this episode, particularly Aemond. Aemond riding Vhagar and all the chaos that came after were the highlights of the episode.

    My one criticism was the end. I thought Laenor faking his death was clumsily handled and the editing of the scene was awkward.

    Like I said, I really enjoyed Aemond, so I’m not at all happy we’re receiving yet another time jump next episode. I feel like that’s part of the reason I’m having trouble getting invested in most of the characters. Just as I’m starting to relate, they’re replaced by someone else with a different personality.

  40. Mr Derp,

    She seemed to suggest that they had had sex though. I got the impression that they didn’t get lucky on the few times they tried and they couldn’t bring themselves to keep trying. They kept it very vague, I don’t know how often they tried, or how far each attempt went.

    Yeah, I think it was suggested by the Hand after she cut her tour short. She agreed because she was backed into a corner and they both made the best of it. In the book she is pretty much forced into it, Viserys threatens to name Aegon heir (according to the Maester’s account). This is the nicer version.

    I was surprised when Viserys’ kind offer turned into a procession. Not exactly a recipe for true love. I’m not sure what the time scale was, or if he would have let her go out and meet suitors in a more natural way, at feasts and tournies. They seemed to have them every week. I think that got cut short when the rumours about her and Daemon started, so she just said yes.

    It would be nice if we saw her actually taking an interest in the realm, but it’s all infighting with these people. The show seems to be setting her up as the heroine with a messy personal life, at least compared to Team Green. Faking Laenor’s death let her and Daemon off the hook, they could have had her order his death and really muddied the waters. She seems to think that marrying Daemon will settle matters but i’m not sure about that either. I think she’s just in a tangle and there isn’t much she can do about it now. She wants the throne but I agree, she isn’t exactly ready for the job. I don’t think any of them actually care about the realm, Varys would be crying

  41. In spite of everything, I thought Daemon and Rhaenyra’s wedding was beautiful. The costumes were gorgeous.

    They really dropped Mysaria like a ton of bricks for these years, I wonder if they’re planning on explaining that (assuming they’re bringing her back, which I think is kind of important?!)

  42. Malcolm Ferguson:
    Jared,

    Alicent….just suddenly became the most interesting character to me. She somehow has aspects of both Cersei and Ned. Like Cersei, she’s a Queen working within a system stacked against her, who’s worried for the safety of her children, who she is ruthlessly trying to put on the throne, and carries a grudge against people who the system has benefited…

    Off-topic: Happy Birthday to Lena Headey.
    “You will always be… my Queen.”

  43. I thought it was a solid episode, and although it was (yet again) frustratingly slow and simmering through the funeral scenes, that was a great contrast to the rest of the episode, and the pressure built up explosively.

    As much as I like the dude who’s playing Larys, I do find the character too much of a cliché, creepy villain. And the eye for an eye scene was practically the same as the kings road episode in GOT. Yawn.

    So I’m guessing we have a new Dany the dreamer in the form of Haelena? And what was she predicting with the spider being crushed in that shell? Will need to listen to what she said again..

  44. Mr Derp,

    I’d certainly hate to be held to the antics of my 18yo self 10+ years later. Seems really unfair to write her off for the normal impetuousness of youth… except for that part about the double standards for girls and boys. Let’s see if anyone holds Aegon accountable for being drunk on the stairs at a funeral these few years later. All signs point to no one caring about that and pushing his claim to the throne instead. He can be a drunk loser but she can’t even wish to marry a decent person.

  45. I am just about to give up on this “available darkness” show. Loved GofT but this is ridiculous. I have a $2200 modest sized oled and a dim room and can see 15% of what is going on. This may be an artistic decision but it is the wrong one.
    Jim Cummings
    Black Raven,

  46. Sue the Fury,

    Sue:

    Two most frequent complaints about the show I run into are: “the show is moving way too fast” and “the show is moving way too slow”.

    Would the show have been better if these first 10 episodes had been spread out to 20 instead? Super fans like us would have certainly watched each episode, but what about the average GoT-viewers? Would they stick around for 2 seasons of setup for the main conflict? Imagine if this episode wasn’t the 7th, but the 15th, and you get a sense of the pace. This show is crazy expensive and it needs to be very successful too. Better Call Saul was a great tv-show, slow and character focused, but it also bled viewers, with each season being watched by fewer and fewer people.

    Or, in some other reality we might have a show where king Viserys dies in the first few episodes, and we get into the main conflict pretty soon, but we are also left wondering why Rhaenyra and Alicent hate each other so.

    I think what we got might have been the most compromise. We get a season of setup and backstory, but also have to deal with time skips and recasts.

    Or how you would have solved it?

  47. I love how they left it up in the air whether Daemon and Rhaenyra were in the loop of Leanor not being dead and plotted this with him and Qarl or if Qarl and Leanor just did it without anybody knowing.

    Aemond was brilliant but I also have to give a shout out to Aegon for always acting like a spoiled and bored brat.

  48. Kattimaijanen,

    tbh, we got everything we needed to know from these 2 Episodes. Rhaenyra married a gay man out of duty and had a lover who fathered her children. Alicent is furious about their illegitimacy, she’s jealous of Rhaenyra’s freedom because she is stuck married to a decaying old man. Everything else could have been laid out like Robert’s Rebellion in GOT. I would have missed Episode 4, which is still my favourite Episode of the Season, but I could have done without the others. Alicent is barely recognisable after the time jump, so it would have been fine imo. Either do a full Season on them in their teens, or start somewhere between Episodes 5 and 6

  49. awol: ?

    I typed too quickly and didn’t manage to get back. I meant to say that I disagree with your take. From what I can see, other users have laid out perfectly what the issues are with Rhaenyra, and I agree with them.

    Also gay people can have kids. Sexual orientation doesn’t make them infertile. The show is pretty vague about why they stopped trying, but it doesn’t seem to hint at Laenor being infertile.

    If she has no children with Laenor, then it’s not the end of the world in her case. She has people who can succeed her regardless, since her father remarried. Between her father’s second marriage and Daemon’s marriage to Laena, the line of succession is quite long.

  50. Flayed Potatoes:

    Also gay people can have kids. Sexual orientation doesn’t make them infertile.

    This. My (male) cousin’s wife is gay, and they have 3 daughters (though 2 of them are twins).

  51. Malcolm Ferguson,

    What I meant is that it might’ve been hard for Laenor to…”finish” due to his lack of arousal of women, but the show wasn’t specific enough and we probably don’t need them to be.

  52. Malcolm Ferguson,

    And did they have sex to become pregnant or was it with modern technology? My gay best friend (girl) was also pregnant twice from a gay male couple, but they never had sex, would have been the horor for her.

  53. As far as the time jumps go, maybe they should have introduced the older characters first, and then jumped back in time. Would have established immediately that the older versions of these characters are the main hallmarks of the show. Also would have allowed the audience to realize from the beginning that eventually we will be flashing back forward to the older versions of these characters.

    Could have even inter-spliced flash back/flash forward scenes in some of the first 5 episodes.

  54. Anyone notice how they lingered on the dagger in Alicent’s hand, fire in the background, and the words didn’t appear like they did when Viserys and Rhaenyra held it out of the flames? Seemed pointed, like she is not the hand of destiny…

  55. I believe Laenor’s death has simply been delayed for the Seasmoke reason. I think he’ll return (as himself, not Addam of Hull) and save the day during a losing battle. He’ll also die in the process, freeing up Seasmoke. Nothing really changes except that his death would be for a clear (and heroic) reason, not a mystery. “I am a warrior.”

    Plus, y’know, double twist on us. Our happiness will turn to ashes in our mouth.

  56. What is now happening to Laenor’s dragon? Doesn’t he feel that his rider is still alive? Will he follow Laenor to Essos, hang around Driftmark until someone else claims him or will he just fly off to some unknown place (e.g. these sunken ruins of Valyria that we saw in GoT)?

    And another, unrelated dragon question: The kids all seem to have younger dragons that were hatched when they were children. The adults seem to have big dragons who look like they might be older than their riders. Is there an explanation for this? The most prominent example is Vhagar who is definitely older than Laena was. Who did she get her from? Did she also get an egg when she was born, that didn’t hatch, and then she claimed some adult dragon when she was older?

    It’s all not very important to the story but I’m still intrigued.

  57. Mr Derp: He couldn’t father her children because he’s gay.

    What is that supposed to mean?? Just because a man is gay doesn’t make him infertile. There’s plenty of gay men who have fathered children (and I’m not talking about artificial insemination etc.).

    Rhaenyra pretty clearly explained it to Daemon: They tried several times the best they could but somehow it didn’t work. (Not every copulation automatically results in a pregnancy.) So they gave up and she had sex (and sons) with Harwin.

  58. Urs: What is that supposed to mean?? Just because a man is gay doesn’t make him infertile. There’s plenty of gay men who have fathered children (and I’m not talking about artificial insemination etc.).

    Rhaenyra pretty clearly explained it to Daemon: They tried several times the best they could but somehow it didn’t work. (Not every copulation automatically results in a pregnancy.) So they gave up and she had sex (and sons) with Harwin.

    Oh, Lordy. I already clarified this for those that actually needed this to be clarified:

    “What I meant is that it might’ve been hard for Laenor to…”finish” due to his lack of arousal of women, but the show wasn’t specific enough and we probably don’t need them to be.”

Comments are closed.

House of the Dragon -44 Days 4 Hours 24 Minutes 58 Seconds