This coming Sunday the first season of House of the Dragon is coming to a close… and we won’t get another one for quite a long time, I’d wager, so we’d best savor the finale. And we can start now, before it’s out, with Ollie Upton’s promo photos HBO has released for the season finale, which is titled “The Black Queen.”
The first photo shows Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). She’s clad in armor as we last saw her escaping from the Dragonpit, but at another historic Targaryen location: Dragonstone. As the episode preview reveals, she’s come to warn Rhaenyra of what’s happened… and what’s coming for her.
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) is at long last dressed in black:
Around Aegon the Conqueror’s painted table we can see the recently betrothed Baela Targaryen (Bethany Antonia) and Jace Velaryon (Harry Collet), and Luke Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) and Rhaena Targaryen (Phoebe Campbell):
Rhaenyra has a heart-to-heart with her son Luke:
Everyone leaves Rhaenyra to be alone (that we can see) at the painted table room:
There is also Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor). As Aegon’s sworn shield, this knight of the kingsguard knew the prince better than most, so naturally he decided to defect from the Greens to the Blacks before the war started. In this photo, we can see Ser Erryk offering to Rhaenyra the crown of her father, King Viserys, and his grandather before him, King Jaehaerys:
UPDATE 1! A new batch of photos has been released, the first of which shows the details on the painted table, which on this show will be lit from below to magnificent effect:
Next up we can see Daemon and Rhaenyra together, looking worried:
Daemon and Jace have a talk—I’m fascinated to see what Daemon’s relationship is with Jace and Rhaenyra’s two other Velaryon kids. What kind of step-dad is he?
Here we can see three lesser characters. In the middle, that’s Maester Gerardys (Phil Daniels), the maester of Dragonstone, who we briefly met at Rhaenyra and Daemon’s wedding in “Driftmark” and then teaching Jace High Valyrian in “The Lord of the Tides.” To our left, that’s Ser Lorent Marbrand (Max Wrottesley) of the Kingsguard, who we met in “The Lord of the Tides”… but not without the helmet, so he was easy to miss. To our right, that’s a new character portrayed by actor Nicholas Jones. His role has not been confirmed, but we can tell who it is: his line in the preview (“Lay siege to the Red Keep”) is essentially what Lord Bartimos Celtigar of Claw Isle says in Fire and Blood (“Celtigar urged the princess to fly against King’s Landing at once, and reduce the city to ash and bone”), and we can see crabs adorning this lord’s gold chain—crabs being House Celtigar’s sigil. If they follow the source material on this, his role should be quite large in later seasons:
Finally, HBO also released a screen capture of Daemon meeting a dragon in Dragonstone’s caverns. Judging by his size in the episode preview, that’s probably Vermithor, the dragon once-ridden by King Jaehaerys:
UPDATE 2! A ton of new photos have been released:
On Dragonstone’s stairs, Alicent’s delegation to offer terms to Rhaenyra, with Ser Otto Hightower, Grand Maester Orwyle (Kurt Egyiawan), and Ser Arryk Cargyll (Luke Tittensor) meeting Daemon and three Kingsguards: Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor), Lorent Marbrand, and Steffon Darklyn (Anthony Flanagan):
Finally, at Storm’s End, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) is received by Lord Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans), son of the late Lord Boremund, who we saw through the first half of the season: