Recap

House of the Dragon recap: Alicent plots as a secret about Rhaenyra threatens her hold on the Iron Throne

Emma D'Arcy stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emma D’Arcy stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Episode 6 of House of the Dragon opens with a massive time jump.

This means that viewers have to say goodbye to Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra and Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower. They are replaced with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

Additionally, a few other characters are replaced as children age, and John MacMillan will now portray Laenor Velaryon.

It is learned that around 10 years have passed since Episode 5 aired, and the episode opens with Rhaenyra having just given birth to a boy.

Laenor is super excited that another child has been born to them, making it three in total for them so far.

While this may seem like a happy time, all of Rhaeynra’s children look nothing like her or Laenor, and now the queen wants Rhaenyra to visit her.

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Jahn MacMillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Jahn MacMillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Alicent Hightower is the worst

Episode 5 of House of the Dragon saw a deep rift developing between Rhaenyra and Alicent, and things have gotten decidedly worse over the last decade.

Rhaenyra painstakingly makes her way to visit with the queen as Laenor follows, trying to assist his wife as best as possible, but he is pretty clueless.

When Rhaenyra finally arrives to visit with Alicent, bleeding all the way there, the d**che queen is all, “gee, why did you come? You should be in bed.”

But, really, she wanted to see another child that looked nothing like his parents.

You see, Rhaenyra and Laenor still uphold the personal deal initially set before their wedding that allows both of them to seek bed partners of their own choosing.

While this makes no difference to Laenor, for the princess, all her children look exactly like her lover, Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr). Harwin is an awesome dad even though he has to be decreet about it.

Also, don’t get too attached to him…

But, for Alicent, her life mission now seems to be making sure everyone knows the rumors exist without actually crossing over into treason territory — because who wants to lose their head?

Her dad’s insinuations that Rhaenyra will do anything — including killing Alicent’s kids — to keep her children on the throne have sunk in, and now Alicent is on a mission to make sure her kids are safe.

Rhaenyra later suggests that her eldest son marries Alicent’s daughter to try and make things right, but that just makes Alicent madder.

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Alicent has also ensured that Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) is firmly Team Green, and he now hates the princess with a passion.

She is also ensuring her children are prepped and ready to take over because, d**n it, her firstborn son, Aegon (Ty Tennent), should be king after Viserys (Paddy Considine) dies.

Of course, Aegon seems less interested in being the king, a trait that appears to be shared among Targaryens named Aegon.

Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow AKA Aegon Targaryen in HBO's Game of Thrones
Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow, AKA Aegon Targaryen, in Game of Thrones. Pic credit: HBO

Viserys survives

For those wondering if Viserys would survive his collapse at the end of Episode 5 of House of the Dragon, have no fear; the king is fine. Well, mostly. He is still randomly coughing, so I suspect Rhaenyra will become queen sooner rather than later.

He also loves his grandkids and gives not a single s**t about the rumors regarding their parentage. He continues to double down on the fact that Rhaenyra is his one true heir and to h**l with what the rest of Westeros thinks.

I mean, congratulations to him for being so adamant that a woman can rule in his place. But he also keeps his head in the sand about how much conflict this is already causing because he has bucked from tradition.

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole and Ty Tennent as Aegon Targaryen, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole and Ty Tennent as Aegon Targaryen, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Gary Moyes

Introducing the next generation of Targaryens

With the time jump, all of Alicent’s children are now much older. Aegon is already a teen, as is his younger sister, Helaena (Evie Allen). In addition, a third child, Aemond (Leo Ashton), has also been born.

All of them have white Targaryen hair.

This is brought into sharp contrast when Alicent’s boys are sparring with Ser Criston against Rhaenyra’s brown-haired boys, Jacaerys (Leo Hart) and Lucerys (Harvey Sadler).

Harvey Sadler as Lucerys and Leo Hart as Jacaerys Targaryen, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Harvey Sadler as Lucerys and Leo Hart as Jacaerys Targaryen, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Gary Moyes

And, of course, Criston is more interested in training Alicent’s boys and totally neglects Rhaenyra’s children. This leads to Ser Harwin and him getting into an argument, and fists fly after a comment is made about Harwin being the father of Jacerys and Lucerys.

And, because of this argument, things get awkward for the Hand of the King, who is also Harwin’s father.

Ryan Corr stars as Ser Harwin Strong in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Ryan Corr stars as Ser Harwin Strong in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Bye Bye House Strong

Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) tells Viserys that he can’t be the hand anymore after the incident with Harwin and Criston, as well as thanks to the rumors flying regarding Jacaerys and Lucerys.

The king will have none of that but will allow Lyonel to accompany his son home to Harrenhal rather than risking his life in King’s Landing.

Except it doesn’t matter where he sends Harwin because his other son, Larys (Matthew Needham), is the worst and will take out not only his brother but his father too if it means Otto Hightower can be the hand again.

You see, it seems Larys has a bit of a crush on the queen and will do anything for Alicent — including burning Harrendal to the ground and killing his father and brother so that Alicent can have her dad back on the scene.

Honestly, Larys, you suck.

Matthew Needham stars as Larys Strong in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Matthew Needham stars as Larys Strong in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Rhaenyra moves to Dragonstone

Now that Rhaenyra knows rumors are circulating about her and Harwin, she decides it is time to leave King’s Landing.

Laenor has wanted to do this for a while now, but when the Strongs die at Harrenhal, she suspects her life, mainly those of her children, will be in danger.

While Dragonstone has been empty for a time, it seems the castle might now be filled to the brim with Targaryens. Although, Rhaenyra doesn’t know that yet.

This brings us to what Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) has been up to over the last ten years.

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen and Nanna Blondell as Lady Laena Velaryon, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen and Nanna Blondell as Lady Laena Velaryon, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Daemon is casually being a family man

Daemon’s normal modus operandi has been, “f**k s**t up, get banned from King’s Landing, return anyway.”

However, the last time he did this, Rhaenyra was getting married, and he took a fancy to Lady Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), who was, at the time, betrothed to a sea lord of Braavos.

Now, he and Laena are happily married and have a brood of their own. This makes me suspect that Daemon had the same hand in getting rid of that problem as he did with his first wife, Rhae Royce (Rachel Redford).

While the pair may be happy now, this is Westeros, and we already know that nothing here has a happy ending.

Daemon and Laena (who is heavily pregnant) are currently striking a deal between one of their twin daughters and a noble in Pentos to help stabilize the whole Stepstones thing, which is still unsettled.

Then, when Laena goes into labor, things get messy. Like Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) messy.

When it becomes apparent that the baby is stuck, Laena drags herself outside and “Dracarys'” herself out of existence.

Daemon is left to break the news to their twins, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were already residing at Dragonstone when Rhaenyra reunited with Laenor and her kids.

However, viewers will have to wait until Episode 7 of House of the Dragon to find out for sure.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.

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