Recap

House of the Dragon recap: Rhaenyra is crowned the Black Queen — but it comes at a huge cost

Emma D'Arcy stars as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 10 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emma D’Arcy stars as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO

Fans of House of the Dragon have both been anticipating and dreading Episode 10.

While we have all been desperate to know how Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) reacts to her father’s death and the usurping of her position to Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), it also means the conclusion of Season 1.

And, as to be expected, the episode ended on a cliffhanger, and now viewers will have to wait it out until Season 2 drops.

And that is likely two years away.

But, before we get lost in our cups, let’s look at everything that unfolded in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon.

Starting with a very ominous opening scene.

Elliot Grihault as Lucerys and Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra, as seen in Episode 10 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Elliot Grihault as Lucerys and Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra, as seen in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

News reaches Dragonstone about King Viserys’ death

Episode 1 opens with Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) overlooking the battle table, touching Harrenhal, obviously thinking of his real father, Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr). But, also, Harrenhal, where the Strongs resided, is a cursed place, so that’s foreshadowy as f**k.

However, sweet Lucerys is more worried about his sick grandfather, Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint). He also thinks Driftmark should have gone to Vaemond (Wil Johnson) because, no matter which way you look at it, he doesn’t feel worthy of becoming the lord of Driftmark someday.

Rhaenyra believes in him, though, and she offers to guide him to becoming the man she knows he can be.

Rhaenys (Eve Best) turns up and breaks the news about Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) death and all the bulls**t the Hightowers are now enacting.

Daemon (Matt Smith) immediately questions everything, asking the one thing House of the Dragon fans have been asking all week, “Why didn’t you burn them all with fire?” Rhaenys points out this isn’t her fight, and she has a valid point there.

Matt Smith as Daemon and Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra, as seen in the Season 1 finale of HBO's House of the Dragon
Matt Smith as Daemon and Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra, as seen in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

A new baby is born

With the stress of it all, Rhaenyra goes into early labor.

But, because war is afoot and Daemon is already itching to kill things, she has to rule even while giving birth, reminding everyone that nothing happens without her consent.

Daemon has to be constantly reminded of this because he is like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to war and ruling.

In fact, several times, he even forgets that he is not the king, merely the queen’s husband, and needs to shut his damned mouth rather than speak on Rhaenyra’s behalf.

But, back to poor Rhaenyra and her labor. Being the bada** that she is, she not only gives orders while in labor but delivers her own baby. But, alas, it was too early for the babe to be born, and it died.

Emma D'Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra and Matt Smith as Daemon, as seen in Episode 10 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emma D’Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra and Matt Smith as Daemon, as seen in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Rhaenyra is crowned

In the middle of the baby’s funeral, Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor) arrives. He has Viserys’ crown, stolen fresh from the Red Keep, and I am crying as he swears his allegiance, and then Rhaenyra is crowned queen.

Daemon kneels, and so does everyone else. Rhaenys stands, though, because she is nobody’s b**ch, and that’s okay. She is the only one who gets my pass not to bend the knee.

And then it is straight into a war council.

Already, three houses are in dispute as to whether or not they will still swear allegiance to Queen Rhaenyra. Basically, they need to find out if Lord Grover Tully from Riverrun, Lord Cregan Stark of Winterfell, and Lord Borros Baratheon (Cregan Stark) support Rhaenyra or not, even though they have previously sworn oaths to King Viserys that she is the one true heir.

And while talk turns to dragons, Rhaenyra points out none of theirs have fought in wars before and, even though they have 13 to the Green’s four, it is still dicey to be playing such high-stake games with them. They are basically wild, after all.

Emma D'Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, as seen in the Season 1 finale of HBO's House of the Dragon
Emma D’Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, as seen in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Otto arrives at Dragonstone

While discussions over war occur, a ship arrives carrying Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).

I mean, what of the balls on this guy? He just waltzes into Dragonstone like he hasn’t just usurped Rhaenyra and hands her a note with a “peace offering” from King Aegon.

He also has a ripped page from a childhood book to remind Rhaenyra that she and Alicent (Olivia Cooke) were once besties until he f**ked everything up for them.

Daemon, once again, steps in and speaks on Rhaenyra’s behalf and says he would rather feed his sons to the dragons than have them serve a lazy c**t like Aegon.

Rhaenyra will have none of that talk and tells Otto that he will have an answer, just not today, regarding the offer.

And honestly, Rhaenyra is trying really hard not to let everything go to hell in a handbasket, something that Daemon simply doesn’t understand. he knows war and madness and can’t see the point of trying to keep the peace.

Then when Rhaenyra points out that war gives Daemon a boner and she speaks of the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy, Daemon absolutely loses his s**t. Grabbing her around the neck — and not in a sexy “Yes, sir” way — Daemon insists on war even if it means they will rule over nothing but ashes.

Right-o, so there are infinite layers of conflict going on inside House Targaryen, presently in House of the Dragon.

Steve Corlys as Corlys Velaryon and Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen, as seen in Episode 10 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Steve Corlys as Corlys Velaryon and Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen, as seen in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

But, hey, Corlys is okay

While all this is going on, Lord Corlys sails into Dragonstone, finally well enough to travel.

And it is here that his wife descends on him, calling him a coward for going to war rather than dealing with the loss of their children. She also tells him about the death of his brother, and Corlys finally decides he wants no part of the battle for the Iron Throne.

Except Rhaenys points out their grandchildren are betrothed to Rhaenyra’s kids, and they will be in danger regardless of whose side they pick.

Finally, Corlys swears allegiance to the Blacks after Rhaenys points out that Rhaenyra is the only one in the war room that doesn’t want an outright war and might be the only one to pull this off without too much death.

He then alerts Rhaenyra that his war at the Stepstones has paid out in her favor as he has finally gained complete control of the area and, with a few more allies, they might just be able to cut off King’s Landing and take back the Iron Throne.

It is decided then that messengers will be sent to the three undecided houses to try and sway them to join Team Black. Those messengers will be Rhaenyra’s sons.

Bethany Antonia as Baela, Harry Collett as Jacaerys, Elliot Grihaultas Lucerys, and Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena, as seen in the Season 1 finale of HBO's House of the Dragon
Bethany Antonia as Baela, Harry Collett as Jacaerys, Elliot Grihaultas Lucerys, and Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena, as seen in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

How to train your dragon

While Jacaerys (Harry Collett) and Lucerys are off on their dragons, Daemon is trying to get a few more dragons on their side.

While they might have 13 dragons, not all of them are actually at their disposal.

Some of them are actually riderless, making them useless in a battle.

So, Daemon spends his time singing to Vermithor and trying to gather him under his wing. But, as yet, in House of the Dragon, it is unclear if he will actually succeed in this task.

Elliot Grihault stars as Lucerys in Episode 10 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Elliot Grihault stars as Lucerys in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Gary Moyes

Lucerys takes a fateful trip to Storm’s End

Episode 10 closes with Lucerys turning up at Storm’s End to remind Lord Borros of his father’s oath to Viserys.

However, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) has beaten him there, and it appears that he is already in good favor with Borros.

As the Lord of Storm’s End points out, Aemond has turned up with a marriage proposal, and Lucerys has turned up with nothing but a reminder of a long-ago promise.

So, realizing House Baratheon is not on their side, Lucerys leaves as he has sworn to his mother that he is merely a messenger, not a warrior, when it comes to delivering the news.

However, Aemond will have none of that pacifist s**t, calling Lucerys Lord Strong and demanding an eye for an eye even though it wasn’t that long ago that he thought an eye for the biggest dragon in Westeros was an even swap.

Lucerys refuses to engage and leaves Storm’s End, but Aemond follows him on dragonback.

Vhagar scares the crap out of Lucerys, but he manages to escape through a narrow canyon as his dragon, Arrax, is much smaller.

Arrax, as featured in Episode 10 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO

Aemond is still hot on his trail, though, and Arrax knows he is being pursued, so he shoots fire at Vhagar, surprising the dragon and p***ing it off so much that it now ignores Aemond’s commands and eats the smaller dragon — Lucerys included.

Poor sweet Lucerys, he really was too nice for the world of Westeros, and now he no longer has to worry about ruling over Driftmark.

At this point, it becomes apparent that Aemond was just trying to scare Lucerys. But he also realizes he will be in a f**kton of trouble when he gets home.

Back at Dragonstone, Daemon brings the news of Lucerys’ death to Rhaenyra.

And judging by the death stare she gives before the credits roll, I am guessing the new queen has just put aside any thoughts of a peaceful resolution regarding who will rule over Westeros when House of the Dragon returns.

Season 1 of House of the Dragon concludes with Episode 10. As yet, no release date has been set by HBO for Season 2.

More:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Renee
Renee
1 month ago

Have to wait two years for season 2, I sure hope not. This was a great synopsis. Wondering how they learned of Lucerys’ death and how it happened, did Aemond confess?

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Great synopsis. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s been on my shelf for ages. A bit stuck because I don’t know whether to wait for the rest of the series or battle ahead. If it’s going to be two years for season 2 then it could be. 8 years until it’s finished.
I have to say I had goosebumps last night. The bit when Rhaenyra walked into the war room with her guards was magnificent. It’s been a brilliant season. Thanks for your take on it.