When episode 6 of Home of the Dragon aired, it was arguably probably the most consequential version of HBO’s Sport of Thrones prequel but. For one factor, a 10-year time soar noticed actors Milly Alcock and Emily Carey changed by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. The queen and the princess now have a gaggle of children every. And extra importantly, on the finish of the episode, we noticed the primary blood of the inevitable Targaryen civil conflict spilled.
That was due to Larys Sturdy, who in a mixture of blackmail and devotion to the queen, organized a success on his brother Harwin and father, Lyonel. Meaning Rhaenyra’s youngsters now not have a (organic) father, and King Viserys now not has a Hand. Seems little can occur in 10 years, however quite a bit can occur in 60 minutes of TV time.
That episode featured plenty of essential happenings, however a lot of the viewing expertise was simply acclimating to the time soar. In episode 7, titled Driftmark, we get payoff for lots of what final week constructed as much as. Greater than another episode but, issues escalate right here. Rather a lot.
A full recap of Home of the Dragon episode 7 is under. Warning: Spoilers forward.
Remembering Laena Velaryon
The later life, and dying, of Laena Verlaryon was a rushed plotline in episode 6, however Home of the Dragon places some respect on her identify on the opening of episode 7. We start with a funeral for Laena in Driftmark. All of the faces we have come to know are there.
Rhaenyra and Daemon are on the identical place on the identical time once more. Even Otto Hightower is again. Since Lord Sturdy died, Hightower is as soon as once more Hand of the King.
Throughout the wake, we discover out that Queen Alicent has betrothed Aegon Targaryen to none apart from… his sister, Helaena Targaryen. Aegon is not enthusiastic about it — he is in that teenage realm the place he is not enthusiastic about something — complaining to his brother Aemond that they don’t have anything in frequent and that, to cite him, “she’s an fool.”
Aemond appears a brooding younger fellow, all discuss concerning the household bloodline and such.
“Clubfoot” Larys Sturdy’s reward for killing his father and brother, we uncover, is being named the brand new Lord of Harrenhal. That is some chilly shit.
Rhaenyra sends her youngsters Jacaerys and Lucerys to consolation Laena and Daemon’s ladies, Baela and Rhaena. Right here the lie that Laenor Velaryon fathered Rhaenyra’s youngsters appears to be like particularly preposterous, as they give the impression of being neither like Targaryens nor Velaryons.
Talking of putting juxtapositions, King Viserys approaches his brother Daemon. Daemon hasn’t aged in any respect, however Viserys appears to be like about 900. “I do know we have had our variations, however allow them to go with the years,” Viserys implores, encouraging Daemon to return to King’s Touchdown.
Daemon is not within the slightest, and shortly fobs his brother off. As they’re speaking, nonetheless, we see Rhaenyra circling, her eyes locked on Daemon.
It’s a must to really feel for Viserys. He tries to be a great man and everybody treats him like a chump.
After the rejected King goes to mattress, we see Lord Corlys and Rhaenys Targaryen sitting by the hearth of their Driftmark fortress. She wonders whether or not Laena’s dying was punishment for his or her ambition, and reprimands Lord Corlys utilizing her personal ill-fated brush with the Iron Throne as a justification for his pursuit of it. Then Rhaenys declares she desires the succession of Driftmark to go by Laena’s line, not Laenor’s — “to true Velaryon blood.”
“We’re alone right here, husband. You’ll be able to converse the plain fact as we each comprehend it,” Rhaenys says. “Rhaenyra’s youngsters aren’t of your blood. However Laena’s are.”
The primary dance of dragons
Method again in episode 3, all that point in the past, Rhaenyra and Laenor walked a Driftmark seaside as they made the settlement to do their obligation to the realm whereas loving whomever they needed.
Now, an older and wiser Rhaenyra walks that very same seaside below moonlight together with her uncle Daemon. She frets that Laenor, wrecked with grief, will now not be capable to keep on the facade of their marriage.
“We did attempt to conceive a toddler,” she explains. “We carried out our obligation as finest we may. However to no avail. There was no pleasure in it. I discovered that elsewhere.”
They each briefly mourn their misplaced lovers — Ser Harwin and Woman Laena — and Rhaenyra beats herself up for letting Ser Harwin return to the Riverlands. Daemon implies that Queen Alicent may have orchestrated his homicide. Rhaenyra appropriately replies that Queen Alicent is not able to chilly homicide.
Rhaenyra accuses Daemon of abandoning her all these years in the past. “I spared you,” he shoots again. “You have been a toddler.”
Rhaenyra kisses him. He tries to cease her, however she tells him she’s not a toddler anymore.
Whereas they get to lovemaking, consummating the flirtations they initiated an uncomfortable variety of years in the past, Prince Aemond is doing Targaryen issues: taking management of the most important dragon on the planet.
Vhagar is a vital dragon in A Tune of Ice and Hearth lore. She’s the dragon that Aegon the Conquerer, properly, conquered with. After Aegon’s dying, Vhagar was finally handed right down to Woman Laena. However now that Laena’s useless, Vhagar is free to be bonded with — and Aemond took his likelihood.
We see him run out onto the seaside, stand up to Vhagar’s roar and pluck up the braveness to leap on her again. She then flies within the air and does a cool loop. Some very Prepare Your Dragon stuff right here.
“Vhagar is my mom’s dragon,” Baela, with Jacaerys, Lucerys and Rhaena in tow, confronts Aemond. “She was mine to assert.”
“Then you need to have claimed her. Possibly your cousins can discover you a pig to trip,” Aemond fires again, referencing the prank the boys performed on him in final week’s episode.
It is round this time that shit will get extraordinarily actual.
A combat breaks out with Aemond on one facet, and Rhaenyra and Daemon’s 4 children on the opposite. Aemond will get a rock and prepares to bash Lucerys with it, taunting that he’ll burn alive identical to his father. A confused Lucerys exclaims that his father continues to be alive, and Aemond tells Jacaerys to inform his youthful brother the reality about their father.
Lucerys throws sand in Aemond’s face, which permits Jaecerys to take out his dagger and slash Aemond throughout the face.
The king’s justice
Viserys may be outdated and sickly, however he is nonetheless acquired the fad of the dragon inside him.
Aemond’s pores and skin will heal, however his eye is misplaced. In a scene harking back to King Robert attempting to get the reality of what occurred when Joffrey Baratheon was minimize below the attention by Arya Stark, King Viserys holds court docket in an try to determine how the princes got here to blows.
He yells on the Kingsguard Knights for his or her negligence. It comes out that Aemond referred to as the boys bastards, and that for this reason he was minimize. I personally assume blaming Aemond for attempting to smash Lucerys’ cranium in with a rock would have been a stronger protection, however hey, I am no lawyer.
Viserys calls for Aemond inform him the place he heard the disgusting lie that Laenor is not the boys’ father. Aemond appears to be like at his mom, and does what all little boys do. He blames his older brother, Aegon.
Aegon, rebellious teenager that he’s, glibly says, “We all know, father. Everybody is aware of. Simply take a look at them.”
Viserys bursts right into a rage. He calls for that the infighting stop, apologies be made, and that everybody “present goodwill to 1 one other.” Bless him for attempting.
Eye demand it, the queen says
Queen Alicent says goodwill is not ok. “There’s a debt to be paid,” she says. “I shall have one among her son’s eyes in return.”
The queen calls for Ser Criston deliver her one among Lucerys’ eyes. Name her 21, as a result of that is savage stuff. Ser Criston regretfully whimpers that he cannot comply together with her request, as a result of he is sworn to guard the queen, not combat for her.
“Alicent, this matter is completed. Do you perceive?” Viserys barks. “And let or not it’s identified. Anybody whose tongue dares to query the start of Princess Rhaenyra’s sons shall have it eliminated.”
The queen is unhappy with the king’s justice, so she fairly actually takes issues into her personal arms. She yoinks Aegon the Conqueror’s dagger from Viserys and tries to stab Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra and the queen get in a scuffle, the place Alicent is attempting to assault Rhaenyra however the princess is pushing the queen away by her arm and shoulder.
The king yells for Alicent to cease, and even Otto Hightower tells his daughter to launch the blade. She does, however not earlier than slicing Rhaenyra’s arm. Princess Rhaenyra’s blood has been spilled for the primary time. I believe it shan’t be the final.
Everybody within the room stares at one another, uncertain what to do.
“Do not mourn for me mom,” Aemond says, breaking the silence. “It is a honest alternate. I’ll have misplaced a watch, however I gained a dragon.”
Battlelines are being drawn
Otto Hightower agrees with Aemond. The Hand of the King goes to see his daughter in her chambers. She admits to performing unbecoming of her station. Hightower says it is a soiled recreation they play, and for the primary time he sees Alicent has the willpower to win it.
He advises her to go to the king, act penitent and he’ll finally forgive her. Hand of the Queen, extra prefer it.
“I promise you, in time you and I’ll prevail,” he says. “What that rogue Aemond has executed in successful Vhegar to our facet… the boy was proper. It is price 1,000 occasions the worth he paid.”
In the meantime, Princess Rhaenyra, within the means of getting her arm stitched up, has a customer of her personal in Laenor Velaryon. Laenor had been who-knows-where in the course of the chaos, and says regretfully that he “ought to have been there.”
He beats himself up for being a nasty brother, father and husband. His sister is useless, his “youngsters” acquired in a loopy combat with their cousins, and now his spouse is injured. I might say his self-critique is legitimate.
Rhaenyra is conciliatory, although. “I had hoped to reveal your youngsters, the few occasions we lay collectively. Issues would possibly’ve been completely different,” she says gently.
“I hate the gods for making me as they did,” he says.
“I don’t. You’re an honorable man with a great coronary heart. It is a uncommon factor.”
Laenor says they made an settlement to do their obligation to the realm in order that they will get on having enjoyable with whomever they need. He says that point is previous: He now recommits himself to Princess Rhaenyra. Ser Qarl, his lover, goes to combat within the Stepstones quickly, and after that Laenor is all hers.
“You deserve higher than what I’ve been. You deserve a husband.”
This is not a nasty omen in any respect.
Rhaenyra’s second marriage
Every thing within the episode has so far taken place at Driftmark. However now the king, queen and their court docket are crusing again to King’s Touchdown. Whereas Viserys is sleeping, Queen Alicent stands on the ship’s facet and watches the ocean breeze by.
“A perversion of justice,” Larys Sturdy says as he creeps as much as the queen. “The younger prince defiled. An outrage.”
“If it is a watch you wish to steadiness the scales, I’m your servant,” he says.
Alicent rebuffs him, however with none of the indignation we noticed final week. She says his providers aren’t needed — for now. “The time will likely come once I require such a pal. With not solely talent, however discretion as properly.”
At the exact same time, Rhaenyra and Daemon stand on the Driftmark coast, watching the king’s ship sail. Rhaenyra says she too wants a pal.
Properly, greater than a pal.
“I can’t face the greens alone,” she says to uncle Daemon, a reference to the Hightowers. “Allow us to bind our blood, simply as Aegon the Conqueror did together with his sisters. With you as my husband and prince consort, my declare wouldn’t be so simply challenged.”
Daemon objects that he cannot marry Rhaenyra so long as Laenor is alive.
She appears to be like at him blankly. “I do know,” she says.
Subsequent we see Daemon in a black cloak, the identical black cloak he killed his Woman Royce in. His killing cloak! Solely he is not killing this time; he is bribing. He finds Ser Qarl, about to depart to combat within the Stepstones, and gives him gold in alternate for the general public dying of Ser Laenor.
So, in a montage, Qarl storms into Driftmark fortress and challenges Ser Laenor to a swordfight, as you do. A nervous servant runs to get Lord Corlys and the fortress guards. After they arrive, Laenor, first son of Lord Corlys, is burning within the Driftmark hearth.
Princess Rhaenys cries over the burnt physique of her useless son.
“I like Laenor,” we hear Rhaenyra say over the montage. “Then grant him this kindess,” Daemon says, “set him free.”
Because the montage ends, we see the unexpectedly organized wedding ceremony of Rhaenyra and Daemon. Solely their 4 children are in attendance, in addition to a maester. It is official: Rhaenyra and Daemon at the moment are husband and spouse.
The final shot of the episode reveals two hooded figures working towards a ship on a shoreline. It is Driftmark’s shoreline. It is Ser Qarl. His confederate takes off his cloak, revealing himself to be Laenor — besides with a freshly shaved head.
The key takeaway is that, lastly, it is on. In actual fact, not solely is it on, it is so on.
We at all times knew Home of the Dragon would construct to a Targaryen civil conflict. If Home of the Dragon has been criticized for something, it is taking its time in getting there. There’s been plenty of speaking, however not a lot in the way in which of motion so far. However now the Targaryen Chilly Struggle has basically turned sizzling. Rhaenyra’s blood has been spilled, and Prince Aemond has misplaced a watch. The tensions that’ve been constructing have formally erupted.
Maybe probably the most putting scene within the episode was the one between Larys Sturdy and Queen Alicent. Alicent reacted with horror on the finish of episode 6 when she found Larys had organized Ser Harwin’s and Lord Sturdy’s dying. Now, when Larys urged having Lucerys’ eye carved out, the queen did not even wince. She’s out for blood, and Rhaenyra is aware of it.
The large query is how for much longer Viserys survives. Typical storytelling would have his dying coming within the finale, however now that it is on, it looks like we’re simply ready for the king’s dying for the Dance of the Dragons to start in earnest.