Season 1 of House of the Dragon has come to an epic conclusion after 10 episodes, multiple time leaps, and way more dragons than we ever saw on Game of Thrones. The ninth episode, “The Green Council,” leaves off where the season finale, “The Black Queen,” picks off. The Greens have disregarded Princess Rhaenys’ (Eve Best) claim and stolen the Iron Throne, she informed Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy). The Black camp is followed throughout the remainder of the episode as they decide how to move forward in the face of what will undoubtedly be a conflict of succession. Of course, since this is Westeros, things don’t exactly go as planned, and there are a few surprises as well as a tragic death in store. Let’s dissect it.
House of the Dragon Episode 10 Explained!
Rhaenyra experiences hell thanks to “The Black Queen.” She goes into early labour after learning that her father Viserys is deceased and that Alicent (Olivia Cooke) installed Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the Iron Throne. She gives birth to a stillborn child and has no time to mourn before being crowned queen in Dragonstone by her followers. Aegon the Conqueror’s Song of Ice and Fire demands this of a Targaryen leader, and Rhaenyra does her best to keep the realm together in the midst of all this sorrow. She nevertheless makes a move to count her allies. After getting over his fever, Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) expresses House Velaryon’s support for her. Rhaenyra has the benefit of having the largest navy in Westeros, one that can blockade shipping lines to King’s Landing, with Corlys by her side. Rhaenyra would be invincible if she could win Houses Arryn, Tully, Stark, and Baratheon over to her cause. To these powerful lords, she dispatches her sons Jacaerys (Harry Collett) and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) as messengers. While Lucerys will remind Borros Baratheon of the oath his father made to Rhaenyra years ago, Jacaerys will interact with Cregan Stark.
What does the document Otto hands to Rhaenyra mean?
Rhaenyra receives conditions from Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) before she agrees to accept Aegon as king. Rhaenyra riding Syrax and a very hostile Daemon (Matt Smith) greet him. The entire exchange is reminiscent of the Dragonstone standoff from episode 2. When they were competitors, Rhaenyra and Daemon used dragons to threaten one another. The two of them have united to fight Otto now.
This tense confrontation does not result in bloodshed, just like in the first Dragonstone showdown, and it is all because of a message from Alicent. Rhaenyra receives a piece of paper from Otto, and she immediately identifies it as a page from the history book that Alicent previously tested her on back in episode 1. The strength of their relationship is evident from the fact that Alicent has kept it all these years and that Rhaenyra recalls (as well as, dare I say it, deeper feelings than friendship). It seems sense that Rhaenyra doesn’t assault Otto right away because, in episode 8, she and Alicent were just about to make up. She will most certainly take into account the possibility of mending that friendship and bringing the realm together.
After learning of her father’s passing, Rhaenyra practices restraint, but Daemon yearns for action. He is obviously on the warpath because his brother is dead and his wife’s crown has been taken. Even Rhaenyra is the target of his rage. He chokes her in one of the episode’s more disturbing scenes when she mentions the Song of Ice and Fire. This reminds him of Viserys’ own passivity and fixation on dreams. But in his opinion, dreams were not the reason the Targaryens ended up where they did. They have always drawn their strength from dragons. Daemon intends to acquire more of them. Daemon visits a very enormous dragon and sings to it in High Valyrian while on his voyage under the Dragonmont on Dragonstone later in the episode. Vermithor, the dragon in question, hasn’t had a rider since Jaehaerys, Viserys’ predecessor as king.
Several dragons without riders can be found in Westeros, notably Laenor’s former dragon Seasmoke, as Daemon points out. The more dragons the Blacks can locate, the bigger their advantage over the Greens will be. Step one of his strategy appears to have been successful because Vermithor doesn’t assault Daemon. Daemon will probably look for a fresh batch of Dragonriders in Season 2 and instruct them… on how to train their dragons.
What occurs at Storm’s End in the concluding act of House of the Dragon?
Our first significant dragon battle of the series concludes Season 1 of House of the Dragon. The massive Vhagar of Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) faces off against the agile and diminutive Arrax of Lucerys. Naturally, Vhagar defeats Arrax and eats Lucerys, but how we get it is just as crucial as the actual dragon-chomping. At Storm’s End, the House Baratheon seat, Lucerys is not received well. Borros believes he has nothing to gain by supporting Rhaenyra because Aemond has already pledged to wed one of his daughters in exchange for his support. But in order to get revenge for removing his own eye so long ago, Aemond demands that Lucerys have one of his eyes removed. The most dramatic Targaryen to ever live, Aemond says that he had a sapphire implanted in his eye socket.
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Lucerys definitely rejects, and an aerial battle ensues! While Aemond seems to be merely having some cruel fun while hunting Arrax through the air, Vhagar is actually looking for blood. Aemond watches in horror as she kills Arrax and Lucerys in one fell swoop, realising how seriously this would affect the war between Rhaenyra and Aegon. I’m not sure what to say to you, Aemond—you get burned when you play with fire.
Vhagar’s actions make us think of Daenerys Targaryen‘s famous quote, “A dragon is not a slave.” These are extraordinarily strong animals with thoughts of their own, capable of vast destruction. They haven’t clashed with one another up until this point in the show. However, all bets are now off. Westeros will suffer if the Greens’ dragons battle the Blacks’.
And it’s obvious that’s where things are going by the episode’s conclusion. Daemon tells Rhaenyra what will happen to Lucerys in the last minutes of the finale. She directs her gaze at the camera, her eyes flaming with rage and resolve. It’s a fantastic closing performance from D’Arcy and a sign that The Black Queen will be at war in Season 2. The rain of fire and blood will now begin in earnest.