The second half of the first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon offers the biggest time jump yet, with a full decade passing in Episode 6 since last week’s Episode 5.
The new episode airing Sunday evening introduces two new actresses playing the adult versions of Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke, replacing Emily Carey) and Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy, replacing Milly Alcock).
The trailer also teases that Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) is now married to Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), after killing his former wife, while Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) betrays his own family for the Queen.
Decade: The second half of the first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon offers the biggest time jump yet, with a full decade passing in Episode 6 since last week’s Episode 5
Princess: The new episode airing Sunday evening introduces two new actresses playing the adult versions of Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke, replacing Emily Carey) and Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy, replacing Milly Alcock)
Married: The trailer also teases that Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) is now married to Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), after killing his former wife
The episode begins with an adult Rhaenyra in labor, as she’s told by the midwife to keep breathing and push.
She keeps pushing as a baby boy is delivered successfully, as the proud mother holds her crying baby for the first time.
She asks if the child is healthy and one of the midwifes says he is ‘kicking like a goat,’ when an aide arrives and says the Queen has requested the child be brought to her immediately.
Labor: The episode begins with an adult Rhaenyra in labor, as she’s told by the midwife to keep breathing and push
Child: She keeps pushing as a baby boy is delivered successfully, as the proud mother holds her crying baby for the first time
Rhaenyra says she will take the child herself as the women help her get dressed to go see the Queen… though she pushes out the afterbirth first.
She’s met by her husband Laenor (John Macmillan), who is pleased that it’s a boy as she helps him walk to the Queen, as he jokes he’s glad he’s not a woman.
She stops, seemingly in pain, and he asks what it is but she tells him to keep walking as he thinks they were ‘passed all this’ with the Queen.
Help; She’s met by her husband Laenor (John Macmillan), who is pleased that it’s a boy as she helps him walk to the Queen, as he jokes he’s glad he’s not a woman
Pain: She stops, seemingly in pain, and he asks what it is but she tells him to keep walking as he thinks they were ‘passed all this’ with the Queen
She stops on the stairs, clearly in pain, as her husband thinks they should go back, but she powers through as Laenor says this is ‘absurd.’
When they get to the door, we see Criston is standing watch as they’re let in to meet the Queen… though Alicent says she should be resting.
Viserys enters and asks to see his grandson, as he holds the newborn, while Alicent asks if they have decided on a name.
Grandson: Viserys enters and asks to see his grandson, as he holds the newborn, while Alicent asks if they have decided on a name
Resting: When they get to the door, we see Criston is standing watch as they’re let in to meet the Queen… though Alicent says she should be resting
While Rhaenyra says they haven’t decided on a name, Laenor says they will name him Joffrey – seemingly after his former homosexual lover who Ser Criston killed a decade earlier.
Alicent says they should keep trying, adding, ‘Soon or later, you may get one who looks like you.
After leaving, Rhaenyra is clearly upset that he chose the name without consulting her.
Name: While Rhaenyra says they haven’t decided on a name, Laenor says they will name him Joffrey – seemingly after his former homosexual lover who Ser Criston killed a decade earlier
Trying: Alicent says they should keep trying, adding, ‘Soon or later, you may get one who looks like you
They get back to their chambers as they’re greeted by their sons, who say they have chosen a dragon egg for their new brother Joffrey.
Their oldest child Jacaerys (Leo Hart) is trying to bond with his dragon, as he’s told the beast will only obey him in time.
The other children pull a prank on Aemon (Leo Ashton), the son of Viserys, bringing him a pig since he doesn’t have a dragon yet – it’s later explained that half of dragon eggs don’t hatch.
Chambers: They get back to their chambers as they’re greeted by their sons, who say they have chosen a dragon egg for their new brother Joffrey
Pig: The other children pull a prank on Aemon (Leo Ashton), the son of Viserys, bringing him a pig since he doesn’t have a dragon yet – it’s later explained that half of dragon eggs don’t hatch
He goes into the dragon pit and sees one of the dragons blowing his fire before running off.
Queen Alicent is chatting with her daughter Helaena (Evie Allen) when her son is brought in, as she’s told he went into the dungeon yet again.
Alicent tells Viserys that his, ‘grandsons are a menace’ and adds, ‘they’re savages.’
Dragon pit: He goes into the dragon pit and sees one of the dragons blowing his fire before running off
Daughter: Queen Alicent is chatting with her daughter Helaena (Evie Allen) when her son is brought in, as she’s told he went into the dungeon yet again
She adds, ‘To have one child like that is a mistake, to have three is an insult, to the throne, to you, to House Velaryon and the match you battled so hard to make for her. Not to mention decency itself.’
Viserys tells her a story, beginning, ‘I had a black mare once. Black like a raven. One day, she escaped her pasture and the neighboring stallion sired a foal on her. The stallion was as silver as the moon on a winter’s night and the foal, when it was born, chestnut.’
‘Just the most unremarkable brown horse you ever saw. Nature is a thing of mysterious works,’ he says, as Alicent asks if he saw it himself.
‘The consequences of an allegation like the one you toy at would be dire,’ Visserys says, referring to Laenor not fathering Rhaenyra’s children, asking her to not speak of it again.
Alicent goes and vents her frustrations with Ser Criston, ‘She flaunts the privilege of her inheritance without shame. She expects everyone in the Red Keep to deny the truth our eyes can all plainly see.’
Aegon is masturbating when he’s interrupted by Queen Alicent, who asks who’s idea that prank is.
He says, ‘it was Jace,’ and she says, ‘Aemond is your brother,’ but Aegon adds, ‘Well, he’s a twat.’
‘We are family. You may cuff him about as you wish at home, but in the world… We must defend our own,’ she says, but he insists, ‘It was funny.’
‘Do you think Rhaenyra’s sons will be your playthings forever? As things stand… Rhaenyra will ascend the throne and Jacaerys Targaryen will be her heir,’ she tells him.
‘How is it that you can be so shortsighted? If Rhaenyra comes into power… Your very life could be forfeit. Aemond’s as well. She could move to cut off any challenge to her succession,’ Alicent says.
Aegon says he won’t challenge, but Alicent angrily insists, ‘You are the challenge! You are the challenge, Aegon! Simply by living and breathing! You are the King’s firstborn son…’
The episode cuts back to Prince Daemon and his wife Laena as they dine with Prince Reggio Haratis, who proposes they have a ‘permanent residence in Pentos.’
Prince adds, ‘The Triarchy has made common cause with Qoren Martell of Dorne. At any moment, they may turn their sights north. Your family has dragons. Three now… Mayhaps four in the future. My aim is to protect Pentos from the lustful eye of the Triarchy. Aid Pentos in this, as Aegon once did… And my gratitude will fill your cup and overflow it.’
Laena says they have already overstayed their welcome but Daemon says they will consider his proposal.
Laena is angry that he is considering the proposal but Daemon is happy in Pentos.
‘We have a good life here. We’re free to do as we please, welcomed and feted,’ he says.
She says they are, ‘eternal guests’ and he likes that, saying they are, ‘without responsibility. The political scheming, the endless shifting of loyalties and succession is none of ours.’
She adds they are, ‘using us,’ and he says, ‘It’s refreshing, isn’t it?’
‘A simple transaction. We have dragons, they have gold. We are more than this, Daemon. We are not minstrels or mummers who play at the pleasure of an alien prince. We are the blood of Old Valyria. We don’t belong here,’ she says.
‘Valyria is gone. We don’t belong anywhere,’ he adds.
Back in King’s Landing, Viserys watching his sons and grandsons training with Ser Criston, who pits Jacerys with Aegon – ‘first born against first born.’
While Aegon first gets the upper hand, Jacerys fights back, before Criston is beaten badly by Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), the son of the Hand of the King Lyonel Strong.
Ser Strong goes to see his father, when he tells him that his romance with Rhaenyra is an offense worthy of exile and death.
Laenor arrives with another man, Ser Carlo, both quite drunk, though Rhaenyra iss quite annoyed.
Raenor says that war is afoot in the Stepstones, and says Carlo has been fighting there.
‘After all this time, this is just what I need, a little adventure. A good, honest battle to enliven my blood again. He says there is a Tyroshi general there, a giant, they say, who dyes his beard purple and wears women’s frocks,’ Laenor says with a laugh.
She says that rumors about their child’s parentage are out there, and she doesn’t want their children’s father galivanting at sea.
‘I am a knight… And a warrior. And I have played my part here, faithfully… for 10 years. I am owed some,’ she tells him, but she replies, ‘You are owed nothing! For 10 years, you have indulged yourself at court, bought the finest horses, drunk the rarest of wines, f***ed the lustiest boys. This was our agreement. I have not begrudged you. But… You do not desert your post when the storm lashes,’ she says.
‘The wise sailor flees the storm as it gathers,’ he adds, but she says, ‘Very well then. I command you. As your Princess and the heir to the throne, you are commanded to remain in King’s Landing and at my side.’
The episode cuts back to Pentos as Laena talks to her daughter Baela, who wonders when her dragon egg will hatch.
‘There is more than one way to bind yourself to a dragon. I was without one until I was 15 years old and now I ride Vhagar, the largest in the world. You have a harder road. Baela’s dragon was born to her. But if you wish to be a rider, you must claim that right. Your father would tell you the same,’ Laena says.
Baela adds, ‘Father ignores me,’ but Laena simply says, ‘He’s doing his best.’
Laena goes up to see Daemon, saying her brother Laenor wrote to him and says she misses her brother and she thinks he misses his too.
She asks if she ever misses home but he says he doesn’t, though she doesn’t believe him.
‘Life has, I know, disappointed you. Perhaps, I too, am not the wife you would’ve wished for yourself. It does not pain me. I have made my peace. But you are more than this, Daemon. The man I married was more than this,’ she tells him.
The episode cuts back to King’s Landing for a small council meeting where they talk about the developments in the Stepstones.
Alicent says Daemon has left the area undefended a decade ago as Alicent and Rhaenyra both argue.
‘I have felt the strife between our families of late, My Queen. And for any offense given by mine, I apologize. But we are one house. And long before that, we were friends,’ Rhaenyra begins.
‘My son Jacaerys will inherit the Iron Throne after me. I propose we betroth him to your daughter, Helaena. Ally ourselves… Once and for all. Let them rule together,’ Rhaenyra asks, which Viserys says is, ‘A most judicious proposition.’
She adds, ‘Additionally, if Syrax brings forth another clutch of eggs, your son Aemond will have his choice of them, uh… A symbol of our goodwill.’
‘The King and I thank you for your offer and we will consider it duly,’ Alicent says before they both leave.
Alicent adds, ‘How sweetly the fox speaks when it’s been cornered by the hounds,’ though Viserys says, ‘She is sincere.’
‘She is desperate. She feels the Earth washing away beneath her feet and now she expects us to ignore her transgressions and for me to marry my only daughter to one of her… Plain-featured sons,’ she says.
‘The proposal is a good one, my Queen. We’re a family. Let us put aside these childish quarrels. Join hands and be stronger for it,’ he says.
‘You may do as you wish, husband… When I am cold in my grave,’ she says.
Ser Lyonel arrives and says he is resigning as Hand of the King after the incident with his son.
‘My son Harwin has disgraced himself and every fishwife in King’s Landing will soon be telling the tale,’ he says.
‘Young Harwin’s outburst was unfortunate, it’s true. But he’s been expelled from the City Watch. That seems punishment enough,’ Viserys says but Lyonel says, ‘Forgive me, Your Grace, it is not.’
‘You have served me faithfully for many years, 10 as Hand. Your advice has been sage, unmarked by self-interest… Which stands in contrast to all others,’ Viserys adds.
Lyonel says, ‘You speak kind words… But there is a shadow over my house,’ though he won’t tell the King what the shadow is.
Therefore, Viserys insists he remain as Hand of the King, as Lyonel then asks to, ‘take my son from court and escort him back to the family seat at Harrenhal. He is my heir and will be lord of Harren’s castle one day. It is time he assumed his duties there.’
Viserys accepts his proposal as Alicent leaves and goes to dine with Larys Strong, telling him what happened about his brother.
‘But the Hand is compromised by the acts of his son. My father… Cannot give unbiased counsel to the King,’ Larys says.
‘It is now that I most rue the absence of my own father. He wouldn’t hesitate to speak the truth to the King. If Otto Hightower were still Hand,’ she adds.
‘You cannot say, my Queen, that your father would be impartial in this matter,’ he says, though she adds, ‘No, but he would be partial to me!’
‘In all of King’s Landing, is there no one to take my side?’ Alicent wonders.
Larys goes to see, ‘A murderer… A deviant… A traitor to the crown,’ in the jail, adding, ‘For your crimes, you’ve been sentenced to death by hanging.’
He adds he’s prepared to offer mercy if they’re prepared to ‘pay a little price’ as one of the men’s tongue is cut off.
Back in Pentos, Laena is trying to deliver a child but the Maester says the child will not come out.
Laena goes out to her dragon, asking it to kill her, screaming, ‘Dracarys!’ over and over again, though the dragon will not obey.
They share a moment as Daemon goes out looking for her… when the dragon sets her ablaze, killing her.
Back in King’s Landing, Harwin is saying his goodbye’s to Rhaenyra’s children and says he will return.
He shares a moment with Rhaenyra before picking up his sword and leaving.
She tells her son Aemon that they will exchange letters, and he asks if Harwin Strong is his father, and if he’s a bastard.
She says he is a Targaryen and that is all that matters.
She goes to her husband Laenor and tells him they are leaving King’s Landing.
‘I have been undermined… And made a spectacle. They whisper about me in the corridors. Well, I leave them to it,’ Rhaenyra says.
‘To Dragonstone then?’ Laenor asks, and Rhaenyra says, ‘We should’ve left years ago.’
‘What of your position? You’ve always said if you were absent from court, she would pour her honey in your father’s ear,’ Laenor says, as she repeats what he told her earlier – ‘The wise sailor flees the storm as it gathers.’
She tells him to bring his new knight boyfriend saying they will need as many swords as they can get.
Lyonel Strong and Harwin are seen arriving back at Harrenhal, while we see the men Larys recruited watching them arrive.
Lyonel Strong is asleep when a fire burns in his son Harwin’s room as he cries for help as Lyonel tries to break the door down, to no avail… as both father and son are burned to death at their home in Harrenhal.
Larys is heard saying in voice over, ‘What are children, but a weakness? A folly? A futility? Through them, you imagine you cheat the great darkness of its victory. You will persist forever, in some form or another. As if they will keep you from the dust. (Indistinct yelling) But for them… You surrender what you should not. You may know what is the right thing to be done, but… Love stays the hand.’
Through his voice over we see Rhaenyra and her family arriving at Dragonstone, as Alicent realizes that Larys killed his own brother and father… using the criminals he recruited and cut their tongues out.
‘You… you passed judgment,’ a terrified Alicent tells Larys.
‘The Queen makes a wish. What servant of the realm would not strive to fulfill it? I assume you will write to your father now?’
She says, ‘Larys… I did not wish for this,’ though he tells her, ‘I feel certain you will reward me… When the time is right,’ as the episode comes to an end.
Survived: Despite his health troubles, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) has seemingly survived the 10-year time jump
Criston: Another character who survived the time jump is Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel), who was about to kill himself at the end of Episode 5
Viewership: The show also made headlines last week with the viewership continuing to increase as the season continues