This review of the sixth episode of House of the Dragon contains spoilers for, well, the sixth episode of House of the Dragon. Essentially, that is what a recap entails. Go ahead as necessary.
Here are summaries of episodes House of the Dragons one, two, three, four, and five in case you’re just joining us.
Ten years of story time have passed since the first episode, during which major events (such as the arrival of a new generation of pampered aristocratic jerks) and little ones (such as Larys’ continued advancement) have occurred. Rhaenyra and notably Alicent have become more stern—or at the very least, more determined—while Daemon is still grinning his way through life, albeit he appears to have softened a bit now that he is a family man. In a sense, distillation.
Would seeing that process take place have been nice? to spend more time with Rhaenyra and Alicent as they reached a new stage in their relationship and had their first child? Maybe. There is no doubt that both of them now seem more concerned about their children than about themselves and their different jobs. Given how dangerous the circumstances they have placed themselves in continue to be, it makes sense; power comes with a price: worry. But I can’t help but feel that we’ve been robbed of the opportunity to watch them mature into adults in their own right as opposed to only in terms of the men in their lives.
It’s astounding; time is fleeting house of the Dragons
The bedroom of Princess Rhaenyra is visible. This will be her third child. all male. There was Jacaerys first (he goes by Jayce). Then came Lucerys (he goes by Luke). Little Joffrey is now here (he goes by Braden). (Kidding! It’s Joff. It’s amusing how George R.R. Martin’s fantastical names usually end up sounding like names you’d see on a roster for a varsity lacrosse team. Ser Cody, welcome! Ser Eli, take up arms! (Hail, Lord Zeke!)
The fact that all three of Rhaenyra’s children have brown hair is significant because Rhaenyra and her husband Laenor both have platinum wigs, er, hair, which attest to their Old Valyrian ancestry.
Furthermore, the captain of the City Watch and close family friend Harwin Strong spends a lot of time with Rhaenyra and her children while exchanging lengthy, smouldering (foreshadowing!) glances with he
When Queen Alicent asks (read: demands) to view Rhaenyra’s newest child moments after he is born, Laenor doesn’t seem to bother because he is distracted with his new horseplay-twink Ser Qarl Correy and with being a hilariously horrible spouse. Was it excruciatingly painful? Laenor inquires about the birth, which in his opinion probably qualifies as empathy. (Actor John MacMillan is having a great time playing the conceited, feckless Laenor, who isn’t the kind of character who tends to stick around for very long in savage Westeros; appreciate this performance while you can, because I sure am.)
It takes a long, agonising journey up a crowded staircase to deliver the child to the king and queen, who are waiting for him or her in a room hung with tapestries that, I’m glad to report, are completely devoid of genitalia.
Alicent the adult is one nasty queen, acting surprised to see Rhaenyra, bringing up Laenor’s choice to name the child Joffrey (after his battered-to-puree first love, the Knight of Kisses), and then telling Laenor that if he keeps trying, he’ll ultimately have a child who looks like him. I am aware of drag queens who are unable to perform while suffering from three such severe burns in such a short period of time.
Additional details in this scene include: Ser Criston Cole has been promoted to the queen’s personal guard instead of languishing in prison for the very public murder of Joffrey in the previous episode. I think I have to let it go because this bothers me more than any of the characters, even Laenor, which is puzzling.
The king’s health is also deteriorating. His left forearm was amputated as a result of all those Iron Throne wounds, and he now has a shuffling stride and a greyish complexion. Additionally, his hairline has receded and is now holding the “Riff-Raff from Rocky Horror” position.
The kids are all wrong house of the dragons
Cut to: The Dragonpit, where Jayce and Luke are LARPing How to Train Your Dragon alongside Aegon and Aemond Targaryen, the sons of Alicent and the king with golden hair.
Young Jayce is specifically learning how to manage his dragon. Vermax, welcome to the stage! Fifth dragon in the programme! We don’t count our dragons until we actually see them in the scaly flesh, but Aegon’s dragon Sunfyre is mentioned in passing.
Since Jayce should have the dragonriding gene on both his X (Targaryen) and Y (Velaryon) chromosomes, there is supposed to be some tension in this situation. However, Jayce’s father is a Strong. However, it turns out that mom’s blood is plenty, and Jaecerys is able to persuade Vermax to prepare roast mutton for himself for dinner.
Aemond is depressed because he doesn’t yet have a dragon of his own, so Jayce, Luke, and Aegon play a joke on him. They “costume” a pig. No, it’s not a terribly clever trick, but it succeeds in lowering little Aemond into the Dragonpit. Where he encounters a dragon (sorry; couldn’t identify it; let me know if you can) who almost burns him alive.
Alicent, who is obviously bored out of her mind, watches while her daughter Helaena geeks out over some bugs. She has the same expression my mother would have whenever I enthusiastically began to describe to her the distinction between Sindar and Noldor elves. But since they’re painting Helaena as a prophetic and dreamy character, we might probably pay attention to what she says to herself as Alicent chastises Aemond for entering the Dragonpit and promises him a dragon one day. Specifically, “He’ll have to close an eye” and “The last ring has no legs at all.” To save for your records, clip.
Alicent rants to Viserys about Jayce and Luke and wonders aloud why their dragon eggs even hatched as he works on his models. The king tries to fend off Alicent with a flimsy piece of horse-breeding mansplaining before admonishing her not to repeat her accusation to anyone else since he doesn’t want to think that his daughter and heir would cheat on her husband.
Cut to: Alicent repeats her claim to Criston Cole. Who manages to sound both bitter and regretful as he compares Rhaenyra to a spider that “sucks her prey dry.”
Because she hasn’t read these works. Alicent asserts, “I have to believe that in the end honour and decency will win.” (Remember that when we see where things stand at the end of the show. This is the second time the queen has invoked the high concept of “decency”). She talks about how they must “hew” to that ideal and to one another.
However, we don’t see them frantically adhering to one another. At least not yet. Lord knows we would witness it if they were going to hew. at a sluggish pace.
We see young Aegon enjoying himself at a window that resembles. TThe one that King Joffrey would offery himself from 300 years in the future. The one that Queen Cersei would frequently glance out of while holding a glass of wine. various brushstrokes
When the queen confronts him with the porcine joke. She also has to tell him—and us—that their family must remain together. If they are to live.
Daemon sits through a timeshare presentation house of the dragons
Cut to Pentos, a port city located far away from King’s Landing. Two dragons fly about over a residence on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Daemon Targaryen is riding the dependable Caraxes when all of a sudden, a massive, wrinkled dragon soars over him.
Vhagar, welcome to the stage! Laena, Daemon’s wife, robbed you!
Now. I made a big fuss last week about Laena’s dragon, and now I’ll explain why. Over a century before the events of this programme. Aegon I, the first Targaryen ruler, conquered Westeros with the help of three dragons, including Vhagar. She is the world’s oldest, biggest, and fiercest dragon at the moment. Laena, who was 12 at the time, may have asked the king on their embarrassing date. Where she was in episode two.
Although they don’t explicitly explain how Laena came to be her dragonrider. They do make a huge deal out of it. Laena and Daemon can be seen engaging in some pyromaniacal foreplay while flying about on their dragons.
At a luxurious supper later, the Prince of Pentos offers to let Daemon, Laena, and their twin daughters. Baela and Rhaena, live in the mansion they are currently visiting in exchange for their use of their dragons to defend Pentos. In the event that the Triarchy attempts to take it over. (He notes that Dorne, the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms, has allied with the Triarchy. This will certainly be significant later.)
Laena loathes the concept and longs to go back to her Driftmark ancestral home. Daemon appears to have had enough of shifting allegiances and never-ending plotting as he thoughtfully evaluates the offer. He considers himself a man of action rather than words. Yet the thought of becoming an inaction man is seriously tempting.
The ageing monarch watches as Criston Cole instructs the royal twerps in sword fighting back in King’s Landing. Their real father, Harwin Strong, notices and objects to Cole’s treatment of Jayce and Luke while favouring Aegon and Aemond. Harwin gives Cole a tiny taste of the face-punching medicine Cole gave Ser Joffrey years ago. As Cole makes an overt allusion to Jacye and Luke’s real parentage.
Rhaenyra learns of this and uses the covert door to her bedchamber to listen in on Lyonel Strong reprimanding his son for exposing himself and his House to false allegations.
Back in her bedchamber. A drunk Laenor stumbles in with Qarl and announces his intention to return to the sea to fight. Triarchy, who had resumed causing trouble in the Stepstones once more. After displaying an abstract and clinical understanding of female anatomy (get it?).
Rhaenyra bans Laenor from leaving her side since she is aware of how vulnerable Harwin’s deeds have made her. Even though Rhaenyra keeps deceiving him. We find out that Laenor is well aware of who the children’s biological father is. I don’t like Rhaenyra’s comment about not wanting Laenor to “wiggle his sword and smile at his sailors”. It seems a touch cheap. I like to think my Rhaenyra is classier and more intelligent than that.