At the funeral for their stillborn daughter Visenya, Daemon crowns Rhaenyra with the late Viserys crown.
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As if two deaths were not enough, The Black Queen later loses her son, Lucerys Velaryon in an accident that would later start the Targaryen Dance of Dragons.
Why Did Vhagar Disobey Aemond?
To be completely honest, I quite like the fact that Prince Aemond didn’t intentionally kill Prince Lucerys, but rather their Dragons started the Dance in the sky of their own volition. Of course, this being set in the ‘Thrones’ universe in the back of my mind I wonder if Vhagar was warged by an evil greenseer or influenced by someone using a glass candle – but for now, I will take Lucerys’ death being a complete accident at face value.
“The idea that we control the dragons is an illusion. They’re a power men should never have trifled with. One that brought Valyria its doom. If we don’t mind our own histories, it will do the same to us.”Viserys Targaryen I
Aemond telling Lucerys after claiming Vhagar as a child that he would “feed him to his dragon” just for his dragon to devour his nephew years later almost feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How Did the Targaryen Riders Bond with Their Dragons?
In Old Valyria, the ruling Dragonlords practiced blood magic to bind and control dragons to their will. Although it was lost in time, many speculate that incessant inbreeding between dragonrider families kept their blood ‘pure’ and passed the ability to tame and ‘bond’ with dragons throughout their lifetime.
The books and show have touched on the bond shared between dragonrider and dragon, and that was even showcased during Rhaenyra’s childbirth scene where shots of Syrax were interwoven in the sequence as the she-dragon seemingly experienced Rhaenyra’s labor pains.
Now I don’t know this for certain, but I wonder if Vhagar and Arrax ended up fighting due to their riders’ internal feelings being sent to them telepathically.
Lucerys was obviously terrified of his Uncle Aemond, and Borros Baratheon laid witness to Aemond antagonizing Luke during his visit as an envoy to Storm’s End. While Aemond didn’t seem to want to kill Lucerys and rather merely scare him, their dragons obviously had other plans.
Arrax hit Vhagar with fire and Vhagar retaliated by biting Arrax in half and killing Luke in the process must have mirrored the true unconscious feelings of their riders.
Especially since Aemond continually repeats that Luke is no match for his strength, maybe Aemond has secretly fantasized about snapping his nephew in two as Vhagar did.
Why Did Daemon Choke Rhaenyra?
Daemon has admittedly lost his mind after hearing about the death of his brother Viserys. Believing it to be a murder plot by the Greens led by Queen Alicent, when Rhaenyra went into labor from shock after learning the news, she even mentions to Jace Daemon has ‘gone to madness’.
Daemon only choked Rhaenyra after learning about the A Song of Ice and Fire prophecy. I am in no way shape or form endorsing Daemon hurting Rhaenyra but it seems like Daemon has completely lost control of his emotions.
When one of the lords around the painted table asked Daemon if he would like to leave the war discussions to speak with a maester regarding his wife in labor, Daemon refused to acknowledge the question.
Years earlier, his second wife Laena Velaryon had a difficult childbirth and killed herself by dragon fire.
I have to wonder if at that moment Daemon experienced a sort of PTSD surrounding having to make a decision to save either his wife or baby’s life and refused to even walk to Rhaenyra’s birthing room and even put himself in that situation again.
(Especially since Daemon never fully grieved Laena’s death.)
Rhaenyra sharing one more thing in a long list of things and situations Viserys never trusted Daemon with seemed to be a blow to Daemon’s ego more than anything, and in his rage, he decided to reach out and choke Rhaenyra.
The Black Queen now wears her father’s crown and has his temperament while ruling, maybe Daemon imagined he was reaching out and choking Viserys from beyond the grave.
Speaking of temperament…
Why Is Rhaenys Team Black?
I don’t quite understand why Princess Rhaenys is supporting Team Black.
Not only did Rhaenys go to court with the clear intention of screwing over Rhaenyra and supporting Vaemond to protect her grandkids, but Rhaenys clearly still believes Rhaenyra was ‘complacent’ in Laenor’s death.
While I will not deny The Queen Who Never Said Dracarys her agency in choosing not to immediately jump into a war to support the claim of a cousin she never truly liked and was jealous of – Rhaenys supporting the Black Queen doesn’t quite make sense to me.
Rhaenys’ glances and smiles at Rhaenyra choosing not to buckle under pressure and go to war based on little to no intel or allies seem very…out of place?
Viserys loved his “only child” Rhaenyra dearly but let’s be honest he never prepared her to truly rule the 6 kingdoms.
If Viserys had even instructed his daughter just a bit in the art of social graces maybe House Lannister and House Redwyne would be supporting the Black cause today had Rhaenyra not insulted their lord and lady on Aegon’s second nameday.
Lord Borros Baratheon may not have gone against his kin based on Rhaenyra’s slight toward his father during the segment of her betrothal tour hosted at Storm’s End.
Lyonel and Harwin Strong may even have still been alive had Viserys just spoken to his daughter about the role of marriage and pleasure in a relationship instead of letting Daemon twist her mind and sully her honor in a single night.
Rhaenyra’s change in temperament as she aged and had a family of her own is definitely credited to her own learned calculations and while it is impressive, I don’t believe something like that would move Rhaenys to suddenly support the cousin she never liked.
Observing Rhaenyra for three or four days through grief, ruling, and wartime councils is not enough for Rhaenys – who was done fighting – to suddenly tell Corlys after waking up from his deathbed that they should go out and fight again to risk what family they have left.
I just don’t understand what the showrunners and writers are doing with Rhaenys’ character.
The Inside the Episode segment mentioned the showrunners wrote episodes nine and ten as Alicent and Rhaenyra’s response to the conflicts and I can totally see it, but I don’t think they factored in how useless and out of place Rhaenys’ character appears to be in being regaled to a simple royal messenger.
Is House of the Dragon Worth Watching?
Either way, Rhaenys’ character progression aside I quite enjoyed House of the Dragon Season one.
I wasn’t sure what to expect coming from reading the books and watching the disaster that was Game of Thrones Season 8 and was pleasantly surprised by the colorful production design, faithful adaptation of period costumes, and sequences like Aegon’s nameday Hunt and the Tourney that really captured the essence of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire literary world being brought to life.
House of the Dragon is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of the book series, HBO Game of Thrones adaptation, or a new fan of the franchise all together.
HoTD did not disappoint, and I eagerly await season two of the series in years to come.
But, what were your thoughts surrounding the series?
Did character motivations feel out of place toward the end?
I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions! Leave them in the comment section below, and Subscribe to our Newsletter for more weekly House of the Dragon reviews.
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