effectively, lastly. The ruinous civil battle acknowledged as the Dance of the Dragons is right here finally, and if this episode is any indication, it is gonna be one bloody mosh pit. Lord Beesbury’s was technically the essential blood spilled inside the battle final week, however poor Luke represents its first entrance-line casualty. They did not simply kill this messenger, they chewed him all the methodology all by which up. (you understand the way you by no means see Cookie Monster actually consuming the cookie, he simply variety of reduces it to flying crumbs? variety of that, however with gobbets of flesh.)
i talked about final week that the characters on this current are drawn with methodology extra nuance and ambivalence than their comparatively sketchy and ruthless counterparts in hearth & Blood, the e-book from which residence of the Dragon is tailored. that is significantly true this week, as Rhaenyra argues for warning and restraint, and the current goes out of its method to decide that neither combatant inside the dragon-on-dragon air battle is absolutely accountable for his creature when the darkish deed will get accomplished.
I simply like the Rhaenyra stuff, as a end result of it is doing regular work to delineate her character and remind us of her childhood friendship with Alicent. i am much less loopy about turning dragons into willful, aggressive mutts you may’t take off-leash on the canine park (“Play good, Vhagar! He would not want to play with you, Vhagar. VHAGAR NO HUMP. NO HUMP VHAGAR.”)
is that this gonna be a full factor? That dragons possess rich and textured inside lives of ephemeral moods and nursed grudges? sure, it gives a layer, I suppose, as a end result of it reinforces their standing as wild, dangerous beasts, however as employed right here, it actually lets Aemond off the hook. what’s added by turning that horrible, irrevocable second into an “Oopsie, my dangerous” one, basically?
Open on: Dragonstone, residence of staff Black, the place we’ll spend most of this episode, simply as we spent final week in King’s touchdown with staff inexperienced.
Luke stands on the Painted desk, the large dragonglass map of Westeros. Which I gotta say seems methodology extra carved than painted, however no matter. It seems to be cool, allow them to name it what they want. And wait’ll you see it at night.
Luke is anxious that if Corlys Velaryon dies from his “blood fever,” then he’ll should inherit Driftmark, and he actually would not want it. he is no sailor; he will get seasick inside the bathtub.
He and the pregnant Rhaenyra share a nice scene collectively all by which she reassures him that she wasn’t ready when Viserys named her his inheritor. however she decided to “earn her inheritance,” a phrase so wildly oxymoronic that it virtually devours itself.
Rhaenys arrives from her purchased-out one-night-solely current in King’s touchdown, the place she killed. She bluntly informs Rhaenyra and Daemon that Viserys is ineffective, and that Aegon has been topped in entrance of 1000’s — effectively, 1000’s minus the couple hundred that she and her dragon Meleys took out, anyway.
Daemon decides that Viserys was murdered, which is an huge leap, and that Rhaenys could have burned staff inexperienced into traitorous ash however did not do it, which is simply not. Rhaenys says the battle that is coming “is simply not mine to start,” which is a cop-out reply that makes solely the variety of sense that is non-, however Eve biggest sells it.
Rhaenyra miscarries (amid photographs of roaring dragons, to underscore the bond that they share with Targaryens, or one factor?) and we’re as quickly as as quickly as extra reminded of the sorry state of Westerosi obstetrics.
in the meantime, Daemon marshalls Dragonstone’s defenses. He learns that Corlys Velaryon is feeling elevated, however nonetheless would not know which side he is on. He orders that their close by allies inside the Crownlands (be taught: the area of Westeros round King’s touchdown) be alerted: Lord Darklyn (of Duskendale), Lord Massey (of Stonedance) and Lord Bar Emmon (of Sharp level).
He then singles out two members of the White Cloaks — Ser Lorent and Ser Steffon — to get them to re-swear their fealty to Rhaenyra, beneath menace of dragon-fricassee.
on the kid’s funeral pyre, Ser Erryk Cargyll reveals up, having snuck away from King’s touchdown — and from staff inexperienced — carrying Viserys’s crown. (The one used at Aegon’s coronation was Aegon the Conqueror’s, you will recall.) As Daemon areas the crown on her head, the funeral attendees bow to her. completely different than Rhaenys, who merely shoots her a look of respect, as a end result of Rhaenys’s sheer, inviolate awesomeness proceeds apace. (It additionally reminds us that Rhaenys warned Rhaenyra methodology again in episode one which all the things that is now occurring would happen.) (See above in re: Rhaenys, sheer inviolate awesomeness of.)
desk the movement
again to the Painted desk Which is definitely Carved as a end result of No i am Sorry phrases imply issues, people. if you happen to thought this current beloved tchotchkes earlier than, hoo boy, they’re busting out your complete rattling Fisher-value playset of map collectible figurines. There’s Hightower gewgaws and Velaryon doohickeys and Targaryen whatsits after which it seems your complete desk lights up as quickly as they hit the fantasy LEDs (be taught: candles) beneath it.
Rhaenyra makes her entrance (as quickly as extra, all people bows, completely different than Rhaenys, who nods) and will get an replace on their state of affairs. Their army is small. extra homes from the Crownlands have declared for them — Lords Celtigar (of Claw Isle) and Staunton (of Rook’s relaxation), collectively with the three homes that Daemon despatched ravens to earlier.
They marvel about completely different, essential homes — Arryn of the Eyrie, Tully of Riverrun, Stark of Winterfell, and Baratheon of Storm’s finish. They fear about Corlys Velaryon, too.
As for his or her enemies they know: The Hightowers (duh) and the Lannisters — which is a draw again as a end result of the Lannisters are the essential residence of the Westerlands.
somebody’s like, why are we counting up our army males after we acquired dragons? Dragons eat army males! Dragons burn army males! Dragons smush army males proper into a thick paste between their dragontoes! You get the purpose!
Dragon Roll name!
Get out your scorecards, this will be on the remaining.
The Greens have three grownup dragons: Sunfyre (ridden by Aegon), Vhagar (ridden by Aemond) and Dreamfyre (ridden by Helaena).
The Blacks have Syrax (ridden by Rhaenyra), Caraxes (ridden by Daemon) and Meleys (riddeny by Rhaenys). Add to that the three dragons belonging to Rhaenyra and Laenor’s sons — Vermax (ridden by Jace), Arrax (ridden by Luke) and Tyraxes (ridden by youthful Joff). Then there’s Moondancer (ridden by Baela).
There’s additionally unclaimed dragons like Seasmoke (as quickly as ridden by Laenor) on Driftmark. Daemon mentions an further two at the second riderless dragons acknowledged as Vermithor and Silverwing on Dragonstone. Plus three wild dragons, additionally on Dragonstone, and twenty dragon eggs.
Daemon suggests gathering your complete dragon gang at Harrenhal, inside the center of the continent, after which sending them to embody King’s touchdown, however earlier than Rhaenyra can weigh in, Otto Hightower arrives to current King Aegon’s phrases.
They meet on the prolonged bridge, and Rhaenyra makes a dramatic entrance on Syraxback. The meeting is frosty, with Rhaenyra calling Otto a traitor and Otto insisting that since Aegon has all of the flamboyant stuff that kings have (crown! Sword! Butt on Iron Throne! and so forth.) he is reputable, and mentions that three essential homes — Stark, Tully and Baratheon — are at the second contemplating the king’s phrases.
This seems an odd factor for him to say, frankly. he is principally saying that the Greens have not locked them down but.
there is a tense second when Rhaenyra tosses Otto’s Hand pin over the bridge, however he then reveals her the web content she wilfully ripped from that e-book methodology again in episode one, which Alicent has held onto. Daemon’s having none of this and begins sword-rattling, however Rhaenyra’s sincely touched and having all of it; she orders him to face down. She tells Otto that he’ll have his reply tomorrow.
The dagger is a dragger
again on the…you understand what, let’s simply name it the Glowing desk, okay? as a end result of it glows. Rhaenyra is reluctant to observe Daemon’s massively damaging Dragon PlanTM, which, predictably sufficient, enrages him. Hell, he is Daemon. An underripe peach would enrage him.
She mentions Aegon the Conqueror’s prophecy — (right here we go) the tune of Ice and hearth — and is shocked to be taught that Viserys by no means informed Daemon about it. A snarling Daemon assaults Rhaenyra, and dismisses your complete factor as extra of his late brother’s obsession with omens.
Look, i am on report with discovering this full prophecy/dagger subplot clunky and pointless. it is solely there to current Rhaenyra an purpose motive to battle for the Iron Throne that the viewers can get behind — a motive past private ambition.
all of us know the prophecy is true, all of us know that is she’s proper. How methodology extra consideration-grabbing would all this be if we did not? If the current trusted us to make up our personal minds, as an alternate of pushing us so doggedly into Rhaenyra’s camp?
Corlys is recovering properly, thanks very a lot, and Rhaenys informs him that his brother Vaemond is ineffective, killed by Daemon for questioning Rhaenyra’s sons legitimacy. You’d assume this information would set off Corlys to direct his anger on the sociopathic head-lopping rage-monkey that is Daemon Targaryen, however no: He decries Vaemond’s “heedless ambition” as an alternate.
Heedless ambition, headless ambition. To-might-to, to-mah-to.
Corlys then says the one factor that should be mentioned, by any character on this current, ever: “You have been proper, Rhaenys.” start cranking out the t-shirts now. as a end result of, sure. always. In all issues.
Corlys proposes taking their soccer and going residence, and letting the Greens and the Blacks destroy every completely different. however Rhaenys factors out what we already know — that Rhaenyra is definitely pretty good at this full queen factor, counseling restraint and unity. She actually seems to have basically the solely pursuits of the realm at coronary heart.
and that is all it takes for him, as a end result of as quickly as extra: Rhaenys = proper. He is aware of it. He lives it.
He approaches the glowing desk, and sees that homes Arryn, Baratheon and Stark nonetheless have not declared for his or her side. however Corlys formally declares for Rhaenyra, and informs her that the Triarchy has been routed (he is mentioned that earlier than) and he now controls the Stepstones — and the slim Sea. this means they’re going to diminish off all sea commerce to King’s touchdown, and simply when all this pulse-pounding discuss of commerce route logistics threatens to current you brown-acid Phantom Menace flashbacks, Rhaenys gives to patrol the ocean by air collectively with her dragon. Aw.
however Rhaenyra needs to attend till she is aware of if the Arryns, Starks and Baratheons will side collectively with her. Jace means that he and Luke fly their dragons and ship her message to the three homes. Jace is to transfer North, to tackle the Arryns and Starks. however by no means thoughts that for now, as a end result of this season we will not be listening to how any of that went down.
No, we’re sticking with Luke, who’s flying south to Storm’s finish, seat of residence Baratheon.
however not earlier than Rhaenyra makes them swear that they will not work together in any stopping. She assures Luke that Borros Baratheon will greet him warmly, as a end result of simply one character on this current will get to be proper, and she or he ain’t her.
Three dragons take off from Dragonstone — Rhaenys to patrol the Gullet, the place the slim Sea meets Blackwater Bay, Jace to transfer North, and Luke to Storm’s finish. (Welcome to the stage: Jace’s dragon Arrax! The current’s ninth dragon!)
Daemon heads proper down to the caverns beneath Dragonstone, and comes throughout an infinite, outdated and by no means significantly easygoing dragon. it is possible Vermithor, the dragon as quickly as ridden by King Jaeherys, who preceded Viserys to the Iron Throne. however till we’re in a place to confirm this dragon’s identification, they might not be welcomed to the stage.
Curse you, pink Baron
Li’l Luke arrives at Storm’s finish, the place the climate is extra like Storm’s nonetheless Ramping Up. On the methodology all by which into the fortress, he sees the large bulk of Vhagar chilling close by.
He steps as a lot as a end result of the throne occupied by Lord Borros Baratheon, and sees that Aemond “Left Eye Lopez” Targaryen is already there, peering at Luke as if the kid was a small, cussed stain.
Lord Borros would not greet Luke warmly — he is variety an belligerent oaf, frankly, and he has to summon a maester to be taught Rhaenyra’s observe to him. Heh. he is offended by its tone, and factors out that Aegon supplied to marry Aemond to definitely one of Borros’ daughters. that is not one factor Luke can match, so the lord dismisses him. Rudely and crudely.
Aemond calls for that Luke decrease out definitely one of his eyes, in payment for the one he took from Aemond all these years in the past. Aemond reveals that he is toting a sapphire round inside the empty eye socket beneath his patch. it is an arresting look, you marvel why he bothers with the eye patch. a lot much less thrilling. actually hiding his gentle beneath a bushel there. Shine on, you loopy sapphire.
Borros calls for that the kids not battle beneath his roof, and we’re reminded of how a lot lip-service the lords of the Seven Kingdoms pay to the safety of their visitors. till they all of the sudden and bloodily do not. Borros may even be a boor, however he is no Walder Frey, and Luke makes it out of the fortress un-murdered.
He has a little bit of problem mounting Arrax inside the courtyard, although; the dragon seems agitated. There follows an prolonged sequence of Luke flying by a nasty thunderstorm, warily checking for any signal of Vhagar.
Who reveals up, in any case, with a cackling, taunting Aemond on her again. Luke is overmatched, however he does handle one smart maneuver, by steering Arrax by some chasms too slim for Vhagar to observe.
Then Arrax turns round, and, very a lot in the direction of Luke’s wants — breathes hearth into Vhagar’s face, then soars above the storm. An irritated Vhagar, of her personal accord, with Aemond screaming in dismay, follows them up and chomps Arrax and Luke in two.
Later (how a lot later?), on Dragonstone, Daemon approaches Rhaenyra and informs her of Luke’s dying. Which he is aware of about … how, precisely?
Anyway, by no means thoughts, the important factor is the subsequent bit, when Rhaenyra turns to stare down the barrel of the digicam. There are tears in her eyes.
Tears, and resolve.
And one factor probably a bit like hate.
The dragons are dancing; there’s blood on the dancefloor.
- If this season has felt a bit claustrophobic, with masses of it taking place contained in the pink hold, relaxation assured that the complete-scale civil battle that simply kicked off will take us to numerous thrilling new areas subsequent season. And proceed to burn them to bone and ash.
- i do not see how Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke are gonna get many probabilities to share scenes, going forward, which is a disgrace. however then, their characters did forgive every completely different a quantity of instances, over this essential season. however I gotta assume “Your son killed my son” is a Rubicon crossed, and crossed for good.
- Official Dragoncount: 9 named, and a tenth (I imply that is gotta be Vermithor, proper?) seen — and sung to? — by Daemon. i do not assume you may bond to a quantity of dragon at a time, so i am undecided what he was as a lot as, there.
- Luke did not seem terribly cozy using Arrax, so i will assume he was merely distracted when he landed at Storm’s finish and that is why he did not discover a dragon the scale of an plane provider as he was flying in.
- The current did not give us a quantity of Elliot Grihault as Luke earlier than tonight, so we’re basically again to the outdated “meet and kill the character in a single episode” subject. What we acquired from him tonight was good, however after we would spent extra time with him over the season, his dying would land on us tougher.
- They’re simply gonna hold going again to that tune of Ice and hearth prophecy effectively, aren’t they? I ought to simply resign myself to it, proper? regardless that it gives nothing?
- that is it for season one. inside the early going issues felt a bit disconnected, episode to episode, however as quickly as the momentum picked up round episode 7, we started hurtling in the direction of a cliff edge. See you all again right here in … what, a 12 months probably?
- i will be talking about this season with my editor Jay Vanasco as we converse, October 24, at 2:30 p.m. ET, on @TwitterSpaces. i am submitting this recap at 4:21 a.m. ET — So come and ask questions and stroll with me by the wreckage of my sleep cycle.