Fire and Blood! The House Of The Dragon Season One Finale has arrived. As finales in Game of Thrones go, this one was no different. However, the ending still shocked many. Within ten weeks, the prequel series has established itself as a different kind of show, even more so with the second half of season one. House of The Dragon seems more interested in its characters rather than going for explosive battles in the first season. This is a good thing. Shows with character development and focus are doing rather well lately.
Titled “The Black Queen”, the episode is a counterpart to the previous episode, “The Green Council”. While we don’t see anyone from “The Blacks” in the previous episode, we do see “The Greens” in this episode. Hand of The King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifan), pays a visit to Dragonstone. This is the tipping point to all-out civil war in the seven kingdoms. The Dance of The Dragons has kicked off, and you know it will be explosive in true Thrones style.
Sadly, it will be some time before the show’s second season. Filming will start in early 2023, meaning season 2 won’t be till early 2024. Hopefully, there will be more explosive battles in the next season. Perhaps some major deaths? Wait, this is Thrones. Of course, there will be!
The Black Council
Some may view this as boring, but I liked this episode’s planning aspect. We’ve seen elements of this in Thrones before. However, the House Of The Dragon Season One Finale expands on it using the “Painted Table”. First introduced in Game of Thrones, Aegon I commissioned the table before he conquered Westeros. Seeing how the table actually worked was a nice little gimmick for the episode. Especially as under Stannis in Game of Thrones, it’s just part of his war room. The table almost communicates that the world of House of The Dragon is expanding.
The Black Council elements of this episode almost work as the opposite of last week. Previously we had Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) working to secure allies and ensure her son was crowned king. This week we’ve got The Black’s rallying support to ensure their claim to the Iron Throne is not lost with time. However, it’s all a case of who can get where first. Also, come to think of it, all this planning and preparation takes place only hours after Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) has miscarried a baby.
The Fall Of A Prince
The start of this episode almost sets up Lucerys Targaryen (Elliot Grihault) to die. We knew this was coming for those who have read the books. However, the episode starts with Luke questioning his destiny and telling the viewers he gets sick. For context, he’s supposed to be heir to Driftmark. House of The Dragon almost sets him up to get the axe too soon. Regardless the last moments of episode 10 were tense and exciting.
A dragon chase is something we’ve been looking forward to, especially when you take a rather young dragon, Aarax, and the old bigger beast of Vhagar. The diving between the rocks and soaring above the clouds kept the tension. Just when you think little Luke is safe, down comes Vhagar. This is the catalyst for The Dance of The Dragons. The episode’s ending shows us Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen is now ready to go to war. She was against it in the episode, but now everything is clear. She had to lose something she loved.
Aemon Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) almost appears as if he did not intend to kill Luke. It seems like it was more Vhagar’s doing than his own command. This might play back to what we know of House Targaryen. It’s been said here and there that the Targaryen don’t control the dragons. That is just a story they tell themselves. The Dragons are the real power here and not one to be tested. We even see this when Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) searches for more dragons under Dragonstone.
The Return Of The (Sea) King!
The Sea Snake’s (Steve Toussaint) return is something I’ve wanted for some time. His appearances enhance Game of Thrones. In essence, he’s from the same era as the late King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine). Therefore, his perspective on House of The Dragon events is good. It would seem that Rhaenys is annoyed at him, understandably. However, Lord Corlys Velaryon’s plans may prove vital to The Black’s conquest. He’s finally captured the Stepstones and secured them.
Corlys is rather chilled out, considering the events in his absence. Though it is clear from his brief conversation with his wife, he still holds Rhaenyra responsible for the death of his son. Not to mention he must not like Prince Daemon either. Daemon’s wife died, and then the man himself killed Corly’s brother. I wouldn’t want to be at one of these gatherings as family relations go. However, honour still exists with the Sea Snake. He pledges his allegiance to
The House Of The Dragon Season One Finale smashed it for me! You can’t beat the classic Game of Thrones tension towards the end of the episode. Even if you have read the books, or exported Wikipedia, the tension still grips you rather well. One scene that increased the tension was Daemon choking Rhaenyra. I did not see that coming, and it was an interesting way to remind us that Daemon is still a pain in the ass. Hopefully, he does not get too much of this power, but it’s still clear he does not like things not going his way.