HBO’s House of the Dragon is pushing ever closer to fulfilling the words of House Targaryen: Fire and Blood. The series’ penultimate episode, The Green Council was the first time we saw treason and subterfuge at its peak on the show. The king is dead; and his queen, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) has misinterpreted his final words as wanting their son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), on the Iron Throne.
Episode 9 saw the imprisonment of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), dozens of servants, and the murder of Lord Beesbury (Bill Paterson) at the Small Council by the out-of-control Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel). The Greens – as the side of the Hightowers is known – have effectively installed the clearly unfit Aegon as king but his aunt, Rhaenys, disrupts his special day when her dragon bursts from beneath the ground and stares him down. The trailer for the final episode of this season shows as expected, that upon flying away from King’s Landing, Rhaenys goes to Dragonstone to warn Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) of the situation. “The Greens are coming for you, Rhaenyra,” Rhaenys says. “And for your children.”
The shock on Rhaenyra’s face could stem from the fact that the Targaryen family had just recently made amends. However, it would seem that the princess is considering avoiding bloodshed and bending the knee, something her husband, Daemon (Matt Smith) advises against. “You cannot bend the knee to the Hightowers,” the Rogue Prince says. “They stole your birthright.”
His counsel is simple: let’s go to war. Rhaenys on the other is seemingly distraught as she muses about the counsel Rhaenyra is being given. “Every man standing around the Painted Table urges her to plunge the realm into war,” she says. Rhaenys is evidently not interested in taking to violence as the first resort as seen during the coronation where she could have burnt the Hightowers if she chose to. However, the counsel from Rhaenyra’s war council calls for no restraint. “Lay siege to the Red Keep,” one lord says. Even her own son, Jacaerys Velaryon (Harry Collett) wants in on the action saying,” Send us.” Presumably implying that the Princess send him and his younger brother, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) on dragonback for the task at hand.
The trailer then shows one of the young princes running towards a dragon in the dark while it rains, and another flying in the sky presumably in the same downpour. Ser Erryk (Elliott Tittensor) of the Kingsguard, who had helped free Princess Rhaenys in King’s Landing, is seen holding a crown as he swears fealty to Rhaenyra. However, there is a cryptic message in the trailer when someone says, “Your cause holds a power that has not been seen since the days of Old Valyria.” Daemon is then seen singing in High Valyrian to a new dragon. The trailer wraps while dragons fly and breathe fire and Daemon Targaryen has a standoff with Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Swords are drawn, and war is coming.
The entire first season of House of the Dragon has been leading up to the moments which will play out in the season’s finale next week, as the Dance of the Dragons begins. Rhaenyra has long shown herself to be a kind but formidable force; as such, it would be interesting to see how that plays out in the throes of war. Additionally, with the number of dragons, and Daemon, by her side as she goes up against the might of King’s Landing, the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon is certain to be an exciting ride for viewers.
House of the Dragon airs its season finale on October 23. Watch the trailer below: