‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1, Season 7 Spoiler Recap/Review
This review contains spoilers for the new episode of House of the Dragon. Click here for last week’s review.
Loyalty and family are things that a lot of people hold dearly. The Targaryen and Velaryon families have these things near and dear. House of the Dragon is built on these two things. Which, for the sake of the show, creates drama. You’re loyal, or you’re liable to die. These families in Westeros are all about preserving tradition and what they think is right. There’s also a lot of hypocrisy which has been shown heavily throughout the season but is highlighted in this latest episode.
This House of the Dragon episode starts with a lovely funeral for Lady Leana Velaryon. We remember her essentially committing suicide by Vhagar in the last episode. As the episode continues, we see the different factions within the Targaryen/Velaryon family. There’s a lot of plotting to go on, and everybody sees it but doesn’t speak of it. Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) are still having a cold war. Rhaenys (Eve Best) wants her granddaughters to take over Driftmark, but Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) wants Laenor’s “sons” to take over. They know a decision will have to be made and how reckless Daemon is.
After the funeral, Rhaenyra complains to Daemon (Matt Smith) about her duties and how her relationship with Laenor has made things complicated. He enjoys the company of men, as does she, so they can’t be intimate with each other. One thing leads to another, and Rhaenyra and Daemon end up being intimate on the beach. While this is happening, Aemond (Leo Ashton) sees Vhagar on the beach and decides to claim him. He approaches the dragon, and as he’s about to get turned into dust, he pulls off, finally claiming a dragon. This leads to another knot in the creation of division within the family. As he returns to King’s Landing, he’s met by his cousins, who aren’t happy at all. A fight breaks out, and Aemond loses an eye.
Alicent wants there to be an eye for an eye, and she loses her mind. She tries to get Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) to take his eye out, but Daemon stops him. Then, she tries to take Jacaerys’ (Leo Hart) eye out but is stopped by Rhaenyra. Alicent then cuts Rhaenyra’s left arm open and shows her true colors to the people. Viserys (Paddy Considine) demands that Alicent end her rumors about Rheanyra as he wants his family whole. The princess confronts her husband, asking why he was arriving so late and helping her defend their sons. Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) goes to speak to his daughter and tells her she did the right thing but in the wrong manner.
Daemon and Rhaenyra are concocting a plan, and they see it through. Daemon hires a squire to kill Laenor so that he may marry Rhaenyra. She knows he will protect her, and Daemon sees it as a path to the throne. The Velaryons have lost both of their children and suspect something funny is afoot. Daemon and Rhaenyra go on to get married and move their family to Dragonstone. This is where the cold war is seemingly turning into an actual war. Also, Daemon is indeed not dead but has faked his death so that he can sail the seas.
Miguel Sapochnik has again shown us that he is at the helm of almost every good or great House of the Dragon or Game of Thrones episode. He continuously gets the best out of his cast and crew. This episode is no different. There’s a great sense of tension and nervousness throughout the episode. It makes you wary of things to come and gives you a reason to keep watching. Kevin Lau’s script is incredible. There are implications that we will ride with the rest of the season. A line has been drawn in the sand, and the Velarons and Targaryens are about to enter an insane war. The stakes were raised so much in this episode of House of the Dragon.
The cinematography continues to be a highlight of this show. Fabian Wagner gets some incredible shots of Aemond on Vhagar, while the sequence is a little goofy because Aemond can’t ride him correctly. It still looks beautiful. Lady Laena’s funeral is also beautifully shot. The editing is also something to praise yet again, and the score fits this episode perfectly. There isn’t much to complain about at all concerning this episode. It was very well put together and beyond exceptional.
On every level, this episode of House of the Dragon was clicking. It was just an excellent episode of television. Like a football team having a flawless game, it just continuously flowed. There’s a ton of foreshadowing in this episode as well. My favorite thing was Alicent using the Velaryon knife used to kill the Night King on Rhaenyra. Besides that, this was just chaotic and beautiful. The last two weeks have been some excellent and plot-thickening fun. House of the Dragon continues to be great television. – Rascal F, Kennedy
Rating – 10/10
House of the Dragon premiere on HBO and HBO Max on Sundays at 9 pm/8c.