Each week, Tarek @tarek_wm will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon.
It’s been six years since the last episode and a lot has happened. Lord Corlys is near death after his ship was ambushed by pirates while fighting the Triarchy. His throat was slit, he was still alive but his wound could become infected and he could die at any moment. With Corlys out of the picture, Driftmark has its succession issues at play. Corlys was adamant that he wants his grandson Lucerys to succeed him, but he can’t back the claim. Corlys’ brother Vaemond believes his claim to the throne is the strongest since Lucerys isn’t a Valeryon. This calls into question Rhanerya’s kids’ legitimacy yet again. For the time being Rhaenys is running the day-to-day for House Valeryon.
Vaemond does have a point, if Lucerys takes the throne, the Valeryon bloodline will end with Corlys. He raises these concerns to Rhaenys, knowing that if she backs Vaemond, the crown will recognize him as heir. Rhanerya and Daemon find out what’s happening and everyone descends upon Kings Landing to get it sorted out.
Viserys is also near death, the infection that was set up in episode one is rearing its ugly head. It’s left his body broken down and bedridden. The Hightowers are running the day-to-day in Kings Landing for the time being. Alicent is doing well with handling politics but her sons are driving her crazy. Aegon has become a rapist as Alicent learns he’s raped a servant. Alicent talks to her in a comforting tone at first but tells her she shouldn’t speak up because no one will believe her. She gives her the classic abortion tea and sends her on her way.
The juxtaposition between Alicent and Rhanerya’s kids is stark. Jacaerys could be heir one day and studying the language every day. Rhanerya tells him he can relax and not study so often. From there Daemon accompanies her to see Viserys. They introduce their two grandchildren to him, naming one of them Viserys which makes him emotional.
Rhanerya meets with Rhaenys the night before the decision regarding The High Tide. Rhanerya knows Vaemond has Rhaeny’s ear. She makes her an offer, if she backs Jacaerys as heir she’ll wed her sons to the queen’s granddaughters.
Rhanerya is on the verge of a breakdown as she visits her father again. She asks him if he truly believes in the “Song of Ice and Fire” but he can’t muster an answer. Rhanerya begins to sob as the burden of being heir is weighing on her more now than ever.
It’s decision time as Otto sits on the Iron Throne to hear the arguments. Before anyone can get a word out the door opens and Viserys struggles up the steps to sit where he belongs, on the throne. He can hardly make it as his crown falls from his head, he turns and Daemon is there to help him the rest of the way, it was a touching moment. Viserys listen to the arguments and want to hear what Rhaenys has to say. Rhaneys backs Lucerys claim, which Viserys approved of. This sets Vaemond off. He calls Rhanerya a whore and her kids bastards. This leaves Daemon incensed and he walks right up to Vaemond and beheads him. Viserys is in pain after witnessing this and is taken back to his room.
After that debacle, everyone gets together for a dinner in the hall. It doesn’t break down to complete chaos for once. Aegon and Aemond entice Jace and Luke into a brawl which is pretty tame for Game of Thrones. Viserys was wearing a mask that covered half of his face and he unmasked and exposed the gnarly hole underneath it.
Later that night Viserys is in bed and as he takes his last breath affirms what Rhanerya wanted to hear. He tells her that she is the one to unite the realm. “It is you. You are the one. You must do this.” He lifts his hand and says “my love” to Alicent and as a tear runs down his face he’s gone.