House of the Dragon Episode 7 Reivew
House of the Dragon had no right to go as hard as it just did with its seventh episode. Yet it did, and thank goodness it did so, because this show’s bringing us all the drama and heartache of Game of Thrones at its height. As the Targaryen’s and Velaryons reunite at Driftmark for Laena’s funeral, everyone does something that could spell doom for all, especially Aemond. The Dragons start to bring talons out and readying their fire. Worse, Alicent and Rhaenyra both do things that, in my opinion, cross the line.
Or, maybe it was just Alicent, given how the episode ends.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
Daemon+Rhaenyra. A Match Made in Fire
Following Laena Velaryon’s decision to commit death by dragonfire, House Velaryon and House Targaryen convenes at Driftmark for the funeral. For some, the grief of losing a loved one should unite everyone together. However, not even Laena’s death can stop the dragons from fighting each other.
Firstly, the funeral brings Daemon and Rhaenyra together for the first time in years. They’ve both lost the other parent to their children in a short span of time, both to fire. And, much to the joy of their shippers, the spark between them hasn’t been lost after all these years. Thus, despite Rhaenyra being wed to Laenor, they do what they couldn’t in the brothel in King’s Landing years ago.
That’s strike one, but that’s nothing compared to the big highlight of the episode, and it all starts with dragons.
Aemond Goes Full Gangster
As established last episode, Aemond’s the only one of his siblings that doesn’t have a dragon yet. Thus, Aegon and the others mock him endlessly for it. Not helping the fact is that all the adults in his life keep saying he’ll get a dragon but don’t follow through. In this episode, Aemond decides he’s tired of waiting and taking matters into his own hands. So, he bonds himself to the biggest dragon alive, Vhagar.
As much as I refuse to become emotionally attached to the cast this time around, I have to admit, this whole scene with Aemond and Vhagar was multiple levels of badass. The Heavy Spoilers channel pointed out how Aemond’s actions and decisiveness contrast with how foolish and unsuitable his Aegon would be as King. Aegon got his dragon because he was entitled to it. Like Daenerys and Jon Snow do centuries later, though, Aemond earned his power. Seeing the boy ride atop Vhagar so easily, I almost thought that Aemond should be King were Rhaenyra not in line. Respect, Aemond.
Too bad his actions lead to the rift between the dragons growing further.
The Dragons Bare Their Fangs
The kids all wake up to discover what Aemond did, and Laena’s daughters are furious that Aemond took Vhagar from them, even though he rightly points out they should’ve claimed her first. Then, tensions boil oil when Aemond calls Luke and Jace bastards. A fight breaks out, and, in the process, Luke blinds Aemond’s left eye.
All hell breaks loose from this point. Both sides start throwing insults and accusations at each other. Alicent tries to cut out Jace’s eye in front of everyone, crossing a huge moral line. And all the while, Viserys tries so hard to avoid the obvious truth. Rhaenyra’s children are considered bastards. His family is at each other’s throats. The dragons will tear each other apart, and he’s too kind to stop them.
Viserys is, by no means, a fool. He’s a good man who wants the best for his family and Westeros. He, like his grandfather, sees the folly of fighting over the Iron Throne. However, that wisdom seems lost on everyone. They’re already drawing battle lines. Anyone smart would bail now while they still have the chance.
Laenor Wins Happy Ending…For Now
Someone ends up doing just that: Laenor Velaryon.
Rhaenyra knows that her husband’s a liability. He’s failed to keep up appearances, spending his time with other men than his own family. In all fairness, it’s not for lack of trying. He tried to have a child with Rhaenyra, but he just couldn’t. His grief over losing his first love is too great. Thus, Rhaenyra does what she sees as necessary: she and Daemon take Laenor out of the game.
At first, I thought that Rhaenyra and Daemon had Laenor murdered. That was what happened in the books, after all. His boyfriend, Ser Qarl, killed him in a jealous rage. However, it wasn’t until later that I realized what really happened.
Laenor did what few people in the Game of Thrones can do: he left the game with his life intact. While I can’t approve of him faking his death and leaving his parents to think he’s dead, I also understand why he did it. He wasn’t fit for the game and he and Rhaenyra knew it. So he did what Rhaenyra and Ser Criston should’ve done years ago: he walked away from it. Smartest move anyone’s done on the show. As for Rhaenyra and Daemon, they tie the knot.
Three episodes remain in the first season, but I don’t know how they will top this. “Driftmark” was easily the best episode of the series thus far, and I cannot wait to see what happens as we get closer to the war we all know is coming. The dragons are drawing battle lines, and before the dust settles, people will start dropping like flies—what a waste of life.