House Of The Dragon: 11 Burning Questions After Watching The Finale

The article contains major spoilers from House of the Dragon season 1 and George R. R. Martin’s books. The Targaryen Civil War has now begun! After episodes of time jumps and brewing tension between the Targaryen household, House of the Dragon’s final episodes illustrated the Dance of the Dragons’ onset, showing the Greens and Blacks preparing for war.

With Aegon II crowned the King and Rhaenyra contending for her birthright, neither side will take things lightly as they slowly devise their plans and fight for their claim to the Iron Throne. The finale already gave a glimpse of the dark times ahead, with questions about the Greens’ reaction to Lucerys’ death and Rhaenyra and Alicent’s tumultuous friendship. Nevertheless, fans already expect that season 2 will have more dragon action, further division, and bloodshed as the war reaches its early stages.

The finale, « The Black Queen, » focuses on Rhaenyra’s perspective with the sudden news of her father’s death and the Hightower’s usurping her ascension. And Rhaenyra endures the calamities of it, losing her unborn child while trying to remain cautious about her decisions to minimize the damage from this war. Hence, in a single day, Rhaenyra couldn’t catch a break in House of the Dragon.

Despite her restrained approach early in the episode, Lucerys’ death changes her heart as a grieving mother now seeking revenge for her cub. And without a second thought, she will declare war against the Greens and not bend the knee to Aegon. With Rhaenyra’s anguish, her first move would be crucial to send a message to the Greens, with some options including the instant trade block at the Narrow Sea and perhaps deadly measures with dragons.

The Greens have the upper hand of close allies, with powerful houses, like the Lannisters and Baratheons, backing them. While the Baratheons have made their position clear on who they will ally with, the finale never addressed if Jacaerys reached Winterfell and the Vale to determine who they would side with in this war.

If House of the Dragon follows the books, House Stark and House Arryn will likely side with the Blacks, with the Starks being known for honor, while Rhaenyra is half-Arryn through her mother’s side. Such an outcome would be huge for the Blacks since they are influential houses in the kingdom, although it is uncertain how much of an active role they will have in the war.

The only other person who wanted to diminish the war’s deadly impact was Alicent Hightower. As seen in « The Green Council, » she stopped her father from committing murderous acts upon Rhaenyra and her family and tried to take reasonable steps regarding Dragonstone.

Because the finale focused on the Blacks’ perspective with the incoming war, it did not show the Greens’ reaction to the Lucerys’ death. In particular, many viewers wonder how Alicent would react, as bloodshed was the last thing she wanted out of this strife. While viewers may not expect to see the reaction until season 2, it is clear that this event would be a huge blow to Alicent’s efforts for peaceful negotiation and that her children are now at risk from Rhaenyra’s wrath.

Now that Aegon is officially the new king, many questions loom about whether he can show any ruling qualities. Before « The Green Council, » King Aegon never demonstrated kingly traits since he used his royal privilege for self-pleasure rather than thinking about the greater good of the realm. He even acknowledged that he had no interest in becoming the king.

However, his reaction following his coronation noticeably changed his attitude about being the new ruler, feeling confident and acceptable in the position once he saw approval from the mass. Despite this newfound ambition, he might act as a puppet under Otto and Alicent since he had little preparation to become the king. Whereas Aemond has more qualifications as a sovereign, Aegon hasn’t proven his worth as the leader, especially since his stance in Westerosi politics is murky.

A character whose fate is still up in the air is the master of whispers, Mysaria. After giving up Aegon’s location in exchange to abolish child fighting pits at Flea Bottom, the penultimate episode concluded with her residence ablaze. This was likely under Larys’ command after Alicent gave him the green light to handle it so that her father lost the advantage of having these so-called spies.

Though White Worm wasn’t a big player as some people had hoped, she was strategic in House of the Dragon, and there is a good chance that she survived the fire. And considering what book fans know about her involvement in the Dance of the Dragon, she will likely have a significant role in sharing secrets if season 2 does unveil her survival.

Despite Daemon’s support for Rhaenyra as the Queen, « The Black Queen » conveyed the power struggle between the couple and the decision on how they would deal with the Greens. While Daemon wanted a full-fledged bloody conflict against the Hightowers, Queen Rhaenyra was prudent to keep the realm intact as possible without going into a bloodbath.

Their disagreements highlighted their differing philosophies of handling the Greens, with Rhaenyra’s idea reminiscing much of King Viserys’ pacifism. But as the finale ends with Rhaenyra’s sorrowful reaction to her son’s death, it may imply that she will no longer take the diplomatic way to deal with the Greens. Instead, the subsequent tragedies and Lucerys’ death may have gone in Daemon’s favor, with Rhaenyra seeking revenge and choosing violence against the Hightowers.

Although Daemon became a fan-favorite character for his ambitions and ruthless nature as a warrior, the finale featured a controversial moment in which he choked Rhaenyra for her easiness against the Greens, as well as the jealousy that Viserys never told him about the Song of Ice and Fire.

While this is the first time they had a rift as a married couple, it is unclear if this hinted about more marital troubles soon to come. However, the final scene with Daemon breaking the news about Lucerys’ death to Rhaenyra may suggest they will reconcile, and this moment was just a blunder. Nevertheless, this dispute is a matter to keep a close eye on in season 2.

One of the most important storylines leading up to the Dance of the Dragons was Rhaenyra and Alicent’s dwindling friendship. It became the main conflict throughout House of the Dragon, with Alicent finding Rhaenyra to be an unsuitable successor. Despite having reconciled in « The Lord of the Tides, » their truce would be short-lived once Alicent usurped Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne.

The most intriguing part of this storyline has shown the contrast between Rhaenyra and Alicent as protective mothers who would do anything to keep their children safe. And with Rhaenyra under the impression that Alicent betrayed her for no reason other than power, Rhaenyra will likely have problems with Alicent for causing this outcome. However, with Rhaenyra at Dragonstone and Alicent at King’s Landing, it could be a long while before these two former friends ever meet in battle – if ever!

Both sides know that dragons will be key to winning this war. The Blacks benefit from this with roughly 13 dragons against just the Greens’ four. Because most dragons at Dragonstone are without a rider, there have been allusions about Rhaena’s chances of potentially claiming one after missing her shot with Vhagar.

Rhaena’s arc in House of the Dragon is relatively minimal, although the rising war could suggest she may become prominent in season 2. While every bloodline Targaryen has claimed a dragon, she remains the only family member without a companion. Nevertheless, dragons will become more prominent as the war progresses, and things could change for Rhaena, where luck may turn out in her favor.

After Rhaenyra and Laenor failed to produce legitimate heirs and found it difficult to fulfill their duties, she and Daemon devised a plan to alleviate either partner from their marriage pact. And as a major change from the books, the final moments in « Driftmark » revealed that Laenor had faked his death and left Westeros to be with his lover, Ser Qarl Correy.

Considering that Laenor had an unusual happy conclusion in the Game of Thrones universe, some fans question if there is any chance of his reemergence with the war commencing. As one of the most likable characters in House of the Dragon, Laenor is loyal to Rhaenyra and has previously shared his ambitions as being a warrior than a king consort, but his reappearance could jeopardize his newfound freedom. Though he is absent in the books since his death was absolute, the prequel could still make this change with his comeback and perhaps let Rhaenys and Corlys know the truth.

Because season 1 was setting the stage for the Dance of the Dragons, two decades of content was congested into a single season using time jumps. Though it helped advance the story and detail the events that led to it, some viewers were off-put by it as it made it harder to sympathize with characters like Laena Velaryon and even left a few loopholes in the storytelling.

At this point in the game, it is unlikely that the HBO prequel will have any more time jumps after this season, as season 1 served its purpose of illustrating the events that triggered the Dance of the Dragons. With the finale ending with the « dance » officially declared, the subsequent season may follow the Game of Thrones style with gradual pacing in storytelling and following multiple points of view. While this means more battles, dragons, and scheming between the Greens and the Blacks, the wait for season 2 is likely a long haul, as the show may not come back on the air until 2024.

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