‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1 Episode 7 Summary – Daemon and Rhaenyra’s Reaction
Dragon’s House the seventh episode opens with Daemon Targaryen doing the best Daemon he can: tit for tat — hey, I say giggle—At the funeral of his late wife. Sure, Daemon is a complicated character; believing that he found real pleasure in the death of Laena Velaryon, his companion of the past 10 years, would be the misunderstanding of his lack of discipline. Rather, Daemon is very sensitive, even when grieving. In House Velaryon’s eulogy to Laena, he noticed a few not-so-subtle stabs at Rhaenyra’s non-Velaryon sons. His eyes slid over Jace and Luke’s brown cuts, then over the scornful gazes of the funeral guests, and he couldn’t help but smile at the open secrets that swirled around him. There’s a reason why the king’s younger brother never had an interest in politics, even if he never fully satisfied his thirst for power.
After Laena’s coffin was dropped into the sea around Driftmark, Daemon and Rhaenyra exchanged a few touching glances — oh, boy, do we know what’s coming — while Viserys demanded Daemon and his daughters return to King’s Landing, where he will want nothing. Daemon argues that he wants nothing as it is, Brotherand anyway he needs some time to accuse Otto Hightower – back in town as Hand of the King, after Lionel Strong’s death in the previous episode – of lewd behavior.
Meanwhile, the Velaryons were crumbling under the weight of the pain. Laenor, Rhaenyra’s husband and Laena’s twin, stood waist-deep in the surging sea, his jaw slack and cheeks sunken. Rhaenys and Corlys settle the knots of grief with an old-fashioned marriage: Rhaenys blames Daemon for dragging Laena to Pentos, but she also blames her husband for “insatiable pride”. Corlys, surprised to hear his ordinary wife’s steadfast criticism of him, argues that his pursuit of power is only to restore the crown to the worthy head of Rhaenys. She rolled her eyes, retorting, “It wasn’t justice for your wife that motivated you; It is your own ambition. ” Corlys, turning over the script of Larys Strong’s children-a-weak speech from episode 6, leaned forward and whispered, “What is this short mortal life, if isn’t the pursuit of legacy?”
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Rhaenys tried another tactic: Attracting Corlys’ thirst for glory. She wants the Driftmark, the ancestral home of House Velaryon, to pass through Laena’s line to Baela, Daemon, and Laena’s daughter. Such a move would be unorthodox in Westeros, where first-born sons tend to inherit power and property. To close the deal, Rhaenys spoke the silence aloud. “Rhaenyra’s children are not of his blood,” she said. “But it’s Laena’s.”
Finally, we break free from this dreary debate for a long-awaited reunion — and it’s a merger! Tonight, the Daemon goddesses will dance in the streets, and I’m definitely one of them. But if you’re cheering for this little dose of incest, know this: To borrow a line from the top of Tumblr… you’re going down with this train.
On the shores of Driftmark, Daemon and Rhaenyra take a romantic moonlight walk, during which their niece tells him about the futility of her sexual abuses with her husband. (Obviously a strange topic of conversation in Westeros.) Rhaenyra admitted that she and Laenor had been trying to conceive, but “there was no fun in it. I found that elsewhere.” Daemon, which has filled Red Keep’s hottest rumors, gives her such a loaded look that I have to pause the episode and walk away, laughing hysterically. Matt Smith put forth, “I understand Ser Harwin has been quite…devoted for you,” will be an Emmy-winning clip for him next year.
The couple moved on to several other topics of conversation, striking up a conversation after years apart. Does Daemon think Alicent is responsible for Harwin’s death? Test. Does he love Laena? Sure enough to be satisfied. Test. Rhaenyra says she is sorry for his loss but is a little closer. Is she no longer a child? Test.
The sex scene that follows is steamy but not gratuitous — a welcome departure for a Game of Thrones Franchising. Rhaenyra and Daemon’s attempt was a joy, but also a moment of relief. They feel most free when they are together. And both seem to feel this is always inevitable; The action itself can also be the fulfillment of prophecy. That would make sense, given how the Targaryens think about their own product line and legacy. Of course, an uncle and a niece falling in love would be God’s wish.
But while they are busy with it, their family is fracturing around them. In one of the show’s best scenes of the season, Aemond conquers the chip on his shoulder and claims Vhagar as his mount, soaring into the sky behind the last surviving witness of Aegon’s Conquest. Their relationship is spectacular to watch, but it’s also a betrayal: Aemond claims Vhagar denied Baela her late mother’s right to the dragon.
Jace and Luke run to protect Daemon’s daughters, but Aemond and Aegon use the opportunity to stay away from their parents’ prying eyes to declare the Velaryon sons to be assholes. (That’s considered treason, by the way.) The resulting controversy broke his nose and cut through his eyes, but perhaps no one suffered more personal injuries than Alicent, Aemond, and Aegon’s mother, who used Code. by Hammurabi: an eye for an eye.
When Viserys refused to punish his nephew in such a way, the enraged Alicent stole the king’s Valyrian steel sword — the sword with the words “Prince Promised”, remember? —And attack Jace and Luke. Rhaenyra threw herself in front of her sons, finally giving Alicent the chance to face her old best friend with a few choice words: While she, the Queen, sacrificed everything for the sake of duty, Rhaenyra spat in its face. Rhaenyra shows off sons that are clearly not her husband’s. She (according to Alicent’s estimation, anyway) sleeps around. She is so convinced of her Targaryen-born sovereignty that she betrays the rules of “decency” with the mere breath of her breath. Alicent’s anger was partly due to a worried mother, but Olivia Cooke’s gasps made it clear the extent of Alicent’s reaction. really jealousy is born.
Finally, Alicent lost her temper and cut Rhaenyra’s wrist. (Don’t worry, your favorites are fine.) But the near-death experience gives the princess both clarity and trust. In the end, she sees rot in her own family, and so she seeks to fortify it with a combination of fire and blood – forgive me. She proposes that she and Daemon get married, which of course would require Laenor’s death.
And so the secrets are even more tangled. Together, Rhaenyra and Daemon perform Westeros’ best Houdini act, faking Laenor’s death with the help of his lover, Ser Qarl. After the second engaged Laenor in an impromptu duel in the great halls of the High Tide, they dumped a man’s body in the fireplace, obscuring any distinguishing features. (Did Driftmark just have random corpses available for frying, or…?) Rhaenys and Corlys barge into the foyer to discover what they thought was their only remaining child burned alive. But the real Laenor and Qarl escape into a rowing boat ashore, setting off on a voyage across the Narrow Sea, where they can live and love each other without interference or judgment.
Even as I took a few shaky breaths to recover from the intensity of this showdown, episode 7 kept moving forward. Days, perhaps even months, pass in a single scene as Daemon and Rhaenyra get married, their bleeding lips pressed together in a kinship kiss. Like most Targaryen love affairs, it’s almost right. But heed my warning from earlier, shipper Daemyra: Remember that George RR Martin is not romantic.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an editorial associate at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.