Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by OtakuKart Staff
House Of The Dragon Episode 7 saw the start of The Grees vs The Black which will now lead to the Dance of the Dragon which well are waiting for. If you don’t know what Dance of the Dragon is, I’ll quickly give you the gist. So basically when Viserys dies (most probably in House of the Dragon Episode 8) Alicent’s side (The Greens) and Rhaenyra (The Blacks) will fight for the Throne with their Dragons.
Back to what happened in this episode. It begins with the funeral of one Velaryon and ends with the death of the other Velaryon (not really, just for the people). And this episode walks around Laena Velaryon’s funeral. All the main characters are present here and also have a bit of an awkward interaction.
Vhagar, Laena’s Dragon, has been claimed by someone and someone is going to lose an eye. Cousins will fight among themselves which will start the divide between the family.
House Of The Dragon Episode 7 Recap
House Of The Dragon Episode 7 picks up in the wake of episode 6, there’s no time jump this time. So everything is raw, Laena’s death, Harwin and Lionel Strong’s deaths, the growing frictions between Alicent and Rhaenyra. And so wonderfully we now have the equivalent of a bottle episode. For almost the entire episode everyone is stuck in the same place, The island of Driftmark. Everyone being together like this will not happen again during the show, the divisions will be too great.
It’s Laena’s funeral and being Velaryon rather than Targaryen, this is a sea-based ceremony. The stone coffin drops to the bottom of the Sea and her uncle intone words to the Merlin King. The Merlin King is the god of the narrow sea whom the Velaryons claim they struck a deal with centuries earlier.
The Velaryons are proud of their heritage, but it’s certainly a bit jarring for Laena, daughter of a Targaryen, the rider of Vhagar who chose death by fire to be buried this way. The Targaryens and Velaryons now are effectively one house.
After the ceremony, everyone is milling awkwardly around that veranda area and, to be honest, the first half hour of the episode is a whole series of wonderfully awkward interactions. Each is worthy of note on its own and the theme of whether to Conform to Duty or be true to oneself comes up repeatedly.
Rhaenys And Laenor Mourns
We should probably give a nod first to Rhaenys, though, who is pretty much the only person to both grieve properly herself and seemingly care enough to care for others in their grief. The Queen Who Never Was, would clearly have been a caring Queen. She shows a lot of emotional maturity overall here, including talking to her husband, Corlys about his ambitions. She has accepted that she won’t be Queen and Yet Corlys is still driven by ambition for his family, and the pursuit of a legacy.
You get the feeling that Corlys may go on a journey with this, so keep an eye on it for the next couple of seasons. Laenor is also pretty affected, wading into the sea and crying over his dead sister. Corlys is clearly embarrassed by this and gets Carl Corey, Laena’s new lover, to bring him back, we’ll come back to lane or in a bit because this is a big episode for him.
One of the undercurrents here is the fact that, although everyone here is morning Laena, some are also secretly mourning Harwin, Rhaenyra’s lover and father of Jace and Lucerys. Jace at least understands that that was his real father who died in that fire. Rhaenyra makes sure he does his duty, though, and offers his condolences to Laena’s children, this is a hard situation for everyone.
Viserys Calls Alicent As Aemma
Viserys tries to mend some fences with Daemon, but Daemon is clearly still hurting. Their relationship has been so much stronger on the show than in the book, so perhaps they will get a final chance to reconcile, I hope so.
But probably the most important moment with Viserys happens after that, although it is ignored by almost everyone present, as he passes by Alicent, his second wife, he says I’m going to bed now Aemma. Aemma is, of course, the name of his first wife at the risk of overinterpreting this, it recalls what we are told happened with Jaehaerys, Viserys’ father. And Alicent, who was then his helper, Jaehaerys repeatedly confused Alicent with someone else, Sarah, his estranged daughter, I wonder whether Viserys will echo this in a more significant way before he dies.
Helaena, Alicent and Viserys’ daughter, meanwhile, is still muttering prophecy and no one is paying any attention. Remember last time when she said that Aemond would get a dragon, but he would need to close one eye? That’s what happened this episode and now she is saying “hand turns loom, spool of green spool of black, dragons of flesh weaving dragons of thread” and then snapping her hands shut on the spider she had been playing with, the greens and the blacks at war. I hope we get more of this Helaena as a dragon dreamer that no one listens to, is a great addition to the canon.
Rhaenyra And Daemon Come Closer
But let’s move on to the two massive plot developments in this episode. First Rhaenyra and Daemon. Rhaenyra moves through the wake apparently alone in all this. Her lover is dead and she can’t even warn him publicly, her husband is doing his own thing, Otto Hightower is back, Alicent still clearly hates her, but Daemon is here. She hasn’t seen him for that whole 10 years of the time jump and there’s a lot to catch up on.
There has always been that slightly weird connection between these two and they have a long overdue Heart to Heart, walking down the beach. In the official Inside the episode video, Emma D’Arcy, who plays Rhaenyra, talks about Rhaenyra’s sense of abandonment. Her mother died, her lover Harwin died, her friendship with Alicent was long gone and Daemon in her eyes had abandoned her at a young age.
He responds by saying that he spared her because she was just a child at the time. But this is a bit wrong because even after he left her there, he still tried to get Viserys to agree to their marriage afterward. So Daemon isn’t being entirely honest, but she says she is no longer a child and she wants him now. The union is thus a tribute to both their undeniable connection and political reality. I talked about how Rhaenyra must have felt very alone during that week. Now she has an ally and a powerful one.
I don’t think this was just called real politique from Rhaenyra, but it was certainly a part of it. The only problem, of course, is that she is still married and Laenor has suddenly got all serious about her, his sister’s death has made him reassess things and he wants to go back to what they agreed all that time ago. He will be the dutiful husband in public, all she ever wanted him to be. He even wishes he were different and that he wasn’t gay.
The Solution That Favours Everyone
To Rhaenyra’s credit, she is having none of it. There’s a solution here that will give everyone what they actually want, the lies can stop. She doesn’t have to pretend to be in a happy marriage, he doesn’t have to pretend to be straight: they fake Laenor’s death and he escapes to Essos with his lover, Carl and a pouch full of gold and Rhaenyra is free to marry Daemon.
This is different from what is hinted at in the book. In book canon, I will admit that I still suspected Daemon a lot. His wife, Rhaenyra’s lover, and husband all die in quick succession and there is no mysterious burned body hiding the evidence, the person who benefits is Daemon. But here everyone wins and it’s hard not to feel happy about that, although Laenor being alive does definitely open up another set of questions because in the books his dragon is later claimed by someone else.
So will that be the first, and only time we read about that, a dragon rider has abandoned their dragon and the dragon has taken a new rider? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next season. In both versions of events, Rhaenyra and Daemon getting together is scandalously quick on the heels of their spouse’s deaths.
Their marriage ceremony back on Dragonstone is Valerian, they are blood bonded as their children look on. One of the many great things about this season is how we have seen so much more of Valyrian culture, and here we have two of the most “Valyrian-Valyrians” coming together in an unbreakable alliance.
And as an aside here after episode 3, there was some speculation, in online Game of Thrones communities that Daemon might have caught grayscale from the crab feeder when he fought him. We saw a lot of Daemon’s body in this episode, albeit in the dark.
Aemond Claims Vhagar
Moving to the other main plot development, we have Aemond claiming Vhagar the dragon. If you remember, he’s the only one in his immediate family to still not have a dragon and he’s been bullied for it and now there’s a dragon here without a rider, he takes the chance.
This is the first time we’ve seen anyone claim a dragon like this and bond with it. But this isn’t just any dragon, his is Vhagar, the oldest, biggest, fiercest Dragon alive. One of the things George RR Martin was clear about that he wanted to happen in this show was for the dragons to be different to each other, not just in terms of size and color, but also personality and Vhagar is one of a kind.
Many of the Dragons we will see in this show are young and inexperienced, Vhagar is not. Vhagar is a game changer, whoever rides Vhagar is instantly one of the most powerful and to be feared people in all of Westeros and now amond has Vhagar. But was he breaking some kind of rule by claiming her. Baela, her sister, Jace, and Luke certainly seem to think so. They say it was stealing and that Vhagar was theirs to claim.
Vhagar had been Laena’s dragon and this was Laena’s funeral, so at the very least, this was dispassionate and a slap in the face. Well, it’s hard to see Aemond as being in the right here, but he took the opportunity and it’s clear that that introverted, slightly awkward kid bullied by his brother is gone. He now rides Vhagar and he is to be feared. He clearly thinks that losing an eye is a fair trade.
The confrontation that follows the fight between the cousins is the heartbeat of the episode because it is when the simmering tensions that have been there throughout the series turn into outright threats of violence. And the family, who had with varying degrees of success, tried to bury enmities and come together to honor the recently departed just fell apart again.
Alicent’s love for her children is clearly her Kryptonite. She spent years staying just to the right side of polite necessity, but now her son has had his eye cut out and there is no stopping her, she will get her vengeance. We should probably add into the mix here Rhaenyra stirring the pot a bit, newly invigorated by her night with Daemon and the strength of the alliance that that brings.
Viserys’s strengths and weaknesses are also on full show here. He is loyal to Rhaenyra and pushes his grandchildren to be truthful about what happened and why. Remember how he pushed Otto and Lyonel Strong to be clear about what exactly they were accusing Rhaenyra of, it’s clearly something that is important to him.
But even with the truth out there, everyone knows now that Rhaenyra’s children aren’t Laenor’s, he doesn’t budge, he just wants peace. Yes, this is his natural character, he is the conflict avoider, and extraordinaire, but there is the added level of him believing that the future of the entire human race depends on his keeping the Targaryen family united.
No Real Punishment
Viserys opts to keep the status quo “anyone who dares to suggest that Rhaenyra’s children are bastards, will lose their tongue”. So there are no real punishments here, Aemond has Vhagar but loses an eye, Rhaenyra loses her husband and her lover and gains Daemon, and Alicent on the boat home, chooses not to use Larys to get her revenge, his time will come.
Seriously Larys is emerging as the most disconcerting character in the show. I think we all know what would have happened if Alicent had given him the nudge to go ahead and get her revenge. As a quick aside, I said last time that Larys’ new sigil was a bee, it turns out that it is actually a firefly. I think the imagery, however, is still the same. Fireflies are pollinators too, but they are more associated with fire, like house Hightower, who light the way.
So where are we in the wake of this? The two teams of green and black are now formed. Alicent has the weight of the Westerosi establishment on her side, her father is Hand of the King, Aemond has just won the mightiest Dragon of them all. She has the ear of the king and the King’s firstborn son. But Rhaenyra is still the named Heir, Daemon has joined her side as well as the Velaryons. They have more dragons and a burning sense of Injustice behind them. Who has the upper hand at this point? Well, to be honest, neither of them and that’s what’s driving the action forward.