HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon, has been to be a proven hit with the media giant even bringing in nine million viewers for the Season 1 finale on the night it premiered. Production for Season 2 will be underway early next year, with George R. R. Martin himself saying the series needs four seasons to tell the story right.
Even though the finale was leaked two days ahead of the premiere, fans were still clamoring for the episode and want more. With no Season 2 premiere date announced, though, they’re going to have to wait. But thankfully, the cast and crew of the series have broken down the Season 1 finale and what lies ahead for the show’s characters.
Warning: Spoilers ahead, so turn back now if you haven’t seen the finale yet.
With the finale came a huge, devasting blow to the self-crowned Queen Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and her family as her son Luke was accidentally killed by his cousin Aemond’s dragon that went berserk and took out Luke and his dragon in one colossal bite. She had also been dealing with the news of her father’s death and suffered a miscarriage as well, all in the same episode.
“This is really the theme that [showrunner] Miguel [Sapochnik] wanted was, was war,” episode director Greg Yaitanes said during the finale’s Inside The Episode. “[Rhaenyra] is at war with herself, with her own body. There’s a lot of emotional complexity in terms of this war that is starting without her and it’s tearing her apart…literally.”
In that moment as she has to cremate her unborn child, her father’s crown arrives and it is set upon her head, turning an incredibly low moment for the character to an absolute high.
D’Arcy talked about that first meeting with the now queen and her Black Council as her husband Daemon (Matt Smith) announces her and what it meant to them.
“I had a really nice chat actually with Greg Yaitanes, the director of [Episode 10] about the surreality of that first encounter of stepping into the shoes of a leader, of this ruling queen,” they said. “To what extent is one able to wear that crown, and believe in one’s new role, and take charge of a group of men who are now looking to you for leadership.”
The house is split, though as Rhaenyra looking for peace and holding the kingdom together, while Daemon is out for blood and looking for war. Showrunner and writer Ryan J. Condal explains there’s a lot of story just in marriage and what this episode is really about to him.
“This episode is largely about Matt and Emma and their performances and bringing Rhaenyra and Daemon to life,” Condal explains. “The crux of this argument here is the different way in which Daemon sees the world from other people in his family. Rhaenyra is very much her father’s daughter. She has a bit of a punk rock of Daemon but the way she approaches her duty as sovereign I think is much more in line with Viserys.”
All 10 episodes of House of the Dragon Season 1 are available to stream on HBO Max now.
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