Full spoilers forward for House of the Dragon, Season A.

The first season of House of the Dragon has come to an finish and with it so too has the life of one of its most harmless characters, Prince Lucerys “Luke” Velaryon. The remaining shot of the episode is a close-up of now Queen Rhaenyra’s devastated however decided face upon studying the information of her younger son’s dying. She is framed by flames behind her, a promise of the hearth and blood to return in House of the Dragon Season B. The Targaryen civil battle often known as The Dance of the Dragons is on.

For most of the episode, Rhaenyra is urging warning whereas the males in the room, together with her uncle-husband Daemon Targaryen, are clamoring for battle. Daemon says the Blacks’ 13 dragons to the Greens’ 4 offers them a bonus they can not squander. He desires to finish this battle earlier than it will probably even start by hanging quick and onerous towards the traitors who usurped the Iron Throne. He insists that as a monarch, it’s Rhaenyra’s obligation to crush rebellions. Daemon is imploring Rhaenyra to not be the dithering weakling he believes her father was.

Rhaenyra bristles at this discuss of deploying what is actually the nuclear possibility proper out of the gate. “When dragons flew to war everything burned. I do not wish to rule over a kingdom of ash and bone,” she declares. Alas, any political resolution is squashed when Aemond Targaryen’s dragon, Vhagar, kills Luke and his dragon, Arrax, over Shipbreaker Bay. (This tragedy is foreshadowed right here when Daemon recollects that “dragons can kill dragons and have.”)

As with a lot of this primary season, the finale has swaths that keep largely true to the supply materials, George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, whilst the collection creates new moments and provides dimension and nuance to characters that the guide did not. However, there may be one main change to the sequence depicting Luke’s dying that not solely reframes Aemond’s intent but additionally highlights how mercurial the relationship between dragons and their human riders might be.

As dragons are poised to take middle stage in future seasons and can function the final weapons on this battle, who wins this battle not solely comes right down to the quantity of dragons all sides has however whether or not they may even management these savage beasts as soon as unleashed in battle.

House of the Dragon Season A.Ending Explained

Upon studying that her half-sibling Aegon II usurped the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra and her Black Council weigh their choices. They want allies and three of the nice homes who as soon as swore fealty to her are actually query marks. The queen, as she factors out, should know who her allies are earlier than she will ship them off to battle. Rather than dispatch ravens, her eldest son and inheritor, Prince Jacaerys, efficiently argues that he and his brother Luke ought to experience their dragons to these lands as each a present of energy and since dragons are sooner than ravens. Time is of the essence, in spite of everything.

Rhaenyra the queen approves of this mission whilst Rhaenyra the mom is clearly anxious about her sons’ security. This is the second when her boys are requested to turn out to be males. However, she makes them swear upon the Seven-Pointed Star to serve solely as messengers not warriors. Luke remains to be an not sure child who lacks confidence so she duties him with what’s deemed the shorter, safer flight to Storm’s End.

Luke flies Arrax to Storm’s End to ship his mom’s message to Lord Borros Baratheon, who, in contrast to what his mom stated, is neither blissful to welcome him nor respectful of his station. Indeed, Borros berates each Luke and his mom’s message. But that’s not the worst of it. As the baddest of luck would have it, Queen Alicent’s second son, Aemond, can also be at Storm’s End looking for to forge an alliance by marriage to at least one of Borros’ daughters.

It should be remembered that Luke — who’s youthful than Aemond — took Aemond’s eye out in a struggle years earlier than. Aemond – who removes his eyepatch to disclose he now sports activities a sapphire the place his left eye as soon as was – desires payback. He tosses his dagger in direction of Luke and tells him to chop out his personal eye in order that he might current it to his mom Alicent. Luke refuses. When it seems like a duel is about to interrupt out, Borros calls for that Luke return house as he can have no bloodshed below his roof.

What follows is the first dragon battle in the Dance of the Dragons, though guide readers will observe main variations between how Fire and Blood portrays the moments main as much as Lucerys Velaryon’s dying and alterations made by the present in how complicit Aemond Targaryen supposed to be in it …

How the House of the Dragon Finale Is Different From the Book

In the novel Fire and Blood, Borros’ response to Luke’s overture is debatable, with various responses supplied. Not so on this episode, which definitively depicts Borros’ response. Also in the guide, Aemond has his manhood questioned by his newly betrothed, Borros’ daughter Lady Maris, and that’s what eggs him on to pursue and kill Luke. That doesn’t occur in House of the Dragon, as none of the Baratheon daughters utter a single phrase all through this pivotal sequence.

Luke heads again outdoors the place there may be now a full-on tempest raging over Storm’s End. Arrax is visibly anxious as Luke approaches. He pleads together with his steed in Valyrian: “Focus! Pay attention, Arrax! Be calm! Listen! Obey! Fly, Arrax!” This is the first signal that Luke doesn’t have full management over his dragon.

Once they ascend into the storm clouds, fantasy turns to horror as the big type of Vhagar is discerned lurking in the clouds above Luke and Arrax. Aemond and Vhagar swoop down on them, giving chase as Luke desperately tries to outrun the greater and deadlier dragon.

But in a notable change from Fire and Blood, we see that Aemond isn’t out to kill Luke regardless of him screaming, “You owe a debt, boy!” He’s attempting to scare the hell out of the child. However, it quickly turns into tragically clear that neither Aemond nor Luke are in management of their respective dragons.

“No, Arrax! Serve me,” Luke pleads however the beast, rattled by the pursuit, breathes hearth on Vhagar. This solely serves to enrage the greater, badder dragon. Luke and Arrax escape the storm and make it to clear skies however that tranquil second is short-lived.

Vhagar swoops into body and devours Luke and Arrax in mid-air. Aemond, nonetheless, pleads together with his steed to not do it: “No, Vhagar, no! Serve me, Vhagar! No!” But the older, fiercer dragon defies its grasp and slays its smaller rival and its younger rider.

Aemond is shaken by this as he sees what’s left of Arrax fall by the clouds into Shipbreaker Bay. He is now Aemond the Kinslayer, although not by alternative because it was in the guide. But who will imagine that he misplaced management of his dragon given his status and the confrontation in entrance of Borros Baratheon? We’ll have to attend to see how that performs out subsequent season.

In the meantime, showrunner Ryan Condal disputes that Aemond’s actions right here had been the consequence of an accident. M(aybe a savvy lawyer might knock Aemond’s prices down from homicide to manslaughter?) Per Condal’s chat with Variety:


“Dreams Didn’t Make Us Kings. Dragons Did.”

King Viserys warned Rhaenyra proper earlier than he named her his inheritor in the collection premiere, “The idea that we control the dragons is an illusion. They are power men should never have trifled with. One that brought Valyria its doom. If we don’t mind our own histories it will do the same to us. A Targaryen must understand this to be king – or queen.“ We see Viserys’ warning from the season opener that dragon control is an illusion pays off in the season finale with the death of Lucerys.

“I think you should always assume that dragons have minds of their own. They’re living, breathing creatures that have a level of sentience to them,” showrunner Ryan Condal defined in a post-release interview to Deadline. “That’s one of the cautionary tales that we’re setting up, the stance of the dragons. When you go to war with a bunch of nuclear weapons that have their own sentient thoughts and feelings to a degree, unexpected things can happen.”

Dragons have been used at a number of factors this season as exhibits of pressure, from Rhaenys’ assault on Aegon’s coronation to, on this episode, Rhaenyra swooping down to fulfill Otto Hightower’s entourage or Daemon utilizing his steed Caraxes to make sure that two knights renew their oaths of allegiance to Rhaenyra.

Targaryens might imagine they’ve energy as a result of of their bond with dragons however, as this season finale tragically exhibits, the Targaryens have solely barely tamed these lethal creatures. Dragons are usually not essentially senseless beasts however they’re nature in its most brutal type and are the most harmful pressure in the world of Game of Thrones earlier than the arrival of the White Walkers.

The youth and relative inexperience of Aemond and Luke is definitely a think about the ensuing tragedy. As now we have seen, elders like Rhaenys can management her steed Meleys throughout the penultimate episode’s controversial Dragonpit assault. Likewise, we see later in the finale how in sync Daemon is with the dragon Vermithor, however even then there’s a way of hazard. Daemon is aware of the Blacks will want each dragon attainable on their aspect so he dares the threat.

Daemon enters the dragon’s lair singing a soothing Valyrian tune. He strikes gingerly, nearly deferentially, in the shadows as he lays down his torch. That’s when Vermithor lights up the big room with a blaze of hearth. Daemon retains singing. It’s like he’s serenading it. Vermithor big face lingers proper earlier than Daemon’s, every mirrored in the different’s eye. (It echoes what younger Rhaenyra stated in the collection premiere when Viserys asks her what she sees when she seems at a dragon and she or he replies, “I suppose I see us.”)

While it might not be clear to most viewers, Vermithor has been a riderless dragon for a really very long time when Daemon enters its lair on Dragonstone. That he should tread so fastidiously round such is a beast is a information maybe misplaced on youthful riders similar to Luke and Aemond.

The mirror photos of Daemon and Vermithor painting the Rogue Prince as nearly a dragon himself. This is obvious in the surprising scene the place he chokes Rhaenyra. Like a dragon, Daemon could also be bonded to her and function her protector and weapon, however he can even flip and threaten right away. Once once more, Daemon reveals the impulsive violence he’s succesful of (a Targaryen trait, to make certain). Rhaenyra doesn’t say “serve me, Daemon!” however, like each Luke and Aemond attempting to reassert mastery over their dragons, the queen sees how rapidly and simply Daemon can snap if he feels provoked. Perhaps like a dragon, the concept that she will management Daemon is an phantasm.

Daemon is clearly attempting to say his dominance all through the finale, after which at the conclusion of this specific scene, we study his brother Viserys by no means shared Aegon the Conqueror’s prophecy with him, a secret information meant to be shared with Targaryen heirs. Daemon could also be attempting to behave like a king however the brother whose approval he sought by no means really thought of him as his inheritor since he by no means advised him of Aegon’s dream. After all, Viserys advised Rhaenyra when he named her his inheritor that “Daemon was not made to wear the crown.”

Rhaenyra’s reticence towards civil battle is as a result of, as her father instructed her, she is aware of {that a} united Westeros with a Targaryen ruler is the solely approach humanity can survive come the arrival of the White Walkers. The information of Aegon’s Song of Ice and Fire, as Viserys scolds her in Episode D. “is larger than you and your desires.”

But now together with her son Luke useless and Aegon II on the Iron Throne, Queen Rhaenyra might come to imagine that, like her ancestor Aegon the Conqueror, the solely technique to hold the realm united isn’t by diplomacy however with hearth and blood. She might must lastly unleash her personal inside dragon.

In his post-release interview with Variety, showrunner Ryan Condal aimed to strike a extra delicate stability:

“You see her weighing her decisions — weighing her responsibility that she took with the Song of Ice and Fire, the thing she promised her father, that she would hold the realm united and at peace as he tried to do. But at the same time, her birthright has been stolen. Those things are diametrically opposed to one another. ‘How do I serve both? I can’t. It’s paradox. What do I do?’ She’s just not going to rush headlong into anything. You’re seeing what Viserys probably saw in her, that she’s capable of nuanced thought and the ability to think through problems.”

What did you assume of the House of the Dragon Season A.finale?

Source: (IGN.com)