1. House of the Dragon episode 7: “Driftmark”
The feud between the Greens and the Blacks officially begins in the seventh episode of House of the Dragon, which sees Aemond lose an eye, an altercation between Alicent and Rhaenyra, a fake-out death, and a secret wedding. It’s one of the most eventful episodes of the season that constantly keeps you on your toes.
After Laena and Harwin’s deaths, Rhaenyra and Daemon come together again and let their feelings take control. They end up sleeping together and it becomes apparent they never want to be apart again. Meanwhile, Aemond claims Laena’s dragon Vhagar as his, which leads to a fight with Daemon’s daughters and Rhaenyra’s sons. Aemond, unfortunately, gets his eye cut out in the shuffle.
Rhaenyra realizes her claim to the Iron Throne is being seriously challenged now that Alicent’s proved she’s not on her side, and she needs to take action. She forms a plan with Laenor so he can run off with his lover Qarl, and she and Daemon can get married and strengthen the Targaryen line.
This show heavily focuses on character development, episode 7 included. Although Alicent loses it and snaps, it’s really easy to empathize with her at this moment. She’s deeply jealous of Rhaenyra for being able to do whatever she wants as a woman, while she’s been following orders her whole life. Now, her son’s lost an eye at the hands of Rhaenyra’s son, and she’s ready to take out all of her anger on her. She’s willing to risk it all because of the intense rage and envy she feels.
Olivia Cooke does a wonderful job bringing Alicent to life, who is such a complex character. As a fan of Rhaenyra, Alicent is an antagonist in my eyes. But I still can’t help but love her.
Daemon and Rhaenyra’s wedding at the end of the episode gives me such mixed feelings, which is definitely what the show is going for. On the one hand, it’s a complete power move for House Targaryen and I love them both as characters, but on the other, they’re doing something against Viserys’ wishes and are no doubt confusing their children… not to mention the fact that it’s incest.
Just like Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon challenges our beliefs and makes us rethink what’s right and what’s wrong. Episode 7 really captures that.
What episode of House of the Dragon season 1 is your favorite? The second season is currently in production.