‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Dangers Lie Ahead For Rhaenyra Targaryen?

HBO’s latest adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “Fire and Blood” is titled “House of The Dragon.” The events took place 172 years before Daenerys Targaryen was born. The story began in Westeros when King Jaehaerys Targaryen was getting old and was looking for a new successor. He knew that if he failed to decide on a king before his death, the whole kingdom might fall as there would be fights. He knew the only thing that could bring the great realm down was an internal fight. So, 14 succession claims were made throughout the dynasty, and only two were considered: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (wife of Lord Corlys Velaryon), and her cousin Prince Viserys Targaryen. Viserys was chosen as the new King of the Iron Throne since the Targaryen dynasty was a male-dominating kingdom, and no woman was deemed to be worthy of sitting on the iron throne. 


Spoilers Ahead

Recap From The First Episode: Whom Did Viserys Want To Be His Successor?

The story jumped to the ninth year of Viserys Targaryen’s rule, and there was a lack of order around the kingdom. Viserys’ wife Aemma’s firstborn was a girl child named Rhaenyra Targaryen. Aemma had trouble giving birth ever since, so the King was left with no male successor to his kingdom. However, he had a brother named Daemon Targaryen, who was the commander of the City Watch. The King knew he could be his successor if Aemma failed again in childbirth. But, the hand of the King, Otto Hightower, knew if Daemon was to be the King, it would be disastrous for the Iron Throne, as Daemon was a ruthless man, someone  who couldn’t be controlled. Daemon sought the Throne for a long time, but Otto and his council prevented this from happening. Lord Corlys Velaryon supported Daemon because he could never accept Viserys as his King from the very beginning. So, it was important for Viserys to have a boy.


Aemma had already told Viserys that this was the last time she would give birth because she was tired of seeing her children die again and again. On the day of the Great Sport, Aemma went into labor, and Viserys was told by the grand maester that she was in a complex condition. When the King met with the doctor, he informed him that the King needed to make a decision. He said they could still save the boy, but it would involve many risks, resulting in the death of the Queen. Viserys was unlike the vicious kings we have seen in the “Game of Thrones.” He was far more compassionate towards his close ones, although he failed as a ruler and was easily manipulated. He was in dire need of a son, so he decided to continue the surgery. Aemma died on her bed, giving birth to a son. Viserys named him Baelon, but the boy died in a day. Viserys was distraught. The hand of the King knew Viserys was going to name Daemon the new heir of the Iron Throne.

On the other hand, Princess Rhaenyra was hurt by being neglected by her father as an heir to the Throne. She knew that the high council and everyone would deny her claims to the Throne, but her father’s lack of respect hurt her the most. She was a very educated and bright young woman with a tremendous grip on a dragon named Syrax. She was qualified for the Throne except that she was a woman. In 100 years of history, no woman had ever ruled the Iron Throne, as the lords and council had always put tradition over anything else. Unlike what Viserys thought of him, Daemon Targaryen always sought to be the ruler of the seven kingdoms. He even mocked the King’s dead son, heard by three people close to Otto Hightower. Daemon had a good relationship with his niece, Rhaenyra. He even gifted her a necklace made of Valyrian steel. Daemon was self-centered and not an easy opponent to defeat. Even in the great sport, when Ser Criston Cole defeated Daemon, he would not accept that.


Now, Otto had gathered all the evidence against Daemon and told Viserys that his beloved brother celebrated the death of his son; he even mocked him. The King was furious and summoned Daemon for confrontation. When asked why his actions were taken, Daemon told him that he was always neglected and was pushed away from the council. Viserys told him to return to Runestone at once. Soon after, Princess Rhaenyra was announced as the successor of King Viserys. She became the first woman in the history of Westeros to be made the heir.

‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – What Did Viserys Warn Rhaenyra About Before Making Her The Ruler Of The Seven Kingdoms?

Daemon was nice to his niece, but when she was named the ruler of the Iron Throne, it was obvious that they would not be on the same page anymore. Rhaenyra, too, had great affection for her uncle, but when she found out about the mockery he made of her dead brother, she felt rage against him. So, Viserys had already decided to break the tradition and make Rhaenyra the Queen. Before handing over the dynasty to her, Viserys ensured that her daughter knew about all the upcoming threats. So, he told him about Aegon I Targaryen, the first ruler of the Targaryen dynasty. Viserys said to her that Aegon saw a dream of a horrifying winter that would bring the end of humanity. He did not know about its origin, but he only knew that when the winter came, the whole of Westeros should stand together to fight against it, and there had to be a Targaryen king or Queen to lead them. Aegon named this dream “The Song of Ice and Fire.” It was a tradition to pass the information from one King to another. There are many political aspects to be turned on in the upcoming episodes of “House of The Dragon.” When Rhaenyra became King, the House of Baratheon cast a skeptical eye on her. There were high chances that Ser Criston Cole would come to help Queen Rhaenyra. It would be pretty impeccable to see something grow between King Viserys and Otto Hightower’s daughter, Alicent Hightower.


We get to see a scene soon after the demise of Aemma and her son; Otto Hightower would do anything to grab the opportunity to manipulate the King to make Rhaenyra his successor. He asked his daughter to go and comfort the King, who was in grief. He even suggested she wear some of her mother’s clothes. This could give us a hint of another thing. Since Otto Hightower was a cunning man himself, he knew that in moments like this, even kings fall for compassion. Viserys was a man who could be manipulated easily.  There was a chance that they could get intimate with each other, resulting in the birth of a child who could be the King of the seven kingdoms. Alicent always regarded Viserys as a father figure, but she knew that she had no choice in the matter. Otto Hightower seemed relieved when Daemon was finally asked to leave King’s Landing.

What to Expect From ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 2?

A colossal crisis would occur since Daemon was not happy leaving Kings landing. The political battle is expected chiefly from the next episode as some people were unhappy about a woman being placed as the ruler. Traditions are hard to forget; to some, tradition is what keeps them afloat in this godforsaken world. So, it is expected that Viserys will die soon, and Rhaenyra will face a lot of trouble from Otto Hightower. But, we have seen the future of what happens when a Targaryen queen says “Dracarys.” The “Dracarys” we see in the first episode of “House of The Dragon” was merely the beginning of the boxed chaos that awaits ahead.


“House of The Dragon” Episode 2, titled “The Rogue Prince,” would seemingly talk more about Daemon Targaryen, who was denied the Throne. We also have Lord Corlys Velaryon, who favored Daemon. Also, his wife was once denied the Throne when she could have been the first woman to sit on it. So, there are high chances that Corlys would try and benefit from this situation. This is a huge transition period for the whole of Westeros. Rhaenyra will find it hard to rule over the seven kingdoms because, as we have seen earlier, when a new ruler comes, other kingdoms tend to show a rebellious nature and try to be free. Daemon might also devise a plan to regain what was stolen from him; the Iron Throne.

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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