‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending, Explained – Why Did Rhaenyra Leave For Dragonstone?

“House of the Dragon” has released its 6th episode, “The Princess and the Queen.” The events of this episode take place 10 years after Episode 5 ended. Rhaenyra and Alicent have grown to womanhood, and their relationship has become tainted with their political aspirations. Daemon has failed in almost every attempt he made to establish himself permanently in Old Valyria. We also witnessed Ser Criston Cole feeling betrayed as Rhaenyra decides to marry Corlys Velaryon’s son, Laenor Velaryon, who was infact a homosexual. But Rhaenyra and Laenor had agreed to keep indulging in their illegitimate affairs, even after marriage, which gave a sense of freedom to the two, who had started feeling claustrophobic because they were not given any choice. 


Spoilers Ahead

‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending

The episode starts with Rhaenyra giving birth to her third son, Joffrey Targaryen. Laenor has named their son without even consulting with Rhaenyra. We see multiple changes in the intro section, too, as Daemon, Rhaenyra, and Alicent now have new bloodlines. Alicent has become the queen and now controls almost everything in the kingdom. She has asked for the newly born baby to be presented before her. Rhaenyra, with her labor pains, presented herself in front of the queen. Although Alicent showed compassion towards her, she mocked Laenor as none of the children of Rhaenyra looked like him. Later, we find that the real father of Rhaenyra’s children is Ser Harwin Strong, who has now become the Commander of the City Watch. We see the young princes Aegon II, Aemond, and Jacaerys while they are being trained to control their dragons. Only Aemond has no dragon of his own, so the other brothers mock him whenever they get the chance. Aegon II was the firstborn son of Viserys, so Alicent knew that if Rhaenyra came to power, she would go to any extent to remove him from her path. So, Alicent tried to make Aegon II understand what he must do in order to sit on the Iron Throne in future. She also told him that he must not mock Aemond as he was his own blood.


We also see a fight taking place between Ser Criston Cole and Harwin Strong. Harwin Strong felt Criston Cole was being more biased towards Alicent’s sons while he was ignoring Rhaenyra’s sons completely. Criston Cole asked Aegon II to confront Jacaerys Targaryen. Age-wise and physically as well, Aegon II was far more superior to Jacaerys. Harwin saw his sons being mistreated, and Ser Criston Cole mocked him when he objected. Harwin Strong lost his temper and started smashing Criston’s face in front of the King himself. This made the hand of the King, Lyonel Strong, feel ashamed, and hence he wanted to resign from his post. Viserys rejected his request.

Harwin Strong was removed as the Commander position of the City Watch. Lyonel requested that Viserys allow him to accompany his son on his journey to Harrenhal. Lyonel Strong was the Lord of Harrenhal and wanted Harwin to be placed as the new Lord after him. Soon, we see the other son of Lyonel, Larys Strong, pay a visit to Alicent. Alicent told him that Lyonel wished to travel with Harwin to Harrenhal. She also hoped that if her father, Otto Hightower, had been the hand of the King, her voice would have been heard. Larys freed some of the prisoners and cut off their tongues. They were all sentenced to death, but Larys freed them in return for something. He wanted them to set the castle of Harrenhal on fire. They did as ask. Harwin and Lyonel Strong died in the fire. Later, we see Rhaenyra asking Laenor if it is time for them to set their feet on Dragonstone.


On the other hand, Daemon had become a completely different man. He now spent the majority of his time in the library studying and teaching the Valyrian language to his daughters, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen. He is married to Laena Velaryon, the younger daughter of Corlys Velaryon. We see the whole family visiting Pentos and being offered to remain there as guests for as long as they wanted. While Laena tried to defy the request, Daemon seemed to accept the generous offer. When Laena confronted Daemon, he said that he wanted an easy life. However, Laena told him she wanted her children to be born and brought up in Driftmark. Daemon did not respond to the request. Laena was carrying another child, and when it was time for her to give birth, the child wouldn’t come out of the womb. It was a boy, and the Maester said to Daemon that the mother could not survive if the boy died. Laena heard that and went in front of her dragon, Vhagar. She asked Vhagar to burn her alive. Vhagar, at first, resisted, but seeing her in tremendous pain, the dragon helped her ease the pain with its flame. Daemon came to stop her, but couldn’t. The two daughters were now left with their father, Daemon Targaryen. 

Why Did Larys Strong Kill His Brother And Father? Why Did Rhaenyra Leave For Dragonstone?

The political agendas are growing darker than ever in Episode 6. We see Viserys spending the last days of his life. His left hand is almost cut off because of all the wounds from sitting on the Iron Throne, and his time as King is also drawing to its end. Alicent now takes most of the decisions. However, she somewhat respects the bond between her and the King. She is irritated, yet she breathes out the anger. Being the daughter of Hightower and the wife of a Targaryen king, balance is definitely Alicent’s strongest ally. However, she becomes vulnerable in front of Larys Strong. Larys is a very cunning little man and the master of whispers. The kingdom’s walls feed him with whatever he requires to steer up a vicious plan. He knows his father cannot be faithful to the King after Harwin hits Criston Cole in front of the lordship. Because, for one thing, everyone in the kingdom knows about the relationship between Harwin and Rhaenyra. The other thing is, if Harwin is at fault, people will know that it might influence his father’s decision. Being a king’s hand, Lyonel cannot be partial. He and Larys both know that if Viserys is forced to admit the truth about Harwin and Rhaenyra, their house will lose all respect. But Larys knows this is the perfect chance to be a favorite of the queen herself. He wants to be an ally to Alicent so that he can be valued. Being a clubfoot, no one ever entertained him with much respect. He perhaps aspires to be the King’s hand someday. For this, he must remove the other two members of the Strong family. If Harwin is removed, Rhaenyra’s chances of making Jacaerys the ruler fade away. Also, if Lyonel is murdered, his chances of becoming the King’s Hands grow, as Alicent will definitely recommend his name to the King. If anything, Viserys would die sooner or later, and Larys’s chances of becoming the hand would only grow stronger than ever.


Rhaenyra, on the other hand, knew she couldn’t survive the King’s landing without Harwin. Almost everyone was against her, except for Viserys. She knew that Viserys would die soon. She even offered a marriage proposal between Alicent’s daughter, Halaena, and her son, Jacaerys, which Alicent respectfully ignored. Rhaenyra understood that if she did not do something, there would not be enough options left for her to rule the seven kingdoms someday. So, the only possible ally she can have at Dragonstone, is her uncle, Daemon Targaryen. If Rhaenyra seeks help from Daemon, they will have at least four viciously grown dragons to help them with the war, if ever it comes to that. Because, like Daemon, Laenor, Laena, and Rhaenyra, everyone has their own dragon. Since Laena is dead and Rhaena failed to hatch her dragon, there is a possibility that she will ride Vhagar. Just as Viserys did after his father, Baelon, died. So, anyway, the point is, Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Laenor together are an enormous opponent for Alicent Hightower. She doesn’t have much choice left. It is only a matter of time before we see a great plot twist that may shake the confidence that is yet to be achieved in the Dragonstone.

See more: ‘House of the Dragon’ Recap And Ending, Explained: Will Rhaenyra Drink The Moon Tea?

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Latest articles