‘House of the Dragon’: Tempers Run High & [SPOILER] Loses an Eye (RECAP)
Season 1 • Episode 7
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 7, “Driftmark.”]
There’s always a bit of drama at funerals, especially in Westeros. And in “Driftmark,” Laena Velaryon’s (Nanna Blondell) committal to the deep brings out daggers, slashes out eyeballs, drives Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) into the arms of a new lover and gives Team Alicent a formidable new dragon. Here’s how it happens.
Laena’s funeral is a quiet, somber affair; it’s at the post-funeral gathering that the drama begins. Daemon (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra reunite, and they go for a private walk on the beach… that quickly turns into more than just a walk. After telling him that she and Laenor (John MacMillian) tried to do their duty but found “no pleasure in it” — and reminding him she’s no longer “a child,” holy moly, SUPER awkward — she leans in and kisses him, telling him she wants him. After a moment of hesitation, he kisses her back, and they have sex. It doesn’t seem he has any issues performing there, and obviously, he was OK with Laena. They had two daughters, after all! It’s unclear what the storyline earlier in the season about his potential impotence was building to, although it was odd the show hinted at it and then dropped it.
Across Driftmark, Aemond (Leo Ashton) makes a move with massive implications as he chooses to take his life into his hands in an attempt to claim Vhagar. The late Laena’s dragon seems at first perplexed by the random, nervous child approaching her, but she does eventually allow him to not only exist in her presence but also to take to the skies with her.
After a rather awkward first flight — Aemond nearly falls out of the saddle! — he returns to Driftmark to find Laena’s daughters and Jace (Leo Hart) quite upset with him. They say Vhagar wasn’t his to claim, but he snidely says since no one else had, he did. Things escalate, and an intense fight breaks out. Words hurt worse than blows as Aemond calls Jace and his brother bastards, which leads Jace to pull out a dagger. Without thinking it through, he swipes at Aemond… and takes out his eye.
No one in the court is pleased about this, least of all Alicent (Olivia Cooke). After the fight, everyone meets to discuss what happened; Viserys (Paddy Considine) forces Aemond to say where he heard that vile rumor about Rhaenyra’s children, and he confesses he heard it from Aegon (Ty Tennant). (In true rebellious teenage fashion, Aegon had been drunk for almost the entire episode and was nowhere in sight when the fight broke out.) Viserys makes it clear that Aegon is never to speak such falsehoods again, and that anyone repeating the rumor will have their tongue cut out. Then he calls the meeting adjourned. That’s not good enough for Alicent.
In retribution for what Jace did, she wants one of Rhaenyra’s sons to lose an eye. Clearly, Rhaenyra protests that, and Viserys refuses to honor Alicent’s form of justice. Taking matters into her own hands, Alicent swipes Viserys’ dagger and charges at Rhaenyra’s sons, only for her to step forward and intercept Alicent before she can reach them. After a bit of back and forth, Alicent pulls the dagger down and slashes Rhaenyra’s arm.
After that, Laenor — who had been just as absent as Aegon for most of the episode — sits with Rhaenyra and promises to be a true husband to her. An honorable quest, if a damned one. Rhaenyra has since decided she doesn’t want Laenor as her husband: she wants Daemon, and she tells her uncle as much. With them married, their claim to the throne would be strengthened, and no enemies would dare question their power. But for them to marry, Laenor has to die.
Daemon goes to Laenor’s lover, Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan), and offers him a full bag of gold to kill Laenor. Qarl then confronts Laenor in the castle and engages him in a duel, which he appears (appears) to lose. The action cuts away, and then someone’s pulling a body out of a fire that was wearing Laenor’s clothes. Believing it to be her son, Rhaenys (Eve Best) weeps.
After what can’t have been more than a day or two since the deaths of their respective spouses, Daemon and Rhaenyra wed on a cliff overlooking the sea. But, surprise! On the beaches, Laenor, having shaved his head, flees with Qarl in a boat. We’ll have to wait and see what complications his survival causes for the new united Daemon and Rhaenyra front…
House of the Dragon, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO