House of the Dragon preview: Episode 10, “The Black Queen”

House of the Dragon Episode 10
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

We have one more episode to go before the first season of House of the Dragon is well and truly wrapped up! Here’s where our main players stand heading into Episode 10, “The Black Queen”:

House of the Dragon episode 8
House of the Dragon episode 8 /

Alicent Hightower — Status: Surely one of these motivations will stick eventually

Alicent has been back and forth over the course of this first season. In the first couple episodes she and Rhaenyra were good friends, then Alicent married Rhaenyra’s dad and that drove a wedge between them but they made up, and then Rhaenyra lied to Alicent and Alicent dedicated herself to supplanting Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne, and then Alicent came at Rhaenyra with a knife, and then they made up again. Call her the Widow Whiplash.

Last we checked, Alicent is still feeling warmly towards Rhaenyra. She plans to sit her son Aegon on the throne, but not because she fears what Rhaenyra will do should she rule; she’s working purely on her misinterpretation of her husband the king’s final, bleary words.

Honestly, it’s been hard to get a handle on Alicent for pretty much the whole season. Who knows how she’ll be feeling for this last go-round?

House of the Dragon
Image: House of the Dragon/HBO /

Aegon Targaryen — Status: “Is it too late to give the crown to someone else?”

Her son Aegon, meanwhile, is simpler: he’s king, but he wishes he wasn’t. He knows he’s not suited for the role, but he’s the firstborn son of the last king and a lot of people around him are telling him he should rule, so fine, give him the sword and he’ll wave it around for the masses. Although any nascent enthusiasm he may have been feeling may have been snuffed out by his near-death experience with Rhaenys and Meleys.

His younger brother Aemond, meanwhile, thinks he would make a better king, although all we know for sure is that he’s a much more brutal, focused person. Frankly, none of these kids look like they’re going to be great stewards for the crown. Is Daeron Targaryen out there somewhere?

House of the Dragon
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /

Mysaria — Status: Fighting for the children, apparently

Mysaria is another character who’s been hard to get a bead on this season. She came back after sitting a few episodes out to reveal that she’s now a powerful information broker who is using her influence to try and get better treatment for the poor children of King’s Landing.

Honestly, we still don’t know a ton about her. All we know for sure is that her accent is bizarre and off-putting. House of the Dragon, we’ll be fine if you change it for season 2. No one will think less of you.

There was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in Episode 9 when Mysaria’s manse was set on fire. This was the work of Larys Strong, who did it to stem Mysaria’s influence from reaching further into the Red Keep. We didn’t see a body, though, which according to TV rules means she will live to spy another day.

House of the Dragon Episode 10 - Rhaenys
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

Rhaenys Targaryen — Status: Flying on a wing, a prayer, and a healthy dose of action movie logic

Rhaenys Targaryen crashed Aegon’s coronation in Episode 9 and then flew away without killing any of the people who were usurping the crown (although she did kill a bunch of peasants, which the show apparently just expects us to forget as we fawn over what a badass she is). It was a very strange scene.

Anyway, Rhaenys will surely fly to Dragonstone and tell Rhaenyra what has happened in King’s Landing. As for her husband Corlys, we still don’t know if the Lord of the Tides is alive or dead. Hopefully we find out in the finale.

House of the Dragon - Rhaenyra
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

Rhaenyra Targaryen — Status: Getting ready for her date with destiny

Rhaenyra and her immediate family sat out the entirety of Episode 9, but they’ll be back for the finale. Rhaenyra will have a choice to make: bend the knee to her half-brother and avoid war, or go full fire and blood and boot that whelp off the Iron Throne. Her father wanted her to keep the realm together, but can she really just assent when others plot to steal her birthright?

Expect a lot of soul-searching from Rhaenyra in the finale, and probably a few momentous decisions.

House of the Dragon Episode 7
House of the Dragon Episode 7 /

Daemon Targaryen — Status: Getting ready to get his wife ready for her date with destiny

Daemon has been close to power his whole life, first as the king’s brother and then as the wife to his heir. With Viserys dead, he might finally become king consort, and we doubt he’s going to let that opportunity slip through his fingers.

Daemon is also one of the most experienced warriors in the Seven Kingdoms, so he’ll be a great asset to Rhaenyra if she wants to wage war against her half-brother. We’re about to see Daemon unleashed.

House of the Dragon Episode 10
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

Jacaerys Velaryon — Status: “C’mon, mom, lemme at ’em!”

Rhaenyra’s earnest eldest son seems like a good egg. He respects his mother and his betrothed, he wants to learn the family traditions, and he’s eager to contribute to the war effort. In the trailer below, he encourages his mom to use himself and his younger brother Lucerys as messengers to win over the great lords of Westeros to her side. If there’s a way he can help, Jace is eager to do so. Expect him to be in the thick of things.

If you’ve read George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, you may know that Jace will soon be going on a journey to a place Game of Thrones fans will recognize. But most of that will probably be saved for season 2.

The Dragons — Status: Eating HBO’s special effects budget

We’ve met a lot of dragons over the first bunch of episodes, including Rhaenyra’s Syrax, Daemon’s Caraxes, and Rhaenys’ Meleys. Among the younger characters, Jace rides Vermax, Luke rides Arrax, Baela rides Moondancer, Aegon rides Sunfyre, Helaena rides Dreamfyre and Aemond rides Vhagar, the oldest and largest dragon in the world.

Judging by the trailer above, we’ll see a lot of these dragons in action in the season finale. We may even see the dragon Vermithor, last ridden by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and left riderless for decades. It’s the finale; when else are they gonna spend that dragon budget?

House of the Dragon trailer breakdown: Episode 10, “The Black Queen”. dark. Next

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