House of the Dragon season 1 finale review: The war of dragons begins

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

It’s Team Green vs. Team Black, and the House of the Dragon season 1 finale saw Green win its first point. The war of dragons has begun.

Rhaenyra would always have her work cut out for her when it came to her father’s death. Westeros has already shown that they want a male on the Iron Throne. As soon as Viserys had his son, Aegon, it was clear what would happen. The country would plunge into war.

When Rhaenys comes to tell Rhaenyra of everything that has happened in King’s Landing, Rhaenyra goes into pre-term labor. Sadly, we start off the episode with the stillbirth of her and Daemon’s third child—we’ve not seen the other two yet, but there is a mention of her having five children so far, and she had three with Laenor Harwin Strong.

Rhaenyra doesn’t get time to recover. Otto comes to Dragonstone to demand she bend the knee. Rhaenyra refuses to allow bloodshed on the day, and she tells Otto she will consider his proposal. However, by this point, a few people have already declared for her. She does consider bending the knee, but Daemon talks some sense into her. Doing that would mean certain death for them and the children.

At one point, Rhaenyra mentions A Song of Ice and Fire, and it’s clear from Daemon’s face that he has no idea what she’s talking about. I love this, as it shows Viserys only trusted his daughter with this story. He knew nobody else was worthy, but does that mean Jon (or Daenerys) is from the Strong line and not Rhaenyra and Daemon’s line together?

Rhaenyra wants to know who is with her in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale

The Sea Snake is there—I thought he had died when they were trying to figure out who would rule Driftmark, but it turns out everyone was just preempting his death. He’s still going. Well, he initially doesn’t really want to, but he does declare for Rhaenyra. That’s not surprising considering his granddaughters are marrying Rhaenyra’s sons. He makes it clear that he now has the Stepstones, so he can prevent the shipping of supplies into King’s Landing. Rhaenys will oversee that on her dragon, Meleys.

Daemon also points out that they have more dragons. The Greens only have three—but they have the ones who have seen war and are much bigger. It’s not hard to miss Rhaena’s face when Daemon mentions dragons that have seen war have no riders. Will Rhaena take Vermithor? He is also known as the Bronze Fury and was King Jaehaerys’s dragon.

Rhaenyra doesn’t want a war of dragons. She knows this will lead to the whole of Westeros being destroyed, but she may not get a choice in this matter.

Rhaenyra decides she won’t declare war until she knows who is on her side. She thinks houses who declared for her before should stand by her, but we know all loyalties are fickle when it comes to Westeros.

Rather than sending ravens, Jacaerys suggests that they take the letters from his mother themselves. Dragons are faster than ravens, and that’s what they do.

This is where you can tell it’s going to end in heartbreak for Rhaenyra. Young Lucaerys heads to Storm’s End to talk to Lord Baratheon. His father declared for Rhaenyra in the past, but what about this lord who clearly can’t read? We also learn that Rhaenys has Baratheon blood, and she does. In Fire & Blood, Rhaenys’s mother is the daughter of Rogar Baratheon.

In fact, in the book, Rhaenys has dark hair and not the light hair of Targaryens. Had that been the case in the series, we could have had more doubt over who the father of Rhaenyra’s sons is.

Back to Storm’s End, though. It turns out Aegon has promised Aemond to one of the daughters, and that’s enough to get Lord Baratheon to side with the Greens.

While in the hall, Aemond wants Luc to lose an eye—you know, an eye for an eye, and all that. Baratheon prevents that from happening, but the war begins in the sky. Luc rides his dragon Arrax into the stormy weather. The young and small dragon struggles in the wind, so when Aemond on the large and powerful Vhagar turns up, it’s not surprising that Vhagar becomes a threat. Had the skies been clear, Arrax’s small size would have made him much faster, keeping Luc out of danger.

However, the two dragons clash in the air and Arrax shoots fire at Vhagar. This angers Vhagar and we see Aemond lose complete control over his dragon. Vhagar swoops in and tears Arrax to shreds, also killing Luc. It’s a huge change to the books, as Fire & Blood told us that Aemond wanted Luc dead. In this moment, we see that Aemond does have some guilt and sorrow for the loss of his nephew. This wasn’t the way he wanted that fight to turn out.

When word gets back to Rhaenyra that her son is dead, she is understandably angry. There is no way she will avoid this war of the dragons now. Team Green may have their first kill, but they are in some trouble now.

My only complaint is that we had all these time jumps to make it hard to feel much for the loss of Luc. Also, why have things only just gotten started? Can we have House of the Dragon Season 2 already?

Next. 25 Game of Thrones characters you need on your Small Council. dark

What did you think of the House of the Dragon Season 1 finale? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

House of the Dragon is available to stream on HBO and HBO Max.