Warning: contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 9 ‘The Green Council’.
Here be dragons! Expect the Game of Thrones prequel to live up to its name in its season one finale. The episode 10 trailer below is packed with Targaryen dragons – in flight, in battle, and in one case, being serenaded by torchlight.
Now that The Green Council has concluded, next episode ‘The Black Queen’ sees the action move from King’s Landing to Dragonstone. There, the fallout from Viserys’ death and Aegon’s rush-coronation reaches Rhaenyra and co. Her lords urge war, her husband/uncle tells her that she can’t bend the knee, and her sons beg to fight, but she alone bears the royal responsibility her father bequeathed to her.
‘The Black Queen’ is directed by Greg Yaitanes, who also called the shots on episodes two and three of this first season (a second was already confirmed back in August), ‘The Rogue Prince’ and ‘Second of His Name.’ The episode was written by showrunner Ryan J. Condal. Here’s the trailer:
“The Greens Are Coming For You, Rhaenyra”
The trailer opens on Rhaenys and Meleys in flight over the sea to Dragonstone from King’s Landing, where ‘The Queen Who Never Was’ has just made an unforgettable exit from the Sept of Baelor. Speaking to Rhaenyra and Daemon, Rhaenys conveys the heavy news and delivers a warning to her cousin once-removed and former son-in-law. The Hightowers are coming for Rhaenyra and her children. Prince Daemon picks up his Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, and tells his wife/niece “You cannot bend the knee to the Hightowers, they stole your birth right.”
Aemond One-Eye’s One Eye
Presumably still in King’s Landing, Prince Aemond peels off his eye patch to reveal the scarred, missing eye he lost to his younger nephew Lucerys in a violent childhood fight that cultivated the seedlings of the current Green v Black conflict.
The Painted Table (and Winterfell!)
The return of an old favourite here, as Dragonstone’s Painted Table makes an appearance. Game of Thrones fans first saw Stannis Baratheon plotting military tactics (and making a smoke baby with sorceress Melisandre) on this heirloom. Rewind two centuries, and the table is freshly painted and being used to plot the Blacks’ attack on the Greens. “Every man standing round the painted table urges her to plunge the realm into war,” says Rhaenys, while Rhaenyra looks out over the sea and contemplates her next move as the rightful heir.
Note the hand at 0:23 placing a piece on the map’s representation of the castle of Winterfell, the seat of House Stark and another Game of Thrones old favourite, as Rhaenyra is urged to lay siege to the Red Keep.
Jace and Luke
Now married to their step-sisters/cousins Baela and Rhaena, Rhaenyra’s two eldest sons Jacerys and Lucerys are young men and ask to be allowed to fight. As per Viserys’ wishes, Jace is his mother’s heir and next in line to the Iron Throne, while younger brother Luke stands to inherit the Driftwood Throne of Driftmark from their paternal grandfather (by law only, not by blood) Lord Corlys Velaryon. They’re both dragon riders and – as we know – good, Strong, boys, so will their mother include them in her plans?
Ser Erryk Switches Sides
Episode 9 ‘The Green Council’ saw identical twins Erryk and Arryk Cargyll fight one another over their divided loyalties. Both members of the Kingsguard, the knights fell out over their sworn allegiances. Arryk chose to remain with the Greens in King’s Landing, while Erryk – disgusted by the behaviour of King Aegon, for whom he’d acted as personal bodyguard, making him privy to Aegon’s perversions and cruelty – chose to put his lot in with the Blacks in Dragonstone. Here, he offers himself as Rhaenyra’s sworn protector.
Daemon vs Otto
Never goes peaceably, a meeting on the steps of Dragonstone. Here, we see Prince Daemon treating with what looks like Ser Otto Hightower, and swords being drawn on both sides.
To end… more dragon-goodness. After seeing Meleys in flight, a fighter running towards a dragon, Daemon sing to Caraxes in High Valyrian, what looked like Prince Aemond’s Godzilla-like mount Vhaegar, and three dragons flying out of Dragonstone, the finale trailer ends on a final roar.
House of the Dragon episode 10 ‘The Black Queen’ airs on Sunday 23rd October on HBO in the US and Monday 24th October on Sky Atlantic in the UK.