House Of The Dragon Episode 7 has just been released on HBO Max, and in this episode, the bloodshed and void between the Targaryen family have become more clear than ever. Unlike the gaps in time that previous episodes showed, this new installment takes place over 2 days during the funeral of Laena Valaryon, and it shows that the feud between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower is beyond repair. In this spoiler review and analysis, I’m going to be breaking down and giving you my thoughts on House of the Dragon episode 7, entitled “Driftmark. But without further ado, let’s dive into my review for House Of The Dragon Episode 7.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON EPISODE 7 EXPLAINED:
So in episode 7 of House of the Dragon, the post-funeral lunch of Laena Velaryon brings the whole cast of central characters together right from the start, and it also reunites some characters like Rhaenyra and Daemon, who haven’t seen each other for quite a while. Much of the opening moments of this gathering feature characters simply glancing at each other, which is enough to remind us of their growing frustrations with their enemies or their looks of trust in friends. In the previous episode, Laena Velaryon committed suicide by dragon-fire after her failed labor, and here at Laena’s ancestral seat, her uncle Raymond commits her body to the sea, which is, of course, a favorite of the Velaryons. In attendance are Viserys, Alicent, Rhaenyra, Lenor, Daemon, Corlys, Rhaenys, and all their children, alongside other figures such as Ser Criston Cole, and then Otto Hightower, who we’ve learned is once again the hand of the king, and finally, the manipulator behind that development with Larys Strong, showing us that the current queen now has a lot of allies in powerful positions. And right from the awkward laugh of Daemon during this initial proceeding, we’re given the sense that things aren’t going to remain peaceful with all of these characters in the same location.
RHAENYRA AND ALICENT’S CHILDREN AT LAENA’S FUNERAL:
At that funeral reception that follows, no one seems delighted to see the other, and we get some bad behavior in the process. Both Laenor and Aegon are drunk for different reasons, with one dealing with the death of his sister and the other because he’s quite the teenage brat, we presume. On the other hand, King Viserys attempts to fix the issues with Daemon once again by getting him to return home, but the prince makes it clear that Pentos is his home now. Daemon even comments on the gods being cruel to his brother about the deteriorating state he appears in each episode. And Rhaenyra sends her sons to make peace with their grieving uncle and cousins, even though they are grieving over the loss of their real father, whom they can’t even put to rest with a separate affair. The kids do a great job in this episode of really conveying the underlying conflict that their parents have faced and showing how that is really guiding things going forward as they come into the spotlight. Even with just the smaller moments, like with Helaena Targaryen and her bugs, Aegon deems her an idiot and makes it clear that they will soon marry. Also, when Corlys tells Luke that he’ll rule the High Tide someday, the Kid then makes it clear that he isn’t interested, saying, “If I’m the Lord of Driftmark, that means everyone’s dead.” So the poor kids are really in for some chaotic events in the years ahead, and I think this episode just does a brilliant job of highlighting what happens when children are raised in this political and chaotic structure. Both Aegon and Jacey were set up as future kings by their mothers, but both seem unlikely to take that up well at the minute, with Jake being pressured after learning the truth about his father, and Aegon being quite the spoiled bully we saw before. But on the other hand, Aemond seems to be growing into something worse. The cruelty from his older brother has pushed him towards gaining a lot of power through a risky yet impactful move.
AEMOND RIDES VHAGAR DRAGON SCENE:
That move has to do with the one thing Aemond has been hearing and looking for since he arrived at the high tide, and it involves becoming Vhagar’s new rider, the oldest and largest dragon in the seven kingdoms and the one that Laena rode before she had it kill her. Following the funeral reception, Aemond spends the night tracking down the dragon, eventually finding him sleeping among the dunes, and just from seeing the dragon from Aemond’s perspective, we realize just how big Vhagar is, being almost twice the size of the others. Aemond himself nearly gets incinerated by trying to mount it, but because he’s a Targaryen, Vhagar eventually responds to his commands. What follows is an epic sequence with the boy climbing his scales and flying him up into the night sky. But Game of Thrones always likes to pull the rug from underneath us because, although we’ve rooted for Aemond to finally get a dragon to ride, let alone the biggest one, it’s the scenes that follow this that start to make it clear that we should fear him. Laena’s daughters confront him following his capture of Vhagar, claiming that he stole the last thing they had, which was their mother. Vhagar was indeed Baela’s to have, but we’ve learned since that Alicent’s children were taught to claim anything they could because they were Targaryen and it was their birthright. To make things even more heated, Jace and Luke eventually get involved, with Luke standing up for his cousins, and a fight breaking out as a result. Aemond is prepared to hit Luke with a rock and names Rhaenyra’s children bastards, and the fight that breaks out ends with Luke slashing the eye of Aemond in defense. While this happens, Rhaenyra is out in the open dunes making love to her uncle Daemon, not knowing that all of this has just happened.
ALICENT VS RHAENYRA AND AEMOND’S EYE SCENE:
That is until they return to the castle and find everyone in the throne room, standing around with Viserys trying to work out what happened during loud arguments. While he’s gradually degrading by the second, the king is more furious than he’s ever been, demanding the truth from Aemond while Alicent, Rhaenyra, and their sons shout away. The issue of Jace and Luke being bastards is brought up in front of everyone, and the king denies this, insisting that the kids are legitimate and both families should make peace. We know things have transpired beyond that happening, and to make it even clearer, Alicent would rather take Luke’s eye in exchange for what happened to Aemond. No one wants this to happen, but Alicent is having none of it and decides to grab the king’s Valyrian steel dagger, the same one that we all know from Game of Thrones, and turn it on Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra stops her temporarily from using it, but the two of them let out all the hatred and rising tension in front of everyone there. And when she does cut Rhaenyra’s arm, Aemond tells his mother that she should not mourn for his eye, because while he has lost one, he’s also gained the biggest dragon in the seven kingdoms. So things are becoming incredibly worrying for both families with this recent outburst, and it’s clear that both Alicent and Raenyra are going to have to make some big moves to get the upper hand in what we know is going to be an eventful civil war. The first of those moves have already been made as far as Otto Hightower is concerned, because the next morning, while Alicent is ashamed of what she did, Otto praises her actions and states that he’s proud of her for stepping up to play the ugly game in their path to the throne. And with them now acquiring the biggest dragon in Westeros, they have the upper hand in the upcoming conflict. On the flip side, the master stitches up Rhaenyra’s wound, and she eventually has an emotional conversation with Lenor, who swears to stay with her, even if it would mean sending Qarl away.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON EPISODE 7 ENDING EXPLAINED:
But Raenyra has a better plan when it comes to strengthening her claim, and right now, it’s possibly the only option she has. In one of the ending scenes on a balcony overlooking the ship that Alicent and Viserys head back to Kings Landing on, Rhaenyra brings a proposal to Daemon. That is for them to join in the Targaryen vein that Aegon the conqueror did, which means joining through ancestral marriage. She says to him, “You and I are made of fire. We were always meant to burn together, and I cannot face the Greens alone.” Of course, the greens are a reference to the Hightower color of war that the queen and her sons continuously wear, and it was something pointed out in that wedding episode the other week, when Alicent chose to arrive at the wedding in a green dress, making a big statement of war. In reverse to this, Rhaenyra’s party will eventually be known as the Blacks, setting up a brutal civil war between both two factions. From our perspective, the alliance of Rhaenyra and Daemon would initially be bad news for Laenor Valeryon, especially after we see Daemon paying Ser Qarl an amount to publicly murder him. But once we reach the final moments after seeing both Laenor and Qarl having a tense swordfight, it’s clear to us that it was the plan all along. They manage to fake Laenor’s death, with Corlys and Rhaenys believing that another child is now dead. Instead, Qarl and Laenor are seen on a boat in the final shot, their appearances have changed, and presumably heading towards a fresh start in Essos. And with this happening, Rhaenyra and Daemon now get married in classical Tartaryen fashion, including a blood ceremony, the two of them kissing, and only their kids watching on. So, just like Games Of Thrones did so well, House Of The Dragon has made us root for this ancestral couple, and we can now only await the civil war that brews from the events that went down in episode 7.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON EPISODE 7 REVIEW:
So what are my overall thoughts on this latest episode of House Of The Dragon? Well, Driftmark is probably my favorite episode of the season thus far, and while it has some pacing issues and bad lighting in certain moments, I did appreciate that this installment begins to deliver on that conflict we’ve been anticipating for quite a while. It is the birth of the civil war that we knew was coming and seeing certain characters get significant progression, whether it be Rhaenyra, Daemon, Alicent, or Aemond, makes me excited to see how all of this will come to a head in the final episodes of season 1. In particular, I stressed at the start of this season that I wanted to see some true personas on display with the plethora of characters that were being introduced to us, and I think after episode 7, they’ve truly been able to push that forward, especially with the added focus on the kids of all of these central players. We see how the tensions of the parents’ relationship have trickled down to their kids, and it’s going to be intriguing to see how this conflict evolves. Furthermore, the use of a wedding and now a funeral in episodes 6 and 7 to display significant points in the turn towards a civil war makes the heavy-talkative-based episodes feel that much more compelling, giving us hope that this show will deliver on its initial promises. With many wounds onscreen, we get the start of bloodshed and rifts between the family, and I couldn’t be more excited to see all of this develop moving into the back part of season 1. But that was my spoiler review and explanation article for House Of The Dragon Episode 7.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, S1 EP7: FINAL THOUGHTS AND SCORE:
I’m giving it a rating of 9 out of 10. I will be doing an article every week on the show, so stay tuned to my channel each week for breakdowns and reviews of the Game of Thrones spin-off. But to those who have already seen the episode, what are your thoughts on all the events that went down, and what do you think will happen in Episode 8? Let me know down below in the comments section. Visit the site and enable notifications for more articles on House Of The Dragon. But anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it.
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