Why Season 1 of House of the Dragon Ended the Way It Did

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The tragic death at the end of “The Black Queen,” the season 1 finale of House of the Dragon, and the impending war in Rhaenyra’s eyes set the stage for the devastating nature of the fights to come in season 2. Episode 9 of House of the Dragon concluded with the greens’ seizure of the Iron Throne; the season finale displays the black party’s reaction to the treasons, strategies to confirm their supporters and considerations on whether Rhaenyra should genuinely declare war. The deaths of her two children within 24 hours have changed Rhaenyra’s mind about seeking revenge, despite her ambivalence about doing so because of her duty to Aegon’s dream.

Episode 10 of House of the Dragon season 1 shows a new side of the major characters, as well as a more tense portrayal of Daemon and Rhaenyra’s marriage. Rhaenyra’s children, meanwhile, are given more significant roles as envoys, with Lucerys Velaryon dispatched to Storm’s End and Jacaerys Velaryon, the next heir to the Iron Throne, traveling to the Vale and Winterfell. While Jacaerys’ fate is unknown, the first blood is shed between the greens and the blacks when Lucerys is murdered by his uncle Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar. In the concluding moments of the first season of House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra’s eyes convey one thing after 30 years of betrayals, plots, and irreparable feuds: War is here.

The True Meaning of Lucerys’s Death and Why He Had to Die

The death of Lucerys in Episode 10 of Season 1 of House of the Dragon is especially painful because he was the most reluctant of Rhaenyra’s children to accept his obligations and firmly speak for mom. Luke tried to escape back to Dragonstone on Arrax despite Aemond’s taunts, but he and his little dragon were easily defeated by Aemond and Vhagar. Aemond in House of the Dragon didn’t intend to kill Lucerys at Storm’s End, in contrast to George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. The expression on Aemond’s face at the end of the season 1 finale of House of the Dragon suggests that murder was not his intention, only fear, bullying, and taking his eye as punishment.

The Dance of the Dragons will change drastically because of what happened to Luke. After giving some thought to adopting Otto’s requirements, Rhaenyra has decided that peace is impossible because of Luke’s murder. To avoid appearing weak, Aemond will likely inform Aegon that he killed Luke on purpose instead of by mistake owing to his incapacity to control Vhagar. In addition, Luke’s death validates a statement by Viserys in the pilot episode of House of the Dragon, where he told Rhaenyra under the skull of Baelerion the Black Dread that their dominion over dragons is a deadly illusion. However, Lucerys’s demise is what will transform the battle from a game of allies and pacts into a world where the fire is the only weapon.

The Importance of Rhaenyra’s Last Frame

Episode 10 of House of the Dragon concludes with Rhaenyra walking toward the fire, clutching her stomach, nearly falling to her knees, and staring angrily and tearfully into the camera after learning from Daemon that Lucerys has been killed. Daemon’s patience with Rhaenyra’s self-control had worn thin, but Lucerys’ death sparked a wave of raging rage that will not be doused by peace talks. Now that her son has murdered Luke, Alicent’s message about remembering the love they once shared is meaningless. When Rhaenyra is destroyed, only one thing can be said: “War it is.” No peace negotiations will be accepted when Season 2 of House of Dragon premieres. Instead, the war to retake the Iron Throne will continue unabated.

Where Does Jacaerys Go From Here On His Mission?

When his brother went to Storm’s End, it ended tragically, but Jacaerys’ adventures go more smoothly. House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10 ends without explaining what happens to Jace, but it is established that he travels to the Vale to seek treatment from Jeyne Arryn before flying to Winterfell to plead to Cregan Stark. Fire & Blood claims that Jace wins over House Arryn, though accounts of his success there vary. One shady source claims that Lady Arryn promised Jace her support on the condition that he make love to her, but another says she gave her blessing because she supports women in power and because her mother, Aemma Arryn, is related to Rhaenyra’s mother, Aemma Arryn. The knights of House Arryn were exchanged for the Dragonriders of Rhaenyra.

Because of the friendship he develops with Cregan Stark, Jacaerys’ purpose in Winterfell succeeds even more brilliantly than before. At least one character in Fire & Blood implies that the brothers shared a common bond through bonding activities like hunting, drinking, and training before taking their blood oath of brotherhood. Sara Snow, Cregan’s illegitimate sister, is said to have slept with Jace, and Cregan’s rage is only soothed when Sara reveals that she and Jace wed beneath the heart tree. Nonetheless, Jace was already engaged to Baela, thus this narrative is probably not true. Jace and Cregan sign the “Pact of Ice and Fire” before Jace leaves Winterfell, stipulating that Jace’s firstborn daughter must wed Cregan’s son and heir Rickon.

What the Dragon Scene in Daemon Means for the Future of House of the Dragon

Daemon tries to sing the dragon Vermithor into submission as Rhaenyra plots with the recuperating Corlys Velaryon. Daemon is well aware that the Blacks have more dragons than the Greens have, but that they still need more Dragonriders. Intending to give the dragon to his daughter Rhaena, whose egg never hatched, Daemon’s attempts to tame Vermithor without a rider really set the stage for the pivotal “Sowing of the Seeds.” Some of the blacks’ attempts to tame the dragons succeed when they bring in Targaryen and Velaryon bastards known as “dragon seeds.” The blacks in House of the Dragon regain control of the dragons when several crucial riders die in this event.

The True Implications of “House of the Dragon’s” Season 1 Finale

The multiple time jumps in the first season of House of the Dragon have been met with mixed reviews, but the season’s overarching theme was an examination of the cracks that can develop in a family over time. Viserys could have halted King Aegon II Targaryen’s systematic takeover of the Iron Throne if he had been more diligent in defending Rhaenyra. In the eighth episode of House of the Dragon, he did, but his efforts were undone by twenty years of idleness. The fragile mental state of King Viserys made it difficult for Rhaenyra to fulfill her father’s dream for peace.

The devastation was inevitable by the end of season 1 of House of the Dragon, as jealousy, betrayal, and family drama led to the declaration of war. Despite Rhaenyra’s best efforts, war was inevitable; Lucerys’ death wiped away any lingering doubts she may have had. In the first season finale of House of the Dragon, all of Westeros was afflicted by House Targaryen’s complaints, leaving no hope of relief for the greens or the blacks.

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Adeline Darrow
By Adeline Darrow

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