We need to talk about House Of The Dragon episode 7 – the most twisted of the series so far

House Of The Dragon episode seven is full of jaw-dropping moments, but it’s laying the groundwork for one epic series ending – these are the main talking points.

Warning: this article contains spoilers for House Of The Dragon episode seven.

So far in House Of The Dragon, we’ve had slivers of drama to keep us going but this most recent episode stands to be the messiest of them all.

Just as we’re still reeling from Larys Strong putting out the definitive hit on his brother and father at the end of episode six – not to mention the fiery death of Laena Velaryon – episode seven picks up in the same dramatic vein. And much as we’ve loved the drama in al of the episodes so far, never before has House Of The Dragon left our mouths quite so agape as this one.

The kids are most certainly not all right in this recent episode, entitled Driftmark, and if you thought your own childhoodsibling fights caused your parents stress, they’re no match for the in-fighting between the younger Targaryen clan. As well as Daemon and Rhaenyra rekindling their romantic flame, Aemond being smitten with his dragon-riding skills and one particularly awkward family confrontation, the seventh episode also saw a major turning point in Laenor and Rhaenyra’s own relationship. There’s almost too much to wrap our heads around but, of course, viewers and hilarious Twitter users alike have their thoughts.

With that, scroll on for the talking points from episode seven. 

King Viserys’ major faux pas

At this point in the series, there are undoubtedly villains who are making themselves known as time goes on. One person that we’ve had our eye on from the first episode is, alas, Alicent.

While we would’ve loved to believe that her childhood friendship with Rhaenyra could have been upheld in her journey to becoming Rhaenyra’s stepmother, it seems like it’s only getting worse by the episode. And the increasingly apparent thorn in Alicent’s side is the fact that her husband, King Viserys, does all he can to protect his daughter and side with Rhaenyra when it comes to personal matters.

This has, of course, led to tension between the King and Queen, which seems to be rearing its ugly head in this episode. We didn’t think King Viserys was one for pettiness – perhaps it’s his increasingly frail and unwell manner – but he commits the ultimate relationship cardinal sin. That’s right, he refers to Alicent by his former wife Aemma’s name, saying: “I’m going to bed, Aemma.”

If scowls could kill, let’s just say Viserys would’ve died in the first 15 minutes of this episode. 

Otto is back

We knew the Hightowers were going to return with a vengeance and we stand firm by our claim that Otto Hightower really isn’t to be trusted in any way, shape or form.

He’s bad news, and the fact he’s back as the King’s Hand is likely only a teaser of his power trip to come. 

Rhaenyra and Alicent’s feud hasn’t disappeared, it’s just passed down to their children

Maybe it’s because we’ve seen these two women grow from bounding teenagers to powerful matriarchs, but the ongoing feud between Alicent and Rhaenyra is the stuff of playground squabbles, we have to say.

Alicent is clearly annoyed by the fact that Viserys chooses to ignore the true paternity of Rhaenyra’s children, but in this episode, the feud takes a more sinister turn. Because of the way Alicent has spoken about Rhaenyra in front of her own children, they have adopted her nasty streak.

After Lady Laena’s death, her dragon Vhagar was promised to her daughter; instead, being the entitled boy he is, Aemond Targaryen decides to take Vhagar for himself. “Maybe your cousins can find you a pig to ride,” he snarls before the children get into a physical fight.

Rhaenyra’s children, the princes Jacaerys and Lucerys, come to their defence but the fight not only grows bloody, but it also gets increasingly personal. Aemond shouts: “You will die screaming in flames just as your father did. Bastards.” He is, of course, alluding to the death of Ser Harwin, so Rhaenyra’s sons band together to get dust in his eyes and slash his face. 

House Of The Dragon: Leo Ashton as Aemond Targaryen.

Who knew kids’ fights could get so bad? The whole affair is taken to the King and Queen, where Rhaenyra states that calling her children bastards is “the highest of treasons”. When all eyes turn to Aemond about where he got such thinking from, we all know the answer, and so too does Rhaenyra.

“Who spoke these lies to you?” the King questions his son. Aemond looks to his mother but says it was Aegon. “Everyone knows – just look at them,” Aegon simply states.

It’s unfortunate to see that rumours (however rightful they seem) have circulated in and among the children. Really, it only further emphasises how disparate this family actually is and how grudges just become intergenerational. 

Alicent, Alicent, Alicent

While the family feud scene was one of the most awkward of the series, it only grew worse when Alicent seemed to throw her toys out the pram. Not literally, but she may as well have.

The King shouts at them all reminding them of the fact that they’re supposed to be a family. He tells them to make their apologies, but it’s not enough for Alicent, who looks on at her husband in anguish. As he’s walking away, she says: “That is insufficient. Aemond has been damaged permanently, my King. ‘Good will’ cannot make him whole.”

After criticising the King so publically, she follows up with: “There is a debt to be paid. I shall have one of her son’s eyes in return.”

House Of The Dragon: Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy as Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Although the King attempts to quell her anger, she continues: “If the King will not seek justice, the Queen will. Ser Criston … bring me the eye of Lucerys Velaryon.”

It’s an awkward power struggle to witness, mainly because Alicent believes she holds more power over Ser Criston than the King does. But it grows more painful to watch when she snatches a knife to slash Lucerys – yes, a small child – herself.

Really, though, she wants to hurt Rhaenyra, and the two are caught in a physical struggle with the knife only centimetres away from Rhaenyra’s eye. As Alicent shouts at her about righteousness and duty, Rhaenyra says: “Exhausting, isn’t it? Hiding beneath the cloak of your own righteousness. But now they see you as you are.” 

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Rhaenyra and Daemon are… a couple?

House Of The Dragon: Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy as Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.

There’s a lot to unpack here but while we were already confused and reeling from the pair’s sexual encounter early on in the episode, we could only brace ourselves so much for their eventual wedding.

While the online fandom may be going crazy over this pairing, others have underscored the fact that this is the product of years-long grooming on Daemon’s part, and we have to agree. 

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That shock ending

House Of The Dragon: Arty Froushan and John MacMillan as Ser Qarl and Prince Laenor.

In order to get married, Rhaenyra acknowledges the fact that Laenor has to die. So, in his evil hood, Daemon approaches Ser Qarl (Laenor’s lover) with a proposition to kill him. Now, we assume it’s to kill Laenor – although his name is never actually uttered – and we see the two engage in a sword fight later on that left us furiously biting our nails. Princess Rhaenys and Lord Corlys run in to find a body burned in the fire and we’re led to believe it’s Laenor, their last surviving child.

But surprise surprise, it isn’t and it’s just the first plan of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s that underlines how much power these two possess. As we flash through scenes of their traditional wedding, we get a glimpse of two men on a boat. We knew there was going to be a twist, but seeing Laenor alive and well – and with Qarl, his new partner – was one we didn’t quite see coming. 

Episodes of House Of The Dragon are released weekly every Monday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic, and are also available to stream on Now with an entertainment membership.  

Images: HBO

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