House of the Dragon season 1 episode 10 recap & review: The Black Queen

The finale of House of the Dragon sees Rhaenyra and Daemon preparing for the war the Hightowers are bringing to them by usurping the throne. The episode is now streaming on HBO Max.

Recap

Luke confesses to Rhaenyra that he might not be ready to claim the throne of Driftmark. She tries to convince Luke that he can’t deny his destiny and tells him how she felt when her father declared her as the heir to the Iron Throne.

Princess Rhaenys arrives to inform Rhaenyra about her father’s death and the Hightowers usurping the throne by having Aegon ascend it. Rhaenyra struggles to digest it and goes into labor.

As Rhaenyra suffers, she summons her two sons and tells Jace that he will be the heir to whatever claim she has. On the other hand, Daemon begins plotting for the war that is on its way to Dragonstone.

He didn’t care for what his wife is going through. Jace interrupts him in front of the whole council and addresses Rhaenyra’s message suggesting that no actions should be taken while she is in bed.

They argue, and Daemon decides to teach Jace about loyalty by making an example. He forces two knights to swear their allegiance to Rhaenyra in front of a dragon.

Back inside, Rhaenyra takes matters into her own hands, which results in a miscarriage. A heartbroken Rhaenyra grieves the death of her child.

During the funeral, Ser Erryk Cargyll makes his way to her. He bends his knee to Rhaenyra and offers her the crown of Viserys that he brought along with him.

Rhaenyra and Daemon began discussing their strategies to conquer King’s Landing. Daemon was desperate for war, while Rhaenyra wanted to resort to a peaceful way.

Before they could move to any decisions, Ser Erryk came informing them about Ser Otto’s arrival.

Otto offers Alicent’s terms to Rhaenyra. If she accepts Aegon as her king, she can keep the Dragonstone, and her son will succeed her. The rest of them will be given higher positions in the court.

In order to make Rhaenyra vulnerable, Otto brought a peace offering from Alicent. A page from a book that will remind Rhaenyra of the days when she had a beautiful bond with Alicent.

Daemon braced himself to attack, but Rhaenyra asked him and the knights to stand down.

Rhaenyra doesn’t want to rule over a kingdom of ash and bone and opted to ensure peace and unity. Daemon believes she is just following in the footsteps of her father.

She tells him about the Song of Ice & Fire. An enraged Daemon holds her by the neck. According to him, dreams didn’t make him and his brother kings, but the dragons did.

A returning Lord Coryls wakes up next to a complaining Rhaenys. She details everything that went down in the realm during his absence.

Corlys not only joins Rhaenyra but also brings some good news. He has captured the Narrow Sea, and now they have a chance to block the trade route of King’s Landing. Rhaenys volunteers to do that with the help of Meleys.

Now, Rhaenyra wanted the Starks, Baratheons, and Arryns to align themselves with her. Jace suggested that he and his brother should be the ones sending them the message.

The dragons can fly faster than ravens and are more convincing. Rhaenyra considered it and commanded Jace to fly north.

First to Eyrie, to see her mother’s cousin, Lady Jeyne Arryn, and then to Winterfell, to treat with Lord Cregan Stark. Meanwhile, Luke will fly to the south, to Storm’s End, to meet Lord Borros Baratheon.

She asks them to swear that they are going as messengers and not as warriors.

During his time away, Daemon awakens an old dragon sleeping inside a cave.

Luke reaches south after traveling through thick clouds and notices Vhagar right around the corner. Upon entering the hall of Lord Borros Baratheon, he sees Aemond there as well.

Borros Baratheon reads Rhaenyra’s message, reminding him of his father’s oath. He questions Jace if he has brought an offer. Aemond over here came with a marriage pact to garner Baratheon’s support.

Luke lets Borros Baratheon know that he is betrothed. Baratheon doesn’t swear his allegiance to Rhaenyra, as she had nothing good to offer, and therefore, as a messenger, Luke decides to walk away.

Before he could leave the hall, Aemond confronts Luke by mocking him as a Strong and asks for his eye. Lord Borros Baratheon stops this melee from happening in his court and he commands his knights to escort Luke to his dragon.

Luke carefully makes his way to his dragon and is later chased by Aemond and Vhagar. They both lose control of their dragons, with the bigger Vhagar eating Luke and his dragon at the end.

Review

  • Much like how the ninth episode explored the strategies of the Greens, as in the Hightowers, the finale explores the same of the Blacks, as in the Targaryens.
  • The episode moves quite swiftly from moment to moment. Though there are several plot points, the episode doesn’t feel like it has been rushed.
  • Again, House of the Dragon continues to bring some gruesome scenes, this time in the form of Rhaenyra’s delivery of her child, which is quite difficult to watch.
  • The episode certainly began predicting the possible death of Luke. Every time he was in the frame, there was a special focus on him and his nervousness.
  • Though it was a finale, the episode didn’t bring any big moments apart from Luke’s death and Lord Coryls’ return. It instead built itself for a stronger sophomore season.
  • Furthermore, throwback scenes such as Rhaenyra and Daemon facing Otto on the steps of Dragonstone and Rhaenyra not wanting to burn King’s Landing, as Daenerys did in Game of Thrones are much appreciated.
House of the Dragon season 1 episode 10
House of the Dragon season 1 episode 10 recap & review: The Black Queen 1

Director: Greg Yaitanes

Date Created: 2022-10-24 06:30

Editor's Rating:
3.5

Also Read: The miscommunication King Viserys caused in House of the Dragon explained