House of the Dragon Episode 6 Recap: Fire and Blood, Literally

Spoilers below.

Ten years have passed since Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lord Laenor Velaryon’s “red wedding” and since Queen Alicent made her first rise up against House Targaryen with a symbolic green dress. After we reunite with House of the Dragon’s leading women this week, much has modified. They are usually not only played by latest actresses (Olivia Cooke for Alicent and Emma D’Arcy for Rhaenyra), but additionally somewhere else of their lives. They’re each moms now; every one is looking for her own blood. They’ve drifted even further apart, with petty power moves and paranoia over succession wedged deeply between them. And so they’re also more sure of themselves, especially Alicent, whom audiences got here to know as a meek young girl (played beautifully by Emily Carey). Now, a decade later, she’s more aware of her power and easy methods to use it: She pushes against her aging husband King Viserys, she orders servants to depart the room, she schemes, and she or he is more focused than ever on putting her son on the iron throne. (Do I smell a touch of Cersei Lannister?) Rhaenyra is a worthy match. She was at all times headstrong and difficult as a lady, but her childhood petulance has evolved right into a mature confidence—and stubbornness—and her hard exterior has grown even harder. She’s nothing like her husband Laenor, who is generally seen laughing and drinking together with his secret lover, or craving for battle, when he’s not together with his wife. With Rhaenyra and Alicent grown up and empowered, and with allies at each of their sides, a latest game of thrones is in motion.

But first, one other birth scene. The episode opens on Rhaenyra’s sweaty face mid-labor. She’s pushing, if you happen to couldn’t tell from the midwife’s coaching, her heavy grunts, or the squelching noises of an infant emerging from her body off-screen. After seeing her mother Queen Aemma die brutally during childbirth within the premiere episode, I watched this sequence cautiously and on-edge, expecting to be bombarded with one more gory visual of a girl enduring violence or a delivery gone incorrect; but thankfully Rhaenyra’s birth is successful. And to the court’s delight (aside from Queen Alicent), it’s a boy! Rhaenyra holds her child proudly in her arms for under just a few moments before a messenger is available in saying the queen has asked that the kid be dropped at her. Rhaenyra knows the ridiculous request is just Alicent’s attempt at pushing her buttons, but she won’t acquiesce easily. She’ll bring the newborn to the queen herself, regardless that she must be resting, and regardless that her placenta is falling out of her as she struggles to dress. She won’t give Alicent the satisfaction of seeing her weakened.


Laenor (John Macmillan) is not any help, half-jokingly asking, “Was it terribly painful?” as he walks Rhaenyra to Queen Alicent’s room. Please, Laenor, not now. Not while your wife is keeling over in pain on a flight of stairs to her former friend-turned-stepmother’s chambers post-labor. Ser Criston coldly greets the couple within the doorway before they present the newborn to Queen Alicent, who’s shocked to search out Rhaenyra standing. She’s not shocked, nevertheless, that the kid bears no resemblance to his father; she’s aware that the newborn isn’t Laenor’s and doesn’t hesitate to let him know. “Eventually you’ll get one that appears such as you,” she tells him. Ouch. Alternatively, King Viserys, withering with age, is comfortable to welcome one other grandchild. When he asks for the newborn’s name, Laenor interjects, “Joffrey!” before consulting with the kid’s mother. When the couple exits, Rhaenyra leaves a trail of blood behind her.

Joffrey is Rhaenyra’s third child and son, following Jacaerys (or “Jace”) and Lucerys. To the world, their father is her husband Laenor Velaryon, but biologically and secretly, it’s Ser Harwin Strong, aka Breakbones, commander of the City Watch. It’s obvious seeing him in a room with the boys; they’ve all inherited Ser Harwin’s dark brown hair as a substitute of their parents’ silver Targaryen-Velaryon locks, and none of Laenor’s features. Alicent and Viserys’ three kids, Aegon, Halaena, and Aemond are all platinum-headed. The difference in appearances is irrespective of to the kids themselves, who appear to spend loads of time together as they grow up within the castle. During dragon training, three of them team as much as prank Aemond, including his older brother Aegon, by giving him a “dragon” of his own: a pig with fake wings tied onto it. When Alicent finds out about this, she’s quick guilty the stunt on Rhaenyra’s boys, regardless that her youngest says Aegon was involved. Her daughter Halaena stays out of the quarrel, twiddling with an enormous centipede and exuding total Luna Lovegood energy.

Alicent brings this matter to Viserys, not only complaining about Rhaenyra’s kids, but additionally insinuating that they were born out of wedlock. Viserys won’t hear it, and tells Alicent to never speak of those allegations again. The queen vents about her frustrations to Ser Criston Cole. How could Viserys not see what she’s seeing? Why does he need to keep protecting Rhaenyra? Criston lets out just a few complaints of his own in regards to the princess, calling her a “spoiled cunt,” which stops Alicent in her tracks. He quickly apologizes. Clearly he remains to be not over that breakup.

Alicent finds her pubescent eldest son Aegon stark naked, jerking off in his bedroom window to the view of King’s Landing. (Is that this your king?) But his mother’s unannounced presence sends him running under the covers. Clearly this young man is unaware of the troubles that lie ahead of him, so Alicent teaches him just a few lessons. First, he has to face together with his brother fairly than mock him. (Even when he thinks he’s “a twat.”) In these times, he must defend his family—like how Alicent has stood with House Hightower. Aegon might play with Rhaenyra’s kids now, but when Rhaenyra ascends the throne, the fun will probably be over for him, Alicent says. And here comes the second lesson: Aegon’s existence, as King Viserys’ first born son, challenges Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne. He should and will probably be king, and there are people throughout the land that wish it so.

Meanwhile, Daemon is in Pentos together with his pregnant wife, Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), their two daughters, and their dragons. The family is being hosted in by Prince Reggio, who’d like for them to increase their stay. He offers Daemon and his family a everlasting residence in Pentos in exchange for access to their dragons. The Triarchy has regained power and formed an alliance with Qoren Martell of Dorne, so Pentos will need protection from potential sieges. Daemon is intrigued by the offer, but Laena isn’t. She wants to lift their kids in her home, Driftmark, not here.

house of the dragon


Back at King’s Landing, Ser Criston Cole trains Rhaenyra and Alicent’s boys in combat while Ser Harwin looks on. Harwin points out that Criston is giving the Targaryen kids special attention, so Criston, out of spite, lets the boys spar one another, eldest son against eldest son. He’s being a tricky coach, encouraging Aegon to fight Jacaerys mercilessly. When Jacaerys falls, Harwin berates Criston for teaching the boys cruelty. Criston takes note of that: Why would the commander of the City Watch care a lot in regards to the princess’s children’s training? “Most men would only have that form of devotion toward a cousin, or a brother…or a son,” he says, delivering an ice-cold jab. The insult sends Harwin right into a rage. He beats Criston until he’s bruised and bloody on the bottom, which does nothing to assist hide his secret. If anything, Harwin’s violent response only strengthens the rumors and makes him and his family vulnerable to allegations. Harwin’s father Lyonel scolds him after the incident, and Rhaenyra overhears the conversation. When Laenor tells her he wishes to fight within the Stepstones, she orders him to remain at home. With rumors about their children’s parentage swirling, he must be present to support his family.

house of the dragon


Laena misses her brother. It’s probably been ten years since they last saw one another. Now, she tends to her circle of relatives with Daemon, including her eight-year-old daughter who’s nervous that her dragon egg hasn’t hatched yet. Worse, her father is ignoring her too. (Is anyone surprised Daemon isn’t a terrific parent?) Laena at the very least offers her some much-needed comfort and tells her to be patient.

At a small council meeting, Rhaenyra and Alicent butt heads while discussing policy, but Rhaenyra desires to put an end to it. In a surprising move, she apologizes for any strife between her and the queen. She even makes a generous proposition: Her son Jacaerys must be betrothed to Alicent’s daughter Helaena, and she or he’ll even offer Cyrax’s next dragon egg to Aemond. Alicent doesn’t bite. As a substitute, she points out that Rhaenyra’s breast milk is leaking through her dress. After the meeting, Viserys tells his wife that he actually likes Rhaenyra’s proposal, but still, she refuses. “You might do as you want, husband, once I am cold in my grave,” she hisses at him. (Rattling!)

Lord Lyonel Strong approaches the couple with some personal news: He desires to resign as Hand of the King as shameful rumors surround his son Harwin. Although Harwin has been expelled from the City Watch, he cannot serve with integrity, Lyonel says. Alicent tries to drag more details out of him, but he can’t bear to repeat the gossip aloud. Viserys won’t allow Lord Strong to step down, but permits him to take leave to escort Harwin back to Harrenhal.

Alicent meets Lord Larys, Lyonel’s younger son and Harwin’s brother, for what looks like a non-public dinner in his room. It seems the 2 have grown close since they first met, and she or he’s capable of confide in him. She wishes someone in King’s Landing would take her side. If her father was still around, he can be keen on her. Larys, nevertheless, has a plan, which involves hires prisoners for a secret mission.

Back in Pentos, Laena is in labor, and it’s torturous. She’s pushing and screaming on her knees, however the child is not going to come. (Again, I brace myself for one more harrowing birth.) The doctor tells Daemon that they may perform a c-section, but it surely’s unknown if the newborn will live and mother will certainly not survive. (Identical to Queen Aemma.) While Daemon mulls it over—it’s unclear what he ultimately decides—Laena stumbles outside to her dragon, Vhagar, begging her to place her out of her misery. “Dracarys!” Laena orders her many times, however the dragon won’t obey. In the long run, perhaps once she realizes Laena’s pain and desperation, Vhagar burns her alive. Daemon has just stepped outside to search for his wife when he sees her getting engulfed in flames. It was said that every of the births in House of the Dragon has a unique theme. And if Queen’s Aemma’s was meant to determine that the birthing bed is a girl’s battlefield, then each labor equates to a unique end result of war: death and defeat (Aemma), victory (Rhaenyra), and give up (Laena).

Back at King’s Landing, Harwin is saying his goodbyes to his and Rhaenyra’s children, promising to return. Jacaerys follows him out the door, sensing something is up. He asks Rhaenyra if Harwin is his father. “Am I a bastard?” Rhaenyra responds, “You’re a Targaryen. That’s what matters.” After all the things that’s happened, the princess thinks it’s time to get out of King’s Landing and move to Dragonstone, away from the madness. She tells Laenor the plan and says he can bring his lover, too.

hosue of the dragon


As Harwin and Lyonel arrive to Harrenhal, the prisoners hired by Larys appear in the space, ready to begin trouble. That night, they set fire to the castle, killing Harwin and Lyonel. (Yes, Larys arranged to have his brother and father killed, in case you were wondering if he’s a great guy.) Back within the Red Keep, a rat scurries into Viserys’ room to feed on scraps. The king should still be respiration, however the vermin visual is a transparent symbol of his decay. His days are numbered.

When Alicent hears of the fireplace at Harrenhal, she’s shaken. She didn’t wish for this, she tells Larys, but he’s already steps ahead of her. He tells her to jot down to her father; with the Hand of the King dead, Otto could return to court to resume his old post, granting Alicent’s wish of getting him closeby as an ally. Larys is definite the queen will reward him when the time is correct, which implies it’s likely he could blackmail her into doing his bidding. We would’ve just met Larys an episode ago, but he’s one to control.

<< Read last week's recap

Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at There may be a 75 percent likelihood she’s listening to Lorde at once. 

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