‘House Of The Dragon’ Ep. 7: Family Tensions Boil Over

A funeral. A stolen dragon. A low key wedding. An eye for an eye. Oh, and one great plot twist! Let’s talk everything ‘House of the Dragon’ episode 7.

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Wow! Honestly, I think that was my favorite episode of House of the Dragon so far. The prequel is truly hitting its stride as tensions continue to escalate for the ever-chaotic Targaryen family and their close allies, House Velaryon. Let’s break down last night’s riveting episode, which began with a funeral and ended with a faked death.

As always, spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon!

Alicent Snaps

Ever since Alicent started wearing Hightower green religiously, she’s been an absolute menace. For all her talk about duty, morals, and decency, she has been bent on causing harm rather than making peace.

As we saw in episode six, Rhaenyra even apologized to her at the small council and made an offer to quell the tensions (wed two of their children and give Aemond dragon eggs). However, Alicent was not having it. Clearly, any and all trust she once had in Rhaenyra is gone forever, and her Cersei-esque motherly protection leads her straight to a violent outburst in front of many witnesses.

Rhaenyra and Alicent from House of the Dragon episode 7
Image via HBO

The palpable tension of this scene was brilliantly conveyed on camera. We see a weak Viserys trying to gain control of the situation, where, in the end, divisions are cemented beyond repair.

Aemond is officially down an eye, so Alicent demands an eye from Rhaenyra’s son in return. The interspersed camera view from above emphasizes this line in the sand – the greens and the blacks – foreshadowing the war to come. Plus, how cool is it that we continue to see the storied past of that Valyrian steel dagger over the centuries? I truly love the details of continuity that can be traced to mainline GoT. It makes the show that much more special!

A Valyrian Wedding

Daemon and Rhaenyra’s bond has been a central (and controversial) part of the show so far. This week, the pair’s relationship was finally cemented in a traditional Valyrian wedding, which is certainly going to stir up more discontent in Westeros. Though it is a continuation of a romance arc, it is also a major political power move.

Rhaenyra and Daemon from House of the Dragon episode 7
Image via HBO

Rhaenyra recognizes her precarious position with the dangerous scheming of the greens and needs a true ally by her side. It’s an impactful decision to preserve the family dynasty and protect her succession right as heir. With Viserys’ health continuing to decline – calling Alicent “Aemma” was definitely not a good sign – the impetus to strengthen her claim is urgent. Hence, the hasty Valyrian wedding, likely done without the permission of the King.

Gaining Daemon permanently to her side by binding their blood is just one of two major developments that set the stage for the war ahead. The second is young Aemond claiming Vhagar. As Alicent realizes in the end, losing an eye is a small price for gaining the largest living dragon in Westeros to their side. In other words, things are swiftly shaping up for the Dance, which will likely be upon us in full after the final time jump next episode.

Leanor Lives!

With the long-awaited Daemon and Rhaenyra union came what seemed to be a sinister plot. Deamon whips out his signature black cloak, a sign of mischief, and appears to be arranging the death of Leanor Velaryon through his lover Qarl Correy. This is all instigated at Rhaenyra’s behest. At first, it seems as if Rhaenyra is approaching her own villain arc by orchestrating the murder of her husband so she can marry Daemon. I was ready to have to bend over backward to defend her and Daemon’s morally grey nature, but alas, a plot twist was in store!

Right as their wedding is wrapping up, and it seems as if Leanor has perished by fire, we see a cloaked figure making a hasty escape to a boat. The hood is lowered, and it’s Leanor with a newly shaved head, making his getaway with his lover.

Who was the dead man in the fire then? From what we can tell, it was the household guard we saw Daemon jump in the hallway. The pair really did think this whole thing through! Sadly for the Velaryons, they’re now left to grieve yet another loss (even though Leanor’s going to be living his best life across the Narrow Sea).

Interestingly, this last-minute plot twist marks a divergence from Fire & Blood, where though Leanor’s murder is noted under dubious circumstances with varying rumors and accounts, it is established that he was stabbed to death by his lover Qarl Correy.

Keeping Laenor alive in the show is a choice that principally affects how we perceive Rhaenyra. Her genuine care for him, stemming from their initial marriage arrangement, has made her an ally for the ages! She sets up his great escape so he can go and be happy with his love, and she can finally be with Daemon.

Thus, the secret of Leanor’s “death” stays between the newlyweds as things continue to heat up between the greens and blacks. I must say, the power couple seems to be off to a great start as they achieved a low-key wedding without any deaths! It’s a miracle! That said, there is much trouble on the horizon…

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