House of the Dragon Finale Review: Westeros gears up for war following an exciting Season 1
The penultimate episode was committed to the Hightowers and their re-election to crown Aegon in the role of King.
The penultimate episode was committed to the Hightowers and their re-election to crown Aegon in the role of King. The final episode in House of the Dragon keeps its eye on princess Rhaenrya (Emma D'Arcy) who is told about the passing of her father Viserys (Paddy Considine) by Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) who escapes King's Landing on her dragon Medleys. The real reason Rhaenys wants to share with Rhaenyra is not her father's death, but rather that the throne she was promised to inherit was taken from Aegon who was crowned in front of the people inside the Red Keep. A pregnant Rhaenyra is unable to comprehend the two shocks that have occurred and fall into labor early. Meanwhile, their husband Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) starts to prepare for war.
The series continues to deliver another painful birthing sequence when Rhaenyra (D'Arcy) herself takes her stillborn child from her body. In a state of agonizing pain, she tells her sons Jacerys (Harry Collett) and Luceyrs (Elliot Grihault) that no decision will be taken until she has decreed it in a sort of warning to Daemon who seems excited about the thought of being at war with the Hightowers. At the funeral for her child, Rhaenyra is crowned Queen when her Ser Erryk (Elliot Tittensor) swears allegiance to her and presents her with the crown used by her dad, and the one that sits upon the head of the king of seven kingdoms.
As Rhaenyra meets her council to discuss plans to make her next move, Ser Otto Hightower makes a visit to Dragonstone to leave an e-mail to Rhaenyra by Queen Dowager Alicent (Olivia Cooke). Rhaenyra is aboard her dragon to discuss with Ser Otto his visit to provide some conditions for Rhaenyra and her children in order to remain on the Dragonstone and Driftmark the thrones while her children serve the King of Aegon. As Rhaenyra sends Otto off, she's not yet ready for battle and hopes to keep peace within the seven kingdoms, but she is determined to ensure that she's got her allies. One of her greatest allies makes a comeback in the form of SeaSnake or Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) returns safe and promises his loyalty to her as Queen. To win more allies Jacerys suggests that both he and Lucerys who are also Dragon rides, speak towards those who are the Starks and Baratheons in order to gain their support while informing them of their Targaryen power. Accepting the offer, Rhaenyra sends Jace to the North while Lucerys is taken towards Storm's End where he ends up meeting the Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell). But things become intense in the relationship between Aemond and Luce when they depart with their dragons out of Storm's End and it's here that Vhagar plans his first murder.
At the beginning of the episode of House of the Dragon, fans have been waiting for the chance to get a Game of Thrones-like twist, and finally, they get that huge moment in the conclusion. This is a death that's not less shocking than Ned Stark's and which will change the story of Westeros forever. The real start of the Civil War starts here. Aegon's crowning was merely an occasion, however, it's Lucy's loss that will change the course for Rhaenyra because she'll not just pursue justice for what she's lost, but seek revenge for everything that is in between them. In the final episode, there were a number of instances where we can see the reasons Viserys decided to choose Rhaenyra as his successor and we can see how much she has in common with Daemon when it comes to being a ruler with resilience and patience, as opposed to Daemon who prefers to destroy his Red Keep and everyone in it in order to take the throne. These tiny details also offer an idea of the future of Rhaenyra and Daemon's friendship and what's in store for it.
It has served as a preparation for the long-awaited civil war, also known as Dance of the Dragons that will alter the course of history in Westerosi in the sense that Dragons will be on the point of extinction by the time it's over. The season has been able to bring the right amount of tension in the lead-up to the war, on the combat front, the entire season was in the background. There have been some inconsistencies with regard to the characters' age and it's particularly confusing as to why Matt Smith's Daemon hasn't changed much in spite of the numerous times leaps.
A sequel for Game of Thrones was first made public, it didn't appear as a good idea, given the way that the original show concluded with a conclusive season that didn't give a full account of the whole journey. However, with Season 1 of House of the Dragon now completed, I can confidently declare that the return to Westeros has been an exciting one, and it's likely to have different storytellers in the sense that the prequel is adding its own flavor rather than following the path of Game of Thrones. The initial episode of House of the Dragon is an introduction to the show in that we are able to put all the pieces on the chessboard prior to when the actual game starts during the next season. It will be a test of our intentions when war breaks out.
The final episode is also a reminder of the character Daemon (Smith) who,, after becoming a dark character in the very first episode, is now able to find a calmer face, but having the Iron throne now within his grasp, Daemon seems to be returning to his previous ways, even to the point of physical claiming his supremacy over Rhaenyra in a brief scene. Despite many time jumps House of the Dragon managed to hold our attention and, with the final episode, we are left with solid knowledge about the character and their story through the civil war period. The second season will bring more characters to the show like Mysaria who was only mentioned but will play larger roles in the coming seasons.
In terms of performance It was an absolute pleasure to kick off on the road by introducing Milly Alcock, and Emma Carey and to eventually arrive at a totally different mix that consists of Rhaenyra as well as Alicent via Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke at the finale this season. The finale features D'Arcy's heartbreaking childbirth scene, and she also shines when she contemplates quietly her decision-making process on the future of House Targaryen. Matt Smith has managed to provide Daemon with multiple layers through the season, and it's a character that appears to be designed for Matt Smith. Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, and Rhys Ifans have also led amazing performances throughout and will continue to do similar performances for the big finale.