Six episodes in, House of the Dragon finally jumps forward in time to roughly 129 AC, ten years after the wedding of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (now Emma D’Arcy) and Laenor Velaryon (now John Macmillan). Due to the time jump, we now have to get to know a whole new set of actors and characters, not to mention memorize an entirely new set of bizarre names.
Thankfully, the wedding in Episode 5 served as a foreshadowing of these new connections. The couple of Rhaenyra and Laenor now have three children. The son of the King’s Hand, Ser Harwin “Breakbones” Strong (Ryan Corr), who stepped in to protect Rhaenyra during the wedding brawl, is now the Commander of the City Watch and an ambiguous household member.
The three children of Alicent Hightower (now Olivia Cooke) and King Viserys (now Paddy Considine) are still alive and well. After dancing with her at the wedding, Daemon (Matt Smith) eventually married Laena Velaryon (now Nanna Blondell). There are two kids in the family.
Rhaenyra and Lenor have three children, Alicent and Viserys have three children, and Daemon and Laena have two (2). Once Viserys finally kicks it, which he hasn’t done yet despite collapsing at his wedding and coughing like a Night’s Watchman in the cold for the past decade, these three families will represent the forces vying for control of the Iron Throne.
His death, however, is imminent, and when it comes, war will erupt. (Plus, we’ll have actual fight sequences!)Let me explain what transpired in the sixth episode of House of the Dragon.
Hard Cut To Childbirth
The story begins with an older Princess, Rhaenyra giving birth to her third child, Joffrey. A servant informs Rhaenyra after the conception that the Queen, Alicent, wants to see the baby, which infuriates the future monarch and princess heir. She takes the child to Alicent on her own accord and is soon joined by a nervous Laenor who has been absent for the better part of their marriage.
Alicent, who seems concerned, tells Rhaenyra to rest (she won’t), and Viserys, who is overjoyed, comments on how the baby has Laenor’s nose, drawing uncomfortable glances from those around them.
Since Rhaenyra lied to her friend about being with her uncle Daemon, they have been at each other’s throats. The other son of the King’s Hand, Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), first whispered the rumor to Alicent in the courtyard, and the lie brought the two of them closer together. After being rescued by Strong’s brother, Ser Harwin, Rhaenyra and Strong appear to have grown closer throughout the wedding. Alicent’s interference with the courtyard suicide of rioter Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) has won him over to team Hightower, as he is now a member of her Kingsguard.
Therefore, there has been a reorganization in King’s Landing. Even with all this political intrigue and gossip that Rhaenyra’s three children are Ser Harwin’s bastards and not Prince Laenor’s, King Viserys continues to show no signs of noticing any of it. (Like Joffrey Baratheon’s hair in Game of Thrones, the color difference in Rhaenyra’s three children is a telltale sign of shady goings-on in the royal court.)
This unavoidable fact could cause irreparable damage to the relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent; Alicent views Rhaenyra’s marriage choices as a form of dishonor and defiance that will only complicate the line of succession. Both women’s children appear to be engaged in their bitter competition.
What are their names?
Aegon (male), Halaena (female), and Aemond (male) are Alicent’s children (m). Although we haven’t met Daeron (m) yet, she also gives birth to him in the books.
Jacaerys Velaryon (m), Lucerys Velaryon (m), and Joffrey Velaryon (m) are Rhaenyra’s offspring (m). (Warning: major spoilers will appear on your screen if you look up the family trees online.)
Alice warns her eldest son, Aegon, that he is in danger as long as Rhaenyra is the heir to the throne. After his father’s death, Aegon, the King’s firstborn son, may seek to succeed to the throne. As soon as this happens, Alicent thinks Rhaenyra will strike at Aegon. Therefore, Alicent causes animosity between Rhaenyra’s firstborn child, Jacaerys and her second child Aegon.
Cole oversees a training exercise where the tension between the two families serves as a metaphor (Team Hightower). After becoming an enemy of Rhaenyra, it’s clear that Cole supports Alicent’s plans to educate her offspring. (Because she turned down his marriage proposal, Cole has become a complete jerk.) Ser Harwin, a father to Rhaenyra’s children, watches idly. When compared to Jacaerys, he thinks Cole’s training is inadequate.
Despite their apparent size and age differences, Aegon and Jacaerys engage in a fight. The fact that Jacaerys can hold his own suggests that the balance of power will eventually shift to Rhaenyra’s offspring. Aegon then uses dirty tactics and gains the upper hand before Harwin can intervene. Cole then implies that Harwin is acting this way because he is the boy’s father, prompting Harwin to beat the living daylights out of Cole. A dishonor is given Cole’s position as a member of the Kingsguard. Significant repercussions for both families will follow the fight.