The first episode of House of the Dragon has dropped, and Westeros is as magnificent and gruesome as ever. A common consensus among all that have watched it is that the series is a worthy successor to Game of Thrones. It wastes no time in plunging deep into the political plots and the problems that the kingdom faces. The episode introduces the setting and characters, after which many significant events occur. Listed below are the top 5 moments from Episode 1 of House of the Dragon.
SPOILER ALERT: This episode has major spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 1. Proceed at your own risk.
5. Syrax the dragon in flight
The episode opens with Rhaenyra riding astride her dragon Syrax. It is beautiful to see the familiar sights of King’s Landing through the eyes of a dragon that isn’t intent on burning it down. Though the flight that the two of them undertake doesn’t last long, even the brief glimpse we get of it is satisfying.
Seeing the techniques used to handle the enormous beasts adds a lot to the mythology of the series. Syrax appears once more much later in the episode. This moment too is beautiful, though much more heartbreaking.
4. Daemon’s speech to the Gold Cloaks
Daemon is the Commander of the City Watch and gives a rallying speech to the Gold Cloaks. He assembles them to go out and fight crime. Matt Smith puts in a great performance, sinking into the skin of Daemon Targaryen.
This scene starts to show the audience what this character is all about. As the City Watch marches forth to bring justice to the streets, it is difficult not to see Daemon as a righteous avenger. What follows soon after though is sure to send a chill down one’s spine.
3. Rhaenyra and Alicent studying
Most of the episode has a fair amount of blood, bones, and scheming. In contrast, a quiet moment shared between two friends is very refreshing. Rhaenyra and Alicent learn the realm’s history as they spend time in the gardens.
They bond over having to please the septa by learning all the facts. The two of them also talk about their hopes and dreams. Rhaenyra’s dreams are fanciful as Alicent reminds her of her place in court. Politics still manage to seep into their conversation, ending the moment of calm. It is a subtle foreshadowing of what is to come.
2. Daemon Targaryen vs Ser Criston Cole
King Viserys holds a tournament in anticipation of the birth of his son. Here, an unknown knight begins to climb the ranks. He unhorses many riders much more accomplished than him. This is Ser Criston Cole, who immediately catches the eyes of the princess. The tourney is bloody, with many knights losing their lives.
Cole finally has to fight the most vicious knight in the tourney, Prince Daemon. The moment is quite tense as Daemon is not beyond fighting dirty. The scene that follows is well-choreographed. It hearkens back to legendary fights such as the Mountain and the Viper. With a simple fight like this being so much fun to watch, coming episodes are sure to have much more in store.
1. Viserys’ revelation to Rhaenyra
At the very end of the episode, Viserys is quite broken by the events that have taken place. He stands before the skull of his dragon, Balerion the Black Dread. Rhaenyra joins him, and he explains to her that men were not meant to control dragons. He tells her that doing so was what brought about the Doom of Valyria. If they did not heed their own history, he explained, it would come about again. In a surprising moment, he tells her about the greatest threat mankind faces, the cold at the end of the world.
This leads to the revelation that the Targaryens have always been aware of the White Walkers. Finally, he shows her the Valyrian Steel Catspaw Dagger, the same one that Arya used to kill the Night King. He tells her this is a secret passed down from each ruler to the next, and it is now her turn to know.
What were your favorite moments from Episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!
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