We’re finally down to House of the Dragon’s season one half-point next week, with an exciting new trailer to unpack for all you Westeros fans:
Ah, weddings. While in real life they’re usually a thing to be celebrated, marriage ceremonies tend to have a bad rep in Westeros, with the infamous Red and Purple weddings from Game of Thrones still leaving a bad, bloody taste in some characters’ mouths.
With plenty of political intrigue stirring up at King’s Landing and beyond, let’s take a closer look at the upcoming episode, and what the all-new trailer tells us:
The Next Red Wedding?
Alright, maybe this wasn’t as extreme as the Red Wedding, but tensions seem pretty high at Westeros, no doubt about it. The trailer opens up with a voiceover of Viserys proposing Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage to the Velaryon house, which of course is accepted as both sides stand to gain immense political and military might by uniting themselves.
Unfortunately, the wedding goes south quickly. While we don’t directly see the inciting conflict, we’re given a hint through Corlys’ wife Rhaenys Targaryen (and some editing) that the Lannisters and Hightowers might be responsible.
Soon enough, a fistfight breaks out. Groom Laenor Velaryon is tossed onto a table while Ser Cristan Cole brings a fist down on someone. We also spot the ‘Knight of Kisses’ Joffrey Lonmouth with his nose smashed and bleeding, likely indicating that he was a target of the initial conflict that stirred up the wedding.
Lonmouth, in the books, is hinted at as being Laenor’s secret lover. Did rumors of the Velaryon King Consort’s sexuality stir up violence at the wedding? We think it’s quite possible.
The original Blood and Fire prose was, unlike the Song of Ice and Fire novels, written in character by two in-universe sources — Archmaester Gyldayn, who while reputable may have had his own political biases, and Mushroom. The latter was a court dwarf who served at the court of King Viserys and spent a long time overhearing and narrating salacious secrets from within the walls of King’s Landing.
While it doesn’t seem that House of the Dragon directly refers to either one of these book sources, we might have just seen a tiny glimpse of the cunning jester — with a dwarf actor dressed as a court herald, playing the drums during the royal wedding. Coincidence? Perhaps not.
New Age of Dragons
Part of Viserys’ decision to unite the Targaryen and Velaryon houses involves his vision for a ‘new age of dragons’, as both houses are the only ones to have dragon-attuned nobility in them.
We catch a brief glimpse of two dragons in the trailer as well. The first is Seasmoke — Laenor’s young, sliver-grey dragon which was instrumental in winning the siege of Bloodstone. We also get a glimpse of his mother, Rhaenys’ Meleys. One of the oldest living dragons at around 150 years of age — called ‘the Red Queen’, we’ll be seeing a lot of her during the dark days ahead for Westeros.
Daemon’s Sinister Plans
Midway through the trailer, we also catch a glimpse of Daemon Targaryen, now exiled back to the Vale to spend his days with his estranged wife. Judging from the clearly hilly landscape behind him, that’s exactly where the shot places him — seemingly attacking a rider and horse in his brief appearance underneath a hood.
While we don’t have a lot of details, we can assume that this might indeed be his ‘bronze bitch’, Lady Rhea Royce. In the books, Royce seems to have died while ‘accidentally’ falling from a mounted horse… so perhaps our show’s Daemon decides to take matters into his own hands.
With a claim to the Royce lands of Runestone, Daemon might decide to turn the Vale into a seat of power for himself. While he’s unsuccessful at doing so in the books, perhaps the show could play out differently — granting him more political weight than he would have had otherwise.
Viserys’ Impending Death
Well, we all knew that Viserys was doomed from the start, with his mysterious illness being referenced as early as in Episode 1. By Episode 5, it’s likely that the poor guy is on his last legs, with his entire arm covered in unsightly blemishes, while Alicent watches the man collapse in front of his own castle in a later shot.
Otto Hightower, who was recently sacked from his position as Hand of the King, realizes (albeit with his own agendas), that once Viserys dies, the realm will be plunged into chaos unless his grandson Aegon II becomes king — a point he makes clear to his daughter and Queen, Alicent Hightower.
It’s interesting to see Alicent also interact briefly with Ser Cole, who may have a greater part to play in events to come.
House of the Dragon returns on 19th September, at 6:30 AM on Hotstar.
Lead Image: HBO