And so the world turns and gets ready to burn as the royal houses come together to celebrate the union of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor, son of the Valyron household. It’s very easy to anticipate what’s going to happen since it’s not unlike setting up rows of matches too close to a black powder room. The marriage between the two noble houses is meant to bring about strength and unity of the type that will keep things from crumbling down, but it’s apparent that the rot has already started to crumble the great houses from within, and there’s not a lot of hope that things will right themselves in the episodes to come, especially if there’s another time jump on the way that will show how things have progressed years into the future. On top of that, it’s easy to see how the current actions of the various characters in this show are going to cause a chain reaction that will set Westeros ablaze with conflict. Deamon’s murder of his wife, who was given minimal screen time, is only one of the first steps taken, but it’s one of the most important.
People thought that Daemon was cold-blooded before; it would appear that people didn’t realize how high the bar goes yet.
Watching Daemon kill his own wife was all kinds of brutal, even if they didn’t have any love for each other. Lady Rhea Royce has been discussed in the past several episodes, but this is the first, and the last time we get to see her in this series since her part was essentially doomed from the moment that she was wed to this man. But the manner in which she came upon him, without backup, makes one wonder if she really knew how devious he could be. Something indicates that she could be well aware but still didn’t think that he would dare to go against the Vale by being the cause of her death.
The wedding was bound to be a giant mess, but this episode made it clear that things would not be the same moving forward.
The type of tension that builds in this episode is thick enough that one can’t help but assume that things will happen quickly without warning and that there will be no coming back from this moment. From the setup to the execution, this episode delivers on a level that makes one feel almost a little dirty for watching since the illicit relationships between several of the players in this game are enough to make one think that the explosion to come is going to be something that’s going to change the landscape in a big way. Between Saer Criston and Lord Joffrey, it feels as though even putting these two in the same vicinity was bound to be a bad idea since Criston’s insane idea to run away with Rhaenyra wasn’t bound to end well, and Laenor and Joffrey’s affair was bound to backfire on them at some point anyway. This encounter was just a whole lot of bad that was only going to get worse.
So, what about the king?
Yes, what about Viserys? He hasn’t been looking that well over the past few episodes, and his health only appears to be declining as his trip across the sea makes it clear that he’s not in the greatest of health, or he’s simply not fit to sit upon a throne that has been slowly killing him, in theory. As his weakness continues to advance, his problems with his court continue to build, and as others continue to view his descent toward the grave, it’s easy to imagine that Rhaenyra will have one hell of a good fight on her hands for the throne, especially if Daemon or the other lords have anything to say about it, which they will. From the start of his reign, Viserys has been seen as a less-than-worthy successor to the king that came before him, and things have only gotten worse as each episode has come along. From the mess with the royal hart to the mess with his daughter and the line of succession, Viserys was in over his head before things even kicked off. The downside is that Rhaenya might not have done any better.
Moving forward, it’s a big hope that the payoff will be worth the wait.
The idea of pieces being moved off the board and shifted around to gain the advantage that’s needed has been strong within the HotD thus far, and it’s hopeful that things will kick off in a fiery explosion that will sunder the kingdom and shape Westeros into the kingdom that GoT fans have enjoyed for so many years.
Get ready for fire and blood.