news culture House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Larys Fort, Ser Harwin… What should we remember from episode 6?
Episode 6 of the Game of Thrones spin-off has just been released and once again raises a number of questions. We dissect with you “The Princess and the Queen” to find out what the sequel to House of the Dragon has in store for us.
The following paper spoils the events of the first six episodes ofHouse of the Dragon. If you want to keep the surprise, we advise you to watch them before diving into this reading. In addition, we will discuss upcoming events in future episodes of the series. If you want to know as little as possible, be careful when reading.
Rhaenyra vs Alicent: War is coming
Ten years have passed between the events of episode 5 and those of episode 6. And the least we can say is that the animosity between the two young women has not diminished, quite the contrary. Throughout the episode, they oppose each other, more or less explicitly. If Rhaenyra takes malicious pleasure in placing herself against Alicent during the Restricted Council, the queen acts in the shadows to reduce Rhaenyra’s chances of acceding to the throne. And this goes above all through the morals of the princess.
The episode is pretty clear on this: Rhaenyra’s children are not Laenor’s and it shows. Only Viserys refuses to see it, knowing deep down the harm it would cause his daughter. While the Rhaenyra children’s parentage is widely questioned in the books, it’s left unclear as to who their true father would be. Blur that the series blatantly chose to ignore while posing Ser Harwin Fort, Lord Commander of King’s Watch, as the only possible father of Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey. Alicent knows this and intends to use this information to her advantage.
From the start, the tone is set. Alicent insists on verifying that the barely born baby is still not Laenor’s son (and even allows herself a small pike in passing). After which, his main goal is to make Viserys accept the harsh reality, but without success. It is finally Criston Cole who will bring the truth to light, forcing the ally of the princess to move away to calm these dangerous rumors which could put her title of heir at stake.
We know it from the beginning, many people do not want a woman on the throne, especially since the arrival of little Aegon II. Revealed in broad daylight, his morals (and consequently his illegitimate children) would be a godsend for all his detractors looking for a reason to harm him. And the more time passes, the more there seem to be. Worse still, Rhaenyra is deeply isolated in King’s Landing. Her only ally is Ser Harwyn Fort and her own husband does not seem to be there to support her, ready to flee the court to avoid the storm that the succession will generate.
Cornered, she therefore has no choice but to flee Port-Réal for Dragonstone at the end of the episode. But don’t think that she’s renouncing her title of heiress in this way. If Rhaenyra withdraws, it is to better prepare for the coming war. The allusion to the blade of Ser Qarl Correy is indeed not insignificant: in Dragonstone, she will set up her own clan (even though Ser Qarl Correy might just weaken him) . And perhaps the timing is right, as the heads troubling Alicent’s clan begin to roll. On the other hand, it is risky to take the sails like this. Rid of Rhaenyra, Alicent will have free rein to mount the skull of Viserys but also to gain the favors of the court. If Rhaenyra returns to Port-Réal to claim the throne, it is an even more hostile troop than before that she risks finding there and an Alicent in a position of strength.
The Greens in a strong position?
Alicent took insurance during these 10 years, at the expense of Viserys. Visually very weakened, he lost the little power he had left. Because if he has always been a rather weak and withdrawn king, he now completely disappears behind Alicent. During the Restricted Council, he is content to acquiesce in what she says without giving her opinion, she no longer slips away when the Main requests an audience with the king and she even allows herself to refuse certain tasks which were imposed on her, such as the fact of taking eternal care of a husband who does not consider her. This resurgence of power is also accompanied by a court which is gradually forming around her and which will support her for the succession.
The Greens, as they will call themselves, are welcoming their staunchest supporters. And it starts with Criston Cole who, as planned, joined the Queen and has an undisguised hatred for his former lovere, Rhaenyra. A seasoned knight with a certain strength (as we saw in the previous episode), he is a great asset and has already trained Alicent’s sons in battle. They clearly leave with an advantage in the looming war… And then there is also Larys Fort and the possible return of Otto Hightower. Strong allies that give Alicent a head start, but will that really be enough?
If factually and visually, everything suggests that Alicent has the upper hand over Rhaenyra, things could well be more complicated than that. First, Aegon doesn’t fit her image of the perfect heir. He doesn’t especially want the throne, he doesn’t treat his little brother well and he’s not an example “of honor and decency”. It is also quite amusing to note that she is at least as blind to Aegon as Viserys is to Rhaenyra. It remains to be seen if this blind maternal confidence will play tricks on her in the future.
Moreover, the more time passes, the less Alicent turns out to be an example “of honor and decency”. If it was a noble cause that made her want to put Aegon on the throne (save the lives of her sons), we realize that she is becoming more and more power-hungry. Otherwise, why not accept Rhaenyra’s proposal, the only way to ease the tension and ensure a peaceful conclusion? However, she doesn’t seem ready to do anything to obtain said power yet, as shown by her reaction to Larys Fort’s action… A weakness that could cost him dearly, especially since others do not have this kind of mood.
Daemon, Vaghar, Larys… The disturbing elements
This is particularly the case of Daemon who is still there, and again single moreover. The opportunity to get closer to Rhaenyra again? Nothing is less sure. In ten years, the fiery Daemon seems to have calmed down. He no longer dreams of greatness, does not resent being used, and is able to make do with a patch of fertile land and some wealth. Quite the opposite of Laena, who would rather die by the fire of her own dragon than sleep like a docile wife. Note that in the book she succumbs after childbirth from an illness and does not have time to reach Vhagar. Moreover, we will never really know if Daemon would have made the same choice as his brother or not…
From this tragic ending stems an important event: Vaghar, who is one of the largest dragons in existence, finds himself without a master. A major asset in any armed conflict, his future and his allegiance are now uncertain. He could bond with Rhaena Targaryen, daughter of Laena and Daemon, who just complains about not having her dragon. But there is another character who is in this case: Aemond Targaryen, son of Viserys and Alicent. The guy is particularly fascinated by these creatures and wants more than anything to ride one. From there to steal Vaghar? According to the teaser for episode 7, this is quite possible.
Larys’ position also promises to be decisive for the rest of the series. He has just founded his own small group of followers, lawless assassins who owe him their lives and no longer have the language to betray him. These will be used to move certain pieces of the chessboard in the shadows, but for whom? If the death of Lyonel Fort will most certainly allow Alicent to find his father at court, Larys Fort could above all serve his own interests there. Following the death of his father and his brother, he becomes Harrenhal’s heir. A role which, as a second son, would never have been granted to him. In addition, the queen is indebted to him, a point on which he particularly insisted. If he is like an ally for Alicent, he could well place his pawns for his own comfort, as those who act, like him, in the shadows and attentively listening to all the noises of corridor. To be continued …