'House of the Dragon' Season 1 Recap: Here's What Happened in the Epic Finale

After a lengthy battle of succession that involved massive time jumps, unexpected twists, surprise changes from George R.R. Martin's source material Fire & Blood and, of course, dragons, incest and death, season 1 of House of the Dragon came to a dramatic and satisfying close in October 2022.

The finale for the first season of the Game of Thrones prequel series had fans talking, with many taking to social media to post the most wild and accurate responses to a final hour filled with even more dragons and deaths.

With so much at stake, especially as everyone was forced to pick a side, either aligning with the Green Council or the Black Council, as the houses fought over who should reign after the death of King Viserys (Paddy Considine), here's what happened in "The Black Queen."

After Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) took to her dragon and disrupted Aegon’s (Tom Glynn-Carney) coronation at the end of episode 9, it was just a matter of time before Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) learned of Queen Alicent's (Olivia Cooke) decision to defy the long-standing pledge to make Viserys' daughter queen after his death. And it was safe to say, she nor her husband, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), were happy with what happened in King's Landing.

Not long after arriving at Dragonstone, Rhaenys delivered the news, telling Rhaenyra, "The Greens are coming for you."

Before battle lines were drawn, however, Rhaenyra had to deal with problems at home, with Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) complaining about being put on the throne in Driftmark over Corlys' brother, Vaemond (Wil Johnson), and her own pregnancy coming to term earlier than expected.

In another shocking and bloody birth scene for the series, Rhaenyra delivered her own baby, pulling out the stillborn. While mourning the death of her youngest child, one of the Arryk Cargyll twins arrived with her crown and pledged his loyalty to her in what became a makeshift coronation.

Rhaenyra and her the Black Council then met and assessed the probability of going to war -- and which alliances still remained. This led to a mention of Winterfell and the Starks, as well as Storm's End and the Baratheons, two families at the center of Game of Thrones, who, given the book canon, are expected to side with them while the Lannisters are believed to follow Queen Alicent.

While they were strategizing, Alicent's father and the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), arrived at Dragonstone with a peace offering from King Aegon Targaryen -- stipulating that Queen Rhaenyra recognize his reign and his reign only. He also revealed that the houses believed to be true to Rhaenyra may actually be more in play than previously expected.

Otto also passed along a message from Alicent, claiming that she never forgot the love between her and Rhaenyra in their younger days.

Rhaenyra considered the terms – channeling her own father's desire for the sanctity the realm above all else – much to the chagrin of Daemon, who revealed his dastardly character in a moment of anger.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) was still alive, despite rumors that he was wounded and killed at sea. For Rhaenys, this was a long time coming, with Best telling ET that reuniting with him and his survival was of the utmost importance to her.

While everyone waited to see where he'd guide his navy, Corlys and Rhaenys debated where they should side. Despite losing everything to Rhaenyra, they ultimately pledged House Velaryon and the navy to the "Black Queen." In doing so, Corlys also revealed that he had full control of Stepstones and the Narrow Sea, a waterway pivotal to King's Landing's survival.

Before taking action, it was decided that Lucerys and Jacaerys (Harry Collett) would secure loyalty from the Starks, Baratheons and Arryns by riding dragons to Winterfell, Storm's End and Eyrie.

During Lucerys' visit with Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans), it was revealed that Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) had already arrived with the news that his brother now sat on the Iron Throne -- as well as an offer to unite their house with the Hightowers and Targaryens. The visit ended poorly, however, after Aemond and Lucerys got into an aerial battle on dragonback, with Vhagar killing Rhaenyra's son – no doubt setting a course for war in season 2.

House of the Dragon season 1 is now streaming on Max. Season 2 premieres Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. PT/ET on HBO and streaming on Max.


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