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The biggest moments from House of the Dragon Episode 7

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Episode 7 of House of the Dragon finally gives us some of the most anticipated moments from Fire and Blood. The episode title is ‘The Princess and the Queen’, after the novella written by George R.R. Martin, which is also a part of the larger volume. It takes place almost immediately after the events of episode 6, showing the consequences of all that transpired in the previous episode. This article covers 5 of the biggest moments from Episode 7 of House of the Dragon.

 
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A Velaryon funeral

Laena velaryon's funeral at Driftmark

At the beginning of the episode, we see the funeral of Laena Velaryon. This is the first time in the series that we see a funeral in the tradition of the Velaryons. We have previously seen a Targaryen funeral conducted, with the pyre set alight by a dragon’s fire. In contrast to this, the Velaryons encase their dead in an ornate sarcophagus, which is then cast into the sea. Vaemond Velaryon, the brother of Corlys, chants a prayer in High Valyrian as this occurs. The prayer mentions the Merling king, who is a god worshipped most commonly by sailors in the Song of Ice and Fire series. The Velaryons claim to have inherited the Driftwood throne from this god.

The entire family is present at the funeral, and they are all visibly distraught. Vaemond speaks of how Velaryon blood should not thin, causing Daemon to burst out laughing. The cause of his laughter is most probably because he is looking towards Laenor Velaryon standing with his sons, who are not of Velaryon blood. Following this, the families gather at Driftmark, the castle of the Velaryons. Each of them mourns Laena’s death in their own way. Rhaenyra asks her son Lucerys to comfort his cousins, which he attempts to do awkwardly. Rhaenys hugs her granddaughters, sharing in their loss. Viserys attempts to reconcile with Daemon, inviting him back to King’s Landing before heading to bed. He mistakes Alicent for his previous wife Aemma, signifying that his memory is growing weak in his old age. Laenor stands in the sea and weeps, while Corlys watches him angrily. He tells Laenor’s squire Qarl, who is also secretly Laenor’s lover, to retrieve him.

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Vhagar gains a new rider

Aemond tames Vhagar

A highly anticipated moment, foreshadowed in the previous episode, finally comes to pass. During the funeral, both Daemon and Aemond look toward the sky as they hear the cries of a dragon. This is evidently Vhagar, whose rider’s funeral everyone is attending. Known to be reckless and fearless in his pursuit of obtaining a dragon, Aemond takes advantage of the fact that nobody’s eyes are on him. As everyone is busy in the wake of the funeral, he sneaks away to where Vhagar sleeps. With the ancient dragon now riderless, Aemond sneaks up to her and attempts to mount her.

Vhagar resists and is about to breathe fire at Aemond, similar to the dragon from the Dragonpit in episode 6. This time, however, he calms her by speaking in Valyrian. He mounts her and rides her around before landing, drawing the attention of Laena’s children Rhaena and Baela, who think Vhagar is being stolen. Across the sea, Rhaenyra and Daemon also notice Vhagar flying around in the sky. They are yet unaware of the rider’s identity and the fact that the largest dragon in the realm has just passed into the hands of their enemies.

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Aemond loses an eye

Aemond Targaryen in HotD Episode 7

As Baela, Rhaena, Jacaerys and Lucerys investigate the theft of the dragon, they see Aemond walking toward them. There is a sudden change in Aemond’s demeanour after taming Vhagar. Baela says that Vhagar was her mother’s dragon, and Rhaena says Vhagar was hers to claim. Aemond replies that their mother is dead and that Vhagar has a new rider now. He says that Rhaena should have claimed her if she wanted to. He goes on to say that Jacaerys and Lucerys could find her a pig to ride. This is in reference to episode 6, where the two along with Aegon had done exactly this to mock Aegon’s lack of a dragon.

Rhaena and Baela both attack him, and Aemond fights back. Lucerys comes to their aid and the four of them attack Aemond, pinning him down. Aemond picks up a rock and beats them back, standing over Jacaerys and saying that he would die screaming in flames as his father did. This is in reference to Harwin Strong being burnt alive in episode 6. Lucerys, unaware of the truth, cries out that his father is still alive. Aemond looks at Lucerys and jokes about this, calling Lucerys ‘Lord Strong’. At this, Lucerys pulls out his dagger and slashes at Aemond, who overpowers him. As Aemond towers over him, Lucerys blinds him with sand as Jacaerys slashes him with the dagger across the eye.

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Alicent’s fury

Alicent with the Catspaw Dagger

In the aftermath of this fight, the entire royal family and the Velaryons gather in the castle hall, trying to piece together what happened. When questioned, Lucerys mentions that Aemond had called them bastards. As this would put their lineage into question, Rhaenyra says as much to Viserys. When asked where he had heard this, Aemond glances first at his mother Queen Alicent before laying the blame on Aegon. Aegon does not deny the claim and instead states that everyone knows the truth of the matter. Viserys angrily demands that the family stop fighting between themselves and attempts to lay the matter to rest.

At this point, Alicent says that Lucerys needs to lose an eye due to the injury he has inflicted to serve justice. This is reminiscent of Cersei calling for the killing of Arya’s direwolf after she had attacked Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Viserys however refuses to allow it, and Alicent commands Criston Cole to do it instead. Cole does not comply, saying that he is only sworn to defend her. Alicent then steals Viserys’ dagger from his belt and charges toward Lucerys. Rhaenyra stops her and the two angrily exchange words, with Alicent accusing Rhaenyra of not fulfilling her duty. Rhaenyra in turn says that everyone now sees Alicent as she is, at which point Alicent breaks away, slashing Rhaenyra across the arm with the dagger. The matter is finally laid to rest when Aemond tells his mother not to mourn him. He says that though he has lost an eye, he has gained a dragon.

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The death of Laenor

Laenor Velaryon in House of the Dragon Episode 7

As Alicent sails away, she talks with Larys Strong, saying that she may yet have need of his services when the time came. Alternatively, Rhaenyra talks to Daemon about how there would be a battle coming soon. She says that she would have need of him and that the two of them should marry and join their families to strengthen their position. Daemon points out that they cannot marry while Rhaenyra’s husband Laenor yet lives. Earlier on, Laenor had spoken to Rhaenyra about committing himself to their family, though his lover Qarl would be sailing away. At Daemon’s claim, Rhaenyra says that she is aware that Laenor would need to die.

The two of them hatch a plot, with Rhaenyra saying that Laenor’s death would cause others to fear the two of them. Daemon goes to Qarl and offers him money and a new life across the Narrow Sea for participating in their plan. Qarl then confronts Laenor in the hall of Driftmark while a squire boy is present. The boy runs away to summon the guards, and they find a dead body in the fire, burnt beyond recognition. Corlys and Rhaenys mourn the death of their son. Rhaenyra and Daemon marry soon after this. At the end of the episode, we see Qarl fleeing to his ship on which he will make his escape, accompanied by a bald companion. As the boat drifts away, we see the companion’s face, revealing him to be Laenor with his hair shaved off. This implies that the body in the fireplace was someone else’s, made unrecognizable by the severe burns.

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