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House of the Dragon Season 1: Every episode ranked



Daemon facing Vermithor
Ranking episodes from season 1 of House of the Dragon is a complex task. All the episodes in this season were exceptional and had a good pace as well, though many criticized it for moving too fast. Specific episodes were outstanding, while others made audiences groan. This article ranks all episodes of House of the Dragon from worst to best.

10) King of the Narrow Sea (Episode 4)

This episode gave us the fun sequence where Rhaenyra and Daemon roamed the streets of King’s Landing together. It’s one of the few times we see Rhaenyra having fun. Of course, their night out on the street ended in a disturbing way. It sparked controversy and spelled unfortunate consequences for both of them. Rhaenyra also entered into her relationship with Ser Criston Cole during this episode. Cole grew feelings for her, which triggered many events that would happen later. All in all, an entertaining watch with a few notable scenes.

9) Second of His Name (Episode 3)

This episode had many fans excited for The War of the Stepstones. But, the Crabfeeder storyline was underwhelming, with not much happening throughout the episode. Things built up more towards the end, with a spectacular battle scene. Daemon defeated the Crabfeeder to conquer the Stepstones and declared himself “King of the Narrow Sea.” This was a satisfying conclusion to the story, with Daemon’s victory displaying his prowess as a warrior and redeeming the episode.

8) The Princess and the Queen (Episode 6)

“The Princess and the Queen” show how disconnected Alicent and Rhaenyra had gotten and how far they were willing to go to protect their children. The extended tracking shot of Rhaenyra walking through the Red Keep after giving birth was genuinely remarkable. The birth scene itself was incredibly harrowing, one of many this season.  Additionally, the complicated relationship between Harwin, Rhaenyra, and Laenor made this episode intriguing. It also gave us our first glimpse of the enormous dragon Vhagar. The tragic end of Laena Velaryon and Vhagar’s reluctance to follow her final command was heartbreaking, to say the least.

7) The Rogue Prince (Episode 2)

In this episode, Viserys had to decide who to marry as his advisors pushed him to pick a new queen. Viserys’ and Alicent’s conversations were earnest, and his discussions with Laena were uncomfortable. What made this episode great, though, was the showdown between Daemon and Otto on the bridge of Dragonstone. Rhaenyra’s entrance on Syrax is among the best dragon-riding moments of this season. The following scene, where she talks Daemon down and convinces him to hand over the stolen dragon egg, makes Otto’s plan foolish in comparison. This was the highlight of “The Rogue Prince” and was a superb way to show Rhaenyra’s ability and prowess.

6) The Green Council (Episode 9)

Game of Thrones fans had high expectations for the ninth episode this season, as GoT famously has spectacular ninth episodes. For example, the third season’s “The Rains of Castamere” episode was iconic, so everyone expected this episode of HotD to be exceptional. Yet, it was ultimately quite underwhelming, as the chase to find Aegon felt anticlimactic. Rhaenys on her dragon was impressive but didn’t work as well as it could have. There was much more tension created when Rhaenys was trying to escape, as it would surely mean her execution or imprisonment. , giving her no way to warn the Blacks of what was coming. Instead, she had an opportunity to end the war before it began. Rather than doing this, she killed a large amount of smallfolk, which felt like an unnecessary action that didn’t add much to the story. Maybe she intended to kill Aegon and changed her mind at the last second, which left viewers unsatisfied and fuming.

5) We Light the Way (Episode 5)

Daemon Targaryen killing his wife Rhea Royce was a shocking scene that deviated from the Fire & Blood narrative. This marked the start of a season of chaos. The wedding of Laenor Velaryon and Rhaenyra Targaryen was yet another example of a bloody wedding in Westeros. Alicent’s entrance at the event wearing her dress of Hightower green signaled the end of her being unsuspecting and gullible. Many interpreted her act at the feast as an open rebellion against the crown. This began the delineation of sides that would eventually occur. The shocking moment at the end of the episode where Ser Criston Cole beat Laenor’s lover to death was terrifying and unanticipated. We never really got an explanation about how Criston got away with murder or how Alicent acquitted him of his crimes though.

4) Driftmark (Episode 7)

“Driftmark”  is the final episode directed by Miguel Sapochnik. His directorial prowess is seen especially in one of the most memorable moments of the episode. This was, of course, Aemond’s flight on Vhagar, the first time he had ever ridden a dragon. Leo Ashton gives an excellent performance in this breathtaking scene. At the same time, there is a turning point in Daemon and Rhaenyra’s relationship as they seek comfort in each other’s arms. Immediately after, we get the sequence in which Aemond fights his nephews and cousins and receives the infamous cut on his eye. In the aftermath of this, there is much arguing about what to do next and some standout moments of family drama. Laenor’s ‘death’ occurs in this episode, too, deviating again from Fire & Blood as he rows off with his lover Ser Qarl Correy.

3) The Heirs of the Dragon (Episode 1)

As the first episode after years of the GoT hangover, this episode is stunning, with the script covering a lot of ground. The viewers meet all the new characters without too much information overwhelming them. Milly Alcock and Emily Carey do a stellar job as the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent. The horrific death of Aemma Arryn also sets the tone for the show for what is to lie ahead, as one of the most brutal scenes of the entire season. The episode ends with a connection to the Night King and GoT with the reveal of the Catspaw dagger. The “Prince who was Promised” prophecy sheds light on an aspect of Westeros that GoT fans have wondered about for ages.

2) The Lord of the Tides (Episode 8)

In this episode, Paddy Considine deserves all the accolades for his powerful portrayal of Viserys. Watching the decline of Viserys is complex, and his last walk to the Iron Throne to defend his daughter is an incredibly powerful scene. We see how much Viserys loves his daughter, leaving his deathbed to support her claim to the throne and her son’s claim to Driftmark All performances in this episode are compelling, though Paddy Considine is the episode’s highlight. The execution of Vaemond Velaryon by Daemon is equally brilliant while also shocking. The family dinner later in the episode offers a brief moment of hope that things can get better. Yet the episode completely turns the table on the situation after this. Daemon standing in front of Aemond silently is an episode highlight that will stay with viewers long after the season’s end.

1) The Black Queen (Episode 10)

The Black Queen was a challenging viewing experience for everyone, with its depictions of birth trauma. The climactic clash over Storm’s End between Lucerys and Vhagar was the best dragon sequence on television, with the highest stakes so far. When Luke arrives at Storm’s End and meets with Lord Borros Baratheon, he realizes his childhood enemy Aemond Targaryen is there. The dragon chase that follows was inspired by the movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and is, by all means, outstanding. The showdown between Aemond and Vhagar and Luke and Arrax was both painful and frightening. The conclusion surprised even those that knew how it would end. When Vhagar goes out of control, it finally signals the official start of the Dance of the Dragons. The quiet scene that follows when Rhaenyra finds out what has happened is unforgettable. It also perfectly sets the stage for the beginning of Season 2.
Which was your favorite episode? Tell us in the comments below!
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Ved Prabhudesai is an avid enthusiast of all things pop culture. He has a special interest in the field of animation and art, with a background in Fine Arts and Digital Media Arts. He has begun his first into the field of Entertainment Journalism with Wiki of Thrones, and has been writing for them since 2023. He also has experience working as a screenplay writer, animator and comic book artist. His hobbies include holding discussions and organising events focused around pop culture, dissecting the importance of media in today's world. He began reading A Song Of Ice And Fire shortly before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. He has followed the series religiously and has spent hours reading Wikis learning about Targaryen history and possible plot points we will see in the Winds of Winter.


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