Warning: This is called Spoiler Space for a reason. The following contains details about key plot points and developments in House Of The Dragon episode 6.
A lot can happen in a decade, and on House Of The Dragon, a lot of it happens off-screen. While we’ve gotten time jumps between episodes before—the largest one spanning three years—this is the farthest into the future we’ve gone yet. Episodes five and six are separated by 10 years, during which the characters changed a great deal. Some of them so much that they literally became different people. The exposition flew by quickly in “The Princess And The Queen,” so in case you missed something, here’s a handy guide to what’s been going on and who’s been getting busy over that decade in Westeros and beyond.
- Princess Rhaenyra wasted no time moving on from Ser Criston Cole to Harwin “Breakbones” Strong, last seen hoisting her over his shoulder and carrying her out of the Great Hall, away from the commotion caused by her former lover. He’s commander of the City Watch, also known as the Gold Cloaks, a position Daemon once held. Clearly, she has a type (dudes in cloaks).
- Rhaenyra now has two sons—Jacaerys, nicknamed Jace, and Lucerys, or Luke—and is in the process of giving birth to a third when the episode begins. They look nothing like her husband and royal consort, Ser Laenor Velaryon. In fact, they all bear a striking resemblance to Ser Harwin. Everyone has noticed.
- That is, everyone except King Viserys. Who is somehow still alive! He won’t admit that Rhaenyra’s children are clearly illegitimate, to himself or anyone else. The rumors of their parentage were never fully confirmed in Fire And Blood, and since George R.R. Martin had originally written the Velaryons as white, it was less obvious in the book. In the show, it’s even more ridiculous that Viserys refuses to acknowledge the glaring truth.
- Both Rhaenyra and Alicent have seats on the small council now. Viserys has remained outwardly firm that Rhaenyra will be the one to succeed him, but by allowing Alicent’s input on the council, he’s hedging his bet. As usual, his half measures are only causing more trouble than if he just committed. The open hostility between them is forcing the other noble families to choose sides, and widening the gap between their loyal factions.
- Alicent has identified two important allies in the Red Keep and keeps them close. Ser Criston Cole, a festering sore of bitterness who never misses an opportunity to insult the princess, is now Alicent’s sworn shield. She’s also been sharing meals with Larys Strong, and relying on his questionable counsel.
- Alicent and Viserys have three children, now adolescents. There’s Prince Aegon, the eldest, who would be in his early teens by now. He’s already a dragonrider and claimed Sunfyre the Golden. Next is Princess Helaena, two years his junior. She’ll have a bigger part to play in the future, but for now, she’s just really into bugs. Then there’s Prince Aemond, the youngest. He’s the one without a dragon, unless you count the “Pink Dread.”
- Daemon’s claim to Runestone was denied by Lady Jeyne Arryn, so he pretty much had to marry again or risk being homeless. With House Velaryon left as one of his few remaining allies, Laena was the obvious choice. In a previous episode, there was talk of Lord Corlys promising her to the son of a Braavosi Sealord. In Fire And Blood, this actually happened, though Corlys kept finding ways to postpone the wedding until Daemon arrived on Driftmark and killed the would-be suitor in a duel. We don’t know yet if it unfolded in the same way in the timeline of the series or not, but the result is the same. It’s certainly working out better than Daemon’s first marriage.
- Daemon and his bride (Nanna Blondell is now the third actress to portray Laena, for those keeping track) have been living in luxury across the Narrow Sea in Pentos, the same port city that will one day provide a safe harbor for Targaryen exiles Daenerys and her brother Viserys. Daemon is still not welcome at his brother’s court, but he clearly misses the attention no matter how his current hosts want him to stay.
- The Prince of Pentos is eager for Daemon (and his dragons) to make his residence permanent and provide the city with some security against the Triarchy—the alliance between Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh that once backed the Crabfeeder in the Stepstones. They have been gathering strength, and are close to taking back the strategic archipelago, as the Seven Kingdoms have left them undefended in the years since Daemon’s victory.
- Laena is a dragonrider now, at some point claiming Vhagar, the dragon she raved about to Viserys when she was a child. Vhagar is one of the oldest and largest dragons alive at this point in time, so it’s an impressive feat.
- Daemon and Laena have twin girls, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen. Laena is pregnant with their third child when we meet up with them again. Baela is more like her father—wild and adventurous, with a quick temper. Rhaena is more gentile and ladylike than her sister, thus getting less attention from Daemon. In the Targaryen tradition, both were given dragon eggs at birth, but only Baela’s hatched. Her dragon is called Moondancer.
We’ve only got four episodes left until the end of the season, and a lot more ground to cover, but this should provide a good snapshot of where we’re at with most of the characters for now. There are more cast changes coming, too, so we probably haven’t seen the last of the time jumps on this show.