Can HOTD finally bring the heat? 7 things we want to see in the House Of The Dragon finale

Can HOTD finally bring the heat? 7 things we want to see in the House Of The Dragon finale

Here's how we’d like to see House Of The Dragon wrap up its first season

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Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy
Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy
Image: Ollie Upton/HBO

There’s only one episode left in the first season of House Of The Dragon, and by now we know the characters and the world well enough to have some idea of what we want from the finale. It’s been a season of ups and downs, time jumps and catch-ups, incest, murder, and terrible wigs. What more could we ask for? Plenty.

In the penultimate episode, “The Green Council,” Alicent’s faction gained the upper hand following the death of King Viserys, by virtue of proximity. They were the first to find out he’d died, and Hand of the King Otto Hightower already had a plan in place to ensure Aegon’s ascension. While Rhaenyra and company were on their way back to Dragonstone, unaware that anything had changed, Otto was plotting their murder and a hasty coronation for his grandson. Said coronation nearly went off without a hitch, and even Rhaenys crashing the party on her dragon Meleys couldn’t stop the proceedings. So now we have Aegon II, Second of his Name, seated on the Iron Throne instead of Viserys’ legitimate heir. And everyone’s just going to go along and be cool with it, right? Yeah, not this family.

A lot of this season felt like a prologue, building up to something big. All that setup finally paid off in “The Green Council,” so we expect the next one will keep that momentum going. Bear in mind that these aren’t necessarily predictions or spoilers, just speculation. If you’ve read Fire And Blood, the book that inspired the series, you may think you have some idea of what happens next, but the showrunners have proven they’re willing to go in a different direction when they feel the story calls for it, so we may be in for a few surprises. And if some of these don’t come to pass in the episode, there’s always season two.

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2 / 9

1. An epic dragon fight

1. An epic dragon fight

Image for article titled Can HOTD finally bring the heat? 7 things we want to see in the House Of The Dragon finale
Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

“Then the storm broke, and the dragons danced.” This quote from Fire And Blood comes immediately after the death of Viserys, and leads us right into the Targaryen civil war. House Targaryen has always relied on its dragons to stay in power, but what happens when there are dragons on both sides? We’re going to find out, hopefully soon. We’re anxious for some real aerial firepower in episode 10. We’ve only seen a dragon in battle once this season, in episode three, so let’s turn up the heat and see those dragons in action. Rhaenyra did promise Alicent in episode eight that she’d return to King’s Landing “on dragonback.” We hope she keeps that promise, just not in the way she meant it.

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3 / 9

2. A name for Rhaenyra’s supporters

2. A name for Rhaenyra’s supporters

Emma D’Arcy
Emma D’Arcy
Image: Ollie Upton/HBO

In the book, the two warring sides in the civil war are known as “the Greens” and “the Blacks.” The reference comes from the different colors worn by Alicent and Rhaenyra at a tournament when Viserys was still alive. The show is giving those titles a slightly different backstory. We’ve only got half of it so far, but it’s still based on a fashion choice. Alicent’s big green-dress moment happened instead in episode five, at the welcome feast celebrating Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding. Older Rhaenyra later asks Daemon to stand with her against “the Greens,” the first in-show mention of Alicent’s party by name. The final episode is titled “The Black Queen,” so maybe the other side will get their official title by the end of the season, in accordance with their book designations. It would be so much easier going forward to talk about them in terms of Greens and Blacks than Alicent’s faction and Rhaenyra’s faction.

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4 / 9

3. Daemon’s reaction to Otto and Alicent stealing Rhaenyra’s throne

3. Daemon’s reaction to Otto and Alicent stealing Rhaenyra’s throne

Matt Smith as Daemon
Matt Smith as Daemon
Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

If the folks behind the show didn’t expect us to fall for Daemon Targaryen they shouldn’t have given him so many killer moments—literally and figuratively—in season one. And they probably shouldn’t have cast Matt Smith, who plays him with such intensity it’s hard not to be drawn in by his charisma. It almost seems a bit greedy to want more. We still do, though. Daemon’s devotion to his niece-wife runs deep, so we can’t imagine he’ll take the news that she’s been usurped very well. Unfortunately for the Greens, Daemon is not someone you want as an enemy. With his dragon Caraxes and the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, he’s a formidable foe. Not to mention, his animosity toward Otto has been simmering for years. He’s probably been longing for a good excuse to lay him out, and now he has one. Basically, we just want to see him kick some more ass, with his usual flair for the dramatic.

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5 / 9

4. More scenes with the next generation

4. More scenes with the next generation

(From left) Bethany Antonia, Harry Collett, Elliot Grihault, Phoebe Campbell
(From left) Bethany Antonia, Harry Collett, Elliot Grihault, Phoebe Campbell
Image: Ollie Upton/HBO

The main conflict of the series comes down to a question of succession, yet we’ve hardly had any time with the kids who are supposed to be carrying on the legacy of House Targaryen. Of all the things we sacrificed in those time jumps, not getting to know these children as they aged might have been the most detrimental to the story. It’s hard to form a connection with characters when they keep switching them out every few episodes. We got to know Aegon and Aemond a bit more in episode nine, so we have a pretty good idea of what those two are all about. When it comes to Rhaenyra’s side, though, we’re left to gather what information we can about Jace, Luke, Joffrey, Baela, and Rhaena from a few brief appearances and lines of dialogue.

Speaking of the kids, you may be surprised to learn that Alicent and Viserys actually have another grown child we haven’t met yet. In the book, they had four children—Aegon, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron. There’s been no mention yet of a fourth child on the show, so we figured they’d just written him out. Not so, according to George R.R. Martin. The author wrote in his blog that Daeron does exist in HOTD and has been off in Oldtown all this time. You might have also missed the fact that Aegon and Helaena have children of their own, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, making Alicent a grandmother. Aemond may have missed it too, since he seems to be under the impression that he’s next in line for the throne after his brother. Sounds like everyone is in need of some clarification here.

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6 / 9

5. A reckoning for Ser Criston Cole

5. A reckoning for Ser Criston Cole

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

This is probably the least likely of our wishes to come true. This hotheaded murderer who once called Rhaenyra a c-word actually said in the last episode that “every woman is the image of The Mother” (as in the Faith of the Seven deity, not a literal mother). Ugh. We can’t with this guy. Despite his glaring hypocrisy and a chip on his shoulder you could see from space, Ser Criston keeps moving up in the world. That’s mostly down to his usefulness to Alicent as both protector and, when necessary, attack dog. The Queen, now the Dowager Queen, has now promoted him to Lord Commander of the Kingsguard after Harrold Westerling did the right thing and resigned in protest of Otto’s pre-planned coup. She’ll probably keep him around as long as she can weaponize his worst tendencies. That’s one more reason to be on the side of the Blacks. We can’t help but hope he gets what’s coming to him, somehow.

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7 / 9

6. More of Westeros, and beyond

6. More of Westeros, and beyond

Map of Westeros
Map of Westeros
Photo: Liam Daniel/HBO

So far, the show has been mainly limited to a handful of locations—King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Driftmark, Pentos, and the Stepstones. That leaves a lot of Westeros, and the wider world, unexplored. Compare that to Game Of Thrones, which covered more geography in an average episode than HOTD has in its entire first season.

The first phase of the war is going to be coalition building. Both sides will need to secure support from the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms and convince them to call their bannermen to their cause if they have any chance of victory. That’s not the kind of petition you want to leave up to a message by raven; they’re going to have to make their case in person. That would be an excellent chance to take us back to some of the places we remember from the previous series (we kind of miss Winterfell). It would also be great to see what the regular people think about all this royal squabbling. Does it make any difference to them who wears the crown? Or is one Targaryen just as good as any other?

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8 / 9

7. A sign that the White Worm lives

7. A sign that the White Worm lives

Sonoya Mizuno
Sonoya Mizuno
Image: Ollie Upton/HBO

Although we saw her establishment burning at the end of episode nine, we refuse to believe that Mysaria is dead. We don’t know much about her, except that she’s a cunning spy and a survivor. While we were distracted by the Targaryen family drama, she’s been secretly keeping tabs on everything that’s been going on inside the keep all season. She helped Otto in his search for Aegon (though Alicent still found him first), but her loyalty clearly doesn’t lie with him. She’s an advocate for the smallfolk and she’ll side with whoever is more likely to improve their lives. The show needs someone like that, and we’d be sorry to see Sonoya Mizuno go. Another season would give her more time to work on the accent, too. She also plays a part in the war to come in the books, so it’s a good bet she’ll show up later—we’d just like to get some hint of that by the time the season ends.

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9 / 9