House of the Dragon season 1 ending explained: A horrible death, the beginning of the dance of the dragons and what to expect in season 2

Rhaenyra Targaryens expression at the end house of dragon season 1 was eerily similar to Danerys in Season 8 of Game of Thrones just before she destroyed Kings Landing. That particular Targaryen phrase means only one thing – it’s war. Fans are already declaring that they will support Rhaenyra’s war crimes.

What happened in Season 1

Season 1 introduced the key Targaryen players, including the rather unwise King Viserys I and his desperation for a male heir that eventually killed his wife Aemma. He nominates Rhaenyra as heir to the Iron Throne, but to gain options as male heirs, he marries her close friend, Alicient Hightower, ending their friendship forever. After the time skip, Rhaenyra marries her uncle Daemon and has fathered several children while the king literally rots. After his death, the question arises: who will inherit the Iron Throne? The gloves are removed as all the conspirators come to the fore, including Otto Hightower, who ushers a corrupt Aegon to the throne while plotting to kill Rhaenyra.

What happened in the final?

Season 1 ended with an unexpected death. The episode began with Rhaenyra learning of the death of Viserys (Paddy Considine) and the illegal coronation of Aegon, and going through so much stress that she gives birth to a stillborn child (in a very disturbing scene). She and Matt Smith’s Daemon have different opinions about the approaching war, as Daemon prefers to decimate the enemies but Rhaenyra doesn’t want to “rule over ashes”. Preferring to recruit her allies in a more diplomatic manner, she sends her son Lucerys to do her bidding. She makes him swear that there will be no bloodshed. That’s all very nice, but Aemond Targaryen has other plans after seeing Lucerys and decides to play a little prank on him and chases him through stormy skies. Aemond has no intention of killing Lucerys, but his dragon has other plans, and unfortunately none of them are in control of his dragons. After Lucery’s dragon spits a negligible amount of fire at him, the dragon swears revenge and has both Lucerys and his dragon for a snack while a devastated Aemond watches as Lucery’s cloak falls from the sky.

What can we expect from Season 2?

The episode ends with Daemon whispering the news to Rhaenyra, who turns around with a flaming expression on her face. That means the Dance of the Dragons will begin in Season 2 – and Rhaenyra will set a precedent for Daenrys destroying all of Kings Landing after Queen Cersei killed her close friend Missandei. Season 2 will show the anarchy and chaos as Rhaenyra asserts her claim to the Iron Throne and continues her battle with her former best friend and stepmother, Alicient Hightower.

We’ve heard the obviously familiar names of Starks and Baratheons and got a taste of the Lannisters in Season 1. Season 2 will make room for more of these characters, although showrunners prefer to be clear about who will and will not feature in Season 2.

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