The Black Queen

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"The Black Queen"
House of the Dragon
Season 1  —  Episode 10
The Black Queen HOTD.jpg
Original air date October 23, 2022
Running time 59 minutes
Credits
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by Ryan Condal
Episode chronology
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"The Green Council" "A Son for a Son"
List of episodes

"The Black Queen" is the tenth and final episode of season one of the HBO medieval fantasy television series House of the Dragon. The runtime is 59 minutes. It is written by series co-creator Ryan Condal, and directed by Greg Yaitanes. Music was composed by Ramin Djawadi.

Just like the penultimate episode focused on the greens and King’s Landing in the aftermath of Viserys' death, this episode focuses on the blacks and Dragonstone.

Official synopsis

While mourning a tragic loss, Rhaenyra tries to hold the realm together, and Daemon prepares for war.[1]

Plot

Dragonstone

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen brings the news of King Viserys I Targaryen's death and the coronation of King Aegon II Targaryen to Dragonstone. While Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen goes into early labor, Prince Daemon Targaryen sees to the island's defenses and preprares for war against the greens. Daemon takes Prince Jacaerys at the foot of the Dragonmont, and makes Ser Steffon Darklyn and Ser Lorent Marbrand of the Kingsguard swear fealty to Rhaenyra as their new queen and to Jace as the new heir to the Iron Throne. The screams of Rhaenyra during the delivery of her malformed stillborn daughter, are echoed by the screams of her dragon, Syrax. Ser Erryk Cargyll arrives alone during the cremation of the child. He presents the stolen crown of the late king, Daemon places it on Rhaenyra's head, they kneel before the Black Queen, and are imitated by all the other people present except for Princess Rhaenys.

The black council assembles around the Painted Table. Rhaenyra is informed of the forces present on Dragonstone and told that Houses Celtigar, Staunton, Massey, Darklyn, and Bar Emmon have already declared their support. The council judges that the great lords of the realm, such as Cregan Stark of Winterfell, Grover Tully of Riverrun and Borros Baratheon of Storm's End, could be convinced to join their cause. Rhaenys is reluctant to declare House Velaryon for Rhaenyra in the absence of her husband, Lord Corlys Velaryon, who is getting better and is sailing home. The council is put on pause when the envoys of the greens arrive on Dragonstone.

Ser Otto Hightower presents Alicent's terms to Rhaenyra; in exchange for her submission to Aegon II, Rhaenyra will keep Dragonstone as her seat and pass it to Jace upon her death, Luke will be confirmed as the heir of Driftmark, Prince Aegon "the Younger" is to be made the king's squire and Prince Viserys the king's cupbearer. At first Rhaenyra rejects the terms and even strips the Hand of the King pin off of Otto calling him a traitor. Otto then hands her the page from the Nymeria book she tore when she was young, thus reminding her of her past friendship with Alicent. She informs him she will give her answer to the greens on the morrow.

Daemon is furious Rhaenyra is considering the greens' terms in order to maintain the realm strong and united. As the Song of Ice and Fire is weighting in her mind, she realizes Viserys never told him about the Conqueror's dream. Just like Lord Bartimos Celtigar, Daemon thinks this war should be fought and won with dragons. He visits Vermithor within the Dragonmont during the next council meeting where Lord Corlys gives his support to Rhaenyra. It is decided that Corlys will cut King's Landing off from the sea with his fleet with Rhaenys patrolling the skies on Meleys whilst Jace and Luke will fly on Vermax and Arrax to gain the support of the great lords.

Storm's End

A storm rages as Prince Lucerys lands at Storm's End. Prince Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar are already there to gain the Lord of Storm's End for the greens. Aemond proposes to marry, Floris Baratheon,[2] one of Borros' four daughters, an offer Lucerys can not match as he is already betroth to his cousin, Lady Rhaena Targaryen. Aemond provokes Luke about the loss of his eye but Lord Borros does not want bloodshed in his Round Hall and commands his guards to escort Luke back to Arrax. Aemond and Vhagar pursue them in the sky. During the chase, Luke loses control of Arrax who bursts his flames towards Vhagar. The older she-dragon gets annoyed and kills Arrax and Luke despite Aemond ordering her not to. News of the event reach Dragonstone and Daemon informs Rhaenyra of Luke's death.[3]

Cast

Starring

Co-starring

Uncredited

Reception

The final episode of House of the Dragon obtained 9.3 million viewers in its premiere airing in the US on HBO and HBO Max.[4]

The episode leaked online two days ahead of its scheduled airing.[5]

Behind the Scenes

The High Valyrian song Daemon Targaryen sings to Vermithor in this episode is tiled "Hāros Bartossi" (translated as "With Three Heads"). It was written by Ti Mikkel, an assistant of George R. R. Martin and a consultant on the show, and David J. Peterson, the official language creator for the television adaptations of Martin's works. Peterson then translated the text in High Valyrian.[6]

A scene between Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her granddaughter Lady Baela Targaryen was filmed in which Baela says she is proud to be a dragonrider like her parents and wants to be involved in the coming war. It did not make the final cut, however.[7] This scene was shown to the audience of the first Game of Thrones Official Fan Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center.[8]

The announcement of Lucerys's death was originally storyboarded to happen in the Dragonstone throne room (seen in the later seasons of Game of Thrones) while Rhaenyra is holding court and followed by a shot of Syrax coming out of darkness (seen in the official trailer) rather than in the Chamber of the Painted Table.[9]

Elliott Tittensor (Erryk Cargyll) got COVID during filming and was unavailable to film a scene of the black council. His twin brother, Luke (Arryk Cargyll), came to shoot the scene in his place.[10]

External links

References