The Princess and the Queen (TV)
|"The Princess and the Queen"|
|House of the Dragon|
|Original air date||September 25, 2022|
|Running time||67 minutes|
|Directed by||Miguel Sapochnik|
|Written by||Sara Hess|
|List of episodes|
"The Princess and the Queen" is the sixth episode of the HBO medieval fantasy television series House of the Dragon. The runtime is 67 minutes. It is written by Sara Hess, and directed by series co-creator Miguel Sapochnik. Music was composed by Ramin Djawadi.
Ten years have passed since the previous episode. Several young characters are replaced by adult actors, most notably Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, who are portrayed by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke from this episode onwards. The title of the episode derives from the eponymous novella published in 2013.
Ten years later. Rhaenyra navigates Alicent's continued speculation about her children, while Daemon and Laena weigh an offer in Pentos.
The episodes starts with the delivery of Prince Joffrey Velaryon, the third son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Laenor Velaryon. Queen Alicent Hightower wants to see the baby at once to check on his physical appearance. Viserys is delighted at the birth of a new grandchild but Alicent remarks that Joffrey, like his older brothers Jacaerys and Lucerys Velaryon, does not look like Laenor. In private, Alicent shares her suspicion to Viserys that the three Velaryon princes are not Laenor's but bastards. Viserys does not want to hear of it, however.
After bringing a dragon egg for their new brother, the princes Jacaerys and Lucerys return to the dragonpit to join their half-uncles, princes Aegon and Aemond Targaryen. Under the tutelage of the Dragonkeepers, Jacaerys commands his dragon, Vermax, to burn a goat before eating it. Aemond, the only one whose egg did not hatch, is mocked by the others as they bring him a pig named "the Pink Dread" (an allusion to Balerion the Black Dread) to ride instead. Alicent later confronts and scolds Aegon who instigated the prank, and reminds him of his status as the king's eldest son and the threat he represents to Rhaenyra's ascension to the Iron Throne.
In the training yard, Ser Criston Cole instructs the four princes at arms as King Viserys and his Hand, Lord Lyonel Strong, watch on. Criston favors Alicent's sons over Rhaenyra's to the annoyance of Ser Harwin Strong, the Commander of the City Watch. Criston baits Harwin to attack him by implying he is the real father of Rhaenyra's sons. Kingsguards separate them and Harwin is stripped of his rank. Lyonel feels he can no longer serve faithfully as Hand and asks Viserys to resign but the king refuses. Lyonel then asks permission to escort his son back to their family seat and some time to set Harwin up as the future Lord of Harrenhal to which Viserys agrees. In effort to reconcile their two families and to cease the rumors about her sons' parentage, Rhaenyra proposes to betroth Jacaerys to Alicent's daughter, Princess Helaena Targaryen, and to give one of Syrax's egg to Aemond. Viserys is happy at the idea but Alicent is not. As her plan failed, Rhaenyra then decides to relocate her family on Dragonstone.
Prince Daemon Targaryen, his pregnant wife Lady Laena Velaryon, and their two daughters, Baela and Rhaena, live in a manse in Pentos as guests of Reggio Haratis, the prince of the city. With the creation of an alliance between the Triarchy and Qoren Martell, the Prince of Dorne, Haratis wants to form an alliance of his own to protect his city and proposes that Daemon and his family as well as their three dragons—Caraxes, Vhagar, and the young Moondancer—stay in the city. Laena wants to go back to Driftmark but Daemon tell their host he will think on it. Rhaena rensents being the only one in the family to not have a dragon and feels negolected by her father. The delivery of Laena's baby is complicated, the surgeon proposes to Daemon the same procedure as the one that killed Queen Aemma Arryn years ago. Whishing for a "dragonrider's death" rather than suffer the same fate as Aemma, Laena flees towards the yard where she commands Vhagar to kill her with her fire.
Frustrated by the recent events, Alicent tells Larys Strong at diner she missed her father's support at court and wishes he was reinvestitated as Hand of the King. Larys recruits men from the dungeons of the Red Keep to make Alicent's wish come true. He promises them freedom in exchange of causing the death of both Lord Harwin Strong and Ser Harwin Strong. He has their tongues removed to assure their silence and sends them to Harrenhal where they start a fire that kill both Lyonel and Harwin. When she hears of the news, Alicent is mortified at Larys' action but owes him as he has cleared the way for Otto's return to court.
- Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower
- Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
- Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
- Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower (credit only)
- Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling
- Matthew Needham as Larys Strong
- Jefferson Hall as Ser Tyland Lannister
- Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong
- Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury
- Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Strong
- Leo Hart as Young Jacaerys Velaryon
- Harvey Sadler as Young Lucerys Velaryon
- Ty Tennant as Young Aegon Targaryen
- Leo Ashton as Young Aemond Targaryen
- Evie Allen as Young Helaena Targaryen
- Shani Smethurst as Young Baela Targaryen
- Eva Ossei-Gerning as Young Rhaena Targaryen
- John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon
- Nanna Blondell as Lady Laena Velaryon
- Kurt Egyiawan as Grand Maester Orwyle
- Paul Kennedy as Lord Jasper Wylde
- Luke Tittensor as Ser Arryk Cargyll
- Alexis Raben as Talya
- Arty Froushan as Ser Qarl Correy
- Patrice Naiambana as Dragonkeeper Elder
- Jordon Stevens as Elinda Massey
- Dean Nolan as Prince Reggio Haratis
- Sean Cernow as Black cells prisoner
- Arevinth V Sarma as Black cells prisoner
- Gareth Morrison as Black cells prisoner
- Rosie Ede as Older midwife
- Rosa Escoda as Younger midwife
- Ravi Aujla as Pentoshi surgeon
- Paul Hickey as Lord Allun Caswell
- Anna Sari as Dragonkeeper translator
- Afolabi Alli as Dragonkeeper Acolyte
The ratings rose 3% compared to the previous episode.
Behind the Scenes
Two scenes were cut or reduced for the final version of the episode:
- A scene with Daemon flirting with a male Pentoshi servant was cut.
- The scene with Daemon and his daughters in the aftermath of Laena's death was cut short.
- "The Princess and the Queen" at HBO
- "The Princess and the Queen" at the Game of Thrones & House of the Dragon Wiki
- "The Princess and the Queen" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Princess and the Queen" on Wikipedia