House of the Dragon came to its conclusion by ending with the start of the Dance of the Dragons.
In George R. R. Martin’s books the fabled battle between members of the Targaryen family almost led to their complete annihilation, and Season 1 of the HBO show saw the first blood being spilt.
Here is everything you need to know, but be warned: This article contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon finale.
‘House of the Dragon’ Ending Explained: How the Dance of the Dragons Begins
House of the Dragon draws from Martin’s history of the Targaryen dynasty, which is set out in his book Fire & Blood. While the show didn’t always follow the plot of the novel, it did when it came to the finale.
Following the coronation of Alicent Hightower’s (Olivia Cooke) eldest son by King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), Aegon (Tom Gynn-Carney), news is brought to the late monarch’s chosen heir, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy).
News of a betrayal leads the pregnant Rhaenyra to go into an early labour, in which she miscarries her and husband (and uncle) Daemon’s (Matt Smith) child. Despite the loss, Rhaenyra is forced to focus on her reaction to Aegon being made king, and she urges her followers to try and gather bannermen, but not to start the war yet.
This all changes in the final moments of the episode when the first death of the Dance of the Dragons is that of her second-born son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault).
Lucerys is sent to Storm’s End to get a message to Lord Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans) calling for his support for her claim to the throne, but it’s revealed that Alicent’s second son, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell), got there first with an offer from his brother and a marriage pact.
Aemond taunts Lucerys, urging him to cut out his eye as payment for taking his when they were children, and when Lucerys doesn’t take the bait and leaves Storm’s End he and his dragon Arrax are chased by Aemond and dragon Vhagar.
At first, Aemond is merely trying to threaten Lucerys but not go through with it, but neither his nor Lucerys’ dragons listen to their masters and the creatures begin a fight of their own.
Vhagar is much bigger than Arrax, though, and Vhagar kills the smaller dragon and its rider with one bite of its enormous mouth. Aemond realizes too late the damage he has caused: This will mean war between the Greens (Alicent’s supporters) and the Blacks (Rhaenyra’s supporters).
Season 1 of House of the Dragon ends with Daemon informing Rhaenyra of her son’s death, and she turns to the camera with a fire in her eyes that confirms that war is on the horizon. Now, the Dance of the Dragons will truly begin.
House of the Dragon Season 1 is available to watch on HBO Max now.
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