The finale had fans talking as the 'Game of Thrones' prequel closed out its first season.
After a lengthy battle of succession that involved massive time jumps, unexpected twists, surprise changes from George R.R. Martin's source material Fire & Blood and, of course, dragons, incest and death, season 1 of House of the Dragon has come to a dramatic and satisfying close. And like it has done in the first nine episodes, the finale for the Game of Thrones prequel series had fans talking, with some taking to social media to post the most wild and accurate responses to a final hour filled with even more dragons and deaths.
With so much at stake, especially as everyone was forced to pick a side, either aligning with the Green Council or the Black Council, as the houses fought over who should reign after the death of King Viserys (Paddy Considine), here's what happened in "The Black Queen." [Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10.]
After Prince Rhaenys (Eve Best) took to her dragon and disrupted Aegon’s (Tom Glynn-Carney) coronation at the end of episode 9, it was just a matter of time before Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) learned of Queen Alicent's (Olivia Cooke) decision to defy the long-standing pledge to make Viserys' daughter queen after his death. And it's safe to say, she nor her husband Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) were happy with what happened in King's Landing.
Not long after arriving at Dragonstone, Rhaenys delivers the news, telling her, "The Greens are coming for you."
Before battle lines were drawn, however, Rhaenyra had to deal with problems at home, with Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) complaining about being put on the throne in Driftmark over Corlys' brother Vaemond (Wil Johnson) and Rhaenyra's pregnancy coming to term earlier than expected.
In another shocking and bloody birth scene for the series, Rhaenyra delivers her own baby, pulling out the stillborn. While mourning the death of her youngest child, one of the Arryk Cargyll twins arrives with her crown and pledges his loyalty to her in what becomes a makeshift coronation.
Rhaenyra and her the Black Council then meet and assess the probability of going to war, and which alliances still remain. This leads to a mention of Winterfell and the Starks as well as Storm's End and the Baratheons, two families at the center of Game of Thrones, who are expected to side with them while the Lannisters are believed to follow Queen Alicent.
While they're strategizing, Alicent's father and the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), arrives at Dragonstone with a peace offering from King Aegon Targaryen mostly stipulating that Queen Rhaenyra recognize his reign and his reign only. He also reveals that the houses believed to be true to Rhaenyra may actually be in play.
Otto also passes along a message from Alicent, claiming that she's never forgotten the love between the two of them.
While Rhaenyra considers the terms – and channels her own father's desire for the sanctity the realm above all else – much to the chagrin of Daemon, who reveals his dastardly character in a moment of anger.
Meanwhile, it's been revealed that Corlys (Steve Toussaint) is still alive, despite rumors that he was wounded and killed at sea. For Rhaenys, this has been a long time coming, with Best telling ET that reuniting with him and his survival being the utmost important thing to her.
While everyone waits to see where he'll guide his navy, Corlys and Rhaenys debate where they will side. Despite losing everything to Rhaenyra, they ultimately pledge House Velaryon and the navy to the "Black Queen." In doing so, Corlys also reveals that he has full control of Stepstones and the Narrow Sea, a waterway pivotal to King's Landing's survival.
Before taking action, it's decided that Jacaerys (Harry Collett) and Lucerys will secure loyalty from the Starks, Baratheons and Arryns by riding dragons to Winterfell, Storm's End and Eyrie.
During Lucerys' visit with Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans), it's revealed that Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) has already arrived with the news that his brother now sits on the Iron Throne and an offer to unite their house with the Hightowers and Targaryens. The visit ends poorly, however, after Aemond and Lucerys get into an aerial battle on dragons, with Vhagar killing Rhaenyra's son – and no doubt setting a course for war in season 2.
With the season 1 finale over, it's time to admit there's no new episodes until at least 2024.
House of the Dragon season 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.