The Clay Travis Review: House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode Six

Welp, we’re ten years into the future and suddenly several of the actors we have been used to seeing, the ones playing young Rhaenyra and Alicent in particular, are gone, replaced by much older versions of themselves.

That is, it feels like much more than ten years has passed based on how the characters have aged and the number of children they’ve had.

While we’ve flashed forward ten years, we’re right back into a brand-new birth scene with Princess Rhaenyra delivering her third straight son with dark hair, who looks like her knight protector.

 

Let’s get rolling with a Maury Povich special.

1. Queen Alicent, now clearly in a battle for the Iron Throne with Rhaenyra, demands to see the baby.

Laenor arrives and peers at the baby, announcing that the new baby’s name will be Joffrey, after his gay lover who was murdered on their wedding night.

How romantic!

As the “couple” argues over the new baby, Laenor says, “He’s our child.” To which Rhaenyra retorts, “Only one of us is bleeding.”

Just your typical marital spat, all is well here.

2. Rhaenyra, fresh off childbirth, walks with her gay husband to the queen’s chambers to present the new baby for their review.

In a devastating aside, Queen Alicent tells Laenor, “Do keep trying. Sooner or later you may get one that looks like you.”

I get that Laenor is gay, but is it really impossible for him to actually father a child? I mean, couldn’t he manage to do so or is Rhaenyra refusing to sleep with him at all? I’m actually curious about this situation because it’s not like there weren’t gay princes or kings in the past.

Also, is it too much to ask for Rhaenyra to maybe, possibly, pick a guy with blond hair to be her lover? There have to be plenty of dudes around the castle who could at least give the appearance that Laenor is the father. I mean, after all, we don’t have DNA testing to worry about here, you pretty much just have hair color, at least when the kids are young.

Anyway, luckily for Rhaenyra the only person in the kingdom who doesn’t seem to recognize who the real father of her children is, her own father, the king.

Later, in an effort to explain why the kids may look the way they do despite both parents having blond hair, the king argues based on horse breeding that sometimes horses produce offspring that look like neither of them. Then he tells the queen, “Don’t speak of this again.”

Meanwhile, Alicent’s confidante, Rhaenyra’s spurned lover, Criston Cole, (still allowed to continue to play himself) calls the princess a “spoiled cunt.”

So, it’s good to see he’s not still carrying anger over their sexual dalliance.

3. The young boys are dragon training, only the second child of Alicent and Viserys, doesn’t have a dragon.

So, the boys taunt him by saying he does have a dragon.

But it turns out to be a pig.

4. Aegon, the would be king if Alicent had her way, is standing in his window jerking off on the kingdom when his mom enters the room.

This feels very Succession to me, honestly so close to the Succession scene where we meet Roman as he jerks off in the high rise office building, that I’m surprised this scene even happened.

Maybe they are paying homage to another HBO show?

It just feels very derivative.

Anyway, Alicent lectures Aegon that he should one day be the heir because his bloodlines are pure and, “You are the challenge simply by living and breathing.”

Aegon is giving off strong King Joffrey vibes here.

5. King Viserys watches his four grandsons as they engage in sword training, which is being led by Criston Cole.

Also observing is Harwin Strong, the bastard father of two of the boys.

Strong is upset because Cole isn’t instructing the dark-haired boys as much as he is the blond boys.

This leads to a confrontation between Strong and Cole, in which Cole directly insinuates that the reason Strong cares so much about the two boys training is because he’s a close relation maybe even…their father.

Dum, dum, dum!

Strong erupts at the accusation, beating Cole savagely.

(Sidenote: it’s virtually impossible to keep up with everyone’s names in this season. I don’t remember having this same level of problem with the original Thrones, which I suspect introduced characters in a less haphazard fashion. I get that we’ve flashed ahead ten years, but we know virtually nothing of the entire Strong family, which I’ll get to in a moment and it’s even hard to keep up with their actual names.)

6. Lord Lyonel Strong, the king’s hand for the past ten years, attempts to resign as hand because he feels he’s now conflicted.

Strong cites a shadow that hangs over his advising but refuses to name what it is. This despite Queen Alicent’s urgent pleading that he does so.

Viserys refuses to accept Strong’s resignation, but he does agree to allow Harwin to be relocated back to the family’s castle.

7. Rhaenyra, in the wake of the fight between her two secret lovers both past and present, apologizes to Alicent at the king’s council and brings a proposition.

To solve the issue of succession, her oldest son should marry the oldest daughter of Alicent and Viserys.

The incest is so strong in this union that I’m struggling to even handicap it here, but I believe it would mean that Rhaenyra’s half-sister would marry her son. So, King Viserys would have a grandson that’s also his son-in-law.

Even Alabama fans are like, gross.

Rhaenyra also offers a dragon egg to the second son who doesn’t have one. She also has a bout with unexpected lactation, which feels strangely placed.

Viserys loves the offer, but Alicent spurns it, making it clear she wants Aegon on the throne or no one.

8. We flash outside of Westeros to Daemon, now married to Laena, living the life because they have dragons.

The couple are engaging in romantic dragon riding as we meet them, and now have three girls, with Laena pregnant with a fourth child.

We don’t know exactly how they ended up together, but we do know that unlike with the first wife, whom he killed and never slept with, Daemon seems to like Laena.

We learn that dragon eggs don’t always hatch — only half of them do — which means every kid doesn’t get a pet dragon.

Laena isn’t happy to be away from her family and argues they should return. “The man I married was more than this.” But Daemon is happy, “We have dragons, they have gold,” he says.

Unfortunately, Laena has her own baby delivery issues and Daemon is faced with the same decision as Viserys, what to do about a wife who will die in childbirth? The baby can be removed from the womb, but the mother will die.

Daemon refuses to make a choice and Laena commands her dragon to burn her to death.

Which feels like an awful ending.

Wouldn’t most moms — and dads — prefer to save their baby if they were going to die anyway? Daemon’s refusal to make a choice doesn’t make him better than Viserys, I think it makes him worse.

And the decision to burn yourself and your baby to death feels reckless and awful too.

The first episode of this season focused on Viserys making the choice to kill his wife to try to save the baby.  Which many read as a statement on the control men have over women’s bodies, but now here a woman has control over her own body and makes an even worse choice than Viserys did.

Yikes.

9. Harwin Strong leaves King’s Landing, saying goodbye to his bastard sons in the process.

The oldest son demands of the mother, “Am I a bastard?”

“You are a Targaryen is what matters,” says Rhaenyra.

9. Back in King’s Landing Larys Strong, the crippled evil advice giver of Queen Alicent, her shadow hand, decides to remove his own father and brother from the equation.

How so?

By freeing violent criminals condemned to death and instructing them to join his secret cabal of evil.

The only requirement? These criminals have to lose their tongues, rendering them unable to speak and tell what they’ve done. (In theory, they could still write, but I presume they must be illiterate otherwise there’s a clear flaw in the secrecy here.)

Their first task?

Killing Larys’ own father and brother, burning them to death, no less.

The reason for these murders is Queen Alicent wanting her father back as the king’s hand. All this to help cure Viserys’s willful blindness when it comes to the bastard heirs and put her own son on the throne.

10. Rhaenyra, with her father’s children gone, leaves King’s Landing for Dragonstone.

In making the announcement she tells Laenor, who earlier said he wanted to leave and go back to war, he can bring his latest boy toy with him because they’ll need every sword.

We end with a montage of Larys Strong, the evil manipulative devil this show desperately needs, talking about how children are “a weakness, a folly, a futility.”

During this speech, we see his father and brother’s burned bodies being rolled through the streets. And we see Daemon’s three girls crying over their mother’s suicide.

It’s a dark, sobering, chilling ending to the darkest episode of the series so far.

And I thought it was pretty fantastic.

At least, that is, if I could just get all the character names correct.

Regardless, we’ve got a real battle for the Iron Throne now underway.  Other than Queen Alicent, who appears, at least to me, to be the most the clear headed in the palace, no one deserves the Iron Throne at all.

My biggest issue with this episode is the Strong family. All three men, the father and his two sons, are integral to the show and we know virtually nothing about them. We also know very little about Larys, which makes his shocking betrayal — killing your dad and your brother is a big deal even in Thrones — land less forcefully.

What does Larys want and why did he decide to act at this exact moment? I feel like many of the details that could make the first six episodes tie together better just aren’t there yet.

But each of the last three episodes, I’ve thought, have been very well done.

I’ll be back with you guys reacting live on Sunday night to episode 7, last night I had a Fox News hit so couldn’t do it.

See you then.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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