Don’t worry, HBO viewers.
We understand that this article may be difficult to read due to how fast your head must be spinning after the latest episode of House of the Dragon.
We understand. We are with you.
That’s the point of this post, actually.
On Sunday night, all of the following events took place at the House of the Dragon:
Daemon bids farewell to his wife, Lady Laena, through a funeral at sea.
Aemond takes over Laena’s dragon, Vhagar.
Aemond later loses an eye in a knife battle with Luke after he destroys him and his brother as “bastards.”
Rhaenyra and Daemon have sex on the beach.
Rhaenyra and Daemon decide to get married.
Rhaenyra and Daemon devise a plan for Laenor to be killed by her lover.
This lover pretends to kill Laenor, only for the episode to end with the revelation that Laenor is alive and rowing in a boat with the killer.
Yes, it all happened in one television episode.
It seems especially important that Rhaenyra and Daemon’s union is somehow alluded to and then executed all within literal onscreen minutes, given the building of this relationship throughout Season 1.
“I can’t face the green alone,” he told Daemon at one point of the looming war we just heard about.
“Let’s tie our blood together, as Aegon the Conqueror did with his sister. With you as my husband and prince consort, my claim will not be so easily challenged.
“Velaryon comes from the sea. But you and I are made of fire. We were always destined to burn together.”
It seemed (at least to this viewer) at the time as if we had just been introduced to the season-opening endgame; that the next episode or two will be devoted to this aspiring couple’s plan to eliminate Rhaenyra’s husband so Daemon can take his place.
We then immediately move on to Daemon bribing Laenor’s boyfriend and the sword fight that apparently took Laenor’s life and then to the wedding and then to the closing photo of Laenor still very much alive.
The show didn’t give the storyline time to breathe, which is a problem it’s faced many times this season.
We barely know the characters before they are killed.
We rarely spend time with alliances or relationships before they pay off or advance in some way.
Should we support Rhaenyra and Daemon? Rooting against them? How viewers feel about such a monumental development is far more important than the development itself that just happened.
This is a lesson that the House of the Dragon doesn’t seem to have learned.
We’re so time-hopping and with so many storylines condensed into one episode or set piece, viewers basically don’t have time to stop and think.
With all the debate over who will sit next on the Iron Throne and all these maneuvers on multiple sides—and without any outside conflict, like the upcoming arrival of the White Walkers—it’s hard not to stop and wonder:
Why should I care?!?