‘House Of The Dragon’ Recap: Rhaenyra Suffers The Loss Of 2 Children In Devastating Finale

After losing her daughter in childbirth, one of Rhaenyra's sons dies in a shocking accident at the hands of Aemond.

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The House of the Dragon finale begins with Luke standing over the Painted Table. He runs his hand over Driftmark. Rhaenyra walks into the room. Luke thinks he’s going to ruin everything. “I don’t want Driftmark. It should have passed on to Ser Vaemond,” Luke tells his mother.

Rhaenyra explains that she was just 14 — the same age as he is now — when her father named her the heir to the Iron Throne. “We don’t choose our destiny, Luke. It chooses us,” Rhaenyra says. You have to earn your inheritance, and Luke has nothing but time. “I’m not like you. I’m not so… perfect,” Luke says. Rhaenyra replies, “I am anything but.”

Emma D'Arcy
Rhaenyra and Luke in the season finale. (HBO)

Rhaenys Comes To Dragonstone & Rhaenyra Goes Into Labor

Rhaenys soon arrives on dragonback and immediately requests to talk to Rhaenyra and Daemon. She has to break the news about Viserys’ death. Rhaenyra and Daemon are blindsided. But there’s more. Aegon has been crowned as the new king. “They crowned him?” Rhaenyra mutters.

Daemon wants to know how Viserys died and begins to speculate that he was murdered by Alicent. Rhaenys tells them that she refused to swear her allegiance to Aegon. She left on Meleys before anything could happen to her. Daemon doesn’t understand why she couldn’t just burn them all and save them the trouble. “That war is not mine to begin,” Rhaenys says.

In the immediate aftermath of the double-whammy of Viserys’ death and Aegon usurping the throne, Rhaenya goes into labor way too early. Daemon begins gathering a team to talk about rallying support. As this is happening, Rhaenyra is enduring painful labor. Everyone can hear her screams.

Jace and Luke are outside practicing their fighting skills when Rhaenys brings them inside. Rhaenyra explains what’s happened. “What is to be done about it?” he asks. When the boys go to their mother, Daemon comes up. Rhaenyra says that he’s “gone to madness. Gone to plot a war.”

In the midst of labor, Rhaenyra stresses to Jace that whatever claim remains to her, he is now the immediate heir after her. Nothing is to be done without her command. In the line of succession, Jace trumps Daemon.

Rhaenyra in the season finale. (HBO)

Rhaenyra calls out for Daemon while in labor. He still doesn’t go to her. He ignores her screams. Jace finally steps in and says no action should be taken while she’s in bed. Daemon tries to teach Jace about loyalty with two Kingsguard. He gives the men a choice. Swear their allegiance to Rhaenyra and Jace or suffer the consequences via dragon.

Rhaenyra & Daemon’s Daughter Dies & Rhaenyra Is Crowned Queen

Rhaenyra gives birth to her child — a girl in Fire & Blood — without any assistance. She grabs the baby herself. There are no cries from the infant. The baby is stillborn. Rhaenyra cradles her dead child in her arms. Daemon finally goes to her and doesn’t say a word when he sees her with their daughter. Later, Rhaenyra helps prepare her daughter for burial all by herself. Meanwhile, Daemon is by the sea. He’s too proud of a man to show his emotions — sadness, anger, and more — in front of Rhaenyra. Everyone mourns in their own way.

They do unite to bury their daughter together. Daemon looks over at Rhaenyra during the funeral with a look of pure devastation.

While the funeral is still going on, Ser Erryk Cargyll arrives. He has Viserys’ crown. “I swear toward the queen with all my strength and give my blood for hers,” Erryk says to Rhaenyra. Erryk vows to stand by her as a member of her Queensguard.

Erryk Cargyll
Erryk Cargyll swears his allegiance to Rhaenyra. (HBO)

Daemon is the one to crown Rhaenyra with her father’s crown. He’s also the first to kneel before her after she’s crowned. “My queen,” he says. Everyone else kneels for her… except Rhaenys.

The plans begin for Rhaenyra to take back her throne. She brings Rhaena and Baela to the Painted Table. Everyone is waiting for her command. She learns that ravens were sent to Lord Grover without her permission. Storm’s End and Winterfell come up. Rhaenyra believes the Starks will not forget their oath to her. Borros Baratheon of Storm’s End will have to be reminded of his father’s oath.

Rhaenyra asks Rhaenys about Corlys. Rhaenys reveals that he’s headed to Dragonstone. Rhaenyra hopes for their support of the Velaryons, but she doesn’t push the issue in front of everyone.

Daemon soon brings up dragons. Daemon explains that the Blacks have 13 to the Greens’ 4 dragons. Daemon stresses that they need to use them. Rhaenyra notes that most of their dragons haven’t been to war. The tension between Daemon and Rhaenyra continues to build.

Otto Attempts To Make A Deal With Rhaenyra

Suddenly, a ship arrives with the flags of a 3-headed green dragon. Daemon and Otto come face-to-face. Otto has come to deliver a message to Rhaenyra. She flies in on Syrax just like she did all those years ago. She walks right past Otto to stand beside Daemon wearing Viserys’ crown.

Otto calls Rhaenyra just a princess. “I’m Queen Rhaenyra now… and you are all traitors to the realm,” Rhaenyra says. Otto explains that Aegon is offering terms of peace. If Rhaenyra acknowledges Aegon as the king and swears before the Iron Throne, Aegon will confirm her possession of Dragonstone, which will eventually pass to Jace. Driftmark will stay with Luke.

Aegon the Younger will be the king’s squire, while Viserys II will be Aegon the Elder’s cupbearer. Aegon will also pardon the knights and lords who conspired against the king. “I would rather feed my sons to the dragons than have them carry shields and cups for your drunken, usurper, c*nt of a king,” Daemon says without hesitation.

Otto reminds Rhaenyra and Daemon that Aegon currently sits on the Iron Throne, wears the Conqueror’s crown, and wields Blackfyre. “Every symbol of legitimacy belongs to him,” Otto says. He notes that the Baratheons, Tullys, and Starks are entertaining terms to acknowledge Aegon as king. To further twist the knife, Otto tells Rhaenrya the succession changed the day Viserys sired a son with Alicent.

Rhaenyra walks up to Otto and takes his Hand of the King pin off. She throws it over the bridge. “F**king traitor,” she says to him. Otto hands her a page from the book that she and Alicent read together years ago. “Queen Alicent has not forgotten the love you once had for each other,” he says, adding that “no blood need be spilled…”

Daemon is beyond ready to get this show on the road. He wants to kill Otto now. Rhaenyra stops Daemon from going too far. “King’s Landing will have my answer on the morrow,” Rhaenyra says to Otto before walking away.

Daemon & Rhaenyra Fight Over How To Handle Aegon

Daemon is adamant that they use their surplus of dragons in this oncoming war. “When dragons flew to war, everything burned,” Rhaenyra says. She doesn’t want to run headfirst into war and take the Iron Throne no matter the cost. She knows her father chose her as his successor to defend the realm, not cast it into war.

Rhaenyra Daemon
Rhaenyra and Daemon in the season finale. (HBO)

“The enemy have declared war. What are you going to do about it?” Daemon pointedly asks her. Rhaenyra asks everyone to clear the room except for Daemon. Rhaenyra wonders if the promise of war excites him. He does not want her to bend the knee to the Hightowers after they stole her birthright.

“Are you not angry?” he asks her. Rhaenyra doesn’t think that means she should just declare war. “No, it is your duty as queen to crush rebellion,” he says. She replies, “My oath reaches beyond our personal ambitions.”

He doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She brings up A Song of Ice & Fire. He’s still clueless. Rhaenyra tries to explain to him, but Daemon soon realizes this is something his own brother didn’t trust him to know. He grabs Rhaenyra by the neck. “Dreams didn’t make us kings, dragons did,” Daemon says.

In retaliation, Rhaenyra tells him, “He never told you, did he?” She chuckles at him. He walks away, but she seems a little scared of what he might do.

Corlys Bows Before Rhaenyra

Corlys wakes up to Rhaenys sleeping by his side. “You abandoned me when I most needed you,” Rhaenys tells her husband. He abandoned her for more adventures at sea.  “I lost everything,” Corlys says. Yet he never lost her.

Rhaenys tells him that Vaemond is dead. Daemon took his head. “You were right, Rhaenys. I reached too far and for nothing. Our pursuit for the Iron Throne is at an end,” Corlys says. He doesn’t want to declare for anyone. He just wants to live with their granddaughters on Driftmark. Rhaenyra reminds him that Jace, Luke, and Joffrey are not safe with Aegon as king.

Corlys still thinks that Rhaenyra is responsible for Laenor’s “death.” He believes Rhaenyra “destroys everything she touches.” Rhaenys tells him that Rhaenyra is holding the realm together. “Rhaenyra is the only one who has demonstrated restraint,” she adds.

Corlys and Rhaenys come to one of Rhaenyra’s strategy meetings. Daemon is noticeably absent. “Your father’s realm was one of justice and honor. Our houses are bound by a common blood and common cause. This Hightower treason cannot stand. You have the full support of our fleet and house, your grace,” Corlys says to Rhaenyra before bowing his head.

Rhaenyra doesn’t want to start a war right away. She wants to know who her allies are before taking the step into war. Corlys notes that the Narrow Sea is theirs. Rhaenys agrees to patrol the Gullet on Meleys to cut off trade and travel to King’s Landing. This will eventually make them capable of laying siege to the Red Keep. Rhaenyra is well aware that she needs the support of Winterfell, Storm’s End, and the Eyrie in order to surround King’s Landing in arms.

Jace Luke
Jace and Luke with Rhaena and Baela in the season finale. (HBO)

Jace tells his mother to send him and Luke to Winterfell, Storm’s End, and the Eyrie. Dragons can fly faster. Rhaenyra orders Jace to go to the Eyrie and then to Winterfell to talk to Cregan Stark. Luke will go to Borros Baratheon at Storm’s End. She wants them to remind the men of the oaths their houses swore and the cost of breaking them.

“It’s been said that as Targaryens we’re closer to gods than to men… if we are to serve the Seven Kingdoms we must answer to their gods. You go as messengers, not as warriors. Take no part in any fighting,” Rhaenyra tells her boys. She makes them swear it.

Luke Faces Off With Aemond & It Ends In Tragedy

Rhaenyra hopes that Jace will find some common interests with Cregan Stark. Rhaenyra points out to Luke that he has Baratheon blood from his grandmother. Storm’s End is just a short flight from Dragonstone. Meanwhile, Daemon goes to wake Vermithor, the late King Jaehaerys’ dragon.

Luke arrives at Storm’s End on Arrax. He spots Vhagar in the distance, which means Aemond is already here. When he goes inside to talk to Borros, he sees Aemond. A nervous Luke says he has a message from his mother. Borros has already received a message from Aegon.

Borros tells Luke that Aegon came with an offer of a marriage pact. He wants the same from Rhaenyra. “I am not free to marry. I am already betrothed,” Luke explains. Borros scoffs at Luke and tells him to go home. He’s not going to go along with his father’s oaths.

Luke begins to leave when Aemond calls him “Lord Strong.” Luke, listening to his mother, says he’s not going to fight him. He came as only a messenger. “A fight would be little challenge,” Aemond says. He wants Luke’s eye “as payment for mine.” Aemond takes off his eye patch to reveal his sapphire eye. “One will serve,” Aemond says before throwing a dagger at Luke.

“Give me your eye, or I will take it, bastard!” Aemond yells. Borros refuses to have any fighting in his home. Luke heads back to Arrax, and the rain at Storm’s End is brutal. He doesn’t hear Vhagar. He begins to fly on dragonback out of Storm’s End when Vhagar flies overhead with Aemond. Luke tries to get away while Aemond laughs.

Luke Velaryon dies in the season finale. (HBO)

“You owe a debt,” Aemond says in High Valyrian. The spooked Arrax blows fire in Vhagar’s face as an act of defense, and Aemond begins to lose control of Vhagar. Luke and Arrax get out of the storm and think they’ve evaded Vhagar and Aemond. Out of nowhere, Vhagar emerges and devours Luke and Arrax instantly. “Vhagar, no!” Aemond yells after Luke and Arrax die. There are only pieces of Luke and Arrax left after just a few bites.

By the look on his face, Aemond knows he’s totally screwed. He may have wanted to take Luke’s eye, but he didn’t want to kill him. This terrible accident will cause a war, and Aemond is completely responsible.

Daemon is the one who has to break the news about Luke’s death to Rhaenyra. She knows something’s up even before he tells her. He grabs her hand and takes her away from the Painted Table. He reveals the tragic news of Luke’s death. Rhaenyra nearly falls to her knees. When she turns around… it’s a totally different Rhaenyra. Hell hath no fury like a devastated mother.