House of the Dragon Episode 10 Review: The Black Queen
Rhaenys delivers the news that Viserys is dead and Aegon has been crowned King. It's upsetting news. But even in the face of tragedy, Rhaenyra keeps her wits about her. A crown finds its way to her head. A rift forms between Rhaenyra and Daemon over the coming struggle between Greens and Blacks. And she discovers that she has more allies than she thinks. Rhaenyra sends envoys to remind those who remain on the fence of their oaths of fealty. But sometimes being an envoy can be a perilous affair.
It's ironic that a lot of this episode takes place in Dragonstone. It's the same place where things had nearly come to ahead so many years ago. And just like then, Rhaenyra's cooler head prevails. But the writers always remind the audience that every single good deed is punished in the House of the Dragon/Game of Thrones Universe. Rhaenrya tries to prevent as much bloodshed as she possibly can and loses a piece of her heart for her trouble.
Rhaenyra, in honor of her father, pursues the path of peace. She hopes the Greens stand down once they see how many allies she has. She has the numbers for dragons: 13. And she has the Velaryen fleet. But she's trying to grab the Iron Throne without a war. Pursuing the path of peace doesn’t necessarily make you weak. But there is a time for peace and a time for war. Does Rhaenyra have the wisdom to know which is which? Unfortunately, Viserys is a poor teacher. Life on the other hand...
Prince Aemond Targaryen has certainly come a long way. He went from a boy with no dragon to a cold-blooded killer just like that. He talks a good game with his super cool eyepatch. But talk is all it is.
Vhagar is all about business. He doesn't chase just to intimidate. Vhagar is the dragon of dragons. When you ride Vhagar, what he does you can’t take back. Prince Aemond is supposed to be a dragonlord. But he may not be worthy of Vhagar or that title. Maybe Vhagar exposes Prince Aemond as a weakling that just looks cool.
Daemon has always been difficult to read. But it’s quite obvious in this episode he wants war. And that makes sense. One of the main reasons Rhaenyra wants to marry Daemon is so they can join forces to take down the Greens. And Daemon has never been opposed to shedding the blood of his enemies if it’s needed to either illustrate his power or solidify it. That has been his perspective from the beginning. Not a bad idea at this point.
It's a shame what it takes to get Rhaenyra to go to war. Had she listened to Daemon and some of the other hawks from the start, perhaps things would have turned out differently. But as it stands, there's a fire in Rhaenyra's belly. Surely, the Greens will be burned by it.