'House of the Dragon' Recap: Most Shocking Fan Reactions to Rhaenyra’s Relationship Choices in Episode 7

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Despite a major time jump that included marriages and several children for both Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), the two characters found themselves in a very similar situation on the latest episode of House of the Dragon

Betrayal, incest, in-fighting and maneuvering for the Iron Throne were once again the central themes of episode seven, “Driftmark,” which opened with the mourning of Daemon’s wife, Lady Laena Velayron (Nanna Blondell), and concluded with an assassination attempt and unexpected union between two dragonriders. 

And needless to say, fans of the series had lots to say on social media about what went down with Rhaenyra, Daemon, Laenor (John MacMillan) and others as the Game of Thrones prequel series inches closer to the end of season 1, which is sure to be a fiery one. [Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon, season 1, episode seven, “Driftmark.”]

House of the dragon

After an extended funeral for Laena, whose death has left House Velaryon on the cusp of ruin, Rhaenyra and Daemon once again found comfort in each other, this time taking things further than they previously did in episode four. The two finally consummate their relationship by having sex on the beach.

It’s during this encounter that Queen Alicent’s (Olivia Cooke) son, Aemond Targaryen (Leo Ashton), claims Laena’s dragon, Vhagar, for himself, setting off a bloody brawl between the youngest generation of Houses Targaryen and Velayron. Their fight, which includes accusations that Rhaenyra’s sons are “bastards,” ends with Aemond losing an eye and the two mothers squaring off in front of the entire kingdom.

After Rhaenyra and Alicent’s encounter -- the culmination of an ongoing feud -- the princess realizes that her position in the realm is uncertain as ever, with King Viserys (Paddy Considine) unable to suitably resolve the tensions between his wife and daughter. 

This ultimately leads Rhaenyra back into Daemon’s arms, proposing that the two finally unite forces and get married. But in order for them to wed, Laenor will have to be killed. And it’s Daemon who suggests that Laenor’s lover, Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan), be the one to do it. 

After a body is found in the fire, Laenor’s parents, Lord Corlys and Rhaenys (Steve Toussaint and Eve Best), believe the last of their children has been killed while Rhaenyra runs off to elope with Daemon. While the two are seen tying the knot in an intimate ceremony witnessed only by their kids, it’s revealed that Laenor is still alive -- and has escaped with Qarl. 

While speaking to ET about the dynamic between the two characters, Smith said there is a “very close bond” between the uncle and his niece. “There is something very unique about their relationship compared to anyone else. I think he treats her with more respect than he does everyone else,” he shared. 
Echoing that sentiment, “her uncle Daemon and her are extremely alike. They sort of really see each other,” D’Arcy added, explaining that “there’s this deep recognition” between the two of them, which has evolved into this unexpected union that has left fans as shocked as ever. 

Read on below for some of the wildest reactions to the latest events on the series: 

House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.


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