House of the Dragon‘s Season 1 finale begins with Lucerys Velaryon in the throne room at Dragonstone, concerned about his grandfather, Corlys Velaryon. He tells Rhaenyra that he’s not ready to be the Lord of the Tides, which would be his position if Corlys succumbed to his injuries. He tells her he wants to be perfect like her, though she laughs off the notion. Rhaenyra is pregnant once again.
Rhaenys arrives from King’s Landing, bringing news of Viserys’ death and everything that has happened since. Upon learning of Alicent’s betrayal, Rhaenyra’s body goes into shock and forces her into premature labor. As Rhaenyra tries to deliver her baby, Daemon pull together a group of knights and advisors to start preparing them for war. Rhaenyra sends Jace to tell Daemon not to do anything until she has recovered. He continues in his plotting and makes members of the Kingsguard swear allegiance to his wife.
Rhaenyra opts to deliver her baby on her own, telling several maids to stay away. Sadly, the baby is stillborn, and there is a funeral held on Dragonstone. At the funeral, Erryk arrives and bends the knee to Rhaenyra, holding up the crown of Viserys that he took from King’s Landing. Everyone at Dragonstone kneels, recognizing Rhaenyra as their Queen.
The first meeting of the Black Council takes place, and there is a clear rift between Rhaenyra and Daemon as to how they should approach the situation. They discuss which houses can be counted on to offer their allegiance, but Daemon insists on bringing up the dragons. They need more dragonriders to pair with the unmanned dragons, and that should give them an advantage in war. The thing is, war isn’t what Rhaenyra wants. Otto arrives with an offer of peace, which would require Rhaenyra bending the knee to Aegon. That won’t happen, but Rhaenyra still has no desire for violence. She tells the council her intentions after Otto leaves, that she wants to defend the realm, not cast it into war. Daemon challenges her and, privately, she tells him about the Song of Ice and Fire. He tells her that dreams didn’t make the Targaryens kings, but that dragons were responsible for it.
Corlys is finally recovering from his injuries, and he awakens to find Rhaenys by his side. He’s ready to admit she was right about everything and refuse to take a side in the war. When she reminds him that their grandchildren are wrapped up in things, he changes his mind. He vows his allegiance to Rhaenyra.
Jacaerys and Lucerys go out to various houses to send messages on behalf of Rhaenyra, trying to figure out who is on their side. They swear not to act in violence. Jake leaves for Winterfell and Luke goes to meet Borros Baratheon in Storm’s End. When Luke arrives, he realizes that Aemond is also there. Alicent has offered Aemond’s hand in marriage to one of Lord Baratheon’s daughters, while Luke brings nothing but diplomacy on behalf of Rhaenyra. He’s sent away, but Aemond goes out after him, demanding he cut out one of his eyes to settle their score.
Aemond chases Luke on their dragons, riding through a storm on the great beast Vhagar. When things start to get even more dangerous, Aemond tries to back away from the conflict, but Vhagar doesn’t listen to him. Vhagar bites Luke’s dragon in half, high above the clouds, killing both beast and rider. The season ends with Rhaenyra getting the news of her son’s death.
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