House of the Dragon E6 jumps forward ten years in time but the quality remains as the rivalry between Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent ramps up with them staring daggers at one another whenever they share a room across from the unendingly weary King Viserys who still thinks that things can end well. Each side has grown in the time since we last saw them with the dark-haired children of Rhaenyra (who look suspiciously like the Commander of the City Watch) and the blonde offspring of Alicent begin to play a part in the division of King’s Landing.
House of the Dragon E6 is full of scenes that will still shock its hardened audience. A young man masturbating out of an open window over the city. A horrible death due to dragonfire. And more labour scenes that remind the audience that having a child is to dance with death in Westeros. The new cast smashes it out of the park, burning away any doubt that the change would be off-putting to the audience. Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra and Olivia Cooke as Alicent brilliantly convey the turmoil and troubles of the years that have passed in just a few glances and movements. Time has hardened the queen who is still stinging from the loss of her father as Hand to the King and the love for her children has burned any bridge that might have been there for her friendship with Rhaenyra. Viserys seems happy to meet his grandchildren and dreams of a day when Rhaenyra and Alicent are friends once again, blissfully unaware of the storm to come.
A proxy war is fought in House of the Dragon E6 as Alicent’s sons, Aegon and Aemond, are trained by Ser Criston Cole whilst Rhaenyra’s sons are watched over by her lover, Ser Harwin Strong. The children are mostly innocent and unaware of the danger brewing around them, all apart from Aegon who Game of Thrones fans will see as a new Joffrey, an annoying prick who doesn’t seem to give a shit about anyone else. He’s going to be a lot of fun to hate over the coming episodes. They will also see a new Littlefinger growing in the shadows in Larys Strong, an ambitious man scheming with Alicent to ensure that they cling to the power they have. The lengths that Larys will go to with his scheming seems to sicken even the stony Alicent, but if such actions help her family, perhaps she will turn a blind eye…
Through all the sneering and fights breaking out in King’s Landing, Daemon mopes in Pentos. He has a new family and a peaceful home, using their dragons to put down any threats to the Pentoshi people. He isn’t entirely happy but is aware of the peace he could have away from the politics of his homeland. But of course, his wife knows that this goes against the nature of the man she married. He has his own children who have, or wish to have dragons, and there are many people who would back the Rogue Prince who slayed the Crab King. A big part of House of the Dragon E6 involves the children of the powerful players in the series readying themselves to be bound to a dragon. It sets everything up very nicely for the war that is constantly in the shadows of this series, waiting to be brought into the light.
Possibly the best episode yet. House of the Dragon E6 is full of violence and scheming that fans of the show will watch with glee. An excellent cast, great writing, and the dragons look better than they ever have. This is the best fantasy series on TV since Game of Thrones in its prime and long may that continue.