House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 6: Where Are They Now?

It's been ten years since we last heard from Targaryens, so it seems like everyone could benefit from a bit of an update on everyone's favorite Medieval royals.

A still from House of the Dragon episode 6
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Finally, the long-awaited time jump is upon us. After five episodes with Milly Alcock and Emily Carey leading the way as a young Rhaenyra and Alicent, respectively, the torch has officially been passed to Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke to guide us into the Dance of the Dragons and take this civil war storyline to the next level. Ten years have passed, and episode six spends most of its runtime catching the audience up on what has transpired in the past decade. In all honesty, aside from a few births (both of the human and dragon variety), and some escalated rivalries, it seems like not too much has changed in King’s Landing. Assuming that some of the common-born folk in the far-off outposts of Westeros were curious as to what’s going on with their monarchs these days, however, it seems fitting to play some catchup with a tabloid classic, House of Targaryen: Where Are They Now?


Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

When we last saw Rhaenyra, she seemed like she might finally be growing out of her teenage stubbornness, having agreed to marry Laenor Velaryon per her father’s wishes. Of course, old habits die hard, and ten years later, Rhaenyra is just as moody as ever, though perhaps a bit more steadfast in her resolve. Over the past decade, the Princess has given birth to three boys, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, each of which bears no resemblance to her husband, but does share the curly brown hair of the Commander of the City Watch, Harwin Strong. Even Jacaerys takes notice, and questions his mother about it, proving he may have inherited her brains, as well as her lack of tact.

Rhaenyra is on good terms with her father, despite the fact that her rift with Alicent has clearly widened over the years. The two have a seat at the table now, which they seem to use only to verbally joust each other. It doesn’t help that the once pliable Alicent has come into her own during her time as the Queen, and when Rhaenyra does something very out of character and offers her friend-turned-stepmother an olive branch of some sort, it is shut down, leaving Rhaenyra wounded and running to Dragonstone to seek refuge.


Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

The biggest change in character no doubt comes from Alicent. The seeds of her confidence were planted in episode five when she defiantly showed her allegiance with her dress choice for Rhaenrya’s wedding banquet. It seems that in our decade away King’s Landing has gotten the better of her and she is finally becoming the villain we were promised. Her kind nature is now more of a front than an actual disposition, and her intentions to get Aegon to ascend to the Iron Throne are more obvious than ever. Of course, with a dead beat of a husband like Viserys, she’s allowed to act mostly unchecked.

And while Aegon may not care about becoming king (he’s too distracted by more bodily endeavors), she has surrounded herself by people who can help her reach her goal. Ser Criston survived his suicide attempt thanks to Alicent, and now seems both driven by his debt to her and his bitterness towards Rhaenyra, which still holds strong even ten years after his rejected proposal. Her likely more useful friend, however, is Larys Strong, who proves just how far he’s willing to go for Alicent. Of course, Larys’ intentions are transparent in that he clearly sees a hand-shaped pin for his lapel at the end of the tunnel. But considering I found myself wishing for a bit more Littlefinger-style slyness in this prequel, I consider him a welcome addition. His actions bring out a bit of true emotion in Alicent, the first we see all episode, but it seems like the further they get in their plan, the less she’ll let pesky sympathy hold her back.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO


The King has probably changed the least in the ten years since we’ve last seen him. Yes he’s got less hair and more pockmarks, but other than that, he’s still the inept king we came to know in the first five episodes. He seems completely oblivious to the civil war brewing literally right in front of him, and unwilling to admit that maybe all is not well within his family. Ten years on and he still would rather be left alone to toil with his building blocks (which by the way, don’t seem to have grown or changed in anyway since the last time we saw them. Seriously, what has this man been doing?).


Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Daemon is an interesting one, because as much as it seems he may have grown and matured over the past ten years, he also appears to be the exact same. Yes, he has a wife who can put him in his place a bit, a necessity for a man like Daemon, and he has become a least somewhat of a doting father. Unfortunately, that is the case to only one of his daughters, the other claims to be completed ignored by him, though it’s unclear why. He also continues to avoid his problems, hiding out as opposed to facing Westeros head on. Questionable for a man his age, but fair enough—there’s a lot of weird history there. The issue comes with the fact that he seeks refuge and entertains an alliance with direct enemies to his family and the crown, proving that ten years on and Daemon is just as selfish as he always has been. While Laena may have been able to do some more work on him, by the end of the episode, that option is, quite literally, burnt to a crisp.