Warning! This article contains major spoilers for House of the Dragon season 1 and the Fire & Blood book.House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy says Matt Smith suggested a crucial part of season 1’s final scene. The Game of Thrones spin-off saw a few major deaths in the last couple of episodes, with King Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) death in episode 8 setting off the civil war that will eventually follow. House of the Dragon episode 9, set exclusively in King’s Landing, saw Alicent (Olivia Cooke) scheming to put Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), her son, on the Iron Throne, usurping Rhaenyra (D’Arcy) as the rightful heir.
The tragedy didn’t stop there for Rhaenyra, who went into early labor after hearing the news and experienced a horrific stillbirth. Returning to her duties after the funeral for her lost child, she was bombarded by the men in her council, including her husband Daemon (Smith), who were eager to go to war. However, Rhaenyra elected to take a more measured approach, sending her eldest sons Jacaerys (Harry Collett) and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) with messages for her potential allies in the war. Tragically, Lucerys never made it back, as a run-in with his uncle Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) resulted in the boy’s death. The House of the Dragon episode ended with Rhaenyra’s chilling reaction to this latest tragedy.
While speaking with The Face, D’Arcy breaks down the expression on Rhaenyra’s face in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale after learning about Lucerys’ death, while also revealing some interesting insights about the staging of that scene. When asked whether some of the rage in Rhaneyra’s face will serve as an “engine” in season 2, D’Arcy confirms that it will. See what they had to say below:
“I totally think so. I have to say, just because I just think it’s [a mark] of genius: it was Matt Smith who suggested that Rhaenyra received the news on the walk away from camera. As soon as he said that when we were doing an onset rehearsal, I suddenly could see it. But that really sincere attempt towards maturity, complexity and holding all of these moving parts together – her attempt to be the glue just falls away. There is nothing left to bridge those many factions anymore.”
What’s Next For Rhaenyra In House of the Dragon Season 2
Largely due to her belief in the prophecy that her father confided in her, Aegon the Conqueror’s dream of The Song of Ice and Fire, Rhaenyra has prioritized peace in the Seven Kingdoms above all. However, D’Arcy’s response hints at a new side to Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon season 2, as she eschews the calm maturity she exhibited in the season 1 finale for righteous rage. Though she doesn’t voice this in the episode, the Rhaenyra in the series’ source material, Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, blames Alicent and her people for the deaths of her unborn child and her son. Daemon’s suspicion that the Greens murdered the ailing Viserys in order to enact their coup only adds more fuel to both Rhaenyra and Daemon’s fires as they gear up for war.
In House of the Dragon season 2, viewers can expect to see the Dance of the Dragons fully begin, with Rhaenyra finding a personal motivation for bloodshed due to her desire to avenge Lucerys’ death, which she will likely believe to be a murder. As she relies more on her instincts and less on the poise and logic that initially guided her, viewers may see the new queen make some truly shocking decisions before the conclusion of season 2. Given the updates that House of the Dragon has made to the events in the novel, several key moments in Rhaenyra’s story arc may play out differently than Fire & Blood fans expect. However, one thing appears to be certain: House of the Dragon season 2 will see Rhaenyra throw herself into the war wholeheartedly, despite being reluctant to fight initially.
Source: The Face