Closer to Gods than to Men

Josh H
6 min readOct 24, 2022

Discussing Season 1 Episode 10 of the House of the Dragon

Pictures provided by HBO/Max

On the whole, I was largely happy with tonight’s episode. I will end my discussion here with my overall thoughts about the first ten episodes of the show.

As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop reading now.

“Dreams didn’t make us kings, dragons did” — Daemon Targaryen

Pictures provided by HBO/Max

It is ironic that so much of this episode turns on Rhaenys being impressed with Rhaenyra’s restraint because, in all honesty, Daemon was right in his assessment of the strategic situation. As I said a few months ago in my preview article, the Blacks have one huge strategic advantage, they have thirteen adult dragons and the Greens have four.

The correct strategic move would have been for the Blacks to mass their dragons and navy to counter the size and experience advantage that the Greens have with Aemond’s dragon Vhagar (the largest and most experienced fighting dragon in Westeros) and use them strategically to weaken the opposition. Splitting their dragons, given Vhagar’s size and power, would reduce every advantage the Blacks possess and allow the Greens to pick off dragons one after the other..

Dragons can defeat armies and melt cities, the only way the Blacks can win this war is by marshaling the only two advantages they have, seapower and dragon power.

There is a very strange scene at the beginning of the episode where Rhaenys returns to Dragonstone, explains what happened at Kings Landing, and then says, “you should leave Dragonstone at once.”

For some reason, Daemon starts acting afraid of invasion and talks about making their Dragonstone’s ramparts look better defended than they really were. There are a lot of reasons (some of them, ironically, referred to by Damon later in the episode) why this makes little to no sense. As I mentioned last week, Dragonstone is so formidable that it can be defended with a small garrison (which is part of why it has almost always had a small garrison). In addition, they have a…

Josh H

Author, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Co-Host of the "Decarceration Nation" Podcast, Television critic and Movie Reviewer,