Discussing Season 1 Episode 7 of the House of the Dragon
Wow, this is the first episode where I think the changes might have been a bit too overdone and overwrought…I am not even sure they needed to make some of the changes that they made in this episode.
As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop now.
“An Equal Claim To Sympathy” — Jacerys Valaryon
The episode begins, more or less, with Rhaenyra asking her son Jacerys to show some empathy to Baela and Rhaena after the funeral at sea for their mother Laena. Jacerys responds that he has “an equal claim to sympathy,” referencing the death of his father Harwin Strong. Rhaenyra responds, in no uncertain terms, by stating that:
“The Valaryons are our kin and the Strongs are not”
Later, Corlys Valaryon makes this even plainer when he says:
“History does not remember blood it remembers names.”
Much of this episode is really about the notion that real power is the ability to make a lie into the truth, to create reality through sheer force of will (assuming you have the power to make it stick). Viserys has named Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne and many lords of the realm pledged themselves to her claim publicly.
There is another point where this is made even plainer still after Aemond’s eye is taken by Lucerys in a fight, Viserys demands that young Aegon tell who told him that Rhaenyra’s children are bastards, and he responds:
“Everyone knows it, look at them”
Instead of rewarding his own son’s honesty or backing his own children (one of whom had just lost an eye), Viserys promises to cut out the tongue of anyone who repeats this “lie” at any time in the future.
Everyone knows the children are not Laenor’s and yet, the King does not want the truth to be the truth, and so, power protects the lie.
And if all of that was not enough, the Queen’s own bride, demands justice for her son…