Discussing Season 1 Episode 6 of the House of the Dragon
There are a few things that really bothered me about this episode, but the good far outweighed the bad.
As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop now.
“I Am Cold in My Grave” — Queen Allicent
We have taken another time jump, to a time when a one-decade older Rhaenyra is giving birth to her third child, Prince Joffrey Valerion.
The Queen asks to see the child immediately, and it becomes apparent that Allicent wants to see the child in order to determine if the child has brown hair and eyes like Rhaenyra’s other children do. The speculation in the book, made much more known and obvious here, was that Ser Harwin Strong (Breakbones) is the father instead of Ser Laenor. After seeing the child, the Queen takes Laenor aside and says:
“Do keep trying Ser Laenor, sooner or later you will get one that looks like you”
Now, in the books, Ser Harwin showed up much earlier (in the same tournament celebrating the wedding of Rhaenyra and Laenor where Ser Criston Cole killed Ser Joffrey, Cole also beat Ser Harwin so badly that he had a broken collarbone and elbow).
If I have a criticism of this episode, it is that they went way over the top with the obviousness that Ser Harwin was the father. In the book, it was certainly assumed that he was the father, but they didn’t make Rhaenyra and Harwin look like total idiots about it. Nobody, not even a spoiled princess, could be as stupid about exposing her son’s illicit lineage as Rhaenyra seems to be in this episode. Ser Harwin shows up in the royal rooms with her as she comes back from showing her son to the Queen and King. Later Ser Harwin shows up at the martial training session for all of the princes watched by the King…and even gets drawn into a verbal and then physical conflict with Ser Criston Cole. Given the very lives of their children would be at risk, why in the world would Ser Harwin or Rhaenyra be this stupid?