Die Prinzessin und die Königin

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Rhaenyra, ihr Ehemann und ihr Baby

Foto: Ollie Upton/HBO

Es war nur eine Woche seit wir gesehen haben, wie Prinzessin Rhaenyra, die Erbin des Eisernen Throns, Laenor Velaryon heiratete, um beide Häuser und ihre zukünftige Herrschaft zu stärken. Aber für Rhaenyra, König Viserys, Königin Alicent und alle anderen Haus des Drachen seitdem sind lange 10 Jahre vergangen – und es ist fast beeindruckend, wie viel schlimmer die Dinge geworden sind, ohne dass es jemals gelungen ist, endlich in einen vollen Krieg auszubrechen.

Bild für Artikel mit dem Titel Über das Haus des Drachen, Kinder sind die Zukunft, und die Zukunft sieht rau aus

Also ja, „Die Prinzessin und die Königin“ beginnt mit der Zeitsprung, von dem wir alle wussten, dass er kommen würde , und Emma D’Arcy und Olivia Cooke sind endlich in ihre jeweiligen Rollen getreten. Rhaenyra ist klüger, pragmatischer und äußerst irritiert darüber, dass Alicent alles in ihrer Macht Stehende versucht, sie zu diskreditieren. Alicent ist zu ihrem Recht gekommen, indem sie Viserys (Paddy Considine) manchmal ungestraft herumkommandiert, ihn wie einen tatternden alten Mann mit anderen verwöhnt und zunehmend wütend auf Menschen wird, die Rhaenyra nicht so sehr hassen wie sie. (Was bedeutet, dass der Rhaenyra-verabscheuende Criston Cole, der immer noch von Fabien Frankel gespielt wird, ihr aktueller bester Freund ist.)

Es gab einige KlassikerGame of Thrones-artige Intrigen und politische Intrigen – sogar ein oder zwei Attentate! – in „Die Prinzessin und die Königin“, was es zu einer wunderbaren Episode gemacht hätte, wenn ich das Ganze nicht so unerträglich angespannt gefunden hätte. Das Problem sind die Kinder. EIN viel der Kinder wurden in den letzten zehn Jahren in Westeros geboren und lange bevor Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) rhetorisch fragt: „Was sind Kinder anderes als eine Schwäche?“ Haus des Drachen hat gezeigt, dass sie vieles sein können: Bauern. Bedrohungen. Die Opfer. Verbindlichkeiten. Verrückte. Aufgaben. Erben des Grolls ihrer Eltern. Und sie können auch Mörder sein.

Lassen Sie mich der Einfachheit halber die nächste Generation von Targaryens aufzählen, denn sie wurden bereits durch die einfache Tugend ihrer bloßen Existenz in den kommenden Krieg hineingezogen.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Gary Moyes/HBO

Queen Alicent and King Viserys have three children: Aegon (Ty Tennant) is the eldest, and looks to be shaping up into a pretty fine swordsman and a teen who likes masturbating out of windows. His younger sister Helaena (Evie Allen) is next, and it appears she’s into very gross bugs and being weird. Finally, there’s Aemond (Leo Ashton), an unlikable, sullen boy who gets made fun of by Rhaenyra’s kids.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Gary Moyes/HBO

Rhaenyra and ostensibly Laenor Velaryon (now played by John MacMillan) have two sons, both younger than Alicent’s kids. There’s Jacaerys (Leo Hart), Lucerys (Harvey Sadler), and Joffrey, who is born in the opening minutes of the episode.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

• Meanwhile, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) has had two daughters with his new wife Laena Velaryon (now played by Nanna Blondell), Laenor’s sister. They’re named Baela (Eva Ossei-Gerning) and Rhaena (Shani Smethhurst), and Laena has another baby on the way.

There’s something powerful and heartbreaking when Emma D’Arcy’s adult Rhaenyra is introduced screaming in pain as she’s giving birth to Joffrey. Even before we know this is her third child, Rhaenyra has fallen into the same, inevitable trap Alicent did—she’s now “popping out heirs” and worrying each new pregnancy will kill her like it eventually killed her mother. She may be the declared heir to the Iron Throne, and soon to be the most powerful woman in Westeros, but she had no more chance to avoid this fate than Alicent did (or Laena, for that matter).

Of course, Alicent is still dead set on making sure Rhaenyra never gets her chance to become Queen. Part of this is because she’s worried that Rhaenyra will have her children killed to eliminate their claims, as her father Otto Hightower told her, but most of her hate for the princess is just… hate. She’s still furious she was lied to, that Rhaenyra ever enjoyed a taste of freedom while she was having miserable sex with the increasingly gross Viserys. Rhaenyra is still enjoying that freedom, to a degree, and it’s driving Alicent mad.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Remember how I mentioned Rhaenyra’s kids are “ostensibly” Rhaenor’s? It’s a funny thing, because none of the three have the white-gold hair of the Targaryens or the white locks of the Velaryons. Instead, they all have black-brown hair, much like Rhaenyra’s close friend and captain of the city watch, Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr). While I assume Laenor tried to do his royal duties, at least on occasion, pretty much everyone in King’s Landing assumes Strong is the real father. Rhaenyra outright denies it, even to Rhaenor, but it’s hard to believe her when we eventually check in with Daemon and Laena in Lys, and their daughters are unquestionably a product of the two Valyrian houses joined together.

The only other person in Westeros who refuses to admit the truth is Viserys, who won’t hear of any accusation of Rhaenyra’s infidelity, even from his wife. But things come to a head when Harwin observes Criston teaching Alicent’s two boys to fight while ignoring Rhaenyra’s kids. Criston, who has become an even bigger asshole over the last decade, has Aegon attack the much smaller Jacaerys, giving him implicit instructions on how to maul the child, including beating him while he’s laying on the ground. Harwin pulls Aegon off and helps Jacaerys to his feet, which allows Criston to comment about how caring Harwin seems of his charge… almost as if the prince were his own son.

Harwin very satisfyingly beats the hell out of Criston for the insult until four knights pull him off, but Criston is nothing but pleased. Harwin Strong is expelled from the City Watch, and his father Lyonel (Gavin Spokes) tries to resign as Hand of the King but is unwilling to expose Rhaenyra’s not-so-secret secret. So Viserys does not accept the resignation and tells his Hand to get Harwin instated at Harrenhal and come back. Rhaenyra leaves too, but to take her family to the Targaryen’s ancestral home of Dragonstone, where everyone won’t be whispering behind their backs.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Alicent complains bitterly that Lyonel didn’t have the courage to tell the king the scandalous truth, which is when Larys Strong—the obvious schemer—takes matters into his own hands, and by “own hands” I mean he finds a bunch of criminals about to be executed, offers them freedom, cuts out their tongues, and has them set Harrenhal on fire to kill Larys’ brother and father. Thus, he paves the way for Alicent to call her father Otto Hightower, former Hand of the King and a man who will tell Viserys harsh truths (as we have seen), back to King’s Landing. Alicent has the decency to be somewhat horrified that Larys murdered his own family to help her, but not nearly horrified enough to not take the opportunity.

What made “The Princess and the Queen” so tense for me was how clearly all of these kids are being dragged into a fight that will blow up their lives and engulf the entirety of Westeros. And it’s primarily Alicent’s hate that’s doing it. She hates Rhaenyra so much she hates Rhaenyra’s children. She tells Aegon that his life and his siblings’ lives will basically be forfeit if Rhaenyra takes the throne, all to sow distrust and hate between the two groups of kids. Criston Cole hates Rhaenyra so much he wants her children physically harmed. It’s awful, and what makes it worse is that if you know anything about historical wars of succession or just watched Game of Thrones, you know some of these children will die. Not as children, hopefully, but not all of them will survive the inevitable civil war. They will hate and fear each other and try to kill the others and some of them will probably succeed.

“What are children but a weakness?” Larys asks the queen. “A folly, a futility. Through them you imagine you cheat the great darkness of its victim, that you’ll persist forever in some form or another, as if they would keep you from the dust. But for them, you surrender what you do not. You may know the right thing to be done but love stays the hand. Love is a downfall.”

So is hate, and it will be the downfall of so many of these children, sooner or later.

Image for article titled On House of the Dragon, Children Are the Future, and the Future Looks Rough

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Assorted Musings:

Whitney Houston – Größte Liebe von allen (offizielles 4K-Video)


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