Power-ranking the House of the Dragon characters after THAT funeral
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You can always rely on a family gathering to bring out ALL of the drama...
Hello and welcome (back) to our weekly power-ranking of the characters of the first season of House Of The Dragon.
Need a quick reminder on this 200-years-earlier prequel to Game Of Thrones? Click right here.
Each week, we'll be listing all of the major characters who have died - OUT! - as well as ranking them from the least likely to make it to the next episode, all the way up to who is the most likely to be ruling Westeros as we know it come the series' end.
So here we go, the power-ranking for the seventh episode of House Of The Dragon, titled Driftmark...
OUT? - Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan)
You can always count on a family gathering to bring the drama. Birthdays, weddings, or in this case, funerals. Laenor was so publicly distraught at the death of his sister that it was embarrassing his father. Eventually, Laenor gathered himself enough to promise Rhaeynra to be a more devoted husband. But she had different plans entirely...
The questions is... and forgive me if I missed the trick here... but was Laenor in on the assassination attempt by his lover Ser Qarl Correy? Or is the fake-out burned body in the fireplace not a part of Rhaeynra and Daemon's plan? Either way, Laenor got a haircut and is heading off with his boyfriend and loads and loads of gold, leaving behind his bereaved parents and children.
In Westeros terms, that is about as happy an ending as possible.
TEN - King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine)
He's still alive?? Really??? Alright, I guess...
The King was placed firmly in the firing line between his wife and his daughter, and he really is getting quite fed up of all of this in-fighting. The Queen is more than a little shocked that he didn't go along with her idea to poke out one of his grandkid's eyes in retaliation for their own son's injury, and then took her daughter's side when he threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who questioned their bloodline.
We've been saying this since week one, but surely - SURELY - he's a goner next week? We'll see.
NINE - Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel)
Excuse my language, but what an absolute fucker this guy has turned out to be. His one redeeming feature this week - aside from his constantly glorious hair - is that he didn't follow the Queen's orders to maim a young child in front of the entire royal family. Hooray? Good for you...?
On the other hand, he couldn't help but get a snide giggle in when the Queen made a joke about Laenor's whereabouts. I truly hate this guy.
EIGHT - Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint)
The cracks are beginning to show in what once seemed to be an indestructible power couple. And if it comes down to choosing between Corlys and Eve, then we're going with Rhaenys.
She laid it all bare this week, exposing Corlys' lust for power for the corrosive element that it truly is. And he was pretty much stunned into silence by it. Until he got right back into the thick of it, more concerned with the legacy of his name than whether or not his grandkids are actually his or not.
His focused, single-minded vision for the future of his family is in some ways commendable, but will also likely bring about his ultimate downfall.
SEVEN - All of those new kids from various couplings
The Queen's kids: One of them was openly yawning out of boredom at a funeral. Another one snatched a dragon just hours after its rider was killed. Pure evil, the both of them.
The Princess's kids: Team work makes the dream work, if the dream is stabbing your cousin's eye out. They also show some emotional intelligence, simply being there for the late Laena's kids at their mother's funeral. They also had to find out very publicly that their dad isn't really their dad. A bad week for these seemingly good kids.
Daemon's kids: Given the least to do in the show so far, but the seeds have been sewn for a potential future relationship between one of the daughters and one of the Princess's sons. Maybe after the show decides to take another huge time leap.
SIX - Larys Strong (Matthew Needham)
Mostly stuck to the background, but interestingly, he attended the funeral of Laena, when surely his own father and brother's funeral must've been happening around the same time?
He also offered to use his tongueless prisoner assassins to take out the Princess's kids, but thankfully, the Queen declined. She still has some humanity left, which is a lot more than we can say for Larys.
FIVE - Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best)
Maybe the only character in the entire show who has made her peace with her lot in life. Rhaenys didn't get to be the Queen, despite obviously winning the vote of public opinion, so she's making do with her powerful husband and tightly knit family.
Which makes it all the more painful that, for two weeks in a row, she has had one of her children killed. Yes, we know that Laenor is actually alive and well, but Rhaenys doesn't know that. And she has now aligned herself with the family members who she must be certain had him "killed".
Rhaenys is verging into Nothing Left To Lose territory, which will make her very dangerous going forward.
FOUR - Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke)
Even the Queen's father was surprised at how vicious she has become lately. He is impressed by her character turn, but for everyone else, we can see how problematic this is going to be.
If she has literally no problem with suggesting an eye-for-an-eye scenario against a young boy, and then openly slicing the wrist of her former BFF/current stepdaughter - in full view of a court full of friends and family! - then who knows what she'll be comfortable planning behind closed doors.
But she'll need to get a handle on her anger, because as good as it can be to be cutthroat in this world, it pays off in the long run for those who are more patient and strike when the time is right. Which you'll see some great examples of further down this list.
THREE - Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy)
It was inevitable, this coupling of Rhaenyra and Daemon, but that doesn't make the culmination of the uncle/niece incest relationship any easier to watch.
After being shoved on to the back foot last week, it was nice to see Rhaenyra regain some agency this week. Between killing (or "killing"?) her husband, quickly marrying Daemon to reinstate her position of power for the throne, and even getting her father's backing during the very public spat with the Queen, it is all going the Princess' way this week.
Which means the rug is going to be pulled out from under her in three... two...
TWO - Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)
Aside from the very snarky giggle at his own wife's funeral, every other word, move and thought that Daemon had this week was played to perfection.
During that entire Princess VS Queen showdown, Daemon very smartly remained as distanced as possible, watching it all play out, only stepping in at the last minute to stop Criston from getting involved. And now that he's married to the future Queen, Daemon has taken the long route, but eventually found himself closer than ever to the ultimate power.
Does he actually like Rhaenyra, though? Is this all just to get the crown? To piss off his brother? All three? Probably all three.
ONE - Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)
(slow golf clap) Bravo, sir. Expertly played. Otto returns as the King's Hand this week - we were sure that Larys Strong was going to get that gig, so this is maybe the lesser of two evils - and he, just like Daemon, enjoys the periphery, distancing himself and deciding when or if to get involved in the drama.
He once again convinces his daughter that absolute power is on the horizon, and once the King does eventually bite the bullet, the kingdom will be run these two Hightowers.
House of the Dragon: Episode Eight - titled The Lord of the Tides - will be available to stream with a NOW Entertainment Membership from Monday, 10 October.
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