House of the Dragon’s latest episode foreshadows one major battle

In the latest episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon, Daemon Targaryen’s (Matt Smith) capture of Harrenhal doesn’t go as planned. Though he succeeds in taking the castle, his conquest is not much fun. He arrives at the cursed fortress astride his dragon Caraxes, only to find the castle nearly deserted – save for a few workers and the castle’s owner, Ser Simon Strong (Simon Russell Beale), who promptly and without protest hands Harrenhal over to Daemon.

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Alice Rivers’ Eerie Prophecy Explained
What happens in the Battle of God’s Eye?
While at Harrenhal, Daemon sees a disturbing vision. Drawn to a firelit room by the sound of a woman humming in the distance, Daemon soon finds himself face-to-face with a young Rhaenyra (Millie Alcock, first seen in season 1). “You always come and go, don’t you? And then you have to clean up afterwards,” Rhaenyra says as she sews back onto his body the head of Prince Jaehaerys, the boy who was decapitated on Daemon’s orders in the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere.

When Daemon wakes up from his vision, he finds himself standing outside the walls of Harrenhal, near the castle’s ancient weirwood tree. He turns around to see Alys Rivers (Gayle Rankin), one of House of the Dragon’s strangest new characters, watching over him. The brief exchange they share directly foreshadows one of House of the Dragon’s biggest moments to come.

After observing him for a few seconds in the third part of the second season of House of the Dragon, Alice suddenly decides to tell Damon, “You’re the one who’s shaking. As fans of Fire and Blood, the history of the fictional Targaryen house on which House of the Dragon is based, already know, he has his reasons for doing so. Alice’s sentence is not just a flippant remark, but an accurate prediction.

In Fire and Blood, it is revealed that Damon actually died at Harrenhal near the end of the Central Targaryen Civil War at the House of the Dragon (known as the Dance of Dragons). Disillusioned by the bloody twists and turns of the war, Damon decides to challenge his bloodthirsty nephew Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) to a battle at the cursed castle. Aemond accepts the challenge, and riding her dragons, Caraxes and Vhagar, the two engage in a dangerous battle in the skies above Harrenhal and the neighboring lake.

The legendary event, known as the Battle of the Eye of the Gods, ends with Caraxes sinking his jaws into Vhagar’s neck and Daemon leaping from his saddle and plunging his Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, into Aemond’s blind eye.

All four combatants then fall into the neighboring lake of Harrenhal, the Eye of the Gods, and Caraxes manages to crawl back to the shore and die there. The bodies of Vhagar and Aemond are recovered years later, but Daemon’s body is never recovered. This fact has led some, both within and outside the fictional world of the House of the Dragon, to believe that he somehow survived the incredibly dangerous fall and lives an anonymous life far away from Westeros.

What will happen in the battle for the Eye of the Gods?

Assuming that Alice’s prediction in the final episode of House of the Dragon is entirely correct, regarding the battle for the Eye of God, it seems that this will not be the version of events used in the HBO series. Presumably, this scene will be the end for both Smith’s Damon and Mitchell’s Aemond. If this is the case, readers of the book will not be disappointed. In the end, it is generally accepted that Damon probably died at the end of the battle with Aemond.

Still, their battle is one of the moments readers are most looking forward to seeing in the animated adaptation, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are Damon and Aemond the best characters in Dance of Dragons , but their climactic fight to the death is widely considered to be one of the most epic and poetic moments depicted in Fire and Blood .

Alice Rivers’ lone scene in this week’s episode of House of the Dragon not only sets up Daemon’s eventual demise, but also subtly foreshadows her future in the series. There is honestly a lot to write about and speculate about as to how the series will use her character, but it’s mostly notable that she becomes the lover of Daemon’s rival, Aemond, and actually appears in the Battle of the Eye, where the gods reside. Though viewers may not yet be aware, due to her witchy powers, she is also the character most likely responsible for Daemon’s disturbing visions of Rhaenyra and Jaehaeris.

What I mean by this is that while not much happens in the latest episode of House of the Dragon, Daemon’s arrival and stay at Harrenhal is utilized to set up some notable moments, most of which aren’t even in the current season of House of the Dragon. The series occurs. It’s debatable whether House of the Dragon should spend its time this way right now, but choosing to do so would only heighten readers’ expectations to see Daemon and Aemond’s story continue to unfold.

New episodes of House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere Sunday nights on HBO and Max.

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