Original air date: September 25, 2022
Ten years later, Rhaenyra gives birth to her third child in the Red Keep and Ser Laenor names him Joffrey. Queen Alicent notices that Joffrey does not have silver hair, and tries to convince King Viserys that Rhaenyra’s children are bastards with no right to the Iron Throne. Aegon, Jacaerys and Lucerys play a prank on Aemond, Alicent’s younger son. Queen Alicent is furious at Aegon and tries to convince him to be ready to fight for the throne when Rhaenyra becomes queen. Prince Daemon and Laena are in Essos with their daughters Baela and Rhaena, where the Prince of Pentos offers them a lordship in exchange for an alliance against the Triarchy. Laena is unable to give birth and commands her dragon Vhagar to burn her. Rhaenyra tries to make peace with Alicent through a marriage between Jacaerys and Helaena, Alicent’s daughter, but without success. Lyonel Strong attempts to resign his position as Hand of the King due to rumors surrounding his son Harwin. King Viserys denies his request, but allows him to return with Harwin to Harrenhal. Before leaving, Ser Harwin says goodbye to Rhaenyra and her children, implying strongly that he is in fact their father. Ser Harwin and Lyonel are killed in a fire orchestrated by Larys Strong, who reports it back to Queen Alicent.
* * *
Older Midwife: Keep breathing.
I c… I can’t.
Younger Midwife: The head!
(younger midwife chuckles)
A boy, Princess.
Younger Midwife: Praise the Mother!
Kicking like a goat, Princess.
Elinda: Princess… the Queen has requested that the child be brought to her… immediately.
I’ll take him myself.
You should remain abed, Princess…
Yes, I should! Help me dress.
Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm.
Younger Midwife: Princess?
Oh, it’s coming.
A boy. I’ve just heard.
Where are you going?
She wants to see him.
I’m coming with you.
I should hope so.
Let me take him.
No, she’ll get no such satisfaction from me.
Just take my arm, at the least.
Was it terribly painful?
I took a lance through the shoulder once.
My deepest sympathies.
Servants: The Princess… The Princess…
I am glad I am not a woman.
Servant: My Princess…
Servant: My Lord…
What is it?
What is it? What is it?
What could she possibly want?
I thought we were past this.
Princess, Ser Laenor, it is a privilege to be amongst the first to congratulate you.
Thank you, Lord Caswell.
If I may be of any service.
The day may yet come, my Lord.
We are turning back, all right?
She can come to us, all right?
No. Not unless you wish to carry me down those fucking stairs.
This is absurd.
Rhaenyra! You should be resting after your labors.
I have no doubt that you would prefer that, Your Grace.
You must sit.
Talya, fetch a cushion for the Princess.
There’s no need.
Queen Alicent: Nonsense.
We’ll finish this later.
Talya: Your Grace.
What happy news this morning.
Prince Laenor: Indeed, Your Grace.
Where is he?
Where is my grandson? There.
There he is.
A fine Prince.
You will make a fearsome knight.
(softly) Yes, you will.
Does the babe have a name yet?
We haven’t spoken…
He’ll be called Joffrey.
That’s an unusual name for a Velaryon.
I do believe he has his father’s nose.
(softly) Don’t you?
(clears throat) If you don’t mind, Your Grace, your daughter has exerted herself heroically and should rest.
Well done, my girl.
I do hope the labor was easy.
I think I called the midwife a cunt.
Do keep trying, Ser Laenor.
Soon or late, you may get one who looks like you.
You don’t… think to consult me before you name my child?
He’s our child, is he not?
Only one of us is bleeding.
I deserve some say in the affairs of my own family.
You haven’t seemed so interested in our affairs of late.
Child: And he sees a big, scary dragon!
We chose an egg for the baby.
Princess Rhaenyra: Ahh.
That looks like the perfect one.
Jacaerys: I let Luke choose.
Lucerys: Thank you, Jace.
Not every day an egg leaves the Dragon pit, Princess.
I thought it best to escort the lads.
Laenor and I thank you, Commander.
Another boy, I heard.
What a fine knight you are going to make, eh?
Ser Harwin wishes to be introduced to Joffrey.
Harwin Strong: Joffrey, is it?
Lucerys: Father, please may I hold Joffrey?
No, no. No.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
Back to the Dragon pit for you two.
Lucerys: Come on!
Laenor: Before they send out a search party.
You’re asleep in front of the Commander of the City Watch.
Terrible lack of respect.
A certain insolence runs in the family, I’m afraid.
Dragon keeper: Call Vermax to heel, Prince Jacaerys.
(speaking High Valyrian) Zaldrizo aoho syt aeksio sagon ao bevilza, darilaros nuhys…
You must hold mastery over your dragon, my young Princes.
…hae Darilarot Aegot Vvsperzomy.
Dragon keeper: As Prince Aegon has with Sunfyre.
Zijosy aot tetiri ozlettosy, toli rybagon zirylo vindilza.
Once they’re fully bound to you, they will refuse to take instruction from any other.
Can I say it?
(speaks High Valyrian) Dracarys, Vermax!
Aemond, we have a surprise for you.
What is it?
Something very special.
You’re the only one of us without a dragon.
And we felt badly about it, so we found one for you.
A dragon? How?
The gods provide.
Both: The Pink Dread!
Be sure to mount her carefully.
First flight’s always rough.
(eerie music playing)
(strong winds blowing)
(intense music swells)
Child: This one has 60 rings… and two pairs of legs on each.
Yes, it is.
It has eyes…
I don’t believe it can see.
And why is that so, do you think?
It is beyond our understanding.
I suppose you’re right. Some things just are.
Kings guard: Your Grace.
What have you done?
He did it again.
Alicent: After how many times you’ve been warned, must I have you confined to your chambers?!
They made me do it!
As if you needed encouragement.
Your obsession with those beasts goes beyond understanding.
They gave me a pig!
They said they found a dragon for me.
The last ring has no legs at all.
But it was a pig.
You will have a dragon one day.
He’ll have to close an eye.
Alicent: I know it.
They all laughed.
Alicent: They made wings for it, apparently, and a tail.
King Viserys: The lad shouldn’t have been so credulous.
He’s a child.
He thought they’d happened upon some wild unnamed dragon and lured it to the Dragon pit?
Your grandsons are a menace.
They’re more children than he is.
Th-They’re savages. And it’s not surprising.
Are you sure it wasn’t our Aegon who put them up to it?
It’s a wonder to me their eggs ever hatched.
And why is that?
You know why.
I’m afraid I don’t.
We shall continue this afternoon, Eddard.
I have raised this matter before and you forbade me to speak of it, so I held my tongue.
To have one child like that is a mistake, to have three is an insult, to the throne, to you, to House Velaryon and the match you battled so hard to make for her.
Not to mention decency itself.
I had a black mare once.
Black like a raven.
One day, she escaped her pasture and the neighboring stallion sired a foal on her.
The stallion was as silver as the moon on a winter’s night and the foal, when it was born, chestnut. (chuckles)
Just the most unremarkable brown horse you ever saw.
Nature is a thing of mysterious works.
How do you know?
The silver stallion.
How do you know it was him?
Did you witness the act itself?
The consequences of an allegation like the one you toy at would be dire.
Do not speak of this again.
Alicent: Have I lost my sanity, Ser Criston?
Do my senses lead me astray?
Or is everyone else asleep, dreaming the same woolly dream?
Sometimes seems so, Your Grace.
She flaunts the privilege of her inheritance without shame.
She expects everyone in the Red Keep to deny the truth our eyes can all plainly see.
And the King, her father…
Of course, he knows. Or did once, but has convinced himself otherwise.
He’ll do naught but make excuses for her.
The Princess Rhaenyra is brazen and relentless.
A spider who stings and sucks her prey dry.
A spoiled cunt.
That was beneath me, Your Grace. I apologize.
I have to believe, that in the end, honor and decency will prevail.
We need to hew to that and to each other.
Alicent: Whose idea was it?
Was it your plot?
No… it was Jace and… uh… it-it was the two of them.
I couldn’t be sure.
Aemond is your brother.
Well, he’s a twat.
We are family.
You may cuff him about as you wish at home, but in the world… we must defend our own.
It was funny.
Do you think Rhaenyra’s sons will be your playthings forever?
As things stand… Rhaenyra will ascend the throne and Jacaerys Targaryen will be her heir.
Ugh! You are nearly a man-grown.
How is it that you can be so shortsighted?
If Rhaenyra comes into power… your very life could be forfeit.
Aemond’s as well.
She could move to cut off any challenge to her succession.
Then I won’t challenge…
(yells) You are the challenge!
You are the challenge, Aegon!
Simply by living and breathing!
You are the King’s firstborn son… and what they know, what everyone in the realm knows in their blood and in their bones… is that one day, you will be our King.
(tense music playing)
(speaks High Valyrian) Dracarys!
Prince Reggio Ha rat is: The lamb hearts are excellent.
We are fortunate in our cook, Your Excellence.
There’s a plum-cake yet to be served, which will have us fighting over the crumbs.
Then before we come to blows… (taps on table) a toast to Aegon the Conqueror, your exalted forebear, who joined our cause against Volantis in the Century of Blood.
On the great dragon Balerion, he flew to our aid in Lys and burned a fleet of enemy ships, thus turning the tide.
Aegon the Conqueror.
All: To Aegon.
Reggio: This brings me to some business.
A proposal I wish to make in the spirit of honoring our storied alliance.
If your aim is to marry one of our daughters, Your Excellence, you might have said so and spared us the history lesson.
(Prince Reggio chuckling)
I would not count myself so deserving, my Lady Laena.
I wish to offer you a permanent residence here in Pentos.
This manse I would gift to you, outright, along with its farms and lands, the vineyard and the wood.
The tenants would pay their tributes annually to their new Targaryen lord.
You would have your freedom of the city and the harbor, as befits your royal station.
Reggio: Lys and its allies rise again.
The Triarchy has made common cause with Qoren Martell of Dorne.
At any moment, they may turn their sights north.
Your family has dragons.
Three now… mayhaps four in the future.
My aim is to protect Pentos from the lustful eye of the Triarchy.
Aid Pentos in this, as Aegon once did… and my gratitude will fill your cup and overflow it.
Your Excellence, we are travelers.
We’ve already extended our visit here.
Prince Daemon: It’s a most generous offer.
And one we will certainly entertain.
(conversing in High Valyrian)
(light music playing)
You are considering Prince Reggio’s offer.
We have a good life here.
We’re free to do as we please, welcomed and feted.
And eternally guests.
We are without responsibility. The political scheming, the endless shifting of loyalties and succession is none of ours.
They are using us.
It’s refreshing, isn’t it?
A simple transaction.
We have dragons, they have gold.
We are more than this, Daemon.
We are not minstrels or mummers who play at the pleasure of an alien prince.
We are the blood of Old Valyria.
We don’t belong here.
Valyria is gone. We don’t belong anywhere.
I want my child to be born where I was born, on Driftmark, in my lord father’s castle.
I want my daughters to be raised in their homeland with their family according to their birthright.
And at my end, I want to die a dragonrider’s death.
Not that of some fat country lord.
Soften your knees.
Keep your feet light and your hands heavy.
This is the stuff, Lyonel.
Lads that learn together, train together… knock each other down, pick each other up.
They will certainly form a lifelong bond, wouldn’t you agree?
That is the hope, Your Grace.
Don’t stand too upright, my Prince.
You’ll get knocked down.
I’ve won my first bout, Ser Criston.
My opponent sues for mercy.
Well, you’ll have a new opponent then, My Lord of the Straw.
Let’s see if you can touch me.
You and your brother.
You’re gonna have to do better than that.
Weapons up, boys.
Give your enemies no quarter.
It seems the younger boys could do better with a bit of your attention… Ser Criston.
You question my method of instruction, ser?
Oh, I merely suggest that method be applied to all your pupils.
Jacaerys… come here.
You spar with Aegon.
Eldest son against eldest son.
It’s hardly a fair match.
I know you’ve never seen true battle, ser, but when steel is drawn, a fair match isn’t something anyone should expect.
Criston: I’ll deal with him.
Plant your feet. You have a height advantage. Use it. Advance on him…
Close with him.
Press him backward!
Close with him!
Stay on the attack! Use your feet!
Don’t let him get up.
Stay on the attack!
Aegon: (yells) You dare put hands on me?
You forget yourself, Strong. That is the Prince.
This is what you teach, Cole?
to the weaker opponent?
Criston: Your interest in the princeling’s training is quite unusual, Commander.
Most men would only have that kind of devotion toward a cousin… or a brother… or a son.
Kings guard: Get back!
(yells) Say it again!
Say it again!
(chuckles) Thought as much.
Rhaenyra: Let him be bathed with a cloth, and see to it the cook gives you a good, clear wine to drink.
Princess… there’s been an incident in the yard.
(tense music playing)
Lyonel Strong: It fills me with unrelenting shame.
Harwin: So that’s what this is about then?
Lyonel: (shouts) Our shame, Harwin!
Shame on the whole of House Strong.
Harwin: Because I laid my hands on that insufferable Cole, the son of a steward?
He is a Knight of the Kings guard now, a defender of the crown.
Harwin: He assailed Prince Jacaerys, the future heir to the throne.
Lyonel: You have laid us open to accusations of an uglier treachery.
And what treachery is that?
Don’t play the fool with me, boy.
Your intimacy with the Princess Rhaenyra is an offense that would mean exile and death… for you, for her, for the children!
Harwin: It is rumor only… spun by the Princess’s rivals.
People have eyes, boy.
Yet His Grace the King, it seems, will not accept what his eyes see.
This flimsy shield alone stands between you and the headsman.
The willful blindness of a father towards his child.
I wish my father affected a similar blindness.
Lyonel: Have I not these many years?
And yet today, you publicly assaulted a Knight of the Kings guard in the, in the defense of your…
Harwin: You have your honor and I have mine.
To ease the pain, Princess.
(Laenor and Qarl singing)
You’ll feel better in a day or two, when the milk dries up.
(singing grows louder)
Laenor: My dear wife. (chuckles)
Qarl Correy: Princess.
Oh… I fell down.
Where have you been?
Out with Qarl. Didn’t I mention it?
Are you in very much pain?
The milk… swells the breasts…
Would you mind, Ser Qarl?
I would like to speak with my husband.
Of course, Princess.
War… is afoot again in the Step stones, Rhaenyra.
The Triarchy takes new life from its alliance with Dorne.
They’re waylaying ships and cargo.
Qarl’s been fighting there. He showed me a…
He showed me a sack of sapphires big as walnuts he took from the pirate he slew.
Ahh… after all this time, this is just what I need, a little adventure.
A good, honest battle to enliven my blood again.
He says there is a Tyroshi general there, a giant, they say, who dyes his beard purple and wears women’s frocks.
A few months, maybe… Hm.
To be back at sea.
Are you mad?
Do you know what’s happened… while you’ve been guzzling all the ale in Flea Bottom?
Gods know what besides?
Dark rumors are hunting us, Laenor.
They nip at our heels.
Questions… about our sons’ parentage.
Vile, disgusting insinuations.
Insinuations, are they?
They are our sons!
Yours and mine.
And their true father will not abandon them now to go carousing through the Narrow Sea, waggling his sword and winking at his sailors.
I am a knight… and a warrior.
And I have played my part here, faithfully… for 10 years.
I am owed some…
You are owed nothing!
For 10 years, you have indulged yourself at court, bought the finest horses, drunk the rarest of wines, fucked the lustiest boys.
This was our agreement. I have not begrudged you.
But… you do not desert your post when the storm lashes.
The wise sailor flees the storm as it gathers.
Very well then. I command you.
As your Princess and the heir to the throne, you are commanded to remain in King’s Landing and at my side.
It’s been eight years, sweetling.
Half of them never do, you know?
Will they let me stay?
Will who let you stay?
The Prince of Pentos.
I don’t understand.
He wants you and father… and Baela… ’cause you have dragons.
There is more than one way to bind yourself to a dragon.
I was without one until I was 15 years old and now I ride Vhagar, the largest in the world.
You have a harder road.
Baela’s dragon was born to her.
But if you wish to be a rider, you must claim that right.
Your father would tell you the same.
Father ignores me.
(solemn music playing)
He’s doing his best.
Laenor has written.
Rhaenyra has delivered another son.
Does your brother mention if this one also bears a marked but entirely coincidental resemblance to the Commander of the City Watch?
He seems to have left that detail out.
I miss my brother, Daemon.
As I think do you.
I miss Westerosi strong wine.
It could be depended on for a few hours of peaceful oblivion.
This amber shit that they drink here.
Lady Laena: Do you never long for home?
I don’t believe you.
Believe what you please.
You laud the virtues of Pentos, but you have no interest in it.
If you did, you would venture into the city, but instead, you spend your time here, in the library, reading accounts of the same dead dragon lords whose legacy you claim has no hold on you.
Didn’t know I was being so minutely observed.
You do not sleep.
Well, how can I with you haunting my every move?
Life has, I know, disappointed you.
Perhaps, I too, am not the wife you would’ve wished for yourself.
It does not pain me.
I have made my peace.
But you are more than this, Daemon.
The man I married was more than this.
Lyonel: It is Lord Blackwood’s contention, therefore, that the Brackens moved the boundary stones in the dead of the night and put their horses to graze in his field.
Alicent: Why was this issue not brought before Lord Grover?
Has he grown so feeble he cannot settle a quarrel over rocks?
Jasper Wylde: I’ve heard tale that Lord Grover’s son now rules River run in all but name.
Well, he is also a Tully and this remains a Tully problem.
I would agree.
If we may move on, my lords…
Rhaenyra: And yet, the Brackens and the Black woods will use any excuse to spill each other’s blood.
So… this dispute bears looking into.
There will be countryfolk who know where the lines have been drawn for generations.
That is easy enough.
(softly) Of course.
Tyland Lannister: (clears throat) Uh, we should address the latest developments in the Step stones, my lords.
(sighs) Will we ever be shut of that blasted place?
If you ask me, I think the Black woods have the upper hand.
We’ve moved on to the Step stones, Lord Beesbury.
(louder) And the Triarchy’s new alliance with Dorne.
I was hoping our negotiations with Sun spear might persuade them to see reason.
(coughs) To trust a Martell is to be disappointed.
Jasper: And where, I wonder, is our Prince Daemon?
Or I suppose I should call him King, as he styled himself when he won a battle there… once.
Alicent: That was a decade ago and he has since left the region undefended.
Rhaenyra: We have left it undefended.
There should’ve been fortifications built, watchtowers, a fleet of ships, a garrison of soldiers sent to hold our ground.
We cannot afford it.
Our coffers are great, but not infinite.
We must consider the cost to our subjects.
I must agree.
The cost of war is greater.
But we have been lax and the old monster now lifts its head.
Let us be finished.
I wish to speak.
I have felt the… strife… between our families of late, my Queen.
And for any offense given by mine, I apologize.
But we are one house.
And long before that, we were friends.
My son Jacaerys will inherit the Iron Throne after me.
I propose we betroth him to your daughter, Helaena.
Ally ourselves… once and for all.
Let them rule together.
A most judicious proposition.
Additionally, if Syrax brings forth another clutch of eggs, your son Aemond will have his choice of them, uh… a symbol of our goodwill.
Rhaenyra: Oh, Seven Hells, um.
a dragon’s egg is a handsome gift.
The King and I thank you for your offer and we will consider it duly.
You must rest now, husband.
Alicent: How sweetly the fox speaks when it’s been cornered by the hounds.
She is sincere.
She is desperate.
She feels the earth washing away beneath her feet and now she expects us to ignore her transgressions and for me to marry my only daughter to one of her… plain-featured sons.
The proposal is a good one, my Queen.
We’re a family.
Let us put aside these childish quarrels.
Join hands and be stronger for it.
You may do as you wish, husband… when I am cold in my grave.
I do not need the blanket…
Criston: The Hand, Your Grace.
The King is resting.
I will see him.
I’m being endlessly fussed over, Lyonel.
It’s a wonder I can visit the privy alone.
What might this errand be about, Lord Lyonel?
Your Grace, I feel… I have come to resign my position as Hand of the King.
The episode in the yard this morning.
My son Harwin has disgraced himself and every fishwife in King’s Landing will soon be telling the tale.
Young Harwin’s outburst was unfortunate, it’s true.
But he’s been expelled from the City Watch.
That seems punishment enough.
Forgive me, Your Grace, it is not.
You have served me faithfully for many years, 10 as Hand.
Your advice has been sage, unmarked by self-interest…
which stands in contrast to all others.
Lyonel: You speak kind words… but there is a shadow over my house and it grows… ever darker.
I can no longer serve you with integrity.
What is this shadow?
Name it, if it casts such a gloom.
Yes… we must have your reasoning in plain language.
Then I cannot accept this.
My dear husband…
Viserys: I said no!
If you insist, my King.
You will continue in your service to the crown.
I would then ask leave to take my son from court and escort him back to the family seat at Harrenhal.
He is my heir and will be lord of Harren’s castle one day.
It is time he assumed his duties there.
Aren’t you gonna help me?
(door opens, closes)
Larys Strong: I took the liberty of beginning without you, Your Grace.
It seemed a sin to let such a pie grow cold.
You did wisely, Lord Larys.
Though you had no such worry about the wine, surely.
Meat without wine is also a sin.
It’s been my duty to tell you of happenings about the castle, but tonight you know, and I do not.
The King had an audience with my father.
He attempted to resign his post.
I thought as much.
His honor’s always been a millstone about his esteemed neck.
Interesting you said “attempted”?
My lord husband refused to accept.
Then he fell short of confessing my brother’s… transgressions.
With his eruption in the yard, your brother all but confessed the truth himself.
Truth has many flavors, Your Grace.
Do you expect the King to doom his dear daughter to exile, or even…
Talya, not now.
It’s a willful blindness, the King.
I mean, you’d surely suffer the same affliction, if it came to it.
I would not.
Lord Lyonel is to escort Ser Harwin back to Harrenhal to watch over his seat whilst he continues to serve as Hand.
But the Hand is compromised by the acts of his son.
My father… cannot give unbiased counsel to the King.
It is now that I most rue the absence of my own father.
He wouldn’t hesitate to speak the truth to the King.
If Otto High tower were still Hand…
You cannot say, my Queen, that your father would be impartial in this matter.
No, but he would be partial to me!
(Alicent breathes deeply)
In all of King’s Landing, is there no one to take my side?
Larys: What a collection of heroes I have before me.
A murderer… a deviant… a traitor to the crown.
For your crimes, you’ve been sentenced to death by hanging.
What do you want with us?
I am prepared to offer you mercy… if you’re prepared to pay a little price.
(tense music playing)
Surgeon: Push, my Lady.
Handmaiden: Push! Push!
Surgeon: You must push!
Surgeon: It needs to come now!
Surgeon: You must push now, my Lady!
I’ve reached the limit of my art.
The child will not come.
Ah, my brave girl.
Surgeon: I am very sorry, my Prince.
We could lay open the womb… try to remove the infant by way of the blade.
But I cannot say for a surety whether it lives.
Would the mother survive it?
(speaks High Valyrian) Vhagar, dracarys.
(solemn music playing)
Harwin: Be good to your mother, lads.
I’ll visit when I can.
But that may be some time.
I will return… I promise.
I will be a stranger when we meet again.
(solemn music playing)
We will exchange letters by raven.
Won’t that be fun?
Is Harwin Strong my father?
Am I a bastard?
You are a Targaryen.
That’s all that matters.
I take it he’s gone.
We’re finished here. We’re leaving.
What of your offer? Jace and Helaena?
I have been undermined… and made a spectacle. They whisper about me in the corridors.
Well, I leave them to it.
To Dragons tone then?
We should’ve left years ago.
What of your position?
You’ve always said if you were absent from court, she would pour her honey in your father’s ear.
The wise sailor flees the storm as it gathers.
Laenor… bring him.
We’ll need every sword we can muster.
(apprehensive music playing)
(banging on door)
(shouts) Fire! I will burn!
Harwin! Ah! Harwin!
Larys: What are children, but a weakness?
Through them, you imagine you cheat the great darkness of its victory.
You will persist forever, in some form or another.
As if they will keep you from the dust.
But for them…
you surrender what you should not.
You may know what is the right thing to be done, but… love stays the hand.
Love… is a downfall.
Best to make your way through life unencumbered… if you ask me.
You’ve heard the stories of Harrenhal, Your Grace.
It was built in hubris by Harren the Black as a monument to his own greatness.
Blood mixed into the mortar.
It is said to be a cursed place.
That it passes judgment on all who pass beneath its gates.
You passed judgment.
The Queen makes a wish.
What servant of the realm would not strive to fulfill it?
I assume you will write to your father now?
I did not wish for this.
I feel certain you will reward me… when the time is right.