House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Driftmark

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The treachery is here, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to root for any of these characters.

House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 ruined friendships, caused battle lines to be drawn and set us up for future wars.

The families reuniting for Laena's funeral should have been a day of unity in which everyone put their schtick aside, but that's not possible with the Targaryens.

Mother and Son - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

Rhaenyra has been a fan favorite since the get-go, and while the casting change on House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 6 was seamless, I felt like I was watching a different character on "Driftmark."

Understandably, she would grow more ruthless, but her realization that she needed to marry Daemon and have her husband killed to do it was too vast of a heel turn.

Making a Move - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

I completely understand we need to see these shades of darkness to set up the conflict for the future, but damn, it came out of the left field.

Then again, Alicent forced her hand after her unhinged response to the battle between the children once Aemond stole Vhagar.

Alicent can see her grip on power slipping and is now fully aware of the lengths she has to go to get one of her children on the Iron Throne.

It's such a juxtaposition from the Alicent we met on House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 1, but her peers have governed her views on everyone.

Attending a Funeral - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

She was once fiercely loyal to Rhaenyra, but she now thinks her friend is making a mockery of the line of succession, as well as Viserys and everyone who appreciates the Crown.

Olivia Cooke plays this unhinged version of Alicent to perfection.

It's not surprising that Alicent was out for blood after Aemond lost an eye. The truth is, Aemond had to have been coached by someone to steal the dragon for himself. It's hard to believe that the relentless bullying forced him to steal such an enormous dragon.

If he did pull this move of his own accord, then it makes you wonder what he has in store for the future.

Unimpressed Laenor - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

He went from having a pig as a dragon to the most enormous dragon alive. That's no easy feat and should help him greatly when battling for the throne.

Alicent is getting her ducks in a row because she's sick of being overlooked, and she's probably hoping that her sons with dragons will scare more people into siding with the Hightowers.

Her rant about taking an eye from one of Rhaenyra's kids was shocking, but I was more shocked by how calm and collected Rhaenyra was during the entire exchange, despite winding up with a Valerian-steel cut on her arm.

Alicent also heard her daughter Helaena prophecize about her son having to lose an eye one day to have a dragon on House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 6, so viewers knew this was coming.

Rogue Prince Returns - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

This franchise loves foreshadowing, so it is satisfying when it comes to fruition.

Still, I wish there had been more of a struggle for Aemond to get his dragon. It also didn't help matters that the CGI was hit and miss.

You would think a show with such a high budget would be able to nail the CGI consistently, but it seems like it's getting worse as the season progresses.

Otto's return was random, but when there are such big time jumps between episodes, he had to come back sooner rather than later.

Alicent was stunned to hear the words of wisdom from her father, something that will bring them closer together as this battle gets underway.

Declining Viserys - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

Otto taking the hand of the king role again was surprising, but maybe it highlights that Alicent's manipulation skills have improved.

Then again, Viserys has been declining at a rapid rate, so we shouldn't expect him to stick around for much longer.

Alicent has been in a loveless marriage for years in the name of giving the Hightowers power and influence, so it's unlikely she'll be switching things up any time soon.

It was difficult watching Laenor plot to kill the king until the final scene.

It makes you wonder who was in on the plan and, more importantly, why it played out in that manner.

Alicent's Biggest Fans - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

It's possible Rhaenyra orchestrated it to allow Laenor to live the life he wants to live, but it's also possible something more nefarious is at hand, possibly Daemon scheming.

Either way, Rhaenyra and Daemon are married, which should cause more unrest in the realm as we head into the final three episodes of the season.

Alicent has proven to be cunning, much like Larys and Criston, so expect them to try and derail Rhaenyra and Daemon at every turn.

Then there is the Corlys and Rhaenys of it all. Rhaenys was well aware Laenor didn't father Rhaenyra's children, but Corlys was content enough knowing that the Velaryon name would continue to hold weight, even if there were no genetics involved.

Given that they both understand the sexist nature of the realm, the fact that they have different views on what should happen was satisfying.

Brothers Reunited - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

Their reaction to Laenor's apparent death was difficult to watch, but they will surely be out for blood because everyone will know Rhaenyra and Daemon were up to no good.

It's always difficult to tell what will happen next on this show, but at least we know the battle lines are drawn. The tricky aspect will be whether viewers can connect with such treacherous characters.

It's easier to get on board with Daemon since we've known his true self since the beginning.

Rhaenyra and Alicent have had significantly accelerated journies during "Driftmark."

Helping Everyone - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

What are your thoughts on Aemond stealing the dragon?

Do you think the show is as enjoyable without characters to root for?

Hit the comments.

House of the Dragon continues Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.

Driftmark Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

If you are to be a strong Queen your subjects must fear you.


We play an ugly game.