House of the Dragon showrunners tease favorite moments from season 1

With less than two weeks to go until the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones successor series House of the Dragon, the fires of hype are blazing high. Set some 200 years before the events of the original series, House of the Dragon will cover the events of a brutal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, where rival factions of the Targaryen family tear the realm asunder over a dispute over who should sit the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones was known for its big moments, from Ned Stark’s execution to the Red and Purple Weddings, from the Massacre at Hardhome to the Battle of the Bastards to Cersei bombing the Great Sept. Pick a season of Game of Thrones, and it’s easy to find some standout moment or other to gush about.

House of the Dragon will also have some big epic moments, though not all of them will be as gigantic as the ones on Thrones. Despite being a show about a war of succession, House of the Dragon is also much more of a family saga than Thrones; we know there will be time jumps, showing how several of the main characters grow apart over time and how that leads to bloodshed.

During a recent roundtable discussion, showrunner Miguel Sapochnik reflected on his favorite moment from House of the Dragon season 1. Turns out, it’s one we’ve seen teased quite a bit in the trailer: when Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) comes storming into a great hall with the catspaw dagger from Game of Thrones and tries to shank Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). The crew took to calling this intense scene “Eye for an Eye,” and if you’ve read Fire & Blood, you probably have a pretty good idea why.

Sapochnik teases “Eye for an Eye” scene in Episode 7 of House of the Dragon

“It’s basically in episode seven when Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke get to go at each other for the first time in a fit of rage that’s been building for seven episodes,” Sapochnik explained. “There was just something joyous about doing it because there literally was not enough time. There weren’t enough cameras. And every time we did the scene, which was about 15 minutes long, it had to end at this real moment of high tension and stress and pressure.”

Sapochnik enjoys doing those kinds of high pressure scenes, but the emotions of the scene run so high that he had to check in with Cooke and D’Arcy to make sure they weren’t overdoing it. “At some point I looked over to see if Emma was alive,” Sapochnik said. “Her eyes had become so puffy. And it was that thing of like, ‘I don’t know whether I should say to you maybe you should calm down these takes.’ But she’s so good every time, even when they were off screen, they were doing it for each other. It was kind of amazing.”

“We just lost our minds,” Olivia Cooke said about that scene, laughing. “We were in hysterics crying our eyes out. We were laughing so hard as they were trying to focus [us] … we lost the plot eventually.”

Episode 8 will contain one of the “top five most memorable scenes” from House of the Dragon

“There are a number of really intense, very long scenes in the season that involve many members of our cast all in one place that took multiple days to shoot because you have to cover everybody and get everybody’s point of view into the mix,” Sapochnik’s co-showrunner Ryan Condal explained. Yet while Condal agrees that “Eye for an Eye” will be one  of the season’s most memorable moments, there’s another scene that happens in Episode 8 that he’s even more excited for people to see. “There is a hearing over a certain succession, not for the throne but for something else, that involves all the members of the cast,” he teased:

Everybody comes into the room carrying a lot of baggage from all of the things that happened over the course of the season and just watching that interplay come together — I think that was actually one of the last one of these big, giant multi-day scenes that we shot with a huge amount of the cast all in the same room — that one very much stands out to me because it ends in such a shocking moment that I think will be on the list of the top five most memorable moments of ‘House of the Dragon.’ I’m looking forward to seeing everyone react to that one.

And if that’s not enough to get the rumor mill churning, I don’t know what is.

Some minor Fire & Blood spoilers here: one of the most prominent matters of succession that happens shortly after “Eye for an Eye” that I can think of revolves around Corlys Velaryon falling ill on Driftmark. This is after the death of Corlys’ son Laenor, who is also Rhaenyra’s husband; their eldest son is slated to become Rhaenyra’s heir to the Iron Throne. Now, Corlys has to pick someone new to be the heir of Driftmark in case he dies from his illness.

We won’t get into all the gritty details, but suffice it to say that just about all our major players become involved in this dispute in one way or another. (Though they aren’t all in the same room, so maybe the show would change things a bit?) It also features a particularly important moment with King Viserys and the Iron Throne, as well as the king revealing just how ruthless he can be.

We’ll find out more when House of the Dragon airs on HBO and HBO Max later this month. The season premiere drops at 9:00 p.m. EST on August 21.

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels

h/t Slash Film

Leave a Comment