House of the Dragon’s Ryan Condal defends [spoiler] over climactic scene

house of the dragon finale
(Image credit: Sky/HBO)

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal has broken down that dramatic season one finale. But beware, we’ll be getting into heavy spoiler territory from here on out – so if you’ve not seen episode 10, click away now.

War seems all but inevitable after the House of Dragon season 1 ending. Picking up at Dragonstone after Aegon’s coronation, the finale follows Rhaenyra as she tries to decide what she’ll do over the challenge to her succession.

Looking for allies, she sends her son Lucerys to Storm’s End to win over House Baratheon but he’s beaten there by Aemond Targaryen. The pair take to the skies as their dragons Vhagar and Arrax fight it out – but it’s soon clear they’re not in control. Arrax attacks Vhagar, which results in her pursuing him and killing him, and Lucerys with him. From the look on Aemond’s face, this was clearly not the plan as co-showrunner Condal shared some insight into the moment.

"Aemond is definitely not blameless in what happened to Luke," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "But Aemond was also a kid who was bullied and was made a mockery for part of his life for not having a dragon. Now he does, and he rides the biggest dragon in the world. I think he was showing his rival that he will not be intimidated and trifled with is probably more in play there than trying to become a kinslayer."

house of the dragon

(Image credit: Sky/HBO)

Condal explained that he wouldn’t do this when neither the Greens nor the Blacks have declared war yet. "That would be very un-calculated and stupid of Aemond to do at the outset when the pieces are moving about the board and loyalties are being set and figuring out who is going to make a marriage pact to guarantee whose army [will win]," he continued. "For Aemond to launch nukes right out of the gate and go for an all-out dragon war would be very foolish, but that’s exactly what he ends up doing because things get out of hand and out of control. It’s a complex scene. Aemond is not blameless, but he’s also not a psychopath without a logical line of thinking."

We’re sure to see exactly how this plays out in House of the Dragon season 2 on Sky, NOW, and HBO. But in the meanwhile, check out our explainers on the Targaryen family tree and the House of the Dragon dragons to get up to speed on everything we learned in the finale.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.