Have no worries, HBO viewers.
We understand that this article may be hard to read due to how quickly your head must be spinning after the latest episode of House of the Dragon.
We get it. We’re with you.
That’s the entire point of this post, in fact.
On Sunday night, all of the following events transpired on House of the Dragon:
Daemon bid farewell to his wife, Lady Laena, via a burial at sea.
Aemond took control of Laena’s dragon, Vhagar.
Aemond then lost an eye in a knife battle with Luke after he trashed him and his brother as a “bastard.”
Rhaenyra and Daemon had sex on the beach.
Rhaenyra and Daemon decided to get married.
Rhaenyra and Daemon hatched a plan to therefore have Laenor murdered by his lover.
This lover pretended to kill Laenor, only for the episode to conclude with the reveal that Laenor was still alive and rowing away in a boat with his supposed murderer.
Yes, all of that happened in a single episode of television.
It seems especially notable that the Rhaenyra and Daemon union was somehow broached and then executed all in a matter of literal minutes on screen, considering the build-up of this relationship throughout Season 1.
“I cannot face the greens alone,” she said to Daemon at one point of a looming war we’ve only barely really heard about.
“Let us bind our blood, just as Aegon the Conqueror did with his sisters. With you as my husband and prince consort, my claim would not be so easily challenged.
“The Velaryon are of the sea. But you and I are made of fire. We have always been meant to burn together.”
It seemed (to this viewer, at least) at the time as if we had just been introduced to the end game of the opening season; that the next episode or two would be devoted to this aspiring couple’s plot to do away with Rhaenyra’s husband so that Daemon could take his spot.
We then immediately cut to Daemon bribing Laenor’s boyfriend and to a sword fight that seemed to take Laenor’s life and then to the wedding and then to the closing shot of Laenor still very much alive.
The show gave the storyline no time to breathe, which is a problem it has encountered time and again this season.
We scarcely know characters before they are killed off.
We scarcely spend time with alliances or relationships before they are paid off or advanced in some manner.
Should we be rooting for Rhaenyra and Daemon? Rooting against them? How a viewer feels about such a monumental development is far more important than the development itself simply happening.
It’s a lesson House of the Dragon does not seem to have learned.
We so much time-jumping and with so many storylines condensed into single episodes or set pieces, viewers essentially don’t have time to stop and think.
With all this arguing over who will next sit on the Iron Throne and all this maneuvering on various sides — and with no outside conflict, such as an impending arrival of the White Walkers — it’s very hard not to stop and wonder:
Why should I care?!?