'House of the Dragon' Episode 1: How does Aemma Arryn die? Opener explains death of King Viserys I's first wife
Contains spoilers for 'House of the Dragon' Episode 1 'The Heirs of the Dragon'
'House of the Dragon' Episode 1 sets the tone by explaining one of the major plotlines that lead into 'Game of Thrones'. Titled 'The Heirs of the Dragon', the first chapter focuses on the death of Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke), the consort and the first wife of King Viserys Targaryen. For those unaware, she succeeded Alysanne Targaryen and married Viserys, then a prince in 93 AC.
The events leading up to her death during pregnancy become one of the major plotlines of Episode 1. It is revealed that Aemma was pregnant multiple times and suffered multiple miscarriages that weakened her. While she does eventually give birth to a son, Prince Baelon Targaryen, both the mother and the child die in the early 105 AC. However, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) grows up to be a healthy and beautiful woman but is still snubbed as she is a woman.
'House of the Dragon' Episode 1 LEAKED as HBO launches Internet-wide hunt for pirates
HBO 'House of the Dragon' lands 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, falls short of 'GoT Season 1's 89%
The first chapter is pretty much a history lesson about the mighty Targaryens and the ugly side of their family. The prequel is set in Westeros, 172 years before the events of the 'Game of Thrones', and starts off with King Jaehaerys Targaryen choosing his successor. He is torn between his daughter Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) and her cousin King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). The latter eventually succeeds after the Great Council of Harrenhal helps him with the final decision.
The episode soon shifts time, this time with King Viserys I Targaryen on the throne and in the middle of choosing his heir. While he has a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, a dragon rider, he also hopes that his pregnant wife Aemma would give him a son and conveniently ignores the fact that Rhaenyra could in fact be a worthy successor.
'House of the Dragon' Episode 1 is streaming on HBO Max. The series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on HBO.