Watch House of the Dragon Deleted Scene Between Two Lead Characters

The creator of House of the Dragon, Ryan Condal, screened a scene from the season 1 finale that was cut because it included Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) and her granddaughter Lady Baela Targaryen having a brief but intense argument (Bethany Antonia). This sequence, which you can watch below, exemplifies a crucial component that House of the Dragon’s current season is lacking: more intimate interactions amongst its female characters.

The little moments we see between the young ladies when they were younger help explain why Alicent Hightower’s (Emily Carey, Olivia Cooke) and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Milly Alcock, Emma D’Arcy) estrangement is so tragic. Rhaenrya and Alicent are closest friends before the rigours of their patriarchal society interfere with their relationship, and the series does a terrific job of demonstrating just how close these two are. Up until Rhaenyra sleeps with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and tells Alicent the truth about it, we get to witness a more personal side of the couple as they are free to communicate openly without the constraints of their ranks. As the series goes on, these scenes will be essential to helping us get a greater understanding of these ladies.

We lose these intimate moments between the young women once Alicent’s engagement to King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) is made public because they start to drift apart and get increasingly immersed in Westeros’ sociopolitical system. It isn’t until episode 9 that we actually see another significant one-on-one moment between two women that isn’t in the presence of men, aside from the brief chats that Rhaenyra and Rhaenys have.

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It’s not only Alicent attempting to be sly and preserve her family in power when she goes to Rhaenys to try and persuade her to swear allegiance to Aegon II (Tom-Glynn Carney) rather than Rhaenyra. It is about Alicent attempting to connect with Rhaenys as a mother and as another woman whose potential has been wasted because of the social norms of their society. Without this scenario, Rhaenys’ choice to escape on Melys’ back as opposed to taking revenge by fire has the same emotional resonance.

The little, deleted scene between Baela and Rhaenys has just as much emotional impact as the longer scenes did. As Baela challenges Rhaenys’ requests for her and her sister to stay out of the spotlight and refrain from becoming involved, we watch Baela develop into a powerful young woman like her grandmother, mother, and aunt. Like Baela expresses her opinion as her mother would have, Rhaenys appears to realise that she still has something and someone to fight for. She then expresses her pride in Baela.

I sincerely wish the showrunners had been able to appreciate the emotional value that this moment would have added to the series, especially in light of the fact that this season found time to include three gruesome delivery scenes. The series has so far concentrated a lot of its attention on how terrible the patriarchy is for women, which is crucial, but it has fallen short in demonstrating how women can still find comfort in one another.

These sequences show that the women of House of the Dragon are frequently still able to find ways to see the humanity in each other and empathise with each other’s problems, even when they disagree on how to best adapt to the restrictions of the patriarchy and the conflicts that result from it. It was a missed chance for House of the Dragon to convey a more vulnerable side to its female characters by omitting the scene between Baela and Rhaenys. Although the series has done a tremendous job up to this point of demonstrating how tough and cunning these ladies can be, if we don’t also get to know them as complex and emotional individuals, it won’t matter.

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