Written by: Ryan J. Condal
Directed by: Greg Yaitanes
As the title suggests, this is Rhaenyra's episode, and while Emma D'Arcy's performance is stellar, “The Black Queen” is often pretty brutal viewing. Which, yes, is the nature of the show, but there is such a thing as too much — especially when it comes to depictions of birth trauma, for instance. After multiple graphic, traumatic birth scenes this season, another one just felt exhausting, especially with the limited space given to Rhaenyra's grief. Still, the showdown between Aemond and Vhagar and Luke and Arrax is both heartbreaking and terrifying, and the quiet scene that follows where Rhaenyra finds out what has happened is one of the most memorable of the season. Ultimately, though, the overwhelming feeling we're left with at the end of the episode is “finally, the story is kicking off” — except we now have two years to wait for more.