It's a new beginning this week on House of the Dragon.
Elsewhere, Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) transformed into a figure with a much colder attitude towards her stepdaughter and former best friend, Rhaenyra.
In the new episode, events take place quite some time after this cliffhanger...
**Spoiler warning for House of the Dragon episode 6**
House of the Dragon time jump explained
House of the Dragon episode 6, The Princess and the Queen, picks up 10 years after the wedding of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen to Ser Laenor Velaryon.
Despite the cliffhanger to episode 5, King Viserys I Targaryen is alive and remains on the Iron Throne but is in a bad state of health.
Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) remains as the Hand of the King.
Rhaenyra, now played by Emma D’Arcy, is still married to Ser Laenor, now played by John Macmillan, and they have three sons: Prince Jacaerys, Prince Lucerys, and Prince Joffrey.
However, it is widely rumoured that the three sons are the children of Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), the heir to Lord Lyonel and the Commander of the City Watch.
If true, the law would consider the three boys as bastards with no legitimate claim to the Iron Throne after Rhaenyra.
Meanwhile, Queen Alicent Hightower, now played by Olivia Cooke, is taking a more active political role by sitting in on Small Council meetings opposite Princess Rhaenyra.
Alicent’s children are also much older in the form of Prince Aegon, Princess Helaena and Prince Aemond.
So far, the series has omitted her third son from the book, Prince Daeron.
The rivalry between the Princess and the Queen has extended to their children.
Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) has remained away from court but his daughter now schemes for her children in his place.
House Hightower hopes that Prince Aegon will sit on the Iron Throne instead of his half-sister, Rhaenyra.
Ser Criston Cole remains a Knight of the Kingsguard and now is the personal protector of Queen Alicent, also serving as her advisor against Rhaenyra.
Another advisor to the Queen is Lord Strong’s second son, Larys Strong (Matthew Needham).
Meanwhile, the King’s brother Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is now married to Lady Laena Velaryon (now played by Nanna Blondell) and they reside across the Narrow Sea in the Free City of Pentos.
The pair have two twin daughters, Lady Baela and Lady Rhaena Targaryen.
The family is removed from the court life of Westeros and Daemon spends his days reading about Old Valyria, while Laena longs to return to her family home of Driftmark.
Why has House of the Dragon had a time jump?
House of the Dragon showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal explained during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter why they chose to do this time jump and swap out some actors in the cast for older ones after this.
"This is how you tell this story correctly," explained Condal. "We’re telling a story of a generational war. We set everything up so by the time that first sword stroke falls, you understand all the players."
Of course, the war that the showrunners refer to is the infamous Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
Meanwhile, HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys admitted that he was "nervous" about the ambitious structure but added that those doubts had now been cast to one side.
"Now that I’ve seen the result, I feel really good about it," he said.
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House of the Dragon continues on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Mondays – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.
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