For non-readers of House of the Dragon, this is just a post gathering what has already been described in others in Miscelana, answering the question: what will happen to the Hightowers? (or, the Greens)
Well, as the Black side (Targaryens) will deal with wins and losses, but they come out ahead, in many moments they will seem to be ahead. The casualties will be strong on both sides, no good guys. Season two has to be one of the most painful.
Let’s go one by one.
If there’s anyone to blame for everything, it’s Otto. Either provoked by his brother or because he saw the opportunity to overcome him, it was the Hand of the King who orchestrated all the moves that will end in a Civil War. He planted his daughter, Alicent, in the life of Viserys I and is suspected of even indirectly helping King Viserys’ rise when Otto became one of the suspects in the death of the previous heir (and father of Daemon and Viserys), Baelon. The series briefly mentions how by being “very lucky” he was in an advantageous position overnight, gaining power in Westeros.
The smartest and most strategic player, Otto doesn’t react, he plants the actions. Alicent was close to both Viserys and Rhaenyra, but when her connection to the princess delayed the move to place Aegon II as her successor, Otto planted fear in his daughter that her stepdaughter would kill her children. The stroke of genius that will – paradoxically – decimate his own branch in Hightower House.
Otto will be executed by Rhaenyra, and decapitated when she takes the Iron Throne. Probably be in the third or end of the second season. Not before he assures great damage, he will be gone almost too late.
She outlives her children, grandchildren, and father. As well as the Black leaders, but she will never truly settle for the Peace achieved with the death of her son, Aegon II, and the rise of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s son Aegon III. Isolated, spiteful, and “crazy”, she will die older, for health reasons. Her “punishment” can be argued as one of the harshest as she will see the result of everything, alone, without love or supporters.
Aemond (Hightower) Targaryen
Cruel, agile, and championing the cause of the Greens for the coronation of his brother, Aegon, Prince Aemond will take many important lives before losing his own in a confrontation with his uncle, Daemon. Before, by Aemond’s hands (and Vhagar’s claws) he will kill his nephew, Lucerys, his great-aunt-cousin Rhaenys, and his uncle, Daemon. To name a few. He dies, depending on the sides, heroically and takes from the Blacks the main articulator in the war of the Dance of Dragons. It will be epic.
The drunk, irresponsible, evil and perverted prince Aegon II has an irascible hatred for his sister, Rhaenyra, completely instigated by his mother and grandfather. Although his immediate desire was not the crown, he comes to want and cherish it passionately. He will be with Aemond when they kill Rhaenys, but his legs will be broken and burned so he will never be the same again. He survives the murder of his firstborn, whose life will be brutally taken at the behest of Daemon (and Rhaenyra) in revenge for Lucerys. But it’s the Iron Throne that matters more than its heirs (at least in the book).
Ser Larrys Strong will help him many times, by assisting the prince to flee from King’s Landing when Rhaenyra takes the city, as well as hiding him in Dragonstone (where he takes his eponymous nephew as his prisoner), and, in a lucky moment, surprising his sister, cruelly killing her by feeding her to his dragon, Sunfyre. Rhaenyra will be burned and torn apart in front of her son. Aegon “wins” the war, but is short-lived on the throne. The king that follows him is precisely Aegon III, married to the cousin (and daughter of the namesake uncle). Aegon II‘s death is suspicious, he will likely be poisoned because his cruelty will be out of control. He won’t be missed.
Ambushed by two assassins paid by Daemon (selected by Mysaria), she will be taken prisoner and threatened with sexual violence and death. Even worst than that, she will have to choose which child to give in exchange for Lucerys’ life, unbelievable torture for a young mother who only has her children as consolation. She ends up choosing the youngest but witnesses the beheading of the firstborn instead. She never fully recovers from trauma.
The series will provide an understanding of what the “truth” about her “suicide” really is. She will jump or be thrown from the tower where her room is when Rhaenyra is on the Iron Throne. Larys will spread the rumor that it was murder on the Queen’s orders, but some think it was really the deep depression of all the violence she’ll be forced to live with. There are also those who say that Mysaria throws the last straw for the unfortunate princess: sharing how her youngest son, who survived the assassins, was brutally torn apart (literally) by the people when he is being fled King’s Landing. Upon learning the details, Haelena prefers to stop living.
It will be sad and the only casualty of the greens that we will have to “forgive” the blacks. It will not be easy.
An addendum: Aegon and Haelena’s daughter – Jaehaera – will be briefly married to her cousin, Aegon III, therefore crowned Queen. Her grandmother Alicent is against the union and will constantly pressure her granddaughter to kill her husband, to no avail. Instead, Jaehaera will choose to follow her mother’s example and most likely kill herself. As she was found dead, no one really knows what happens.
The result is that with the death of the queen – without children – the branch of the Hightowers originated from Otto’s ends. Fair price?
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