What will happen to Rhaenyra Targaryen’s children? And the fate of the Blacks? Will Rhaenyra’s sons die?
We have to prepare. As we have summed up how tragic the future of the Hightowers will be we should know: what awaits the Blacks is no better. SPOILERS on the way.
The brief life of Lucerys, the second child of Rhaenyra Targaryen, marked the family conflict with violence. Luce, was chosen by his grandfather, Ser Corlys Velaryon, as the future heir of Driftmark and has always mocked his uncle, Aemond also being responsible for blinding him in one eye. “Protected” by his mother and brother, his death will eliminate any chance of Peace among the Targaryens, as we’ll see in the Season 1 finale of House of the Dragon.
In Episode 9, the Greens will take the Iron Throne, crowning Aegon in Rhaenyra’s place. In an attempt to resolve the issue without shedding blood, but using politics, the Blacks seek the support of those who have sworn allegiance to the princess. Lucerys and Jacaerys ask for help, flying like emissaries in search of allies. Sensing danger, Rhaenyra only allows it if the children swear not to fight and everyone agrees that Luce should lead the safest mission. That would be seeking support from Ser Borros Baratheon, in Stormsend, closer to Dragonstone.
When he gets there, Lucerys finds that his uncle Aemond was more agile and was already in the castle. Ser Borros is still deciding whether to honor his oath or not and has an offer of marriage in hand, with Aemond offering to marry one of his daughters, something Luce cannot match as he is already engaged to Baela Velaryon. In this way, Ser Borros switches sides, starting to support the Greens. Prince Aemond tries to attack his nephew in search of repairing his lost eye, but is stopped. Well, hindered inside Stormsend. When Luce leaves on his dragon, Arrax, he is pursued by Aemond and Vaghar.
A storm disrupts Arrax, who was much smaller than Vaghar. The battle, in the air, is swift. Fatally attacked, Arrax fell into the sea, with Luce meeting the same fate. Their bodies were only found three days later, serving as a feast for crabs and seabirds.
It is the news of her son’s death that determines the desire for revenge and extermination of the Hightowers for Rhaenyra.
Lucerys’ death may have been celebrated as revenge by Aemond, but it speeds tragedy. Daemon, the prince’s stepfather, defines that “an eye for an eye, a son for a son. Lucerys will be avenged”, ordering the death of one of Aegon’s sons, which will be one of the most violent and traumatic scenes of the conflict. Lucerys, therefore, defines civil war.
The Queen That Never Was will be a heartfelt loss, likely midway through the second season. We’ll see in Episode 9 that Rhaenys will still be in King’s Landing when Aegon II is crowned, but – true to her cousin – flees with Viserys’ crown. It will be spectacular. From that moment on, Rhaenys will be one of the main voices in the Council of Blacks, collaborating in the war strategy and in the defense part of Dragonstone and Driftmark, once overcome by pain, Rhaenyra passes to Rhaenys all decision-making power in the war.
However, a crisis will open between Rhaenyra and the Velaryons. One of the Blacks’ supporters asks for help as he is under attack by the Greens, led by Ser Criston Cole. Still traumatized by Luce’s death, Rhaenyra prevents Jacaerys from going with his grandmother to combat and Rhaenys goes alone with Meleys. It was an ambush. Aegon II and Aemond were waiting, mounted on Sunfyre and Vhagar. Although victory is virtually impossible, the princess does not back down. The battle will be breathtaking as there will be three dragons facing each other.
Aegon is injured, but as Meleys was killed by Vaghar, Rhaenys suffers the same fate. Along with the dragon carcass, they found the body of a burnt woman, supposedly Rhaenys. This death has a divisive effect on Blacks. Ser Corlys is not content that – to spare her children – Rhaenyra sent Rhaenys alone, reducing her chances in combat. Something that will resonate later on.
Rhaenyra’s firstborn, Jacaerys, is responsible, protective, handsome, agile, and hot-tempered (revealing even more of his DNA than the official father profile). Jace knows the truth (that he is the son of Ser Harwin Strong), but he is second in line, technically, after Rhaenyra.
Jace’s fate is as sad as his brothers’. He is on her mother’s Small Council, and he was the one who suggested sending Luce to Stormsend, as he thought it would be safer. Jace covered greater distances, at greater risk of being intercepted. Despite the loss of Luce, Jace gains important support for the blacks, especially the Starks in the north. His death comes again when trying to save his brothers, in this case, the two youngest, Aegon III and Viserys II, sending them to Pentos. However, the princes are attacked and captured by the Greens, with Aegon III managing to escape to Dragonstone on his dragon, Stormcloud. On the counterattack, Jace flies low with Vermax when the two are hit by scorpion fire. Jace falls from his dragon onto one of the burning ships. He heroically saves himself, but when he was floating in the water he was hit by a sea of arrows and finally killed.
If losing Luce sparked a desire for revenge in Rhaenyra, Jace’s death hardens her heart. That’s when she starts losing nearby allies. What dominates her is fury and hatred.
We’ve already seen Daemon’s confrontation with his executioner and final victim, his nephew, Aemond. But first, he will be responsible for one of the greatest deaths of the Greens, when he orders the killing of Aegon II’s sons to avenge Lucaerys.
At Harrenhal, Daemon challenges Aemond to a match and waited for two weeks until his nephew finally showed up. The fight between the two – and their dragons – was violent and cost them both their lives. As Daemon’s body was never found, rumor has it that he actually ran off with Nettles, his lover.
Eventually, it’s Daemon and Rhaenyra’s two sons who end up sitting on the Iron Throne, but is that for a future series?
The Velaryons survive, but in recent years Ser Corlys has come to support the Greens, after falling out with Rhaenyra and being accused of treason (unfairly). His granddaughters marry and prosper, and when Aegon III ascends the throne, Peace reigns in Westeros. There’s so much left for that day…