Even if you haven’t read the book, if you’re on social media, you already know the main thing, one of the most traumatic and certainly the initial moments that kicked off the civil war in House of the Dragon.
That’s right. Uncle (Aemond) and nephew (Lucaerys)’s beef comes to a horrifying and violent reckoning that ends Season 1.
It’s been a tough road until there.
We all saw how a younger Prince Lucaerys Velaryon, in a dispute with Aemond Targaryen, ended up blinding him to defend his brother, Jacaerys. Before that, Luce participated in bullying Aemond (led by Aegon II, something the Greens like to forget) with a pig in place of a dragon.
He also was frequently beaten up by Aemond when training, thanks to Ser Criston Cole‘s guidance. And yes, Luce dealt with an entire childhood being called a “bastard” by his uncle, despite King Viserys‘ warning against it. Aemond was always adamant about the matter.
So it comes to what we will witness on Sunday with episode 10.
The entire passage of the accidental and last reunion between Aemond and Lucaerys is tense in the book. So it seems it will be in House of the Dragon as well.
“Look at this sad creature, My Lord,” Aemond began upon seeing Luce arriving in Stormsend. “Little Luke Strong, the bastard,” he continued approaching him. “You’re wet, bastard. Is it raining or did you piss yourself in fear?”, he teased.
Luce did his best to ignore his uncle and addressed only Lord Borros. “I brought a letter from my mother, the Queen,” he tried to say, being interrupted once again by Aemond: “The Dragonstone whore, he means.”
Borros Baratheon’s guards separate them, but it soon becomes clear that despite being a cousin to Rhaenys and having sworn allegiance to Rhaneyra, Lord Borros has switched sides. Lucaerys prepares to leave, but Aemond draws his sword to prevent him from going.
“Stop, Strong. First pay me the debt you owe me”, taking off his eye patch and revealing that he has a sapphire in place of the eye he lost. “You have a knife, just like you had that day. Pluck out your eye and I’ll let you go. Only one can do it, I don’t want to blind you”, he threatened.
Because Luce had promised Rhaneyra he wouldn’t fight or put himself at risk, he held on. “I won’t fight you. I’m here as a messenger, not a knight,” he says. Aemond doesn’t want to miss the opportunity. “Like a traitor and a crow. I will have your eye or your life”, he insists.
Lord Borros interrupts the argument and Luce finally leaves, but then Maris Baratheon taunts Aemond: “Was it your eyes or your balls he took?” she asks. “I’m glad you chose one of my sisters [and not me] because I prefer a man with all his parts.”
That’s all it took for Aemond, he asks permission to leave, to which he hears from Borros: “I have nothing to say about what you do off my roof”.
The storm outside is so bad that Luce and Arrax are having trouble flying. Soon Vaghar and Aemond catch up to them.
The attack is swift and witnessed by many.
Vaghar and Arrax face-off, but Arrax soon falls into the raging sea. Its head separated from the body. In regards to the prince, the following versions are part of the legend:
- Lucaerys’ body resurfaced in the sea along with Arrax, and Aemond descended, gouged out both of his nephew’s eyes, and presented them to Maris Baratheon;
- Lucaerys fell with Arrax, and survived the fall but lost his memory, spending the rest of his days as a poor, mentally challenged fisherman;
- Luce was ripped off Arrax’s back by Vaghar who “swallowed him whole”.
The fact is, his body was never found.
Peace was completely ruled out as a solution to the problem after the attack and thus Dance of the Dragons begins, with a duel between dragons and relatives from House Targaryen.
For Rhaneyra, her son’s death had a crippling impact but, at least in the book, Alicent and Otto Hightower surprisingly despair upon hearing the news, being against what Aemond did. I swear, EVEN OTTO IS SHOCKED AND OPPOSED to it. Only Aegon II loves the news and throws a party to celebrate his brother’s revenge.
For Otto to disapprove of a violent act against Rhaenyra cannot be underestimated. Let’s see in the series if he has the same reaction. After all, it’s not a problem erasing one potential candidate to the Iron Throne that was the issue (he himself ordered to kill them all in Dragonstone), but Aemond’s timing and acting rogue may jeopardize the coup.
And Otto was right… the answer comes quickly from Daemon, who hires Blood and Cheese in retaliation. “A son for a son”, we will hear him promising. That statement reinforces the theory the Internet insists as proof of Aemond’s true connection with Helaena…
I think the retaliation for Lucaerys’ death would have been the perfect closing for season 1, but since the Reddit leaks have been spot on, it will stop precisely with the death of Lucaerys, giving the bloody revenge as an opener for Season 2 of House of the Dragon.
Does the trailer – which shows Vaghar’s attack – prove that option 3 was the real one?
What’s your opinion?