In the season finale of “House of the Dragon” there is an unintentional murder of Lucerys Velaryon. The series thus decisively rewrites the history of the Targaryens. We explain how it actually happened in the book.
- In the season finale of “House of the Dragon,” Lucerys Velaryon is murdered by his uncle Aemond Targaryen.
- There is a big difference between the series and the book “Fire and Blood”, because in the series the murder is an accident, in the book full intention.
- As a result of Aemond’s deeds, the “Dance of the Dragons” begins with the death of Lucerys.
The death of Lucerys Velaryon and his dragon Arrax is the shocking finale of the first season of “House of the Dragon“. A death that will bring terrible consequences.
The rivalry between Aemond Targaryen and his nephew Lucerys was one of the biggest subplots in the second half of the series, which will cost Aemond his eye and Lucerys his life.
When the Greens and the Blacks decide to enlist the support of other houses, Aemond and Lucerys are both sent to Borros Baratheon in Stormcap. Despite his assignment, Aemond takes it upon himself to threaten his nephew. Borros intervenes and forcefully tells the boys that no blood will be spilled under his roof.
As Lucerys climbs onto his dragon, visibly frightened, Aemond begins the chase. He flies after them with his dragon Vhagar, cornering Lucerys and Arrax. Out of fear, the much younger and smaller Arrax tries to defend himself with his fire, against Lucerys’ will.
Aemond also loses control of his mount and so it happens that Arrax together with Lucerys is devoured by Vhagar on his back. Beginning with the thoughtless insult of a child, the conflict thus comes to an end over the skies of Storm Bay.
This is how Lucerys dies in the book “Fire and Blood”
In the book “Fire and Blood” by George R. R. Martin, Lucerys also meets his death at the hands of Aemond and his dragon Vhagar, but with one crucial difference. In the series, Lucerys’ murder is an accident, but in the book, Aemond acts in full consciousness and with the goal of wiping out his nephew.
In “Fire and Blood,” moreover, there are different narratives of what happened to Lucerys. One says that Lucerys was completely devoured by Vhagar, as shown in the series. This is supported by the fact that after the attack only the head of his dragon could be found, but not the corpse of Lucerys himself.
Another story says that Lucerys’ body was also washed ashore and Aemond had removed both of the boy’s eyes to give them to Lady Maris Baratheon. The legend that Lucerys had fallen off Arrax’s back and survived also made the rounds. Supposedly, the heir of Driftmark worked as a fisherman after his misfortune with lost memory.
Why is Lucerys’ death an accident in the series?
That the warlike Aemond killed his nephew Lucerys by accident is one of the biggest and most unexpected endings to their conflict. An interesting change that so fits the general picture of the story, because Aemond is not the only one who acts differently than in the book.
Even though he has been bullying his nephews and going after his uncle Daemon, the series has shown that Aemond is the nicer and smarter of Alicent’s sons. He may have lost his eye in the fight with Lucerys, but he also gained his dragon as a result. Aemond is not someone who would kill a person over something like that, especially not from his own family.
“House of the Dragon” provides a greater balance between the two disputants with such changes. There is no clear good or evil in the story, but everyone acts for understandable reasons. For example, Alicent Hohenturm is not the power-hungry queen who wants to continue her bloodline on the throne, but the caring mother who would do anything for her children.
It also gave Aemond sympathetic qualities that didn’t come across at all in “Fire and Blood.” The unintentional murder of Lucerys is thereby the antithesis of the otherwise warlike and provocative Aemond we know.
Therefore, the murder by Vhagar makes more sense than by Aemond.
In addition to Aemond’s character change, it also makes perfect sense that Vhagar, and not the Targaryen prince, has Lucerys on his conscience. The dragon is the oldest and most battle-hardened animal of its time and certainly doesn’t take kindly to being attacked by another dragon.
So the rider can try as much as he wants to stop him. As King Viserys I Targaryen told his children early on, control of a dragon is only an illusion.
What does the death of Lucerys mean for the Greens?
In the book, Aemond holds a feast against the Will of Alicent and Otto Hohenturm to celebrate his deeds. We won’t know if he will do the same in the series until the second season. Possibly he will tell everyone that he killed Lucerys on purpose and conceal that it was an accident.
The only thing that is certain is that after his deed Aemond will be one of the most ruthless and dangerous fighters on the side of the Greens. Perhaps not without consequences. His deed could haunt him for the rest of his life and weigh heavily on him. Even for a celebrated warrior, being a clan assassin is not an easy lot.
There is not much the Greens themselves can do about it now. Any hopes for a peaceful end to the conflict have been destroyed. The blacks will retaliate. There is no turning back for this.
What Lucerys’ death means for Rhaenyra and the Blacks
The last scene of the first season of “House of the Dragon” shows how Rhaenyra Targaryen, full of grief and determination, has made a judgment. Now there is war between her and her brothers Aegon II and Aemond Targaryen.
Until now, Rhaenyra has been rather reserved, trying to find a diplomatic way to come to an agreement with her family, but with the murder of Lucerys, a line has been crossed.
In a single episode, she lost her father, her daughter, her crown, and her second-born son. For Rhaenyra there is no turning back and the only answer she sees is war. With Aemond’s murder of Lucerys, the “Dance of the Dragons” now begins.
Similar to Aemond’s earlier demand for “an eye for an eye,” Rhaenyra demands “a son for a son” in revenge. Aemond has no children of his own yet, so the children of his brother Aegon II have to serve.
At the behest of Daemon, the two contract killers Blood and Cheese are sent to King’s Landing. The men break into the Red Keep and overpower Queen Helaena Targaryen. They force the young woman to choose which of her sons will die.
Helaena offers her own life, but Blood and Cheese refuses. As the threats grow worse, the queen chooses her younger son, Maelor. Instead, however, the assassins kill the crown prince Jaehaerys and sever his head. Helaena will never recover from this act and will later take her own life out of despair.
However, we will have to be patient until all of this happens. The second season of “House of the Dragon” is currently still in production. It is not yet known when it will be released.