HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Returns With One Of The Most Disturbing Deaths In GAME OF THRONES History - SPOILERS

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Returns With One Of The Most Disturbing Deaths In GAME OF THRONES History - SPOILERS

HBO's House of the Dragon returned for its second season last night, and the premiere concluded with one of the most upsetting and disturbing deaths in Game of Thrones history...

By MarkCassidy - Jun 17, 2024 10:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Game of Thrones

"I want Aemond Targaryen."

Consumed by grief after the death of her son Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) in the season 1 finale, Rhaenyra Targaryen's (Emma D'Arcy) only line in the season 2 premiere of House of the Dragon is an admission of a desire for vengeance, which her husband and uncle, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), is more than happy to deliver.

While most of the episode is spent in King's Landing with Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) attempting to keep her own family under control, the last ten minutes focus on two characters who should be very familiar to fans of George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood.

Daemon enlists a member of the Gold Cloaks with a disdain for the Hightowers ("Blood") and a rat-catcher with gambling debts who knows his way around the Red Keep ("Cheese") to kill Aemond. When Cheese asks what they should do if they can't find the one-eyed warrior, Daemon only smiles.

Though it's not shown, it seems clear that he told the assassins that any "son for a son" would do. Unfortunately, that son proves to be 6-year-old Prince Jaehaerys.

After finding their way into the bed chambers of the royal twins, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, Cheese holds their mother, Queen Helaena (Phia Saban), at knifepoint and forces her to point out the male heir. After being warned that the pair would kill all present if she didn't comply, Helaena relents and the lad is brutally killed and beheaded.

We don't see the act (thankfully), but can hear what's happening, and it makes for one of the more disturbing deaths in the history of Game of Thrones (which really is saying something).

In Fire and Blood, this event plays out quite a bit differently, and is described in even more upsetting detail, with the threat of rape (of course), and the involvement of a younger child: 2-year-old Maelor.

"Maelor does not yet exist on this timeline because 30 years is compressed into 20 years," co-creator Ryan Condol tells EW, going on to explain why the scene was significantly altered for the show. "We knew that we would be challenged to get performances out of children that young — as a person who has kids around these ages, I'm intimately familiar with all of that. Then there are things that you can and cannot expose children to on a movie set. If you were to try to perform a faithful rendering of that story, you'd be challenged from all angles in terms of getting a performance out of a child. A lot of times it seems like the kid is going through that, but you're using clever cutaways and insert shots."

What did you make of the season 2 premiere of House of the Dragon? Drop us a comment down below.

"The prequel series finds the Targaryen dynasty at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke. Most empires—real and imagined—crumble from such heights. In the case of the Targaryens, their slow fall begins almost 193 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when King Viserys Targaryen breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne. But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm."

House of the Dragon season 2 sees Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Fabien Frankel, Ewan Mitchell, Tom Glynn-Carney, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans reprise their respective roles. Additional returning cast includes Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban, Jefferson Hall, and Matthew Needham.

The directors for the new season are Alan Taylor (Episodes 1 & 4), Clare Kilner (Episodes 2 & 5), Geeta Patel (Episodes 3 & 8), Andrij Parekh (Episode 6), and Loni Peristere (Episode 7).

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