The Most Tragic Deaths In House of the Dragon

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House of the Dragon
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  • Death plays a central role in the storyline of “House of the Dragon.”
  • Tragic deaths include Queen Aemma Arryn’s childbirth complications and Lucerys Velaryon’s dragon pursuit.
  • King Viserys’s death, caused by an illness, represents his suffering and his changing decisions regarding his successor.

 

House of the Dragon: Death happens to be a major theme in the TV series House of the Dragon, illustrating that the old must pave the way for the new.

The story begins with the death of King Jaehaerys, who established the order of succession at a Great Council.

This is followed by Queen Aemma Arryn’s sad passing, which sets the stage for Viserys’s subsequent marriage.

These deaths are not merely plot devices; they play a significant role in shaping the narrative of House of the Dragon.

 

House of the Dragon

Creator Ryan Condal
Released Date August 21, 2022
Cast Sonoya Mizuno, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Paddy Considine
Seasons
Story By George R. R. Martin1
No. of Episodes 10

 

 

The life of Jaehaerys was remarkable, but the sudden deaths of Prince Lucerys, his dragon Arrax, and Ser Harwin Strong deeply affected the characters in House of the Dragon.

Rhaenyra’s mourning for her mother has been compounded by the loss of her son. These sorrowful deaths are pivotal to the larger plot.

 

6 Lord Lyman Beesbury

Brutally Killed By Criston Cole

Lyman Beesbury's death in House of the Dragon.

Lyman Beesbury, a loyal servant to Viserys, was informed early of the king’s death. During the council’s discussions about crowning Aegon, he stood and questioned Alicent and Otto Hightower’s intentions and the circumstances surrounding the king’s death.

“I will not have this. To hear that you are plotting to replace the king’s chosen heir with an impostor!”

Lord Lyman finds it hard to believe that Viserys would change his heir in his final moments with just one witness. As Criston Cole tries to seat him by pushing him down, Lord Lyman hits his temple against the marble floor, dying instantly.

Criston Cole, showing no remorse, appears willing to do anything during the Dance of the Dragons.

 

5 The Strongs’ Deaths

Orchestrated By Their Kin

Lyonel and Harwin perish in a fire at Harrenhal in House of the Dragon.

Following Ser Harwin’s removal from the Gold Cloaks, Lyonel, his father and the Hand, accompanies him to the Strong seat, Harrenhal, to ready him for his future as Lord.

As they journey to Harrenhal, Lyonel’s youngest son, Larys, secretly schemes to kill them.

Larys releases petty criminals and silences them by removing their tongues, ensuring they will never divulge their assigned tasks.

 

The criminals set fire to Harrenhal, where Lyonel and Harwin are left trapped. Though they had served the realm with valor, their deaths are both cruel and gruesome.

Larys attributes their demise to the Curse of Harrenhal and is installed as the new Lord. Otto, Alicent’s father, is reinstated as the King’s Hand.

 

4 Queen Aemma Arryn

Viserys Granted Permission To Cut Aemma’s Womb

Princess Rhaenyra with Queen Aemma in House of the Dragon.

One of Viserys’ most regrettable decisions in House of the Dragon was to permit the Maesters to perform a cesarean section on Queen Aemma in an attempt to save their child. There are many layers to this story:

  • Viserys organized the Heir’s Tournament with the expectation that Aemma would deliver a male child. Aemma had previously experienced miscarriages, stillbirths, and the loss of an infant, leading her to state that this pregnancy would be her final effort to provide him with a successor.
  • Maester Mellos suggested the procedure, and Viserys allowed him to perform the operation without Aemma’s knowledge or consent, while he held her down. In the process, he sacrificed Aemma’s life in an attempt to save their unborn child.
  • Tragically, the baby boy was declared dead mere hours after his birth. Aemma, meanwhile, passed away from complications due to extensive blood loss and shock resulting from the forced childbirth procedure.

 

3 Lady Laena Velaryon

Commanded Vhagar To Burn Her

Daemon helplessly watches Vhagar burn Laena Velaryon alive in House of the Dragon.

Laena Velaryon’s childbirth experience in “House of the Dragon” is another tragic example, with a crucial difference. Unlike Queen Aemma’s forced cesarean section, Laena chooses to die by Vhagar’s fire, while her husband, Daemon, is delayed in reaching her.

According to the show’s narrative, Laena and Daemon had two daughters, Baela and Rhaena. Laena endured a challenging childbirth, and when the Maester proposed a potentially life-saving cesarean section, she instead opted to end her suffering.

Going to her dragon, Vhagar, Laena commanded the creature to incinerate her. While Vhagar initially hesitated, it ultimately complied with Laena’s request. Daemon, watching in astonishment, bore witness to Laena’s choice to exercise her agency during her final moments.

 

2 Lucerys Velaryon And Arrax

Killed In Dragon Chase

Vhagar pursues Lucerys and Arrax in House of the Dragon.

Rhaenyra Targaryen asks Prince Lucerys Velaryon, to embark on a diplomatic mission to Storm’s End. His task is to remind Borros Baratheon of his father’s pledge.

Unfortunately, the mission is not successful. Lucerys’ uncle, Aemond Targaryen, is also at Storm’s End, and he has his own personal interest in securing a marriage pact.

Borros quickly shows Lucerys out of the castle, but Aemond decides to pursue him. The weather is stormy, and Aemond’s dragon, Vhagar, dwarfs Lucerys’ dragon, Arrax.

In an attempt to escape, Lucerys orders Arrax to breathe fire at Vhagar.

This sets off a chain of events that causes both dragons to lose control. In the confusion, Vhagar suddenly appears and attacks Lucerys and Arrax, causing Arrax’s remains to fall into the waters below.

Although Aemond later expresses regret for the outcome, his actions directly caused the deaths of Lucerys and Arrax.

 

1 Viserys Targaryen

A Painful Death Caused By Rot

 

Alicent stands by Viserys' corpse in House of the Dragon.

Viserys suffers from a debilitating illness known as “the rot” throughout House of the Dragon’s first season. The Maesters exhaust every remedy to no avail, ultimately resorting to keeping him sedated with the milk of the poppy.

 

“To unite the realm against the cold and the dark. It is you. You are the one. You must do this. You must do this.”

Towards the end, Viserys deteriorates to a mere shell of his former self. He passes away in a state of pain and delirium, at one point mistaking Alicent for his daughter Rhaenyra. In his final moments, he recalls the Prince That Was Promised prophecy, reaffirming his decision to name Rhaenyra as his heir.

House of the Dragon-1

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