‘House of the Dragons’: Every single death before season two

In “Game of Thrones,” death was everywhere. Red weddings. The coronation of a king. Battles with snow zombies. That’s also the case in “House of the Dragon,” a prequel spinoff series set several generations ago that returns to HBO and Max on Sunday for its second season.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel “Fire and Blood,” “House of the Dragon” focuses on the Targaryen family, renowned in Martin’s fictional universe as silver-haired dragon riders who thirst for dominance, blood and, by the way, incest. The series focuses primarily on Rhaenyra Targaryen (Millie Alcock and Emma D’Arcy), a princess and heiress to the Iron Throne, the seat from which her family rules all of Westeros. But politics, war and succession plans prevent her rise.

The show’s first season aired on HBO from August to October 2022. The second season is expected to focus on the Targaryen Civil War — a major face-off between the two sides of the family, the “Greens” and the “Blacks” — that will redefine the seven realms of Westeros for decades to come, according to legend.

How did we get here? With a lot of deaths. Wars, dragons, swordfights, and one or two over-dramatic ceremonies killed a lot of characters along the way. Honestly, going through them is probably the easiest way to feel refreshed by this show.

The first deaths: criminals and knights

“House of the Dragon” kicked off with a bloody showdown, when Daemon (Matt Smith), leader of the City Watch and potential heir to the Iron Throne, led his golden-caped soldiers through the city streets to kill all the criminals who were running amok under King Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) watch. Many were decapitated in the streets (one man’s backside appears to have been cut off in the carnage). It was a show of power for Daemon, who wanted to show his strength as a potential heir.

In the first episode, Queen Aemma, wife of King Viserys, died in childbirth because the king chose to save his child rather than his wife. The baby, named Baelon, died shortly after birth.

After the death of his new son, Viserys declared his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the throne and sent Daemon away from King’s Landing. The king then married Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke and Emily Carey), the daughter of his lawyer Otto Hightower, who was the Hand of the King.

Lord Corliss’s Men (eaten by crabs)

The second episode of “House of the Dragon” began with a scene of Corliss’ men being ripped apart and eaten by crabs. This was done by Prince Kragus Drahner, known as the “Crab Feeder,” who fed his victims to… oh, you get the idea.

The Drahran united the three “Independent Cities” (which are located across the Narrow Sea from Westeros) to form an alliance called the Triarchy, which had been a problem during King Viserys’ reign.

Man crushed by python (after being eaten by crabs)

Oh, this poor guy. A soldier who was defeated by the Drahner, his hands nailed to a wooden spear while he screamed at the crab feeder. Just as the crab started to lift the guy’s body, a dragon descended from the sky and crushed him. Oh.

That man, that man and that man (burned by dragon fire)

Many of the soldiers who fought the Drahners were burned alive by Daemon, who came riding on a dragon to confront the Crab Feeders. These people were completely burned by the dragon’s fire.

While Daemon was fighting against the Drahran forces in the Stepstones, a messenger arrived from King Viserys, promising troops to help Daemon. Daemon took his helmet and beat the messenger badly. It’s unclear if the messenger died in the attack. But come on.

Protector of the Crab Feeder, the Army and the People

Daemon made a stand against Drahar’s forces by sacrificing himself and pretending to surrender. But instead of giving himself up, he used a hidden knife to kill Drahar’s guards and soldiers, slicing them apart while mostly avoiding the arrows that came down.

Just when it seemed that the Drahran forces would slaughter the daemons, the dragons came from the sky and burned most of the army alive.

Drahar retreated to his cave amid the attack. Daemon followed him into the cave and then returned to the battlefield and cut the war leader’s upper body and head in two. Messy!

Jerrell Bracken (possibly)

A young man named Jerrel who wanted to marry Rhaenyra ended up on the wrong side of the duel. He mocked the young boy Willem Blackwood, who had posed as a suitor (despite his young age) to get Rhaenyra’s hand. This was followed by a swordfight between Willem and Jerrel, which Willem won by stabbing Jerrel in the gut. Although we didn’t see his death, he was seen coughing up blood. The point is understood.

Daemon made a move to get the hand of his niece, Rhaenyra, umm, spending time Living with her in a brothel and then telling the king (i.e. her brother and her father) about it. When Daemon was later exiled to the Vale, he was greeted by his lawful wife, Lady Rhea. He insulted her upon his return, after which she knocked him off his horse and appeared ready to kill him with a stone. Motive? To inherit his wealth and potentially take a new wife.

However, we didn’t see Lady Rhea die. Normally, you can’t trust someone to be dead until you see their body. That’s all I’m saying.

It took a while, but Rhaenyra was eventually engaged to Laenor Velaryon, even after she had a short affair with his uncle and an on-and-off relationship with the knight Criston Cole. But Laenor and Rhaenyra agreed to marry so they could keep their secret romance alive (Rhaenor with Criston, Laenor with her mate, Joffrey).

During a ceremony to celebrate the upcoming wedding, Cole went mad at Lonemouth and began banging his face repeatedly on the ceremony’s dance floor. Cristine then became the protector of Lady Alicent, wife of King Viserys.

Lady Lyanna, Laenor’s younger sister, married Daemon sometime after her brother’s marriage. They moved to Pentos and had twin daughters, Bella and Rayna. They were about to have a third child, but Lyanna had complications during childbirth. Rather than suffer the same fate as Queen Emma, ​​Lyanna went out and ordered a dragon to burn her alive.

To help his close confidante Queen Alicent, Larys Strong set fire to Harrenhal, one of the greatest castles in Westeros. The fire killed his brother Harwin and his father Lyonel. Larys had heard of Alicent’s concern about Rhaenyra’s affair with Harwin and her worry that Lyonel had become Hand of the King over his father Otto Hightower. Lyonel’s death allowed Otto to return to the position.

Daemon returned to King’s Landing following his wife’s death and met Rhaenyra again, where the two conversed again. Acts. They then agreed to marry each other, but Rhaenyra’s husband, Laenor, had to die first so they could be legally married as a political alliance. So Daemon asked a knight named Sir Karl to kill someone quickly with witnesses. Daemon climbed up a ladder and broke a man’s neck. More about that in the next death!

At Damon’s request, Karl was taken to Lenore’s father’s chamber, where he challenged Lenore to a sword fight. When Lenore’s family and guards arrived at the chamber, they saw a charred corpse on the floor and immediately mourned their dead son. It was later revealed that Lenore fled in a boat with Karl, fleeing the kingdom alive and faking her death to allow Rhaenyra to marry Damon.

With King Viserys’ health failing, many began wondering who would take the throne. Corlys’ brother Vaemond made a case for the throne, as his brother, who was missing, was married to Rhaenys (who had been denied the throne over Viserys decades earlier, earning her the nickname “the queen who never was”).

But when Vaemond realized the king was not going to disinherit his grandchildren and name a new heir, he became angry and insulted Rhaenyra’s sons. Daemon beheaded Vaemond in response. Terrifying.

Death of King Viserys

This is one of the key moments in “House of the Dragon,” and it leads to several meaningful deaths on the show. After spending the entire season suffering from leprosy, the king finally dies in his bed, leaving the throne free.

On his deathbed, Viserys vaguely explained to his wife Alicent the “Promised Prince” and “Song of Ice and Fire” prophecies (which later appear in the “Game of Thrones” storyline), suggesting that she should ensure that the prophecies come true (and that a Targaryen sits on the Iron Throne when the terrible winter comes). He took this to mean that his son, Aegon, should wear the crown over Rhaenyra and her children, whose lineage had long been disputed by Alicent because of their gray hair and hardly Targaryen features.

When Viserys died, Alicent shared the conversation with her father Otto. To her surprise, Otto and Tyland Lannister had already begun planning a scenario in which Aegon took the Iron Throne over Rhaenyra, who had long been promised the crown. To solidify her son’s rise, Alicent offered Rhaenyra peaceful terms so that she would kneel, despite her council’s advice to kill both Rhaenyra and Daemon to solidify her son’s claim.

Lyman Beesbury, head crushed

Another death is indicated. When Lyman Beesbury, a member of the Quiet Council involved in succession discussions, opposed the plan to put Aegon on the throne, he was murdered by having his head crushed with a plate.

(It’s unclear whether Harold Westerling, who was the Lord Commander of the Crown’s forces and who had refrained from supporting Aegon, will die when he’s dragged off to face “the king’s justice,” also known as hanging, but that’s obvious.)

People Trampled by Dragons

When Aegon was finally crowned king, there were more deaths. Rhaenys came to the ceremony on her dragon and showed off what her dragons could do and trampled some of the spectators. An unsuspecting civilian was stabbed by the dragon and another man was knocked down. It’s unclear how many people died in the attack, but our guess is that some unsuspecting people survived.

Rhaenyra went into labor due to the stress of hearing her father’s death. The baby, named Visenya, was born dead.

All of the chaos of the first season culminated in the devastating death of Rhaenyra’s son, Luceris.

Luceris, known as Luke, went to Storm’s End to deliver a message to his mother, who wanted to form an alliance with their leaders. But he was driven away by his evil uncle Aemond and his dragon.

Barely escaping through the storm, Luke emerged into the daylight atop his dragon – but Aemond’s dragon ripped through the storm clouds and swallowed Luke and his dragon, leaving a bloody mark on the show’s first season.

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