Every Death In House Of The Dragon Season 1 Ranked

Every Death In House Of The Dragon Season 1 Ranked


If there’s one thing HBO’s House of the Dragon had no shortage of, it has to be deaths and more deaths. Like all 8 seasons of its predecessor series, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon season 1 episodes had at least a death in them – whether of natural cause or gory exits. Unarguably, there’s something about the Targaryens and Westeros and their love for violence and bloodshed, or it just has something to do with George R. R. Martin and the shows’ showrunners’ imaginations.

Whatever the case, HOTD, as a prequel, helps connect the dots of the bloodlines and history of GOT’s Jon Snow, Daenerys, and her father, The Mad King, King Aerys II Targaryen. With the last death in HOTD season 1, viewers should expect more bloodbaths and deaths as House Black goes to war with House Green. While viewers eagerly await the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere in 2024, a good way to keep the show fresh in hearts and minds is by looking at the characters that have been lost so far. Here is every death in House of the Dragon season 1 ranked in order of appearances.

8. The Death of Queen Aemma Arryn & Baelon Targaryen

King Viserys and Queen Aemma

House of the Dragon season 1, episode 1 had a significant death that set the tone and plot for the rest of the season. Nine years after King Viserys is crowned King of Westeros, his wife Queen Aemma is pregnant and on the verge of childbirth. Hours into her labor, Grand Maester Mellos informs Viserys that the delivery is a breech birth.

Certain the unborn child is his long-awaited son and heir, and against the wishes of Queen Aemma, King Viserys painfully approves a medieval C-section to be carried out on Queen Aemma to save the child. Queen Aemma dies shortly after the baby is removed. The child, a boy, is named Baelon Targaryen by King Viserys. However, Baelon, roo, dies a few hours later.

While many viewers would at first think King Viserys to be cruel, the entire season 1 proves he had an undying love for Queen Aemma and the child they had, Princess Rhaenyra. Queen Aemma and Baelon Targaryen’s death created the opportunity for the King’s Hand, Otto Hightower, to scheme and position his daughter as the new Queen. These two characters’ deaths were pivotal for creating events that occurred throughout HOTD‘s season 1.

7. The Death of The Crabfeeder, Craghas Drahar

The Crabfeeder

The Crabfeeder, nicknamed for his unique style of feeding his enemies to the crabs, appears as HOTD‘s first villain in episode 2. After Lord Corlys Velaryon enters an alliance with Prince Daemon, they continue to fight The Crabfeeder for three years. Tired of the unnecessary deaths and unending battle, Lord Corlys’ younger brother, Vaemond Velaryon, pleads with King Viserys for help against The Crabfeeder.

When Prince Daemon learns of King Viserys plans to send help to win the battle, Prince Daemon utilizes an opportunity to prove himself. Using himself as bait, Daemon lures the Crabfeeder out of his cave and kills him. In viewers’ minds, the Crabfeeder’s death helps position Daemon as a ruthless and skillful warrior. It is a necessary story arc to counter his surprising defeat by Ser Criston Cole at the tourney held in episode 1.

6. The Death of Lady Rhea Royce

Daemon killing Lady Rhea Royce

Viewers see Prince Daemon’s wife, Lady Rhea Royce, for the first time (albeit momentarily) in episode 5. Conversations from previous episodes imply Daemon and Lady Rhea Royce are estranged. Lady Rhea Royce confirms in a conversation with Daemon that the marriage has not been consummated.

While she continues to mock Daemon, she realizes too late that his presence in the Vale is questionable. Daemon startles her horse, which falls backward, crushing her spine. The scene ends with Daemon picking a stone and walking toward Lady Rhea Royce.

Lady Rhea Royce’s facial expression gives a clue as to why Daemon would want her dead. With his brother naming his niece, Princess Rhaenyra, as heir, his only chance of getting close to The Iron Throne is finding a way to marry Rhaenyra (a common incestual tradition of the Targaryens). Daemon’s only way to be available for marriage is to have his estranged wife killed. No one handles the business of killing better than Daemon

5. The Death of Joffrey Lonmouth

Joffrey Lonmouth and Ser Criston Cole

The end of episode 5 is the wedding of Princess Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon. Ser Criston is heartbroken from his unrequited love for Rhaenyra and forced to watch her dance with and marry another. He has also broken his Knightly vows by having sex with Rhaenyra.

When he’s approached by Ser Laenor’s lover, Joffrey Lonmouth, Ser Criston soon realizes his honor (or what’s left of it) is in jeopardy. Lonmouth seeks an alliance to keep each other’s secrets, but minutes after the conversation, Ser Criston Cole loses it and goes on a rampage, killing Joffrey Lonmouth. In shame and guilt, Ser Criston left the wedding hall to kill himself, but Queen Alicent stopped him.

Joffrey Lonmouth’s death, and the events that immediately followed, allowed for a shift of allegiance of Ser Criston from Princess Rhaenyra to Queen Alicent. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Evidently, English playwright William Congreve never met/knew Ser Criston Cole.

4. The Death of Lyonel Strong and His Son, Harwin Strong

House Strong

There’s never a shortage of scheming in King’s Landing, as everyone secretly looks for favors from The Iron Throne. For Larys Strong, killing his father and brother is a price too little to pay to curry favors from Queen Alicent and satisfy his fetish with royal feet. When Queen Alicent wished her father, Otto Hightower, was back in King’s Landing, she least expected Larys would play fiery godmother and grant it.

The death of Lyonel Strong, the Hand of the King, saw King Viserys reinstate Otto Hightower as his Hand. Otto’s new presence in King’s Landing deepened the rift between Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent. This action, or lack of it, set in motion the fight for The Iron Throne between House Black and House Green.

3. The Death of Vaemond Velaryon

Vaemon Velaryon

There was nothing wrong in Vaemond Velaryon trying to protect the legacy of his House; however, how he went about it was nothing short of treason. With King Viserys’ insistence that Princess Rhaenyra’s child be made heir to House Velaryon, Vaemond (hopeful of his claim as the rightful heir of House Velaryon) adamantly refused. To prove his legitimacy, Vaemond openly calls Rhaenyra’s children bastards and Rhaenyra a whore.

Although King Viserys’ judgment would have had Vaemond’s tongue cut off, Daemon is not known to be so merciful. After subtly instigating Vaemond to call Rhaenyra a whore, Daemon kills Vaemond. Vaemond’s death showed Daemon’s solidarity with Rhaenyra and his Targaryen bloodline, as well as put to rest the open questioning of the legitimacy of Rhaenyra’s children to the throne. This would be the third death orchestrated by Daemon on this list.

2. The Death of King Viserys

King Viserys in House of the Dragon

All the fighting and bickering viewers have had to endure between Rhaenyra and Alicent since the beginning of season 1 seemed to end after King Viserys’ last dinner with his family. Queen Alicent was willing to renew her friendship with her former friend, Rhaenyra. However, the few remaining minutes of episode 8 left viewers hurling curses at King Viserys.

Before his death, unaware of who was beside him, King Viserys repeats parts of Aegon the Conqueror’s dream to himself. Believing the mentioned Aegon is her son, Queen Alicent vows to honor King Viserys death wish. The death of King Viserys sets the stage for The Great War between House Green and House Black. The brewing war, as Rhaenyra fights her claim to The Iron Throne and Queen Alicent’s attempt to fulfill her husband’s “dying wish,” is the much-anticipated plot of House of the Dragon season 2.

1. The Death of Prince Lucerys Velaryon

Lucerys Velaryon

Queen Alicent’s son, Aemond Targaryen, chased Princess Rhaenyra’s second son, Lucerys Velaryon, with his Dragon. To protect his rider, Lucerys’ Dragon, Arrax, spat fire on Vhagar, Aemond’s Dragon. Angered by this, Vhagar became uncontrollable and killed Arrax and Lucerys, his rider.

Princess Rhaenyra, always one to play the diplomat, is unwilling to go to war with House Green. Daemon unsuccessfully fails to convince her otherwise. For the first time since the beginning of HOTD season 1, after hearing of her son’s death, Princess Rhaenyra is triggered to go to war against Queen Alicent and her house. Much to the delight of the war-hungry Daemon, Lucerys’ death was the needed push to set the ball rolling on the events that await viewers in House of the Dragon season 2.

Read Next: 5 House Of The Dragon Scenes That Weren’t In The BookKing’s Landing

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