House Of The Dragon finale ends with brutal death of young Prince Lucerys Velaryon; season 2 to begin filming in early 2023 in Spain

The legacy of the house of fire and blood unravelled on August 22 on Disney+ Hotstar as the much-awaited HBO series, House of the Dragon, premiered in full glory. Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, the 10-episode series is the remarkable, turbulent story of the House of Targaryen, set 200 years before the events that captivated global audiences in Game of Thrones. The season finale aired on Sunday night, October 23, captivating the audience, leaving them shocked by the brutal death of yet again favourite character.

House Of The Dragon finale ends with brutal death of young Prince Lucerys Velaryon; season 2 to begin filming in early 2023 in Spain

SPOILERS – The finale saw Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen into the fray after she learnt that her father King Viserys had died and his wife, Alicent (with the help of her father, Hand of King Otto Hightower), has usurped her claim and placed her own son Aegon II Targaryen in the realm’s most honoured spot. The Princess miscarries her daughter Visenya after hearing the news. In the episode, Daemon who is ready for the war, abruptly choked Rhaenyra when she mentioned the Song of Ice and Fire, and did not realize that the story wasn’t told to Daemon. Lord Corlys Velaryon returned to Dragonstone after his long naval battle with the Stepstones and became an ally to Rhaenyra and the Blacks in an effort to regain the Iron Throne.

As Rhaenyra was crowned Queen by Daemon, they then began to plan and send envoys to those who may change their position and support the Greens. Her sons Jacaerys “Jake” Velaryon and Lucerys “Luke” Velaryon volunteer as envoys as both of them are sent to North and South, respectively. Lucerys is set to Storm’s End in order to secure the support of Lord Borros Baratheon. One of the most shocking moments came when Lucerys finds Aemond Targaryen already at Storm’s End with his dragon Vhagar and even offers marriage to Baratheon in return for support. As Lucerys is turned away from Storm’s End, Aemond taunts his nephew and demands an eye for an eye, Luke leaves the palace on his dragon Arrax in stormy rainy weather when Aemond decides to chase him on his huge dragon Vhagar. The chase sequence sees Luke, following the oath given to his mother that he would just be an envoy and not a warrior, riding away from Aemond when his dragon Arrax feels threatened and breathes fire at Vhagar. As Vhagar becomes uncontrollable, the dragon attacks Arrax and Luke, leading to the latter tumble into the sea to his death. The last scene sees music take over the moment as Daemon walks in the war room to inform Rhaenyra that Luke had died. She is weak in the knees as she walks towards the fireplace, in tears and then gathers courage the last shot you see is she turning towards the camera.

With season 2 commencing in early 2023 in Spain, showrunner Ryan Condal explained to Entertainment Weekly, “The war is called the Dance of the Dragons, and this is the first dragon fight that has happened since Old Valyria. So the fact that is the first shot, to me, made it an almost necessary endpoint for the first season. Aegon sees Rhaenyra’s crown and throne claim here, but now the stakes have gone up to this point. What’s going to happen next? It’s such a great precipice to leave everybody on going into the second season.”

“We wanted it to be interesting, complex… not just a foregone conclusion,” Condal said. “We’ve set up Aemond as a human being who’s had a tough life and has been bullied and lost an eye in the process, but we’ve also set him up as somebody who’s smart and calculating. He’s somebody who’s capable of acting on impulse, but he doesn’t feel like somebody who would go out and commit straight murder without thinking about it.”

In the book, Fire & Ice, Aemond intended to kill Luke whereas the finale saw Aemond only chase and make him fear him when the dragon gets out of control. When asked if that was the intension, Condal said, “Historians have told us that Aemond intended to kill Luke, but I don’t think any of them could purport to know what was going on in Aemond’s head the time. And I would also dispute the word “accident” a bit. I mean, Aemond got on his giant dragon and chased his nephew on his much smaller dragon through the clouds screaming and yelling at him, incensing his dragon and starting a fight. He didn’t know how Arrax or Luke were going to respond, and it ended in tragedy. I don’t think that was what Aemond intended when he threw his leg over the saddle, but he did a horrible, dangerous thing. That is the point: This is a war of many cuts that lead to a really, really bloody wound. It adds complexity and nuance to the character that’s potentially interesting. There’s lots of runway to go on with Aemond as a character and the story of the Dance. This is his first act as a dragon rider and a warrior and it’s gone very wrong. Now what happens as a result, and how does he respond? Those are the questions I’m interested in as dramatist.”

When asked if they explored any other endings, he said, “Maybe, at some point? But no, I looked back at the original bible that I wrote for the series back in May of 2019, and that was in there as the endpoint. It just felt like the one-two punch of Viserys dying, the Greens seizing the throne and telling that story from Alicent’s team’s perspective, Rhaenyra’s team finding out and putting in place the engines of war and then setting the dragons off and having this horrible thing happened over Storm’s End — the story is called the Dance of the Dragons. To kick off the war/end the first act of our story with the first dragons dancing seemed to be the right dramatic place to leave everybody off.”

House Of The Dragon has been renewed for season 2 and will air in 2024.

ALSO READ: House Of The Dragon: Finale promo teases another major death after Aegon Targaryen II takes the Iron throne; watch video


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