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‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Why Rhaenys Had to Die

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'House of the Dragon' Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Why Rhaenys Had to Die

Warning: Main spoilers forward for season two, episode 4 of “Home of the Dragon.”

“Home of the Dragon” is not a present that pulls its punches, however its newest episode, “The Crimson Dragon and the Gold,” landed its most devastating blow but.

Those that have learn “Fireplace and Blood” weren’t stunned to see Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who By no means Was, and her dragon Meleys fall to Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar. Rhaenys embarked to Rook’s Relaxation, a modest citadel near Rhaenyra’s base at Dragonstone, to fulfill Ser Criston Cole’s advancing power. However when she arrived, she met two dragons: Sunfyre, ridden by King Aegon II, and Vhagar, ridden by Aemond. Although she and Meleys fought till the final second, Vhagar overpowered them, and he or she fell to her loss of life.

Rhaenys’ loss of life, as a viewer, is a tragedy. However for “Home of the Dragon” to completely decide to its devastating dragon warfare, fought between a lady with a rightful declare to the throne and her usurper youthful half-brother, Rhaenys wanted to die.


eve best as rhaenys targaryen in house of the dragon, dressed in full armor and a headpiece while clinging onto a dragon statue. she's flying through a grey sky, and her expression is resolute

Rhaenys Targaryen flies into battle in season two of “Home of the Dragon.”

Ollie Upton/HBO



‘Home of the Dragon’s’ authentic sin is denying Rhaenys the throne

“Home of the Dragon” takes place throughout a brief interval of Targaryen household historical past — there are an enormous variety of occasions, like Aegon’s Conquest, that precede it, and clearly, an extended historical past that follows it (you may name a few of it “Recreation of Thrones”). However throughout the context of the present, the story begins most particularly throughout the Nice Council assembly to find out King Jahaerys’ successor.

With Jahaerys’ sons lifeless, the council’s alternative boiled down to 2 choices: Rhaenys, his eldest descendant, or Viserys, his eldest male descendant. Having by no means sat a Queen on the Iron Throne, the council selected the comparatively smooth Viserys, whose selections sowed the seeds for Rhaenyra and Aegon’s warfare. Rhaenys, for the remainder of her life, bears the slight with grace because the Lord of Driftmark Corlys Velaryon’s spouse.


eve best and steve toussaint as rhaenys and corlys in house of the dragon, standing at the head of a council table. both are wearing black clothing, with their silver hair worn long, and rhaenys crosses her arms as she looks towards corlys

Eve Greatest and Steve Toussaint as Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon in season two, episode 4 of “Home of the Dragon.”

Ollie Upton/HBO



However regardless of her acquiescence, the flawed of denying Rhaenys the throne hangs like a pall over “Home of the Dragon,” and Rhaenyra particularly. Rhaenys represents and espouses an previous “order of issues,” as she admonishes a younger Rhaenyra about in season one: one the place a person will at all times be seen as a legit ruler over a lady, no matter her declare to the throne. When Rhaenyra and Rhaenys’ son Laenor are engaged, Rhaenys worries that her son will likely be endangered throughout a succession problem. When her husband, Lord Corlys Velaryon, brings up her denial of the throne, Rhaenys says that she shuttered her ambition “a era in the past.”

Rhaenys’ persistence over the course of the sequence, significantly as Rhaenyra faces additional challenges relating to her declare, asks an implicit query: if Rhaenys might bear not changing into Queen, why could not Rhaenyra?

Rhaenys’ sacrifice represents the true starting of the warfare

It feels exceptional when Rhaenys throws her weight behind Rhaenyra, although she does so seemingly reluctantly. She is aware of that if Rhaenyra pursues her declare, it’s going to carry calamity. However when Alicent installs her son Aegon on the throne, Rhaenys doesn’t bend the knee — however neither can she take the chance to finish Alicent’s bloodline when it is introduced to her.

“That warfare is just not mine to start,” Rhaenys tells Daemon and Rhaenyra, justifying her actions.

On the finish of season one, Rhaenys persuades her husband, Corlys, to again Rhaenyra, citing the protection of their grandchildren. However she additionally praises Rhaenyra’s restraint in not submitting to all-out warfare, which proves to be a serious theme in season two. It is Rhaenys who incites Rhaenyra’s ultimate errand for peace: a face-to-face with Alicent, within the hopes of avoiding a warfare between dragons.


Olivia Cooke as Alicent and Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra in front of multiple candles in a dark room.

Within the newest episode of Home of the Dragon, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) visits her stepmother, Alicent (Olivia Cooke), to determine how they’ll cease the brewing civil warfare.

Ollie Upton / HBO



And when that falls by means of, it is Rhaenys who should step up. Eve Greatest, who performs Rhaenys with a gentle hand, advised Enterprise Insider that because the voice of restraint — and as Rhaenyra’s strongest warrior, astride Meleys — there was no different alternative.

However thematically, Rhaenys’ sacrifice is a crucial one. As she reminded Rhaenyra in her youth, she’s an emblem of the previous custom: one during which the Queen Who By no means Was should gracefully bear the insult of being denied a kingdom. Nobody higher understands the trials that Rhaenyra faces and the judgment calls that she should make. That is why Rhaenys makes this ultimate choice for her, telling Rhaenyra, “You should ship me.”

That call proves that Rhaenys could not — or would not — bear that insult for any longer, although she fights for Rhaenyra’s declare and never her personal. Her sacrifice symbolizes an open door — one by means of a which a brand new order, nevertheless bloody the method, could also be cast.

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