Did Aemond Intend to Kill His Brother Aegon On HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2?

House of the Dragon is all about characters with complicated motivations. But in the latest episode of House of the Dragon, viewers witnessed one of the most complicated character decisions yet. During the huge battle at Rook’s Rest, it really seemed like Aemond Targaryen willingly blasted his brother, King Aegon, and his brother’s dragon, Sunfyre, with a stream of fire from his own creature, Vhagar. But was Aemond intentionally trying to kill Aegon in House of the Dragon episode four? Let’s examine the evidence.

Was Aemond Really Trying to Kill Aegon on House of the Dragon?

Aemond, who wears an eyepatch, with his hand on his chin sitting on House of the Dragon

There are many reasons why it would make sense, or it wouldn’t, for Aemond to have intentionally been trying to kill his brother Aegon on the battlefield. Of course, there’s the question of family and loyalty… and dragons. If Aemond really intended to kill the king and the king’s dragon, it would leave his immediate family’s side of the war in a significantly weakened position. In fact, Aemond’s attack on Aegon made it so that the Greens did not come out of the battle of Rook’s Rest with a clear victory. Yes, Rhaenyra Targaryen lost an ally dragon, but so did Aemond’s side of the fence. (At least for now.) That’s a huge sacrifice to make and doesn’t seem like all that rational of a decision.

house of the dragon aemond on his dragon

However, Aemond also seems to look down on his brother, who really does not have the strategic mind or correct attitude to be King. Aemond seems to (rightfully) believe he possesses the superior skills to lead a war and a better temperament to rule. With Aegon out of the way, Aemond could also imagine ascending to kingship himself.

In season one of House of the Dragon, Aemond even notes, “Here I am, trawling the city, ever the good soldier in search of a wastrel who’s never taken half an interest in his birthright. ‘Tis I the younger brother who studies history and philosophy; it is I who trains with the sword, who rides the largest dragon in the world. I’m next in line to the throne. Should they come looking for me, I intend to be found.” The desire to be king instead of Aegon burns bright in Aemond, and the way he has taken over the strategic efforts of the war for the Greens indicates this desire has not gone anywhere.

Perhaps, ultimately, Aemond did not really intend to kill Aegon with his whole heart, but in the heat of the moment, he could not resist the impulse to try.

Aemond’s Actor Chimes in on His Intentions Toward Aegon

Aegon and his dragon sunfyre damaged and dying from House of the Dragon episode four season two

Just watching the episode, one might lean toward the side of Aemond sincerely attempting to kill Aegon. But Aemond’s actor, Ewan Mitchell, feels it’s more complicated than that, and he is the best source of knowledge on Aemond, after all. Mitchell shares, “It was no secret that he felt like Aegon was inferior to himself… He felt like Aegon lacked the perseverance to be a leader. Also, it’s no secret that Aegon was almost the ringleader to a lot of Aemond’s childhood torment and trauma.”

But Mitchell also adds of whether Aemond would actually kill Aegon, “I think that maybe Aemond would never have intended to burn Aegon, but it just so happened that Aegon was there tangled with Rhaenys and Meleys when he was on top of Sunfyre. It raises the question of whether or not he would’ve done that or if Aegon was just collateral damage. I think that’s compelling. Maybe it was when Aegon brought in the Pink Dread [as children] when Aemond was like, ‘I’m going to burn him one day for this.’ Who knows?”

house of the dragon was aemond trying to kill aegon

Ultimately, the House of the Dragon episode’s director Alan Taylor concludes, “We wanted to sustain multiple motivations that might have happened there. It’s a battle move, but he did deliberately join the battle late, and he is being a little bit indiscriminate with how he’s blasting fire. So I think you can believe whatever you want to believe about his motivations there.”

We Feel Like Aemond Did Intend to Kill Aegon on House of the Dragon

Vhagar flying with his mouth open on House of the Dragon

If whatever we say goes, we’re going to have to go with Aemond really attempting to kill his brother Aegon in House of the Dragon episode four. The framing of the shot when Aegon believes Aemond has arrived to help him and is instead blasted with fire seems to speak to the idea that Aegon was fully wrong in his belief. And what’s the opposite of helping someone? Harming them. In that moment, it’s clear that Aemond has not arrived to save his brother.

house of the dragon was aemond trying to kill aegon sword

Add to this Aemond drawing his sword on his fallen brother toward the end of the episode, and all the ingredients for desired murder are there.

What Happens Now with Aemond and Aegon on House of the Dragon?

Aemond in front of the iron throne on House of the Dragon season two

In episode five of House of the Dragon, we get a sense of the fallout from Aemond’s decisions. Aegon is gravely injured—he is burned from dragonfire and has many broken bones from the fight and fall. Grand Maester Orwyle implies he has many internal injuries as well. It remains unclear whether he will survive and live; death remains a totally plausible outcome for Aegon on House of the Dragon. In the meanwhile, the Greens must elect a Regent to rule in his stead. Although Alicent attempts to advocate for herself to be placed in the role, everyone, from Ser Larys Strong to Ser Criston Cole, turns on her, and Aemond is instead declared the Prince Regent. Although Aemond is not King, he is now in control, as, ostensibly, he planned to be. At the end of the episode, we see Aegon looking longingly at the Iron Throne.  Helaena asks him if his actions were worth it. But undoubtedly, Aemond considers that they are.

Burnt Aegon on House of the Dragon season two (1)

For now, King Aegon remains alive . But if Aegon does die from these injuries, it is surely Aemond who really killed him on House of the Dragon.

Originally published on July 10, 2024.

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