Game of Thrones is known for being a franchise where shocking deaths lurk around every corner, and House of the Dragon continues that tradition. Especially with the first season’s time jumps, many House of the Dragon characters met their deaths before we even really got to know them. But from the very first episode to the last, this season’s deaths hit viciously. So who died on House of the Dragon season one? Let’s review everyone we lost.
Jump to: Aemma Arryn’s Death // Laena Velaryon’s Death // Harwin and Lyonel Strong’s Death // Vaemond Velaryon’s Death // King Viserys Targaryen’s Death // Lord Beesbury’s Death // Lucerys Velaryon’s Death
Queen Aemma Arryn’s Death Set the Tone for House of the Dragon
If we had any cause to wonder whether House of the Dragon would be as viciously cruel as Game of Thrones, especially to women, the first death of the season gave us an answer. In a truly vicious vision of childbirth, King Viserys, desperate for a son and heir, sacrifices his wife and the mother of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Aemma Arryn. The violent c-section scene on House of the Dragon not only horrified viewers but forever changed the realm. The death of Aemma created a gulf between Viserys and Rhaenyra Targaryen and opened up the king to remarry Alicent Hightower. Queen Aemma Arryn’s House of the Dragon death eventually leads to the Targaryen civil war.
Laena Velaryon Controls Her Own Doom
Another woman to be felled by childbirth on House of the Dragon, Laena Velaryon’s death goes a bit differently. In a mirror of Aemma’s final moments, Laena’s husband Daemon Targaryen is told that he can try to save his child by sacrificing his wife. But Laena Velaryon insists on taking her death into her own hands. She goes to her dragon, Vhagar, and utters, “Dracarys.” And so her dragon burns her alive, her end of choice. We assume House of the Dragon saw Laena Velaryon’s death as a strong one, but we wish we’d gotten to see more of her alive.
Harwin Strong and Lyonel Strong Die at the Hands of Larys‘ Machinations
Speaking of characters that we barely got to know before they died thanks to House of the Dragon‘s time jumps, Harwin Strong and Lyonel Strong both died in season one of the show. Both characters seemed abnormally good for a show like this Game of Thrones prequel. And so, though we didn’t get to know them as properly as we like, the deaths of Harwin and Lyonel Strong still hit hard. Harwin Strong was, of course, Rhaenyra Targaryen’s lover and the father of her children. Lyonel Strong was a nobleman and a good Hand of the King who just tried to do what was right. The orchestration of their deaths by Larys Strong and, by extension, Queen Alicent Hightower signaled to us that the game on House of the Dragon had changed.
Vaemond Velaryon’s Shocking Death on House of the Dragon
One of the most shocking parts of House of the Dragon is the casual way with which death is dispensed. Death can come during the search for a marriage partner, in the middle of a wedding, or even at a formal meeting in court. It’s no wonder the universe feels dark. Most of these public executions don’t even get much of a reaction in response. This was the type of death that Vaemond Velaryon received at the hands of Daemon Targaryen. Without hesitation, Daemon cut Vaemond’s head off, in the middle of the Velaryon presenting his arguments at court. Granted, the hearing wasn’t very fair, and Vaemond was quite rude about Rhaenyra Targaryen… But it feels like House of the Dragon‘s world needs a much better security system.
King Viserys Targaryen’s Death Spells Civil War on House of the Dragon
Everyone who watched House of the Dragon knew that King Viserys Targaryen had to die. In fact, it seemed like his death would come on multiple occasions. But death finally took Viserys at the most inopportune moment. Just before he died, King Viserys, mistakenly believing he was speaking to his daughter, Rhaenyra, set Alicent on a path of destruction. King Viserys’ last words revolved around one of Game of Thrones‘ most important prophecies, but he didn’t deliver his final thoughts carefully enough. King Viserys Targaryen’s House of the Dragon‘s death was the final straw in the antagonism between his family members.
Criston Cole Murders Lyman Beesbury
The Hightowers are dead set on having Aegon II rule on the Iron Throne and they’ll spread death to achieve it. On Queen Alicent’s word that it was King Viserys’ wishes, the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, moves to put his plan to usurp the throne into action. But Lyman Beesbury won’t accept this kind of treason. Unfortunately, he finds himself outnumbered on the small council. Criston Cole, who has previously shown he’s not afraid to kill out in the open, brings swift death down on Lord Beesbury. That’s the Game of Thrones way, after all. Those in the minority get the sword, rule of law be damned.
Lucerys Velaryon’s Death Changes From the Books
The last death on season one of House of the Dragon is as important as the first. After years of animosity between them, Aemond Targaryen and Lucerys Velaryon end up in a vicious face-off. Aemond, of course, blames Lucerys for the loss of his eye. After an unsuccessful visit by Lucerys Velaryon to Lord Borros Baratheon, Aemond, who also visited the Lord, corners him in the air. Both Aemond and Lucerys seem out of control as they battle on dragon-back. Neither one can quite get their dragon to do what they want. For Lucerys, this proves fatal. Even though Aemond appears to regret the action, his dragon Vhagar bites straight through Lucerys and his dragon Arrax. This marks the death of two of Rhaenyra’s children in one House of the Dragon episode. And surely, Lucerys’s death spells trouble for the realm on House of the Dragon.
In the Game of Thrones book, Fire & Blood, Aemond did intend to kill his cousin. But in the show, this death seems more accidental, like many things about the war to come. Still, Aemond wasn’t exactly being kind to Lucerys, and death seemed like a highly probable outcome.
The Future of House of the Dragon‘s Characters
As we already knew from Game of Thrones, there is no one truly safe on House of the Dragon. Death can come to any House of the Dragon character at any time. And, in truth, real warfare did not arrive in Westeros during season one of the show. Next season of House of the Dragon, civil war is likely to explode in earnest, spelling more deaths. So hold your favorites close, everyone, and strap in, it’s going to be a bloody ride.