‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2, Episode 4 Kills Prominent Character in Dragon Battle

Farewell, the queen who never was.

Spoilers below for the fourth episode of “House of the Dragon.”

This week’s episode of “House of the Dragon” kills Rhaenys (Eve Best), the most prominent character to die so far (and her dragon, Meleys). It also seriously wounds King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney).

The “Game of Thrones” spinoff series is set roughly 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” following a civil war in the Targaryen family. Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) is the rightful queen, but her half-brother Aegon (Glynn-Carney) has usurped her throne. With two different siblings claiming to be the true monarch, the kingdom is divided — and the two sides hadn’t even fought each other on dragons, until now.

In this episode, we see Rhaenys, who is on Rhaenyra’s side of the conflict, clash on the battlefield with Aegon and his fierce brother, Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), with all three riding their dragons.

Aemond rides the biggest and meanest dragon. Discovery of Warner Bros.
Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) in “House of the Dragon” has just lost a key ally. Theo Whiteman/HBO

Aemond rides the largest and oldest dragon, Vhagar, and it is no surprise that he is the only one to emerge unscathed from the battle.

Since Aegon is the king, he cannot risk himself. His presence at this battle was unplanned, but he appears at the last moment.

“He’s often portrayed as a villain, and I see him more as a tragedy,” Glynn-Carney recently told The Post. “He’s heartbreaking. He’s broken in so many ways.”

Aegon acted impulsively, riding into battle to prove himself — because deep down he knows he’s not king material. And, as Glynn-Carney said, it has tragic consequences for him.

Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) nearly dies in “House of the Dragon.” Ollie Upton/HBO
Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) shoots his own brother Aegon. Ollie Upton/HBO

Aegon thinks his brother, Aemond, is his loyal enforcer. But Aegon has also been bullying his brother for years, and he cruelly mocked him in the previous episode.

So Aemond takes advantage of the situation. As Aemond attempts to unleash dragonfire on his enemy, Rhaenys, Aegon stands in his way—and Aemond doesn’t wait for his brother to make a move. He bombards his own brother with dragonfire, taking advantage of the fact that they’re high in the air so that their troops on the ground can’t clearly see Aemond burning their king.

A heavy blow for Aegon, but after years of bullying him, no one can say anymore that he didn’t deserve it.

It’s a chaotic scene, with smoke everywhere. And as the dragons fly low, their huge claws even crush soldiers on the ground like Godzilla.

After Aegon is bombed by his own brother, he and his dragon both fall from the sky and land on the ground. They are clearly badly injured, but their exact fate is unknown.

Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) is bombarded by his own brother, Aemond, after years of bullying him. Ollie Upton/HBO
Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) unleashes dragonfire on his brother. Ollie Upton/HBO

Aemond and Rhaenys then get into an argument.

Rhaenys acts as the aggressor, chasing Aemond as he flies away. It’s something of a suicide mission, since Aemond has the larger and fiercer dragon – but Rhaenys either has a slim hope of defeating Aemond, or she’s willing to die if she can take him down with her.

Just when it seems as if Rhaenys might escape this conflict with her life, Aemond and Vhagar deliver a final blow, sending Rhaenys and her dragon plummeting to their deaths.

This development comes as a great shock and a blow to Rhaenyra’s side of the war effort.

Rhaenys was Rhaenyra’s most valuable ally, as the lone voice of reason on her often-squabbling Small Council. She was also the wife of Corlys (Steve Touissant), another key ally who pilots the ships — so depending on how he reacts to his wife’s death, Rhaenyra could lose her two most powerful allies in one fell swoop.

Rhaenys (Eve Best) is murdered in “House of the Dragon.” Ollie Upton/HBO

After Aemond kills Rhaenys, he lands his dragon and walks through the forest to where Aegon and his dragon lie on the ground.

Aemond draws his sword, implying that he intends to finish the job, if Aegon is not already dead.

But Criston Cole (Fabien Frankle), the newly appointed Hand of the King (and their mother’s secret lover), prevents Aemond from killing Aegon.

The episode ends on that ominous note.

So Rhaenyra’s side of the war suffered a major setback, as they lost Rhaenys. But Aegon’s side also suffered a major blow, as he is now sidelined.

“House of the Dragon” airs Sundays at 9pm ET on HBO (and streams on Max).

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