Daemon Targaryen in a row boat in House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 2

House of the Dragon: Is Daemon Targaryen Really Responsible for the Blood and Cheese Scene?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2.

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In House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 2, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and her husband, Prince Daemon, have a blazing row about his role in Episode 1’s infamous Blood and Cheese scene. But is Daemon Targaryen really to blame for what Blood and Cheese did?

Related: House of the Dragon: How Is Cregan Stark Related to Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark?

Is Daemon Responsible for the Blood and Cheese Scene?

That depends on your definition of “responsible.” Certainly, Daemon hired Blood and Cheese, so there’s no doubt he’s indirectly to blame for them murdering Prince Jaehaerys. The question is whether he explicitly ordered Blood and Cheese to kill any junior male Targaryen if they failed to locate their actual target, Prince Aemond. There’s at least some evidence in Episode 1 that he did.

When Blood and Cheese debate whether to kill Jaehaerys, the latter quotes Daemon as saying “A son for a son” while briefing them. That sure sounds like Daemon told his goons that any Targaryen fellas below a certain age were fair game. Still, we don’t know if he used that phrase solely about Aemond, and Blood and Cheese got carried away.

Related: All Dragons & Their Riders in House of the Dragon

Plus, Daemon insists in Season 2, Episode 2 that nothing about his instructions to Blood and Cheese should’ve resulted in Jaehaerys’ death. When pressed further, he’s adamant the poor kid’s death was simply “a mistake.” But the truth is we’ll probably never know exactly what Daemon’s orders were – which is exactly how House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal and director Alan Taylor want it.

“We intentionally cut away from that moment because I love [Daemon actor] Matt Smith and the look that he gives them just haunts me,” Condal said in a recent Hollywood Reporter interview. “He certainly gave [Blood and Cheese] some kind of instruction, and to some degree, we hear them arguing about it in the room, that he said we need to bring a head. A son for a son. You can imagine Daemon maybe said to them, ‘Don’t leave empty-handed.’ But we left it open to interpretation.”

Is Daemon Responsible for the Blood and Cheese Scene in Fire & Blood?

Yes, Daemon is unambiguously to blame for the Blood and Cheese scene in House of the Dragon co-creator George R.R. Martin’s original book, Fire & Blood. Admittedly, Martin doesn’t cover Daemon’s hiring of Blood and Cheese in that much detail. This tracks with the rest of the tome, which is essentially a faux-historical text, rather than a conventional novel.

Related: House of the Dragon: How Does Rhaenyra Targaryen Die in the Book?

That said, Daemon openly declares “A son for a son” in Fire & Blood, and it’s clear he’s referring to Jaehaerys and King Aegon II’s other children, not Aemond. Presumably, Daemon set his sights on the kids rather than their uncle because they were easier targets. It’s callous logic – and totally in keeping with the brutal tone of Martin’s wider A Song of Ice and Fire series.

House of the Dragon Season 2 is currently airing on HBO and Max, with new episodes dropping Sundays.

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Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.