A dragon roaring on a rainy night in House of the Dragon Season 2

House of the Dragon Season 2: Did [SPOILER] Really Just Die?

Warning: The following article contains major spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 4, “The Red Dragon and the Gold.”

Recommended Videos

House of the Dragon Season 2’s latest episode, “A Dance of Dragons,” seemingly kills off two major characters – but did they really die? Or was it a fake-out?

Related: Are Daenerys’ Dragon Eggs in House of the Dragon Season 2?

House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 4’s Big Deaths, Explained

House of the Dragon Season 2’s first dragon versus dragon showdown — and it’s a sight to behold. First up are Princess Rhaenys’ Meleys and King Aegon II’s Sunfyre, with the former proving more than a match for the latter. After the battle-hardened Rhaenys and Meleys are through with relative noobs Aegon and Sunfyre, they’re in bad shape. Rhaenys and Meleys don’t have the upper hand for long, though.

Prince Aemond and his super-sized mount Vhagar soon launch a sneaky counter-attack, and the much smaller Meleys is visibly outgunned. Rhaenys and her dragon aren’t the first to go down, though. Instead, that dubious honor goes to Aegon and Sunfyre, who are quickly caught in the crossfire and plummet from the sky. Meleys lasts much longer, however, she’s ultimately no match for Vhagar, who kills her with a vicious chomp to the neck.

Related: Is Balerion in House of the Dragon?

Meleys’ demise spells disaster for Rhaenys, too. Miles in the air and strapped to the back of a rapidly descending dragon, the so-called “Queen Who Never Was” can only close her eyes and wait for impact. It arrives soon enough — and there’s no way Rhaenys survives. Not only do she and Meleys collide with Rook’s Rest castle’s battlements, but Meleys bursts into flames immediately after.

By contrast, Aegon II’s fate is slightly less clear. True, when Aemond and Ser Criston Cole come upon the king and his dragon, both are in pretty bad shape. Yet Sunfyre is still breathing and Aegon — while he’s definitely unconscious — isn’t necessarily dead. Does this mean Aegon’s fall wasn’t as fatal as it looked? Only time (and House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 5) will say for certain!

Do Rhaenys and Aegon II Die in George R.R. Martin’s Book?

Yes and no. Yes, Rhaenys dies during Battle of Rook’s Rest in House of the Dragon Season 2’s source text, Fire & Blood. No, Aegon II doesn’t go out with her. That said, Fire & Blood author (and House of the Dragon co-creator) George R.R. Martin makes it clear that Aegon almost didn’t make it. The monarch’s injuries include broken bones and serious and extensive burns — his armor even melted into his left arm (ewwww).

Related: House of the Dragon Season 2: Who Is Alys Rivers?

Fortunately for the live-action Aegon, his condition looks less serious (or less graphic, at any rate) in House of the Dragon Season 2. Notably, he doesn’t have any noticeable burns. Presumably, this is because House of the Dragon‘s parent series, Game of Thrones, established that in TV continuity, Targaryens are more resistant to fire than other folk.

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

The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Leon Miller
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.