Movie Reviews

House Of The Dragon Season 2, Episode 4 Ending Explained

Includes MASSIVE SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4, and for Fire & Blood, the show’s source material.


Summary

  • House of the Dragon’s season 2, episode 4 features the Battle of Rook’s Rest, a pivotal moment in the Dance of the Dragons.
  • Aegon II’s fate remains uncertain, as his death would make Aemond the new king, while Rhaenys sacrifices herself for the Blacks.
  • The war’s beginning sets the stage for more battles, political discourse, and new dragonriders, as the Blacks and Greens fight for the rightful heir.


House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4, is undoubtedly the show’s biggest and most action-packed episode, with a ton of material to break down. The HBO prequel series is based on the book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, examining the peak of the Targaryen dynasty when the family ruled Westeros with dragon power. After the death of King Viserys I and his succession is in question, the realm falls into chaos as the Blacks and Greens split into factions representing who they believe to be the rightful heir: Rhaenyra Targaryen or Aegon II Targaryen.

House of the Dragon season 1’s ending saw first blood drawn by Aemond Targaryen, who killed Lucerys Velaryon, beginning a bloody, violent cycle that’s carried over into season 2. In episode 4, the TV series shows the first major battle of the Dance of the Dragons, the Battle of Rook’s Rest, where the war officially lives up to its name. Criston Cole baits the Blacks into sending out Rhaenys as their dragonrider to combat the Greens’ infantry forces, hoping to ambush her with the much larger dragon, Vhagar, ridden by Prince Aemond Targaryen.



Is Aegon Dead In House Of The Dragon Season 2, Episode 4 Ending?

Aegon Doesn’t Die Here In The Book, So It’s Unlikely He’s Dead In The Show

King Aegon II wasn’t part of Criston Cole and Aemond’s plan to ambush the Blacks at Rook’s Rest, but he arrives at the battle on his own initiative. Aegon rides Sunfyre, considered the most beautiful among the dragons in House of the Dragon for its vibrant golden scales. Unfortunately for the king, he’s torn apart fairly quickly by Rhaenys and Meleys, and Aemond’s arrival only seals the deal, as the younger prince betrays his older brother with dragonfire, sending him to the ground.

In
Fire & Blood
, he’s wounded heavily in the Battle of Rook’s Rest but not killed.


The episode leaves Aegon’s fate a mystery, but it would be surprising if he was actually dead. In Fire & Blood, he’s wounded heavily in the Battle of Rook’s Rest but not killed. It would be an enormous deviation from the story if Aegon were to be killed off so early, and not likely a choice the show would make. House of the Dragon has made many book changes, but in terms of key events, it has consistently followed the blueprint laid out in George R.R. Martin’s book.

Why Did Aemond Try To Kill Aegon (Twice)?

If Aegon Dies, Aemond Becomes King


Like many of the brothers in House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, there’s no love between Aemond and Aegon. Aemond considers his older brother to be a fool who’s unworthy of the crown, while he’s worked tirelessly, made sacrifices, and taken enormous risks to mold himself into a weapon for his faction. It’s not dissimilar to the relationship between Daemon and Viserys, though Daemon deeply admired his older brother.

Aemond despises Aegon, and he sees the Battle of Rook’s Rest as an opportunity to kill his older brother and lay the blame on Rhaenys. Following the conflict, he approaches Aegon after his fall to seal the deal with his sword if he isn’t already dead. If Aegon dies, Aemond would become king, as it’s too late now for the Greens to backtrack and give Rhaenyra the throne. At this moment, Aemond has everything to gain and nothing to lose from taking out his brother.

Rhaenys Death Explained & What It Means For Rhaenyra

Rhaenys Resigned To Her Fate And Died Defending Rook’s Rest

Rhaenys in House of the Dragon season 2


Rhaenys Targaryen enters the battle for the Blacks and does a terrific job in dealing a blow to the Greens, eliminating hundreds of armed forces and sending King Aegon to the ground. She could’ve left matters like that, making it an astounding victory for the Blacks despite the loss of Rook’s Rest, but she decides to turn around and hold her ground, taking on the far bigger Vhagar. It’s a massive risk, but Rhaenys seems resigned to her fate and decides to go down fighting.

Rhaenys’ death is confirmed, and it has bigger implications for Rhaenyra going forward. Rhaenys is the wife of Corlys Velaryon, Rhaenyra’s most powerful ally, and he’ll be quite upset by her death, creating discourse among the Blacks. After all, he’s already distrustful of Rhaenyra and Daemon, and it was Rhaenys who brought their house over to the Blacks in the first place. Not to mention, their side has lost one of its most powerful dragonriders, weakening their position going forward.


Why Rhaenyra Tells Jacaerys About Aegon’s Dream

The Dance Of The Dragons Has Begun & Rhaenyra Must Ensure The Realm’s Safety

Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) telling Jacaerys (Harry Collett) about Aegon's dream at Dragonstone in House of the Dragon season 2

With the war truly beginning and chaos erupting, Jacaerys has to know the larger stakes at risk.

As the Battle of Rook’s Rest begins, it’s spliced with a scene of Rhaenyra telling Jacaerys of the Aegon’s Dream prophecy, which was passed down to her by Viserys in season 1. Jacaerys is Rhaenyra’s heir, and she was likely to tell him at some point, but this is a pivotal moment for her to do so. She’s sending a dragonrider out to war, elevating the stakes and danger of the Dance of the Dragons, and she wants to ensure that Aegon’s Dream is secured as best as possible. With the war truly beginning and chaos erupting, Jacaerys has to know the larger stakes at risk.


How House Of The Dragon Season 2, Episode 4’s Ending Changes The Book

Aemond Doesn’t Betray Aegon In The Book

King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) standing up at a table in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4

In Fire & Blood, Aegon is complicit in Cole and Aemond’s plan to ambush the Blacks at Rook’s Rest, and he rides with his brother to attack Rhaenys. While fighting both brothers, Rhaenys and Meleys still manage to deal a near-fatal blow to King Aegon but eventually fall to Aemond. The biggest change in the episode is that Aemond betrays his brother, hoping to seize the crown for himself. Rhaenys is also never described as having the opportunity to escape after bringing down Aegon.

The Dance Of The Dragons Has Begun – What Happens Next

There Will Be More Battles, Political Discourse, & New Dragonriders To Come

Addam of Hull seeing Seasmoke in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 2


With the Battle of Rook’s Rest, the Dance of the Dragons has officially begun, setting even more events into motion. On both sides, there will be political discourse following the event. With Aegon severely injured, Aemond rules King’s Landing in his stead, bringing the Greens more competence and making them more dangerous. For the Blacks, Corlys Velaryon will be quite unhappy with the loss of his wife, likely leading to tension between him and Rhaenyra.

There will be more battles to come, but Rook’s Rest is likely the main stage for season 2, and the rest of the season should be spent with the Blacks trying to replenish their dragon rider force. There are many untamed dragons roaming Dragonstone and Driftmark, and the Blacks have already mentioned welcoming potential riders to try and claim them. Many of House of the Dragon season 2’s new characters will attempt to mount dragons, immediately making them crucial players in the war. There’s a lot to be excited about with the rest of House of the Dragon’s sophomore season.


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