'House of the Dragon' Season 2, episode 4: Was Aemond trying to kill Aegon?

'House of the Dragon' Season 2, episode 4: Was Aemond trying to kill Aegon?
By: Mashable Posted On: July 08, 2024 View: 24

House of the Dragon Season 2 has already had a few shocking moments, but episode 4 took things to whole new, dragon-riding heights.

But looking past the battle, the tragic death of Rhaenys (Eve Best), and the (possible?) death of Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), there's also an interesting question of motive: Was Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) trying to kill his brother in the fray? Did he want him dead?

It's not entirely clear-cut in the episode, so let's weigh up the evidence.

What did Aemond do to Aegon in the battle?

Aegon flying his little dragon into battle was never part of the plan. That's clear from the expression on the face of Sir Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) when he sees the king flying overhead on Sunfyre, and even clear when a hidden Aemond mutters "idiot" as his brother travels by. So the first thing we can say with certainty is that what happened to Aegon wasn't a premeditated murder.

But what about an opportunistic one? When Aemond does take to the sky, he flies Vhagar directly at his brother and Rhaenys on Meraxes as they're locked in a dual. Aegon at first seems relieved, but that quickly turns to terror when Aemond shouts the trademark "dracarys" command and Vhagar bathes both of them in flames, causing Aegon to plummet out of the sky.

At this point you could still argue that the damage done to Aegon could be an accident – maybe Aemond thought he had no other choice with the dragons so closely deadlocked? – but this theory gets scuppered by the episode's final scene.

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When Cole regains consciousness and goes looking for Aegon, he finds Aemond walking towards his fallen body with his sword drawn — looking as though he's about to strike. But when he hears Cole's voice Aemond sheaths the blade instead, picks up his brother's dagger, and simply points to the fallen body before walking away.

If Cole hadn't appeared when he did, though, Aemond's intention seemed pretty clear: he was going to finish Aegon off.

Why might Aemond have wanted Aegon dead?

OK, OK. So it's stretching it a bit, but you could still argue that maybe Aemond was trying to kill his brother at the end there, possibly in an act of mercy. Perhaps he was only planning to use the sword to make sure that Aegon – who looked to be on death's door anyway – didn't suffer?

Maybe, but I'm personally not buying it. The real clue is the look on Aemond's face when he shouts "dracarys", and his expression when he turns to see Cole behind him in the clearing. Those are the faces of a man with murder on the mind.

And it makes sense based on their relationship, doesn't it? Although they clearly get on better than they did as children, Aemond still has a big chip on his shoulder about the teasing he suffered in his youth — teasing that would have been fresh in his mind after his brother discovered him in the brothel in episode 3 and started to drunkenly mock him.

Is it likely that Aemond wanted Aegon dead? Yes. And did he see Aegon's sudden arrival on the battlefield as a chance to make that death happen? Also yes.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max.

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