As any good finale is, the season finale for House of the Dragon is a heavy one. Representing a tipping point in the series, Prince Lucerys Velaryon, son of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon, is killed in a tragic accident on dragonback. Was it really an accident? What does this mean for the coming war? And could the young Prince Lucerys Velaryon have survived?
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Lucerys Velaryon’s Death
The events of the season 1 finale took a dark turn that has shocking implications for the coming season and the impending war. Rhaenyra Targaryen, now the queen, send her eldest sons, Jacaerys and Lucerys Velaryon, as envoys to confirm support from potential allies across Westeros, and we follow Lucerys on his dragon Arrax as he travels to Storm’s End to meet with Lord Borros at the ancestral seat of House Baratheon.
While there, he sees that Aemond is already there, trying to win Lord Borros over to his family’s side. Seeing that his efforts would be inconsequential, Prince Lucerys starts for home at Dragonstone. Before he leaves, his uncle Aemond threatens him regarding an old grudge the two had between them. Told not to fight in Lord Borros’ home, Luc takes to the skies, unaware that his angry uncle was following him.
Trying desperately to get away from danger, Lucerys relies on the speed and manoeuvrability of his smaller dragon to try to escape, but his dragon, Arrax, hits Vhagar with a burst of flames to the face, and Vhagar takes matters into her own hands. Ignoring Aemond’s screams, she grabs both dragon and rider in her enormous maw. Because of the unfortunate events, it is thought that Aemond’s dragon Vhagar killed both the dragon and dragon rider.
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Could He Have Survived?
There are a ton of theories surrounding the fateful events of the season finale of House of the Dragon, starting with the usual “an of screen death is not a death”, and because we didn’t physically see Luc’s death for ourselves, that he could be alive. Luckily for us, the theory is based on more evidence than this Game of Thrones legacy theory.
The theory was suggested on Facebook that Lucerys could have survived, with several points of pseudo-evidence to affirm it. Firstly, “If you look closely at the attack, you can clearly see that Arrax’s mount is still intact with what appears to be Luc climbing up the side of it, holding on.” And the statement is true. Although it is implied, we never see Vhagar killing Prince Lucerys Velaryon, but even if she hadn’t, some say that the fall from the dragon would have been enough to kill him.
Lucerys and Aemond were fighting among the clouds, and from that height, people are saying that it would be impossible to survive a fall from that height. “Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Absolutely.” The Facebook post shares some fascinating facts about falling from incredible heights. Lucerys and Aemond would have been just below the low-level cloud line which is somewhere between 2,000-6,500 ft. There are cases where people have survived falls from an altitude of 30,000 ft, so it is possible, especially considering he was nestled between a wing and a piece of his dragon’s body to possibly soften the impact.
Some fans refer to the source material as proof that the young prince is dead, however, his father, Laenor Velaryon, is living proof that just because there is a precedent for characters dying in the book based on personal accounts, those characters end up surviving. George R.R. Martin himself has said that the books are merely first-hand accounts of events that may differ from the TV series which reveal the truth about the situation, not being limited to only one perspective.
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What Does This Mean For House of the Dragon?
Although it was technically an accident, Aemond lost control of his dragon, causing the death of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen’s son, Prince Lucerys Velaryon. Up until this point, Rhaenyra has made considerable efforts to remain peaceful, especially since the dying request of her father, King Viserys.
Although it might have been an accident, her son is now dead, and nothing quite hurts as much as losing a child. “But now he’s done it, and he has to decide whether or not he’s gonna own it in his travel back to King’s Landing. Because obviously if the usurping of the throne [the greens] crowning Aegon in the dragonpit wasn’t the start of the war, certainly killing one of the queen’s sons is,” shared showrunner Ryan Condal regarding the ramifications of Aegon’s actions.
With war in her eyes, as she learns about the death of her son, there is no doubt that these events have caused the start of the Dance of the Dragon, likely to kick off in the premiere of season 2.
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Do you think Lucerys Velaryon survived?