House Of The Dragon: All Of Helaena Targaryen’s Premonitions From Season 1 & What They Could Mean
This list contains spoilers from House of the Dragon season 1 & Fire & Blood!House of the Dragon has concluded a seminal first season celebrating with HBO’s biggest viewership of a finale since its predecessor, Game of Thrones. Together the final two episodes act as the true finale as the Blacks and Greens begin racing to war with both Rhaenyra and Alicent enkindled by their knowledge of Aegon the Conqueror’s dream, whether they understand the true scope of it or not. This was a revolutionary moment in the season premiere as Aegon came to conquer Westeros based on his premonition of the White Walker’s return.
While Viserys and Rhaenyra heed this burden, Daemon is disinterested, claiming, “dreams didn’t make us kings. Dragons did.” However, dreams and prophecies beyond Aegon’s are incredibly important to House Targaryen as many have been able to see into the future. This would include newly-crowned Queen Helaena Targaryen – who either has true dragon dreams like Aegon or Daenerys or not – and is seemingly able to portend the future. Her riddles foreshadow several key events and, in one case, have multiple interpretations.
Played by Evie Allen, she is introduced in « The Princess and the Queen, » but at first, she just seems like a strange girl who likes bugs. As such, her first line analyzing the number of legs and eyes of an insect might not seem more than it is. It’s not a true prophecy like The Prince That Was Promised from the books, but it has deep metaphoric meaning. She states, “this one has sixty rings, and two pairs of legs each. That’s two-hundred and forty. It has eyes, though I don’t believe it can see. The last ring has no legs at all.”
This could be taken to foreshadow the dying of the dragons. At this time, House Targaryen is as strong as ever, with many dragons under their yolk, and while the signs are all around him, King Viserys is blind to the growing unrest within his own family. As a result, the dragons will dance, and in the end, they will all die, extinct to the world until Daenerys walks into fire. The last line could also foretell the crippling of her brother-husband, Aegon, and the eventual demise of their line, with House Targaryen only living on through Rhaenyra’s son, Viserys.
“He’ll have to close an eye,” she stated while Alicent told her brother, Aemond, that he will one day have a dragon. This instantly sparked the idea that Helaena is a dreamer in the minds of book readers as they knew what was to come. He would go on to claim Vhagar, the largest and oldest living dragon in season 1, on Driftmark in an incredibly stunning sequence. However, in exchange, his eye would be cut out by young Lucerys Velaryon when Aemond boldly threatens to murder Jacaerys.
That moment forever changed Aemond’s life and, frankly, the fate of the Targaryens, but no one noticed at the moment. It was just Helaena being Helaena, saying something obscure and unimportant. Obviously, it stuck with Aemond, given his actions in the season finale, antagonizing Luke – while also showing the stylish sapphire he hides under his eye patch. This led to the young princes’ death over Shipbreaker Bay, the moment that launched the Dance of the Dragons.
In « Driftmark, » while most mourned Laena Velaryon’s passing – and Aegon reveled in wine – Helaena continued to spin strange tales while playing with bugs. She says, “Hand turns loom” moment overall showed how intricate her premonitions were. Not all would be as obvious as “He’ll have to close an eye.” Although six years away, this speaks to the signs of the coming war, and each line is dissected.
Specifically, “Hand turns loom” presumably refers to Otto Hightower and how his power-hungry and maniacal machinations started this. He pushes both sides to war relentlessly. “Spool of green, spool of black,” references the iconic green and black dresses from Fire & Blood – the signifiers for the diverging sides, the Greens and the Blacks. Finally, “Dragons of flesh, weaving dragons of thread” heralds the further redesign of House Targaryen’s sigil and tapestries. Rhaenyra would keep the traditional black and red coloring, while Aegon would sport a three-headed green dragon. Although in the text, it’s golden for his dragon, Sunfyre, that changed to make the distinction even more strong.
Interestingly, the finale gives even more meaning to the last line. It was Arrax and Vhagar, acting of their own accord, who fought above Shipbreaker Bay. While the histories will say Aemond ordered her and the groups were already divided, it was Vhagar who started the Dance – a dragon of flesh who started the weaving.
Starting with « The Lord of the Tides, » Phia Saban took over as Helaena, who gave another more obvious premonition, “Beware the beast beneath the boards.” This got many people theorizing about all sorts of interpretations, yet the ending of « The Green Council » seemingly gave the definitive answer. When Rhaenys snuck down to Meleys, they became the beasts beneath the boards, proving her right when they erupted out of the floor.
This was a much-needed moment for Rhaenys, a character who deserved more screen time, and is the best interpretation of Helaena’s warning. After Helaena, Aegon, Alicent, and the other Greens survived this near encounter with death, it’s interesting to think how they’ll treat the Queen now – if they will heed her further warnings, or continue to ignore them as flights of mania.
There are other strong cases for what “Beware the beast beneath the boards” means, including being about her own brother, Aegon. This comes primarily from the fact that Arryk and Erryk Cargyll find him sequestered in a hidden cabinet with the Sept. Aegon had proved many times over that he is unfit to rule, and frankly comes out and says it – although he still ranks highly in that regard compared to other Aegon Targaryens.
However, upon hearing the screams and cheers of the people attending his coronation, Aegon shows a kindling interest in being king. Perhaps Helaena’s words could come to mean that the beast was Aegon’s ambition and wrathfulness, lurking beneath his already cruel surface that will come to show itself more and more as the Dance of the Dragons unfold. This has merit as she says it during the dinner with her family, just after Jacaerys’ toast to Aegon and her own to Rhaena and Baela, during which she shares how bad of a husband Aegon is. She later repeats this in « The Green Council » when Alicent is telling her of her father’s death, possibly signifying that Aegon can’t be trusted.
Finally, also in « The Green Council, » she is having a conversation with her handmaiden that, while not another true prophecy, speaks to the overarching themes of House of the Dragon. She states, “It is our fate, I think, to crave what is always given to another. If one possesses a thing, the other will take it away.” This has important meaning and can apply to nearly every character thus far, whether for jealousy, greed, or revenge.
Alicent also coveted the freedom and privilege Rhaenyra unknowingly enjoyed, enhancing their split. Otto and Daemon see nothing but opportunities to grab more power from others, not solely out of ambition, but also out of deep-seated desires for recognition and true appreciation. Lucerys still had two eyes and Aemond wanted one as retribution. It’s this game of metaphoric checks and balances that leads them all to their doom.