Warning: Contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, « The Black Queen, » and George R.R. Martin’s book, Fire & Blood.Jacaerys Velaryon’s death is quietly set up in House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale. Rhaenyra Targaryen has already lost one of the sons she had with Laenor Velaryon (or Harwin Strong…), as Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar killed Lucerys Velaryon in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10. It was a brutal moment that properly instigated the Dance of the Dragons, but unfortunately for Rhaenyra, it isn’t the last time she will lose a son in the battle against the greens. Jace is safe for now – unlike Luke, his trips as a messenger to the Vale and the North will not prove nearly so dangerous – but eventually he will be killed during the civil war.
During one conversation in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale, Corlys Velaryon mentions the need to “seal the Gullet” to even further protect against the Triarchy, with Rhaenys Targaryen set to patrol it for now. The Gullet is a key body of water south of Dragonstone, which helps connect Blackwater Bay (and so King’s Landing) to the Narrow Sea. The mention of it is pertinent, because it sets up one of House of the Dragon’s biggest battles, the Battle of the Gullet, a major sea conflict led by Corlys’ fleet against the Triarchy’s forces. Unfortunately, it’s also at this battle where Jacaerys will die, killed on the back of his dragon, Vermax.
The Battle Of The Gullet Explained: How & Why Jacaerys Velaryon Dies
With the Velaryon fleet commanding the Gullet and thus access to Blackwater Bay, Otto Hightower struck a deal with the Triarchy, gaining their support and having them agree to break the Velaryon hold in exchange for trade deals and access. Meanwhile, after more losses to the blacks, Rhaenyra fears for the safety of her remaining children. Joffrey is sent to the Vale, but Aegon and Viserys are to go to Pentos. On the way there, however, they and the ships accompanying them are ambushed by the Triarchy (with some 90 warships). Viserys is captured, but Aegon flies back to Dragonstone on his dragon, Stormcloud (who is wounded and dies upon reaching the island).
This prompts Jace to fly his dragon Vermax into the action, along with the dragons Vermithor (flown by Hugh Hammer), Seasmoke (Addam of Hull), Silverwing (Ulf White), and Sheepstealer (Nettles). The dragons lay waste to the Triarchy’s fleet, with only 28 warships surviving. However, Vermax flies too low during the battle at one point, and is seriously wounded and pulled down into the sea (accounts differ in whether it was a crossbow or a grapnel, but the end result is the dragon’s death). Jacaerys manages to jump free, but is fatally hit by a bolt from a crossbow. The Battle of the Gullet is a failure for both sides: the greens fail to break the hold, the Velaryons lose a third of their fleet, and Rhaenyra loses another son.
When Will Jacaerys’ Death Happen In House Of The Dragon?
When Jacaerys’ death happens largely depends on the approach taken to House of the Dragon’s timeline going forward. Whereas season 1 was expansive, covering several decades in 10 episodes, the Dance of the Dragons itself lasts just a couple of years and will likely be spread across three more seasons (though that’s to be confirmed). The Battle of the Gullet is less than a year into the Dance, but there are a lot of major moments and battles before that point.
At the earliest, Jacaerys’ death could happen at the end of House of the Dragon season 2, creating a dark parallel with Lucerys’ death in the season 1 finale. Alternatively, it could be saved for season 3 but, with a lot of drama and over a year of warfare still to come after it, would need to be within the first half of the season. So late in House of the Dragon season 2 or early in season 3 seem the most reasonable predictions for when Jacaerys’ death will happen.
All 10 episodes of House of the Dragon season 1 are now streaming on HBO Max.
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