Warning: Contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, « The Black Queen, » and George R.R. Martin’s book, Fire & Blood.Lucerys Velaryon dies in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, and it sets up the most horrifying scene to come in the Game of Thrones prequel. Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar killing Lucerys and Arrax is itself a brutal, tragic moment, and one that directly leads into the Dance of the Dragons. Rhaenyra Targaryen may have been reluctant to rush into civil war, but after the loss of her second born son it is no longer in question. That means a war that will tear the Seven Kingdoms in two, but also sets up a more specific revenge.
Aemond went after Lucerys because he demanded an eye for an eye. The revenge, then, will follow a similar bargaining agreement: a son for a son. That does not mean killing Aemond, though: the war is being fought against King Aegon II Targaryen, and since Queen Rhaenyra lost a son, so too must he. In Fire & Blood, that results in men called Blood and Cheese (a butcher and a ratcatcher, respectively) being hired by Mysaria – believed to be on the orders of Daemon Targaryen – to sneak into the Red Keep, bound Queen Alicent, and force Helaena Targaryen to choose which of her sons, Jaehaerys or Maelor, will die. Helaena chooses Maelor as the younger son, less likely to understand; Blood instead kills Jaehaerys, fleeing with his head.
There will be lots of deaths in House of the Dragon, from executions to being burned by dragons to dying on the battlefield. None, however, are as shocking or harrowing as what happens with Blood and Cheese. Part of that comes from the fact they are children, innocent victims of a war they don’t really understand, but it’s also how visceral the sequence is, even when told by a historian in Fire & Blood. There’s tension, fear, and a real sense of a line being crossed.
The sequence includes rape threats to Helaena’s daughter, and the threat all three kids will be killed if their mother doesn’t choose. It’s a horrifying situation that should be amplified and made even worse seeing it on TV, and the aftermath is equally bad. Helaena, so far one of the few purely decent characters in House of the Dragon, never recovers, sinking into depression and, later, madness. It’s a moment like Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding, that sends such a sense of horror and disgust that should linger long after the credits roll.
In Fire & Blood, the Blood and Cheese scene happens pretty swiftly after Rhaenyra and Daemon learn of Lucerys’ death at the hands (or dragon) of Aemond (just a handful of pages). That would suggest Blood and Cheese will happen early in House of the Dragon season 2, perhaps in its first couple of episodes. That would be a major jolt to begin a new run – similar to Joffrey Baratheon’s death in Game of Thrones season 4, episode 2 – but it is possible they could delay it.
The show could focus more on what happens with Aemond and the greens after his return from Storm’s End, and what happens with Jacaerys Velaryon at the Vale and in the North. That could then allow a more gradual build to Blood and Cheese, with subtle hints building to it, and having it happen as a shocking midpoint to flip House of the Dragon season 2 around. Whenever it happens, though, for those who’ve read the books and those who haven’t, Blood and Cheese will be the most horrifying moment of the entire show.
House of the Dragon will return for season 2 on HBO (release date TBC).