House of the Dragon may only be in its first season, but watch what’s to come – episode 8 is already setting the stage for a truly epic showdown to come, as told in George RR Martin’s Fire and Blood.
Now, before we go any further, you should be warned that there are major show and book spoilers ahead. Don’t read below if you want to avoid learning major plot details that may play out in future seasons!
Still here? Then you’re ready to dig into spoilers. In Episode 8, Daemon and his nephew Aemond bring each other up more than once – although Daemon is firmly on team black and Aemond is on team green, the Targaryen duo haven’t clashed… yet.
Much later in the Dance of the Dragons, AKA the Targaryen civil war, Daemon and Aemond are set to clash in a legendary showdown, called the Battle Above the Gods Eye. The match is the culmination of a long-standing rivalry between the two.
Into battle, Aemond will ride Vhagar, the oldest and largest of the Targaryen dragons, while Daemon will be on his trusty Caraxes, that long, red and distinctly noodle-shaped creature.
And make no mistake, even though there are only two fighters involved, this is an epic clash. “Their roars echoed in God’s eye as the two fought and tore at each other, dark against a red-red sky,” Martin writes of the dragons. “So bright did their flames burn that the fishermen below feared that the clouds themselves had caught fire.”
Of course, it’s not just dragons who unleash hell on each other. Aemond makes the mistake of chaining himself to his saddle, while Daemon doesn’t – meaning Daemon can jump off Caraxes’ back and dive straight for his nephew, Valyrian sword drawn from steel. Emond, trapped in his saddle, can do nothing but watch: in fact, he “looked up in terror, staring at the chains that bound him to his saddle.”
However, all is in vain. Daemon rips off Aemond’s helmet and plunges his sword into his nephew’s blind eye, “so hard the point came out of the young prince’s neck.” Moments later, the badly injured dragons hit the water beneath them.
Tragically, both dragons perish in battle from the horrific wounds they inflict on each other. Vhagar’s blood is so hot that it boils the lake water. When Vhagar’s body is discovered, Aemond’s skeleton is still strapped to the saddle – and the Daemon’s sword is still in his eye socket, right up to the hilt. Ouch.
Demon’s body, meanwhile, was never found. Singers are said to believe he survived by avoiding being with his lover, who has yet to appear on the show. But Fire and Blood is presented as a collection of accounts from unreliable narrators, and in fact they agree that the Rogue Prince could not have fled the battle – despite what the stories spread by the singers might say. Who the show is siding with is a mystery for now, so Daemon might still get a Laenor-style happy ending.
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