Did Aegon Targaryen actually die last night in ‘House Of The Dragon’?

Last night’s tense House of the Dragon, the best battle in Thrones since probably Battle of the Bastards, saw some notable casualties, but there are still some unanswered questions. If you looked this up online, you already know what I’m talking about.

That would be King Aegon Targaryen, but first we can’t forget the sacrifice of Rhaenys, who is declared dead, which is an echo of what happens in the book. We see Meleys die and Rhaenys falls dead shortly after. There’s a whole interview about her death with actress Eve Best. So yes, she’s dead, fallen into Cole and Aemond’s trap. But of course there was that wrinkle…

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That would be Aegon Targaryen deciding to drink and dragon, heading to Rook’s Rest where he probably thought he could just blow the castle down with dragonfire and look like he was doing something useful in the war. But fool that he is, he didn’t expect to be met by the more experienced dragonrider Rhaenys, nor his brother riding Vhagar, who seized the unexpected opportunity to try to take the throne.

We see Aemond purposefully shooting Aegon with dragonfire while he’s fighting Rhaenys, and the dragon and Aegon spiral down into the forest, their fates unknown. Once down there, we see a dying but not dead Sunfyre, and Aegon lying on the ground in his armor. Probably badly injured, maybe dead. But is he dead? There’s an answer in the book, but first, some questions you may have had.

Targaryens are not immune to dragonfire – This is established in the lore of the show, even though they are immune to regular fire, as we saw a few times with Daenerys. But that power has its limits, and that limit is dragonfire.

Valyrian steel is not immune to dragonfire – It may be the strongest metal in the land, but even that is not entirely immune to dragonfire. Not that Aegon was covered in it from head to toe anyway, with his head and face uncovered.

Targaryens are not immune to fall damage – I mean, besides the fire, he fell a thousand feet out of the sky. I guess you could say that maybe Sunfyre cushioned his fall, but still. And in this episode, the damage from the fall is definitely how Rhaenys died, since she wasn’t burned (like in the book).

Now, book spoilers follow.

Aegon is…alive? But barely. All the dragonfire actually melts Aegon’s Valyrian steel to his body, leaving him badly burned and bedridden. But he’s not dead, and therefore technically still king. That makes him the second invalid king in as many kings, but of course this creates a lot of problems in the future. More on that another time.

Aemond looked like he was going to execute him, but he held back when Cole showed up. Or put the dragon out of its misery? Either way, he clearly wants his brother dead, maybe he just didn’t want a witness. Still, Cole undoubtedly saw what he was trying to do. But Cole is also an idiot and often disloyal, so who knows if that matters.

Absolutely wild episode this week. Can’t wait to see the aftermath, and it’s going to be hard to ever top a fight like this.

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