It was never a secret that House of the Dragon was going to follow the same theme that was prevalent in Game of Thrones, and that means that this series focuses on political battles between different people that are trying to gain the upper hand in their status in the Seven Kingdoms. Of course, that means that there will be a lot of characters that will die in House of the Dragon, as this was a common trope in Game of Thrones and in George RR Martin’s books.
Now, with that said, we are still in the earlier portions of House of the Dragon, as we can expect more people to die somewhere down the line as the series progresses. But, even though we aren’t there in the full-blown war yet, we still know that there have been quite a number of characters that have died so far. So, with that in mind, let’s look at every major House of the Dragon character killed so far.
1. King Jaehaerys Targaryen
House of the Dragon opened up by allowing us to see the events that led to King Viserys becoming the one to sit on the Iron Throne. Known as the Old King and quite possibly the best among the Targaryen kings because of how peaceful his reign was and how he didn’t have a lot of enemies during his time, Jaehaerys reigned for more than five decades and is the longest-reigning king in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.
But while Jaehaerys had a peaceful reign that is still regarded as the best during the Targaryen dynasty, he lost both of his sons before they could even sit on the Iron Throne. As such, during the final years of his life, he called for an election among the different lords and ladies of Westeros to decide who should become the heir to the Iron Throne. And while there were a lot of contenders, only Prince Viserys I and Princess Rhaenys had legitimate claims.
While Princess Rhaenys was the daughter of the eldest son of Jaehaerys, the fact that she was a woman was what made the lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms choose Prince Viserys, who became king shortly after the election. The reason why Jaehaerys’s death is one of the most important deaths in House of the Dragon is that this was ultimately the event that made people question whether or not a woman could rule the Seven Kingdoms and why people actually thought that Prince Aegon II was a better choice compared to Princess Rhaenyra, who was the named heir to the Iron Throne.
2. Aemma Arryn
Aemma Arryn is the queen of King Jaehaerys and the mother of Princess Rhaenyra. She was introduced during the earlier part of episode 1 when Rhaenyra went to her first before she joined her father in the Small Council meeting. When she was revealed, Aemma was pregnant with what should have been the first-born son of King Viserys. Knowing that he was about to be blessed with a baby boy, Viserys held a great tournament in honor of his son’s birth.
It was during the tournament that Aemma went into labor. But the problem was that she couldn’t push the baby out. And that forced the king to make a tough decision of allowing the maesters to perform a cesarean section on her. However, this led to Queen Aemma’s death, as she died of blood loss.
Queen Aemma’s death is an important part of House of the Dragon because this was the event that forced King Viserys to eventually marry Alicent Hightower so that he could produce more heirs. As such, while she was only there for a few minutes, Aemma’s impact could be felt throughout the entire series.
3. Prince Baelon Targaryen
When Queen Aemma was in labor, King Viserys realized that he could only save one or the other because the queen was unable to push the baby out of her womb naturally. Obsessed with finally getting a son after numerous attempts in the past, Viserys chose to save the baby instead of his queen, as Aemma’s belly was sliced open so that the maesters could get the baby out of her womb.
However, after Queen Aemma died, the baby boy died soon after he was born, as this was supposed to be Prince Baelon Targaryen. It wasn’t specified how the boy died, but it was clear that he didn’t last long in the world because, as Prince Daemon said, he was the “heir for a day.” Baelon’s death and Daemon’s insults were what ultimately forced King Viserys to name Princess Rhaenyra his heir. And it was this act that led to a series of events that culminated in the Targaryen civil war called the Dance of the Dragons.
4. Ser Ryam Redwyne
We only saw Ser Ryam Redwyne briefly during the events of House of the Dragon, as he didn’t have a lot of screen time. In fact, he only appeared in one episode and was mentioned briefly in the next one. But while he didn’t have a lot of screen time, he was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and was a knight of legendary reputation because he served both Jaehaerys and Viserys with honor.
Ser Ryam Redwyne died in his sleep in between episodes 1 and 2 of House of the Dragon. While he may seem like a minor character, it was his death that led to King Viserys ordering Princess Rhaenyra to choose a new knight of the Kingsguard to replace Ser Redwyne. She chose Ser Criston Cole due to his battle experience (and possibly because of her attraction to him) as the new knight of the Kingsguard that would serve as her sworn protector. And because Ser Criston’s role in the upcoming Targaryen civil war is indispensable, Ser Ryam Redwyne’s death was an important part of the storyline.
5. Prince-Admiral Craghas Drahar/The Crabfeeder
Prince-Admiral Craghas Drahar was first introduced when he was mentioned during the Small Council meeting earlier in the series as Lord Corlys Velaryon was discussing the matters involving the Stepstones and the presence of the army called the Triarchy, which was a force composed of several soldiers from three different Free Cities in Essos. It was Drahar that led them, as he became known as the Crabfeeder due to the fact that he fed the pirates of the Stepstones to the crabs.
Eventually, the Crabfeeder became a pirate himself as he was a danger to the Westerosi ships that tried to sail through the Stepstones. While Corlys Velaryon implored King Viserys that the Crabfeeder was going to be a threat, the king chose to ignore it because he didn’t want to go to war with the Free Cities of Essos.
The team of Corlys Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen mustered up a force that attacked the Stepstones, as the war against the Triarchy lasted for three years. A suicide mission by Daemon ultimately allowed the Velaryon army to face the Triarchy in open battle, as the Targaryen prince chased the Crabfeeder into the caves. It wasn’t shown how the Crabfeeder was killed, but it was clear that Prince Daemon sliced his torso cleanly using Dark Sister as he was seen dragging the upper half of the Crabfeeder through the ground while he exited the caves and allowed the Triarchy forces to see that their leader had been killed.
6. Jerrel Bracken
During the opening of episode 4, we saw that Princess Rhaenyra was entertaining lords and knights that were offering their hands to them in the hopes of convincing her to take one of them as her husband. One such lord that the young Samwell Blackwood, who was still a child but was eager to offer his services to the princess.
While he was still talking and making his offers to Rhaenyra, an older person from House Bracken was insulting him in the background. This was Jerrel Bracken, who belongs to a house that has been at war with the Blackwoods for a very long time. Eventually, Rhaenyra dismissed Samwell as the young boy was about to go. Nevertheless, Bracken called the child craven, and that was when a battle between them began.
Initially, the younger Blackwood didn’t stand a chance against the bigger and older Bracken. But he had enough fight in him to find a way to stab his larger opponent with his sword as Jerrel Bracken died on the floors of Dragonstone. It is this death that will further fuel the animosity between the Blackwoods and the Brackens heading into the Dance of the Dragons.
7. Lady Rhea Royce
As early as episode 1, we learned that Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce but never consummated the marriage with her because he just wasn’t interested in her, who he described to be uglier than the sheep of the Vale. Of course, it was also the fact that he was still married that prevented King Viserys from marrying Rhaenyra to him. And he banished Daemon to live his life in the Vale together with his wife.
Episode 5 opened with Rhea Royce’s introduction as she was hunting out in the Vale. But as she was riding, she saw a hooded figure in the form of Daemon Targaryen, who she insulted for getting banished by the king and for coming back to her empty-handed. But while she was still insulting her husband, Rhea realized that Daemon was scaring her horse. Daemon approached the horse, who sensed danger in the Targaryen, as Rhea was forcefully dismounted.
It was clear that Rhea Royce had a broken spine after she fell to the ground. Nevertheless, she was still alive, as she insulted Daemon for his inability to finish. That was when the Targaryen prince used a rock to crush her head off-screen. Rhea’s death was what allowed Daemon to become single again, as he ended up marrying Laena Velaryon off-screen before the events of episode 6.
8. Ser Joffrey Lonmouth
During the events of episode 5, we learned that Ser Laenor Velaryon, who was Princess Rhaenyra’s betrothed, actually preferred the company of men, as this was something that the princess already knew when she suggested that he did his own thing while she did hers during their marriage to one another. Later in the episode, Laenor was seen having a romantic moment with Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, who was revealed to be his lover.
Of course, Rhaenyra and Laenor agreed to marry one another because it was their duty to the realm. During the banquet for the betrothal of Rhaenyra and Laenor, Joffrey quickly realized that Ser Criston Cole was the princess’s lover. He came to the knight and told him about what he knew about him and Rhaenyra while also blackmailing him regarding this secret.
Cleary emotionally affected by all of the events surrounding his life, Criston Cole brawled with Joffrey Lonmouth while the latter was dancing with Laenor. The Kingsguard knight pinned Joffrey to the floor and pummeled his head with his armored fist. Joffrey’s skull caved in as he died at the hands of the emotionally unstable Ser Criston Cole, all while Laenor was wailing at the death of the man that he loved.