WARNING: This article MAY contain spoilers for the House of the Dragon season finale, as well as the events that will follow in season 2. Continue reading at your own discretion.
House of the Dragon is coming in hot – pun intended – with the Dance of the Dragons officially starting in the season finale. We know that the war is about to begin, but how does the bloodshed actually start – that is the question. If the show follows the source material, the first major bloodshed will be the death of Lucerys Velaryon. So, how does Lucerys die?
Lucerys and his dragon, Arrax, were on a diplomatic mission to Storm’s End to speak to Borros Baratheon and get him on the Black’s side. However, Aemond Targaryen is already there, and as they leave, Aemond and his dragon, Vhagar, kill Lucerys and Arrax in a storm.
If you remember, it was Luke (Lucerys’ nickname) who poked Aemond’s eye out when they were kids, so Aemond killed him in a vengeful fit. The storm hid what actually happened, but it officially marked the start of the Civil War that would engulf Westeros. Here’s how it happened and how it may play out in the series.
Who is Lucerys Velaryon?
Those who never read the books and only rely on the show for information might have a hard time determining who Lucerys Velaryon is since his role in the show so far was a minor one. In the books, however, he plays a vital role in the events that led to the beginning of the war, and it all started when he was still nothing but a child.
Lucerys is the second son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and – allegedly – her first husband, Laenor Velaryon. However, it’s kind of a public secret that the three brothers – Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey – were actually sons of Rhaenyra and her lover, Ser Harwin Strong.
The events that led to Luke’s eventual demise started when they were only children. After Laena Velaryon – their auntie – passed away, Aemond Targaryen claimed her dragon, Vhagar, the largest dragon known to exist at the time.
A scuffle between the boys ensued, as Luke was angry that Aemond claimed the dragon that was supposed to be Rhaena’s – Laena and Daemon’s daughter. In the books, Rhaena was already betrothed to Luke since they were three and four years old, whereas, in the show, it happened after this particular incident.
Anyways, the scuffle ended when Aemond called Jacaerys and Lucerys bastards, and Luke stabbed him in the eye. It would eventually be a part of the reason why Lucerys died years later.
How does Lucerys Velaryon die?
Before we continue with our topic of discussion, I want to highlight once again that the following article contains potential spoilers for the show. If you want your experience to be spoiler-free, stop reading right here.
Lucerys Velaryon is still alive after Episode 9 of House of the Dragon Season 1, but if the show follows the source material, it won’t be long until that changes. So, how does Lucerys Velaryon die?
In the books, Luke is thirteen years old, not really ready for battle, but experienced with riding his dragon, Arrax. Before the actual war had started, both sides made efforts to grow their army and get as many allies to their side as they could. Rhaenyra sent Luke and Arrax on a diplomatic mission to Storm’s End, where Luke ought to speak to Borros Baratheon and get him to join the Blacks.
However, as Lucerys arrives, he realizes that his uncle Aemond – the same guy whose eye he poked out when they were kids – is already there, speaking to Borros. Luke refuses to battle, saying he is only there as a messenger, trying to complete the mission given to him.
As Luke and Arrax leave, a big storm brews atop the skies. Aemond, determined to get his revenge, follows Luke on his own dragon, Vhagar. The storm slows Lucerys and Arrax down while Aemond and Vhagar quickly catch up with them, as Vhagar is a much bigger, stronger dragon.
The clouds and the storm hide how the battle exactly transpired, but it was quite brief. Lucerys’ and Arrax’s bodies washed ashore not long after. That particular event marked the official beginning of the bloodshed and the Dance of the Dragon, as Daemon arranged for one of Aegon’s (Aemond’s older brother, the usurper to the throne) sons to be killed as retribution.
There was a tiny, tiny sliver of hope that everything could be resolved diplomatically, but after Luke’s death, there was really no return, and the bloodshed was just beginning.
Will Lucerys die in the House of the Dragon season one finale?
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the finale premieres this Sunday to know for sure if Lucerys will die in the same manner as he did in the books. It would be a major, major change from the source material if Luke lives to fight another day and survives the next episode, but I highly doubt it will happen.
I believe that Aemond will get his revenge and kill Lucerys in the season finale. Perhaps the manner of his death will slightly change, but the results will be the same – it will mark the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons.
That being said, we’ve already seen some major changes to the story, so it wouldn’t be wild if the showrunners chose to change this particular storyline as well. The survival of Laenor Velaryon, the epic scene of Aegon’s coronation being disrupted by Princess Rhaenys… Who’s to say Lucerys’ death won’t be changed, too?
We’ll learn more this Sunday, October 23, when the House of the Dragon season finale premieres on HBO.