The biggest issue that the Targaryen and the Velaryons faced during episode 8 of House of the Dragon was the fact that Corlys did not name an heir to Driftmark. As such, because he was severely injured, the succession of Driftmark needed to be decided, and the one that was against Lucerys inheriting the Velaryon seat of power was Vaemond Velaryon, the younger brother of Corlys. Of course, due to his insolence, he got killed by Daemon. So, why did Daemon kill Vaemond?
Daemon killed Vaemond because he called Rhaenyra’s children bastards right in front of their mother and King Viserys himself. In episode 7, Viserys said that he would take the tongue of anyone who called the children bastards. As such, Daemon took it upon himself to kill Vaemond right then and there.
It is also interesting to note that Daemon and Vaemond never actually liked one another from the very start. As such, that was one of the reasons that made Daemon want to kill Vaemond. It was only the fact that Vaemond called Rhaenyra’s children bastards that Daemon had every reason to take his head. That said, let’s talk more about why Daemon killed Vaemond.
What Happened To Vaemond?
During the opening scene of House of the Dragon episode 8, we were able to see Vaemond Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen talking about what happened to Lord Corlys Velaryon in the last six years as it was reported that he had been severely injured in the war against the Triarchy in the Stepstones. As such, it was important for them to talk about who was the rightful heir to the lordship of Driftmwark, as there were several contenders.
That was why it was important for the Targaryens and the Velaryons to travel to King’s Landing, where only the crown could intervene in this matter. They were looking for Queen Alicent Hightower and Ser Otto Hightower to decide on who is the rightful successor of Lord Corlys Velaryon, who may or may not survive his wounds in the Stepstones. And because Vaemond Velaryon knew that the queen and the Hand of the King weren’t entirely fond of either Princess Rhaenyra or Princess Rhaenys, he believed that he was going to get a favorable decision from the Hightower duo.
But the problem was that Rhaenyra requested King Viserys to defend his family as Lucerys was the one who should be inheriting Driftmark because he was still regarded as the legitimate son of Ser Laenor Velaryon, who was supposed to be the heir of Corlys. As such, before Otto could render a decision, the king arrived in the throne room, and he struggled to even stand up due to the fact that his disease had taken its toll on him. But Viserys wanted to be there for his family at what was the final time that all of his children and grandchildren would be together in one room.
With that said, Viserys asked Princess Rhaenys what Corlys’s wish was in relation to the succession. Rhaenys told him that, even though Corlys never formally named Lucerys his heir, he wanted to pass Driftmark to him because he was still the legitimate son of Laenor. As such, Viserys said that this matter was closed, as Lucerys was now the heir to Driftmark.
Still, Vaemond wasn’t willing to accept the judgment because he knew in his heart that he was the only true Velaryon heir in the room. He insulted the children and said that they didn’t have a drop of Velaryon blood in them. And as Vaemond was saying that, Daemon was urging him to say the exact words in his head.
That was when Vaemond called Rhaenyra a whore and her sons bastards. As such, an angry Viserys was about to stand up from the Iron Throne to take Vaemond’s tongue himself. But before he could do that, Daemon struck Vaemond from behind and quickly took the upper part of his head with Dark Sister in a single slice.
In that regard, Daemon killed Vaemond in an instant, as the Velaryon noble never even saw what was coming. He had said what he wanted to say, and that was what ultimately cost him his life at the hands of Daemon himself.
Why Did Daemon Kill Vaemond?
As we all know, Daemon was the one who executed Vaemond on the spot for the words that he said. He acted as the judge and executioner at that moment when Vaemond never even saw that he was going to get killed in an instant. But why did Daemon even kill Vaemond?
Back in episode 7, when the kids were arguing regarding what had happened to Aemond, Jace and Luke said that they attacked because Aemond called them bastards. As such, the king released a statement regarding this. Viserys said that whoever was going to question the paternity of Rhaenyra’s sons was going to have their tongues cut out.
Of course, that was what Viserys was about to do back when Vaemond called the boys bastards. However, before he could even do so, Daemon struck the killing strike that took Vaemond’s head and killed him in an instant. As such, Daemon probably did that because he loved his brother and didn’t want to exert himself any further.
On top of that, Daemon himself also had personal issues with Vaemond from the very first time we saw them together on screen. Back in the War of the Stepstones, Vaemond had nothing good to say about Daemon, as he blamed the Targaryen prince for putting them in a tough situation where they had to resort to a tough strategy that would allow them to win against the Triarchy.
Meanwhile, at Laena’s funeral, Vaemond was the one who was saying the eulogy for the fallen Velaryon, as he was saying in Valyrian that Velaryon blood runs true and thick while he was looking at Rhaenyra and her sons. He was implying that Rhaenyra’s sons were bastards when compared to Laena and her trueborn Velaryon children. Daemon knew what Vaemond was implying, and that was why he snickered in that scene.
In that regard, the relationship between Daemon and Vaemond was never exactly good. They never saw each other eye to eye even though Daemon respected and had the respect of both Corlys and Laenor. On top of that, he was also married to Laena, and that meant that he had the favor of the Velaryon family, except for Vaemond, who he never liked.
So, in that scene wherein he killed Vaemond, Daemon had every motivation to deal with the killing strike as he never liked Vaemond. He was simply waiting for the opportunity to slay the Velaryon himself, as that was why he was urging Vaemond to call Rhaenyra a whore and her sons bastards. And when Vaemond said those words, they were enough for Daemon to draw Dark Sister and take out the man’s head with a single stroke of his Valyrian Steel blade.
In a sense, there were personal feelings behind that strike from Daemon, as he never liked Vaemond. And he got away with murder because Vaemond insulted the king, the king’s daughter, and the king’s grandchildren.