*Warning: This article contains major spoilers for House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 and spoilers for Fire & Blood, which are likely to be adapted in future episodes of the show.*


After a comparatively calm first few episodes, House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 has certainly given us enough bloodshed and fiery action to keep us going.

The latest episode not only saw the heartbreaking death of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (played by Eve Best), but the possible demise of King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) at the hands of his brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell).

As the dragons finally enter the Targaryen civil war, AKA The Dance of Dragons, Aemond once again causes absolute chaos as he enters the battle on his dragon Vhagar.

Seeing Rhaenys engaged in battle with his brother Aegon – and seemingly winning – he doesn't hesitate, blasting the two of them with dragonfire in a shock change from George RR Martin's Fire & Blood.

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Tension has been brewing between the brothers, with Aegon left enraged after discovering that Aemond had been communicating with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) without his knowledge. But no one could have expected Aemond to cause his brother's fiery demise.

So what exactly went down and is Aegon actually dead?

Is Aegon dead in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4?

This is your last warning about book spoilers which are likely to be adapted into future episodes of the show!

Unless there's been a huge change from the book, Aegon is not dead – not yet, anyway.

In season 2 episode 4, a brutal battle took place in the skies above Rook's Rest between Rhaenys, Aegon, and Aemond, with both Rhaenys and Aegon appearing to be dead.

Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II Targaryen sat in a throne for House of the Dragon season 2.
Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2. HBO

Flying into battle on Sunfyre, Aegon is quickly in danger as Rhaenys's battle-worn dragon Meleys attacks. But soon comes time for Aemond and Vhagar to enter the battle. With Rhaenys and Aegon and their dragons embroiled in a clash, Aemond takes one look at the pair and gives Vhagar a "Dracarys" command, engulfing them both in flames.

While Rhaenys avoids the worst of the fire (before being killed by Aemond and Vhagar later on), Aegon screams in disbelief and terror, and appears to fall to a fiery death.

In the aftermath of the battle, Criston Cole wakes up to huge losses in his army and asks Aemond where his brother is. With a point of a dagger, Aemond signals to an unmoving body before walking away. Staring at what he believes to be the dead king, Cole falls to his knees and the episode ends.

However, in the novel, Aegon is injured not by Aemond but by Rhaenys. He suffers life-changing burns in the battle after Meleys attacks Sunfyre. While he remains alive, he's badly injured after his armour melts into his arm and he's bed-bound for a year, sleeping for nine hours out of every 10.

Prince Aemond rules in his stead, with the scars of Aegon's injuries staying with him for the rest of his life.

If the series continues to faithfully adapt Fire and Blood, Aegon has a few years left in him – but certainly not easy ones.

Did Prince Aemond Targaryen want to kill King Aegon?

Aemond Targaryen in House of the Dragon riding the back of a dragon, off screen and below, against a neutral sky.
Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen in House of the Dragon. HBO

Speaking of adapting the book, fans will notice one major change here – in the show, Aemond caused Aegon's injuries, not Rhaenys. While tensions have been rising between the two brothers, did Aemond plot to kill his brother or was Aegon simply in the way?

For now, that's down to interpretation, but Aemond actor Ewan Mitchell has given his take. He told RadioTimes.com and other press: "I think in the skies over Rook's Rest, in that moment when Aemond 'Dracarys's Aegon and Rhaenys, it raises the question whether or not he intentionally sought to harm Aegon, or whether or not Aegon was just in the way, if he was just collateral damage – that's what I find so compelling.

"I think it goes back to the relationship of Aegon and Aemond. I always liken it to Michael Corleone and Fredo Corleone in that Fredo betrayed his brother, he conspired within. And so although there is a hatred to enemies, there's an even deeper hatred to someone who's supposed to protect you, someone who's supposed to look out for you a little bit.

"Aegon never did that as a kid – he was actually the ringleader of the bullying that you see in episode 6 and 7 [of season 1] and Aemond forgives, but he does not forget.”

One thing's for sure – things are never going to be the same for the brothers ever again.

What has Tom Glynn-Carney said about Aegon in season 2?

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Glynn-Carney previously said Aegon had a "rollercoaster" ahead of him.

"He goes on a rollercoaster ride this time," he said. "He's all over the place! He's very scatty anyway so when you put him in this kind of situation with all these responsibilities, and the potential of backstabbing and betrayal and love and grief and all that stuff thrown into the mix, it's always a nice melting pot of chaos."

House of the Dragon continues Monday 8th July 2024 on Sky Atlantic and NOW – find out more about how to sign up to Sky TV.


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