Warning: Major spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4.


Many fans of George RR Martin's novel Fire and Blood knew it was coming but there was nothing that could have prepared us for the emotional death in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4.

The latest episode, titled A Dance of Dragons, aptly saw the civil war between the Greens and Blacks get even more fiery as the dragons finally came into play, causing violent bloodshed that's surely only set to continue – and resulting in the tragic death of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, played by Eve Best.

During episode 4, Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and her council learn from Baela (Bethany Antonia) that Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and his growing army are marching on Harrenhal. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of her conversation with Alicent (Olivia Cooke), Rhaenyra feels she is left with only two options – to reclaim her throne or die.

She tells Jacaerys (Harry Collett) of Aegon's Dream and says that the only way forward is to send dragons into battle. She considers going herself but Rhaenys volunteers along with her battle-worn dragon Meleys.

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Rhaenys Targaryen in House of the Dragon, wearing armour and sitting atop a dragon, who is out of shot below. There is a cloudy sky in the background.
Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen in House of the Dragon. HBO

As Rhaenys and Meleys fly into battle, it quickly becomes clear that the Greens have had the same idea. While Meleys causes havoc among Cole's troops, they then encounter Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), who has defied his advisors and flown into battle on Sunfyre. While Meleys makes short work of Sunfyre, it's soon time for Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and the monstrous Vhagar to emerge from the shadows.

Setting his sights on Rhaenys and his own brother, Aemond gives Vhagar the "Dracarys" command, which Rhaenys manages to just about avoid, but which sends Aegon hurtling to the ground.

While all goes calm for a short while, Rhaenys is clearly preparing herself for the end, buckling herself tightly to Meleys. Once again emerging from the shadows, Aemond and Vhagar attack, with the dragon clamping Meleys in her jaws. As Meleys falls to the ground with Rhaenys on her back, the Queen Who Never Was seemingly accepts her fate, opening out her arms as she crashes to the ground. Meanwhile, Aemond looks over the violence he's once again wreaked, before flying away on Vhagar.

Best previously opened up to RadioTimes.com about tackling huge moments from the book, saying: "You have to deal with each moment as it comes, as we do in life... I think there's an awareness here of having to explore a lot, or tell a lot in a very short space of time, or there's very little that's physically said but a lot of exchange happens between people."

As for how Rhaenys's death will impact the ongoing civil war, only time will tell...

House of the Dragon continues Monday 15th July 2024 on Sky Atlantic and NOW – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV.


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