House of the Dragon: Aemond Targaryen, explained

Aemond Targaryen in House of the DragonHBO

Following the time jump, House of the Dragon Episode 6 introduces Aemond Targaryen – but who is he, who are his parents, and will he play a large role in the show?

In the first half of House of the Dragon, the show focused on a small collective of Targaryens: King Viserys I, Rhaenyra, Daemon, and occasionally, Rhaenys, the wife of Lord Corlys Velaryon.

While Viserys’ hope for a baby boy with Aemma ended in tragedy, he found an heir with Alicent, with whom he shares Aegon II, named after the house’s famed Conqueror.

With Episode 6, the Targaryen family tree has branched out with other children, including Aemond Targaryen.

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Spoilers for House of the Dragon to follow, as well as potential spoilers for the rest of the series…

House of the Dragon: Who is Aemond Targaryen?

Aemond Targaryen is the second son of Viserys I and Alicent. He’s played by Leo Ashton in Episode 6, but he’ll be portrayed by Ewan Mitchell in later episodes.

He has three siblings: Aegon II is his older brother, Helaena is his sister, and Rhaenyra is his half-sister.

In George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, he’s also known as Aemond One-Eye and Aemond the Kinslayer, and he rode Vhagar, the second-largest dragon in history after Balerion.

House of the Dragon: How does Aemond lose his eye?

If the show follows the books, Aemond will lose his eye in a fight with Lucerys Velaryon, the second son of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon.

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In Episode 6, Aemond is still a child and has both of his eyes intact. However, he’s clearly seen as the runt by Aegon and Rhaenyra’s sons – Jacaerys and Lucerys – and deals with their teasing on a day-to-day basis. They even promise him a new dragon from the pit, only to bring out a pig.

In Fire and Blood, Aemond secretly tries to claim Vhagar as his dragon following the death of Laena. When he’s caught by Joffrey, Rhaenyra’s third son with Laenor, he threatens him, without realizing Joffrey had managed to alarm Jacaerys and Lucerys.

In a later fight, Aemond refers to the boys as Strongs, in reference to Harwin Strong being their true father. Jacaerys lashes out at Aemond, but when he loses the fight, Lucerys slashes his dagger across Aemond’s face and takes out his eye.

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This is where the show may deviate slightly, as we’ve already seen one argument regarding their parentage during sword-fighting training, with Harwin Strong punching Criston Cole in Episode 6.

We won’t go into much further details, but remember this: even while wearing an eye-patch, you can expect him to become a master swordsman; and his rivalry with Daemon should provide some jaw-dropping scenes later in the series.

House of the Dragon Episode 7 will be available to watch on October 2 in the US and October 3 in the UK.