House of the Dragon: Blood and Cheese explained

Cameron Frew
Sam C. Wilson and Mark Stobbart as Blood and Cheese in House of the Dragon

When it comes to House of the Dragon Season 2, Blood and Cheese are part of the package — let’s break down these characters and why we should care about their arrival.

House of the Dragon Season 2 has officially begun. As one should expect from a Game of Thrones prequel, blood has been spilled, incest has blossomed into love, and all-out war is here at last.

In the Season 1 finale, we watched Rhaenyra and Daemon respond to the events of Episode 9, sketching their initial plans after Aegon II’s coronation and the treachery of the Hightowers.

However, a major event with Lucerys and Aemond is responsible for the arrival of Blood and Cheese — but who are they, and why are they important? Let’s dig in. (Warning: major spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 2 below!)

House of the Dragon: Who are Blood and Cheese?

Blood and Cheese are two assassins responsible for a major, disturbing death in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. As per the book, both of their real names are lost to history.

Blood was a butcher in King’s Landing who once served in the City Watch, but his gold cloak was taken away when he beat a sex worker to death.

Cheese worked as a ratcatcher in the Red Keep, and he also spent some time in Flea Bottom.

This is your final chance to avoid any major spoilers…

Who do Blood and Cheese kill?

Blood and Cheese kill the firstborn son of Aegon II, Jaehaerys, but they were actually hired to kill Aemond.

Phia Saban as Helaena with a knife to her throat in House of the Dragon

They initially enter the castle under Daemon’s orders to kill Aemond as revenge for Luke’s death. However, when they can’t find the prince, they end up killing six-year-old Jaehaerys instead in a brutal attack.

Blood and Cheese in the book, explained

In Fire & Blood, Blood and Cheese are employed by Mysaria to kill one of Aegon II’s sons after Aemond murdered Lucerys Velaryon at Storm’s End.

Mysaria is Daemon’s spymaster in the book, and he uses her to get Blood and Cheese to do his bidding for him after the death of Lucerys.

When they sneak into the Red Keep, they force Helaena — Aegon’s sister and wife — to choose which one of her children she wants to be killed. She offers herself, but they insist it has to be one of the sons, or they’ll rape her daughter, Jaehaera.

When she chooses her youngest son, Maelor, Blood beheads six-year-old Jaehaerys instead, and both of the assassins flee with the prince’s head. However, Blood is later caught with the head and tortured for thirteen days until he died, but not before he revealed all.

Cheese, on the other hand, isn’t caught. As a last resort, Aegon II orders all ratcatchers in the Red Keep to be captured and killed, replacing them with cats.

Blood and Cheese in House of the Dragon: How is it different from the book?

Blood and Cheese’s storyline takes place in House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 1, with the brutal murder scene being the episode’s climatic ending.

There are a few notable differences between the book and TV version of Blood and Cheese. For one, Daemon initially hires them to kill Aemond, not the children. But his order of “a son for a son” obviously gets reinterpreted down the line.

But most notably, they don’t force Helaena to choose between her sons. (Maelor isn’t even in the TV show at this point.) Instead, they can’t work out which of the twins is the boy, and they force her to tell them.

She points out Jaehaerys, though initially, they think she’s tricking them and wouldn’t give up the future king so easily. But Blood suspects she’s actually telling the truth (which she is), and they cut the boy’s throat. While they’re doing so, Helaena quietly grabs her daughter and runs from the room.

Phia Saban as Helaena holding her daughter in House of the Dragon

She enters Alicent’s room, where her mother is in bed with Criston Cole. Helaena, however, doesn’t seem to notice this, and curls up in the corner before telling them: “They killed the boy.”

This scandalous twist was actually confirmed before Season 2 premiered.

“[Criston Cole] is in there with Alicent when that’s happened,” Criston actor Fabian Frankel stated. “I mean, he should have been there standing sentry. Yeah. And he wasn’t. I mean, it’s like one of the first lines that Aegon has to Cole like ‘And where were you,’ you know, ‘supposed to be protecting my family.’ And little does he know, obviously that Cole is, well…”

Later, in Episode 2, Blood is caught and reveals that he was working with one of the ratcatchers, but can’t name who it was. Aegon brutally kills Blood, and orders all the ratcatchers to be hung in the streets. It’s a move that later earns him Otto Hightower‘s annoyance, and is considered brash and unthinking.

You can find out a bit more about Helaena and Aegon’s children in our guide.

House of the Dragon Season 2 is now streaming on Max, with new episodes dropping weekly. Make sure you check out our breakdown of the Targaryen kings and the wildest House of the Dragon fan fiction online. You can also find other new TV shows streaming this month. Don’t forget to check out our House of the Dragon Season 2 review.