House of the Dragon creator explains show’s biggest death in Episode 10 finale

Rhaenyra in House of the DragonHBO

House of the Dragon’s showrunner has opened up about the major, brutal death in Episode 10, with the first season saving the show’s biggest loss until the finale.

When it comes to the world of Game of Thrones, death should never be a huge surprise. The original show’s first season positioned Ned Stark as its main hero, only to chop off his head before the finale.

House of the Dragon hasn’t indulged in much Red Wedding-esque bloodshed, with the exception of Joffrey Lonmouth – although in fairness, if you taunt a member of the King’s Guard, what do you expect?

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However, Episode 10 ends with the show’s most pivotal death to date, one the showrunner considers to be the “point of no return.”

Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 10 to follow…

House of the Dragon creator opens up about major death in Episode 10 finale

In Episode 10, Lucerys and his dragon Arrax are killed by Aemond and Vhagar after a fight at Storm’s End. Aemond loses control of his dragon, and she pursues Arrax before chomping her in half, killing them both in one bite.

Speaking to Variety, showrunner Ryan Condal revealed that Lucerys’ death was always going to be the endgame of the first season, as it sets up everything to come.

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“It just felt like the one-two punch of Viserys dying, the Greens seizing the throne and telling that story from Alicent’s team’s perspective, Rhaenyra’s team finding out and putting in place the engines of war and then setting the dragons off and having this horrible thing happened over Storm’s End – the story is called the Dance of the Dragons,” he said.

“To kick off the war/end the first act of our story with the first dragons dancing seemed to be the right dramatic place to leave everybody off.”

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While hesitant to dub it an “accident”, Condal also spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about whether Aemond actually wanted to kill Lucerys, or if it was all just taunting until it got out of hand.

“Aemond is definitely not blameless in what happened to Luke. But Aemond was also a kid who was bullied and was made a mockery for part of his life for not having a dragon. Now he does, and he rides the biggest dragon in the world,” he said.

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“I think he was showing his rival that he will not be intimidated and trifled with is probably more in play there than trying to become a kinslayer… for Aemond to launch nukes right out of the gate and go for an all-out dragon war would be very foolish, but that’s exactly what he ends up doing because things get out of hand and out of control.”

Lucerys’ death is the “point of no return” in House of the Dragon

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Condal explained how Lucerys’ death marks a major turning point for both Rhaenyra and Alicent – any chance of reparation between them will now be impossible.

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“The war is called the Dance of the Dragons, and this is the first dragon fight that has happened since Old Valyria. So the fact that is the first shot, to me, made it an almost necessary end point for the first season.

“Aegon sees Rhaenyra’s crown and throne claim here, but now the stakes have gone up to this point. What’s going to happen next? It’s such a great precipice to leave everybody on going into the second season.

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“I don’t think it’s changed ultimately who [Rhaenyra] is. It’s certainly changed her point of view and emotionality. It’s yet to be seen where she goes next, but certainly this is another major point of no return in the punch/counter punch of Alicent’s side and Rhaenyra’s side.”

House of the Dragon Season 1 is available to stream now. For more on Season 2, click here.