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1 Small Lucerys Detail Makes His Fate So Much Worse

WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, “The Black Queen.Prince Lucerys Velaryon’s fate is made even more tragic by a quick scene with his brother Jacaerys in House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale, proving he never stood a chance against Aemond. Sent as a messenger for his mother, Lucerys Velaryon flies on his dragon Arrax to Storm’s End in the hopes of securing House Baratheon’s loyalty. The simple mission turns into a death sentence when Lucerys is confronted by Aemond, who seeks revenge in the form of Lucerys’ eye. While Luke attempts to flee on his small dragon Arrax, Aemond chases after him on the monstrous Vhagar. After taunting his nephew, Aemond loses control of Vhagar and accidentally kills Lucerys and Arrax in the sky.

Luke’s death is tragic enough, but the fact that Rhaenyra’s second son was just proven to be an unskilled fighter and nervous young soul makes it far worse. House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10 had briefly depicted Jacaerys and Lucerys sparring on the beach, with Luke’s swordfighting skills being almost pathetic compared to his brother. Considering Lucerys was arguably the worst fighter of the Targaryen boys, Aemond chasing after him was utterly cruel. Jace losing his life to Aemond in battle would have at least been a fairer fight, so the non-warrior Lucerys being brutally murdered makes the start of the war all the more upsetting.

Lucerys & Arrax Didn’t Stand A Chance Against Aemond & Vhagar

Despite Aemond’s comments about Lucerys being a “Strong boy,” Rhaenyra’s son didn’t live up to his real name. Aemond was a skilled warrior, while Lucerys could hardly swing his sword when practicing against his brother; an apt comparison would be putting Jon Snow against a slightly more experienced Samwell Tarly in battle. Not only were Lucerys’ fighting skills unsatisfactory, but the sheer size difference between Lucerys’ dragon Arrax and Aemond’s dragon Vhagar proves he never stood a chance. The decade-old Arrax was no match for the near 200-year-old, battle-hardened Vhagar, so even if Lucerys wasn’t killed at Storm’s End, he likely would have met a similar fate during the Dance of the Dragons.

Why Lucerys Had To Die In House Of The Dragon

After building up to the point where the Greens would officially betray the Blacks by crowning Aegon, House of the Dragon still had to raise the stakes. There needed to be a moment where Rhaenyra couldn’t go on without the need for revenge, with Lucerys’ death changing Rhaenyra’s mindset to believe that war is the only option. Rhaenyra didn’t choose to take back the Iron Throne due to her personal ambition, but rather because her sweet child who swore not to fight was brutally murdered by Aemond and Vhagar. Luke’s death provides the convincing tragedy that House of the Dragon needed in order to bring the war from battles over alliances to devastating exchanges of fire and blood.

Rhaenyra still would have been angry if it was Jacaerys who died, but she likely would have believed that he fought back; Lucerys, however, was not a fighter, and Rhaenyra knew this. Out of Rhaenyra’s children, Lucerys’ death would have been just ambiguous enough for others to believe a fight with Aemond took place but that it wasn’t fair. Had Aemond killed Joffrey, he would have been pure evil; had he killed Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, Aemond would be seen as the triumphant warrior. The death that began House of the Dragon’s civil war needed to be inexcusable enough that vengeance is required but gray enough that Aemond isn’t entirely depraved, with poor Lucerys Velaryon providing this tragic duality.

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