WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 8!House Targaryen’s reconciliation in House of the Dragon episode 8 is interrupted by Aemond One-Eye, who responds maliciously to Lucerys Velaryon laughing at him about a childhood memory. Shortly before he dies, King Viserys gathers his family members for one final feast, where he pleads for them to make amends and put aside their grievances for his sake. The olive branches are then surprisingly extended, with Rhaenyra and Alicent forgiving one another before Jace and Aegon seem to make a quick truce. However, after the toasts are done, a roasted pig is set on the table in front of Aemond, which elicits a few innocent chuckles from Luke.
Aemond and Lucerys apparently haven’t seen one another in six years, which means their last significant interaction was when Lucerys took out Aemond’s eye in a fight. Aemond takes after his uncle Daemon in being a particularly unforgiving person, so any perceived slight from Luke – maliciously intended or not – was apt to provoke anger and hostility. What ended up causing Aemond Targaryen to snap in House of the Dragon episode 8’s ending was Luke quietly laughing at him about a prank from when they were children. While Jace and Helaena were dancing, a roasted pig was placed on the table in front of Aemond, which reminded Luke of the “pink dread” pig prank that the Velaryon boys and Aegon played on Aemond in House of the Dragon episode 6. This insult led young Aemond to become extremely focused on gaining a real dragon, which culminated in claiming Vhagar and heightening his ego.
What Aemond’s Response To Luke Laughing Really Means
Luke laughing at Aemond wasn’t maliciously intended, as Jace had just made a peaceful toast to Aegon about fondly remembering their shared youth – which included the “pink dread” incident. Since they’re no longer children, Luke thought Aemond might laugh about this matter, but this was simply not in his uncle’s nature. Aemond is no longer the type of man who will allow others to mock him; he’s now the rider of the mighty Vhagar and a particularly talented swordsman. As such, it’s not surprising that Aemond’s spiteful “Strong boys” speech followed Luke’s laughter.
Aemond’s “tribute” was meant to provoke a heated emotional response from his nephews, as their status of not-so-secretly being bastards of House Strong is their most vulnerable insecurity. Aemond’s response in House of the Dragon episode 8 was primarily a way to assert his dominance over the Velaryon boys, which exposes just how insecure Aemond truly is. Considering Aemond is cleverly committing treason in his speech by “complimenting” his nephews’ “strength,” the Prince is proving he has no fear of Rhaenyra’s sons or their potential rise to power.
HOTD Episode 8 Sets Up Lucerys & Aemond’s Tragic Futures
WARNING! Spoilers ahead for George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood!Luke and Aemond’s continued rivalry in House of the Dragon sets up one of the series’ most tragic moments to come. Following King Viserys’ death, Alicent will conspire to crown Aegon over Rhaenyra, which incites the most devastating civil war in Westerosi history. Before the fighting truly begins, the Targaryens will travel around the realm recruiting different houses to their sides, with Aemond confronting Luke at Storm’s End. Aemond approaches Luke and throws more “Strong” insults his way as he tries to provoke a swordfight, but Luke says he was not sent as a knight. When Luke tries fleeing on Arrax, Aemond flies Vhagar after him, which ends with the deaths of both Lucerys and his dragon.
House of the Dragon episode 8 also cleverly set up the show’s most exciting rivalry between Aemond and Daemon Targaryen. Later in the war, the mighty warriors will finally have an epic duel in the sky that concludes with both men and their dragons dying. Aemond may have backed off from Daemon in House of the Dragon episode 8, but this won’t be the case when the Dance of the Dragons commences.
New episodes of House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO/HBO Max.