In “House of the Dragon,” even the youngest members of the sprawling Targaryen family tree can have a major role to play. While young Lucerys Velaryon starts out as a minor player in a war fought by adults, his final moments are anything but minor. The book “Fire & Blood,” which forms the basis for the TV series, revealed he is involved in a major turning point in the conflict long before that fateful moment played out on screen in the “House of the Dragon” season one finale. Here’s everything the “Fire & Blood” book reveals about Lucerys’s character.
Nicknamed “Luke,” Lucerys Velaryon is officially the second son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon, her first husband. Although he is publicly said to be Laenor’s son, however, Luke (like his brothers) is actually the son of Rhaenyra and her lover Ser Harwin Strong. The boys’ parentage is an open secret, particularly since they resemble the Strongs, not the Targaryens or Velaryons.
Luke and his brothers grow up with a simmering enmity between them and the sons of their grandfather, King Viserys, and his second wife, Alicent. The Targaryen boys insult the Velaryons and mock them for their rumored parentage. It comes to a head when Aemond, one of Viserys and Alicent’s sons, attempts to bond with the dragon Vhagar. When his actions are discovered, a fight erupts that results in Luke slashing one of Aemond’s eyes out. Luke has his own dragon, Arrax, who hatched from an egg placed in Luke’s cradle when he was an infant.
Lucerys and Rhaena’s Relationship
When Luke is 3 years old, he is betrothed to his cousin Rhaena Targaryen, who is the younger daughter of Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon. By the time the Dance of the Dragons plunges Westeros into civil war, Luke is only 13 years old and Rhaena is only 12, both still too young to officially marry.
Near the start of the war, Luke is sent on a mission by his mother: as an envoy to Storm’s End to speak with Lord Borros Baratheon. While there, Borros asks Luke if he will marry one of the four Baratheon daughters, but Luke declines, explaining that he is already promised to Rhaena.
How Does Lucerys Die?
Although it is supposed to be a relatively safe diplomatic mission, Luke’s journey to Storm’s End proves to be a fatal one. When he arrives, his cousin Aemond is already there negotiating with Borros as well. Luke attempts to carry out his mission and leave, insisting to his cousin that he is there only as an envoy, not to fight, and refuses to be drawn into battle.
Aemond, however, has different plans. As soon as Luke leaves on Arrax, Aemond goes after him on Vhagar in the midst of a storm. No one sees exactly what happens, but whatever fight occurs does not last long. The storm prevents Arrax from flying fast enough, and he is overwhelmed by the older and larger Vhagar. The bodies of both Arrax and Luke are found washed ashore, and Luke’s family vow revenge for his death. His stepfather, Daemon, arranges for one of the sons of Aegon II (Aemond’s elder brother and Rhaenyra’s rival for the throne) to be murdered to “even the score.” Although hostilities have already begun, Luke’s death marks the true point of no return in the war.
Differences in “House of the Dragon”
“House of the Dragon” stays pretty true to the events laid out in “Fire & Blood,” but it does reveal how Lucerys died once and for all. The beginning of the story remains the same — with Aemond pursuing Lucerys on dragonback after he leaves Storm’s End. While in the air, Aemond intimidates Arrax and Lucerys with his much bigger dragon, Vhagar. His intimidation tactics work, but with unintended consequences: Lucerys loses control of Arrax, who, of his own accord, blasts Vhagar with fire. This angers Vhagar, causing Aemond to lose control of his beast as well, and it swings around and devours Lucerys and Arrax in midair.
While Aemond seemingly never intended to kill Lucerys, it matters not. He immediately understands the implications of what he’s done based on the look on his face in the moments after Vhagar’s deadly actions. In killing Rhaenyra’s beloved son, he’s kicked off the Dance of the Dragons, and there’s no turning back.
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