House of the Dragon deaths in order: Every major character who's died so far

House of the Dragon season 2 begins on Sunday, June 16. You'll want to get ready for that by remembering everything that has come before. Here are all the deaths you'll want to remember to understand storylines moving forward.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

Game of Thrones fans are no strangers to major characters dying. So, when it came to House of the Dragon, we didn’t even have to know the source material to know that major deaths would happen.

Some of the ways the deaths happened have changed from the books. However, they are still important, and some of them are mentioned in the second season. In fact, one death in particular is the catalyst for a lot of the events in House of the Dragon season 2.

It’s time to remember all the major deaths and the order that they happened. Get ready for some tears as you think back to the scenes.

Aemma Arryn dies in childbirth

Queen Aemma was pregnant with her second child at the very start of House of the Dragon. Despite knowing that it would mean she would no longer be heir apparent, a young Rhaenyra was excited to be a big sister.

Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Aemma had complications while giving birth, and Viserys had to choose between likely losing both wife and child or potentially saving his unborn child. He chose the latter, and Aemma went through a horrific c-section.

It led to Aemma’s death. There was no way she would survive the blood loss.

Sadly, she wasn’t the only death. Viserys’s son didn’t survive either, bringing us two sad deaths right at the start of the series.

House of the Dragon Episode 6 /

Laena Velaryon chose her own fate

Laena and Daemon married and had twins. She was pregnant with their next child when we caught up with them after a time jump, and the daughter of Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon suffered the same fate as Aemma.

She faced complications with childbirth. Daemon was given the same choice as Viserys, but he opted not to cut his wife open. He knew that it meant certain death, and he couldn’t face that loss.

Laena took matters into her own hands. She walked outside to her dragon Vhagar and order Vhagar to burn her alive. Of course, her dragon didn’t want to do that, but eventually he followed orders, as Daemon watched in horror and tears.

House of the Dragon Episode 7 /

Laenor Velaryon was “murdered”

Not long after, the Velaryons suffered another blow. This time it was Laenor, Laena’s brother and Rhaenyra’s husband.

There is some good news for fans here. While the books share that Laenor was burned to a crisp, fans of House of the Dragon learned that didn’t happen at all. Instead, some poor smallfolk man was chosen and burned beyond recognition. It was made to look like Laenor had been killed.

This allowed Laenor to leave King’s Landing and live his own life, while Rhaenyra was free to marry Daemon.

Harwin Strong and his son are definitely murdered

Speaking of murders, there were two murders that most definitely happened. Rhaenyra suffered a blow with the murder of her lover (and father of three of her children) Harwin Strong. His son also died at the same time.

This murder was orchestrated by Larys Strong, the younger brother of Harwin. The two were trapped in their rooms during a fire and were killed.

Vaemond Velaryon learns not to cross Daemon Targaryen

When Corrlys Velaryon is on death’s door and presumed not to survive, Vaemond decides to try to take control of his house. This also leads to him making it clear that he doesn’t believe Rhaenyra’s children are those of Laenor Velyaron. With that in mind, he refuses to view them as family or as rightful heirs to the throne.

Well, Daemon doesn’t like that idea. As Vaemond angers Viserys, Daemon decides to pull out his sword and cut Vaemond’s head off. This is at an angle that will allow him to “keep” his tongue.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /

Viserys’s death starts the Dance of the Dragons

Up next, we have the death that starts off the entire Dance of the Dragons. Viserys suffers from a disease that looks a lot like leprosy throughout the first season. He eventually succumbs to the disease, although not without mistaking who he is talking to.

Just before his death, he spoke with Rhaenyra and they talked about the Prince Who Was Promised and the threat of the monsters North of the Wall. At the time of his death, Alicent is with him. Viserys still believes that Rhaenyra is there and talks about the Prince. Alicent believes that Viserys changed his mind about his heir, realizing that Aegon should sit on the Iron Throne.

Lyman Beesbury doesn’t last long in the new Small Council

The death of Viserys means a new monarch. Alicent is sure that Viserys wanted Aegon on the throne, and that’s what Otto pushes forward. Lyman Beesbury will not allow this treason to happen, making it clear that Rhaenyra was the one everyone swore an oath to.

Criston Cole is completely against Rhaenyra by this point and won’t allow Lyman to leave. He smashes Lyman’s head into the small ball that sits in front of everyone on the Small Council.

House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

Lucerys Velaryon and Arrax lose the fight in the air

The final death in House of the Dragon season 1 comes at the very end. Lucerys Velaryon heads to Storm’s End as a messenger. Rhaenyra wants the Baratheons to join her, but Team Green has already got there. Aemond is there.

The Baratheons allow Luc to leave, but Aemond wants revenge for the loss of his eye. Aemond follows Luc on his own dragon, Vhagar. This leads to a fight in the air in the middle of a storm. Arrax flies into Vhagar accidentally, angering the larger and more powerful dragon. Aemond cannot control his dragon, leading to Vhagar killing Arrax in the air. Both Arrax and Luc fall to their deaths.

Get ready for many more deaths to come in House of the Dragon season 2.

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