Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) is preparing for a civil war in her home in Dragonstone in the first few episodes of “House of the Dragon” season two.
Theo Whitman / HBO

  • Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of two candidates fighting for the throne in “House of the Dragon” season two.
  • “Game of Thrones” season three made a small nod to Rhaenyra’s fate after her bid for the throne.
  • Here’s how Rhaenyra dies in “Fire and Blood,” the show’s source material, and potentially the series.

Warning: Major spoilers for the book “Fire and Blood,” the first two episodes of “House of the Dragon” season two, and potential spoilers for future episodes of the show.

Rhaenyra Targaryen seems like the better choice to rule Westeros in “House of the Dragon” season two to most viewers, but her story may be going down a dark path if the series strictly follows its source material.

Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) was the named heir to the Iron Throne in “House of the Dragon” season one, but the Hightower family usurped the throne to prop up the former king’s eldest son, Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney).

In season two, the Hightowers in King’s Landing, and Rhaenyra and her allies in Dragonstone, gather resources and support to prepare for civil war as neither party is willing to give up their claim to the throne.

Rhaenyra seems to be the more emotionally mature and competent leader of the two possible rulers and is the better candidate for the throne.

But “Game of Thrones” fans are likely well aware of Rhaenyra’s cruel fate already.

In season three, episode four, Joffrey Lannister gives his bride-to-be Margaery Tyrell a tour of King’s Landing’s Red Keep when he mentions Rhaenyra’s death.

“Rhaenyra Targaryen was murdered by her brother, or rather, his dragon,” Joffrey recalls. “It ate her while her son watched. What’s left of her is buried in the crypts right down there.”

“House of the Dragon” is the second time HBO has turned one of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels into a TV show juggernaut. The prequel series is based on Martin’s “Fire and Blood” novel, a history book for the original “A Song of Ice and Fire” series that “Game of Thrones” is based on.

Here’s how Rhaenyra Targaryen dies in “Fire and Blood.”

In the book, Rhaenyra takes over King’s Landing, but both the throne and the people reject her

Aegon II Targaryen is currently ruling Westeros from King’s Landing in the first few episodes of “House of the Dragon” season two.
Ollie Upton/HBO

At one point during the civil war recounted in “Fire and Blood,” Rhaenyra and her army take over the capital, King’s Landing, and Aegon II and his allies flee.

Rhaenyra finally gets to sit on the Iron Throne and rules for six months, but things quickly take a turn for the worse.

Firstly, Rhaenyra gets wounded by the throne on multiple occasions, which is an omen that means that the throne has rejected her. Rhaenyra then angers the people by raising taxes and executing people she thought helped Aegon II escape the capital.

After Helaena Targaryen, Aegon II’s sister-wife and the people’s favorite, dies by suicide, the people riot, ousting Rhaenyra and killing one of her sons, Joffrey Valeryon.

Rhaenyra uses the last of her resources to escape with her family and head to Dragonstone, her former base.

When Rhaenyra reaches Dragonstone, Aegon II is already there and has slain all her followers.

Sealing his victory, Aegon II feeds Rhaenyra to his dragon Sunfyre in front of her last remaining child, Aegon III.

Since “House of the Dragon” is a prequel to “Game of Thrones,” it is likely that Rhaenyra will face the same ultimate fate as she does in the book. But the path to this death may be changed.

“House of the Dragon” season two airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and is streaming on Max.

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