What the hell, Aemond! Why Did He Do That In House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 4

In House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4, Aemond Targaryen attempts to kill his brother, King Aegon II Targaryen, in a shocking turn of events that will have far-reaching consequences. Although the show leaves it open to interpretation, I believe it is safe to assume that King Aegon is not dead at the end of the episode; however, he will be out of action for some time, and there is a lot to unpack with what Aemond did and why.

Of course, the prince has experience with kinslaying. Aemond murdered his nephew, Lucerys Velaryon, in the House of the Dragon season 1 finale, and he does succeed in murdering another member of his family here with the death of Rhaenys Targaryen, with Aemond’s dragon, Vhagar, biting off the head of her dragon, Meleys, and sending them tumbling to their deaths. But the attempted murder of Aegon is more intriguing.

Aemond’s attempt to kill Aegon was about revenge

The previous episode provided the direct setup for Aemond’s attempt to kill Aegon, when the king discovered his brother in a brothel, lying with Slvyi. Aegon was quick to mock and humiliate his brother, and the fact that this happened to Aemond in the one place where he clearly allows himself to be vulnerable makes it a particularly damaging moment that would have left him seeking vengeance. The truth, however, is that this goes much deeper and has been planned since their inception.

In their youth, Aegon and Aemond shared a similar dynamic. Aegon could be cruel to his younger brother, mocking him mercilessly for his lack of a dragon (more than the Strong boys Aemond mentioned). Years of insults, slights, and general resentment have culminated in this moment, when Aemond finally has the opportunity to exact revenge on his older brother.

Aemond believes that he, not Aegon, should be king

Aemond’s attempt on Aegon’s life is motivated not only by vengeance, but also by his genuine belief that he would make a better king. This has long been clear – just as he believed he’d be a better husband for their sister, Helaena, Aemond has never hidden his feelings for his brother and how unsuited he is to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It was particularly highlighted in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, when Aemond must track down Aegon in order to force him to take the Iron Throne.

House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4 serves as a continuation of this, but it emphasizes the differences between them even more. Aemond, not Aegon, is planning the war with Criston Cole. Aemond, not Aegon, is fluent in High Valyrian. And Aemond, not Aegon, will fly into battle on his dragon. Aemond not only believes he should be king, but he is beginning to act as if he already is, and if he has gone that far, combined with a desire for vengeance, why not try to eliminate the problem.

Does Aemond try to kill Aegon in the book?

The new addition of Aemond trying to murder his brother does not occur in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. The book version of the Battle at Rook’s Rest is a little simpler, with Aegon and Aemond both lying in wait as part of the scheme and using their dragons to attack Rhaenys jointly. Rhaenys and Meleys are killed as all three fall to the ground, and Aegon sustains burns and other injuries. Of course, it is possible that this is the truth of the matter that was concealed, and that this is just how history portrays it.

What Takes Place With Aemond When He Attempts To Kill Aegon

Even though Aemond is unable to kill Aegon, he is successful in achieving his objective of sitting on the Iron Throne. In the novel, Aegon spends almost a year in bed due to his wounds, frequently dozing off and requiring poppy milk. During that period, Aemond assumes the Iron Throne and governs as Prince Regent. That will eventually entail him and Cole gathering an army to march against Harrenhal and Daemon Targaryen, though it might not happen until House of the Dragon season 3.

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