The sixth episode of House of the Dragon introduces us to the children of both Rhaenyra and Alicent after a significant time jump. One of these children is Aemond Targaryen, who appears to be unassuming and sullen as a young boy. Aemond, however, plays a large part in the civil war that is about to begin. This article gives a background into the history of Aemond Targaryen and what we know about him so far.
SPOILER ALERT: The article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon. Consider yourself warned.
Aemond Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Aemond is the second son of King Viserys and Queen Alicent. Leo Ashton plays him as a child and Ewan Mitchell plays him as an adult. He grows up together along with his brother Aegon and cousins Jacaerys and Lucerys. The other three boys show a tendency toward bullying young Aemond as he is the only one who doesn’t yet ride a dragon. The other three convince him that they have found a dragon, and instead present him with a giant pig with wings glued onto it. They refer to it as ‘The Pink Dread’ after Aegon the Conqueror’s dragon Balerion, the Black Dread.
Aemond shows a certain amount of reckless abandon as he walks into the Dragonpit soon after this. He is almost burned alive by one of the dragons and flees in time. It turns out that this isn’t the first time he’s tried this, as Alicent later scolds him for his obsession with obtaining a dragon. It appears that, unlike his brother and nephews, a dragon egg never hatched for Aemond. This is not an unlikely occurrence, though, as Laena Velaryon mentions to her daughter later in the episode. As the girl holds a dragon egg above the fireplace, trying to hatch it, her mother reminds her that they often take a long time to hatch and sometimes never do.
When Aemond is talking with his mother, she tries to comfort him by telling him that he will ride a dragon one day. His sister Helaena who is sitting nearby studying a worm from her collection casually remarks, “He’ll have to close an eye.” This may appear to be an offhand remark about the creature she is holding as she examines it. However, it also foreshadows what happens to Aemond in upcoming episodes. After Laena Velaryon’s funeral on Driftmark, Aemond approaches the dragon Vhagar and attempts to mount her. Though Vhagar resists, he calms her by speaking in Valyrian and climbs aboard her, flying around before landing.
After he lands, Laena’s daughters Baela and Rhaena confront him, along with Rhaenyra’s sons Lucerys and Jacaerys. They get into a scuffle and Aemond refers to Rhaenyra’s sons as bastards, Calling Jacaerys ‘Lord Strong’ after his real father Harwin Strong. Jacaerys attacks him with a dagger, but drops it when Aemond overpowers him. Before he can attack further, Lucerys throws sand in his eyes and Jacaerys uses the dagger to cut Aemond’s eye. Queen Alicent angrily demands that Lucerys should lose an eye in exchange, but Viserys does not allow it. Aemond tells his mother not to mourn him because he has gained a dragon in exchange for his eye.
Aemond Targaryen in Fire and Blood
At birth, Aemond was half the size of his older brother Aegon, though he was twice as fierce. When Aemond was 10, King Viserys informed him that he could claim a dragon egg or hatchling on Dragonstone for his own if he was bold enough. Annoyed by his father’s comment, Aemond resolved to claim Vhagar, the eldest of the dragons.
After the loss of his eye, Aemond took to putting a sapphire in place of the missing eye. He was also known to wear an eye patch over his sapphire eye at times when he was in open court and did not want to frighten noble ladies with his scars. Despite the loss of his eye, Aemond developed into a dangerous swordsman under Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. As a young man, Aemond wore nightblack armour, chased with gold.
Aemond during the Dance of the Dragons
In 129 AC, when Aemond was nineteen years old, his father, King Viserys I Targaryen, died. Aemond’s older brother was crowned King, despite their sister Rhaenyra having been Viserys’s chosen heir. Aegon’s supporters realized that Rhaenyra would likely resist Aegon’s coronation. The previous Lord of Storm’s End, Boremund Baratheon, had been a supporter of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. Rhaenys was Rhaenyra’s mother-in-law and one of her supporters. The greens feared that Lord Borros Baratheon, the new lord, might side with Rhaenyra as well. Aemond went to Storm’s End to convince Lord Borros to support Aegon, by promising to marry one of his daughters.
While Aemond was at Storm’s End, Prince Lucerys Velaryon arrived to speak on behalf of Rhaenyra. Aemond threatened Lucerys, stating he owed him an eye. Borros refused to allow them to fight under his roof. Borros’s men restrained Aemond, allowing Lucerys to leave the hall and take off on his dragon, Arrax. Aemond mounted Vhagar and pursued his nephew, avenging the loss of his eye by killing Lucerys and Arrax. King Aegon II, pleased at the news, threw a great feast in Aemond’s honour. Aemond’s enemies thereafter referred to him as a kinslayer.
Aemond joined his brother and Ser Criston Cole in the battle at Rook’s Rest. The two brothers killed Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon, Meleys. While Aemond and Vhagar remained unhurt, Aegon suffered severe wounds. Aemond ruled in his stead as Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm for a year while Aegon recovered. He took up the iron and ruby crown of Aegon the Conqueror and stated that it looked better on himself than it ever did on Aegon.
The death of Aemond
As Prince Regent, Aemond gathered an army together with Ser Criston Cole, who was the Hand of the King at the time. They marched against Prince Daemon at Harrenhal, but during their march King’s Landing fell to Rhaenyra and Daemon. After recapturing Harrenhal, Aemond ordered the deaths of Ser Simon Strong and his kin. It was here that Aemond met Alys Rivers, who became his bedmate after he spared her life.
In 130 AC, Prince Daemon travelled to Harrenhal and challenged Aemond, who was in hiding. He waited for thirteen days with Caraxes by his side until Aemond arrived with a pregnant Alys. Aemond and Daemon, mounted on their dragons, engaged in the Battle Above the God’s Eye.
The duel ended with the two dragons crashing to the floor while Prince Daemon stabbed Aemond in his eye with the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister. Aemond’s body, chained to Vhagar’s saddle, sank into the lake. His body and Vhagar’s skull were recovered years later, with Dark Sister still through his eye-socket