Aegon's fate on 'House of the Dragon' is left unclear — here's how he dies in the books (2024)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for season two, episode four of "House of the Dragon" and the book "Fire and Blood."

"House of the Dragon" finally stopped pulling its punches in episode four, and it's time for all-out war.

That's right: Dragons are finally on the table in the war between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother, Aegon II, over the Iron Throne. The show has reached the Battle of Rook's Rest, an event from its source material, "Fire and Blood," that exacts a heavy toll. Instead of predictably heading to seize Harrenhal from Prince Daemon, Ser Criston Cole leads his forces instead to Rook's Rest. It's seemingly a ploy to lure one of Rhaenyra's dragons out, and it works: Rhaenyra sends Princess Rhaenys and her dragon, Meleys, the "Red Queen."

Unfortunately for Criston Cole and Aemond, his partner in crime, Aegon chooses that moment to take charge, flying into the battle on his dragon Sunfyre. The episode leaves Aegon's fate ambiguous —but we can look to "Fire and Blood" for clues. If you care about book spoilers (and, in turn, potential show spoilers), turn back.

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Aegon's fate on 'House of the Dragon' is left unclear — here's how he dies in the books (1)

Aegon chooses the wrong moment to play the hero

All in all, Criston and Aemond had a pretty good plan: attack Rook's Rest, a castle close to Dragonstone, lure one of Rhaenyra's dragons out, and destroy them with Vhagar, Aemond's gigantic mount.

But Aegon is far more spurned, and far more foolish, than either of them planned. And when he arrives on the battlefield with Sunfyre, it's immediately clear that Rhaenys and Meleys have him outmatched. Meleys grievously wounds Sunfyre before Vhagar even enters the battlefield.

But Aemond isn't there to save his brother. In fact, this may even be an opportunity to take him out along with one of Rhaenyra's most powerful allies. While Meleys has Sunfyre pinned in the air, Aemond orders Vhagar to set fire to them all, and Sunfyre and Aegon plummet into the forest.

After the battle's dismal conclusion, Ser Criston seeks Aegon out. Aemond has beat him to the crash site, and what they find isn't pretty: Aegon lies limp on the ground, surrounded by a smoking, groaning Sunfyre.

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But in episode three, Aegon dons a set of Valyrian steel armor that he says belonged to Aegon the Conqueror. It's this armor he appears to wear to the battle.

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We know from "Fire and Blood" that "common fire" cannot melt Valyrian steel. In the book, Vhagar lights Aegon the Conqueror's funeral pyre, which incinerates his body but leaves his Valyrian steel blade, Blackfyre, unharmed. In turn, we'll have to see how it holds up to a full-on dragon blast.

Aegon's fate on 'House of the Dragon' is left unclear — here's how he dies in the books (2)

Aegon and Sunfyre survive in the book — but they're pretty beat up

In "Fire and Blood," Meleys, Vhagar, and Sunfyre all clash during the Battle of Rook's Rest. The dragon fight ends when Vhagar falls onto Meleys and Sunfyre from above, killing Meleys and Rhaenys. Sunfyre and Aegon, however, survive.

They're not in great shape, though. One of Sunfyre's wings is half-ripped off his body, grounding him near the castle. According to the book, he remains there, consuming the corpses from the battle, and later livestock brought by Ser Criston.

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Aegon sustains a broken hip as well as broken ribs. His burns are also severe, and his armor melts into the skin of his left arm.

George R. R. Martin writes in "Fire and Blood" that Aegon's burns "brought him such pain that some say he prayed for death." His injuries force him into a yearlong bed rest, during which the maesters attend to him and he sleeps through the pain. Obviously, that means he's unfit to rule, and Aemond assumes his duties as Prince Regent.

Aegon's fate on 'House of the Dragon' is left unclear — here's how he dies in the books (3)

Aegon and Sunfyre do eventually die, though

Later in the war, a small force loyal to Rhaenyra takes back Rook's Rest and attempts to kill Sunfyre. They don't succeed, but shortly after, Sunfyre is nowhere to be found.

When Rhaenyra takes King's Landing, Aegon is gone, as are his remaining children, Jaehaera and Maelor. According to one historical record referenced in "Fire and Blood," Larys Strong smuggled them out of the city, setting Aegon aboard a fishing boat bound for Dragonstone.

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Aegon hides there until Sunfyre makes his way to the island after disappearing for half a year, his wing healed enough to barely allow him to fly. The two begin to fly together again, and eventually, a force loyal to Aegon takes over the island. Aegon and Sunfyre are forced to fight Baela, Daemon and Laena's daughter, and her dragon, Moondancer. The clash leaves Moondancer dead, Sunfyre unable to fly again, Aegon with two broken legs after jumping out of the saddle, and Baela taken prisoner.

But it also leaves Aegon in possession of Dragonstone. When Rhaenyra arrives, he promptly feeds her to his dragon, Sunfyre. Shortly after, Sunfyre dies.

Aegon returns to King's Landing after his mother, Alicent, strikes an accord with Lord Corlys Velaryon, lifting the Velaryon blockade that prevented his return. There, he sits not on the Iron Throne but on a seat at its steps as a result of his broken legs.

The King then seeks revenge on those who acted against him during the war, forcing lords in the surrounding crownlands to submit to him. But while Aegon's council frets over how to quell the coming rebellion from across Westeros, Aegon is preoccupied with matters of succession: He wishes to marry Lady Cassandra Baratheon and produce new heirs. (In the book, Aegon's sister-wife, Helaena, dies by suicide after the death of their son Maelor.) Similarly, he wants to prevent the betrothal of his daughter Jaehaera to Rhaenyra's son Aegon the Younger so as to finish off Rhaenyra's bloodline.

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Eventually, with armies encroaching on King's Landing, Aegon is poisoned while being carried in his litter to the sept via a cup of laced wine.

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

Aegon's fate on 'House of the Dragon' is left unclear — here's how he dies in the books (2024)
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