Rhaenyra Targaryen’s Death In The House Of The Dragon Books: How Does She Die?

The entire Game of Thrones series is one big spoiler because of all the chaotic and horrifyingly incestuous events of House of the Dragon taking place hundreds of years before the events of the book. In other words, we are fully aware of all that will transpire in HOTD, including Rhaenyra Targaryen’s final moments.

The good news is that it won’t happen right away. The bad news is she doesn’t exactly pass away in her bed from old age. Without a doubt, what you’re going to read contains SPOILERS, so fasten your seatbelt. However, if you saw Game of Thrones, you have already been spoilt since…

Joffrey Fully Revealed How Rhaenyra Dies

The incident occurs in episode 4 of season 3. When Joffrey Lannister is relaxing with Margaery Tyrell in the episode “And Now His Watch Is Ended,” he quips gleefully, “Rhaenyra Targaryen was slaughtered by her brother, or rather his dragon. While her son watched, it devoured her. Her remains are interred in the crypts directly below.”

Like, okay, Joffrey, calm down!

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Shireen also provides some spoilers in “The Dance of the Dragons,” episode 9 of season 5 of Game of Thrones. In her words, It tells the tale of the struggle for power in the Seven Kingdoms between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon. Each of them believed that the Iron Throne belonged to them.

Their conflict split the kingdoms in half when individuals began to declare allegiance to one of them or the other. Brothers battled one another. Dragons engaged in combat. When it was finished, many had perished. Additionally, it was a catastrophe for the Targaryens. They never really bounced back.

So, What *Specifically* Happens to Rhaenyra?

Her half-brother Aegon II allegedly has her slaughtered and eaten, according to Fire & Blood, the source novel for George R.R. Martin’s House of the Dragon. Sibling conduct at its finest!

When King Viserys passes away, Rhaenyra and her “uncle-husband,” Prince Daemon, vie for the right to succeed him. This is problematic because Queen Alicent urgently wants her oldest child, Aegon II, to follow her as monarch. This brings us to the “Dance of the Dragons,” a protracted and brutal battle for the Iron Throne that Shireen summarises above.

Rhaenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra Targaryen

What is the good news for Team Rhaenyra members? She does succeed to the throne ultimately for about one minute. Unfortunately, as she arrives in King’s Landing, there is a great deal of discontent and rioting, which reaches a pinnacle when Princess Helaena—Aegon II’s adored “small-folk” sister-wife—commits herself.

When Rhaenyra finally manages to escape King’s Landing and returns to Dragonstone, she discovers that she has been deceived, all of her devoted supporters have died, and  Aegon II has arrived. Not good, as it appears that her opening remarks to him are, “kindly, brother, I believed you were gone.”

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Aegon deliberately orders his dragon Sunfyre to devour Rhaenyra in front of her last living child, Prince Aegon the Younger, which only worsens the situation. According to Fire & Blood:

“Sunfire, it is said, did not seem at first to take any interest in the offering until Broome pricked the Queen’s breast with his dagger. The smell of blood roused the dragon, who sniffed at Her Grace, then bathed her in a blast of flame so suddenly that Ser Alfred’s cloak caught fire as he leaped away. Rhaenyra Targaryen had time to raise her head toward the sky and shriek out one last curse upon her half-brother before Sunfyre’s jaws closed around her, tearing off her arm and shoulder.”

Final Lines:

Rhaenyra Targaryen is murdered and eaten by Aegon II’s dragon in the books. After Rhaenyra stole King’s Landing from Aegon and sat on the Iron Throne for six months, the smallfolk of the city rose against her after an increase in taxes and the death of Aegon’s wife and sister, Helaena Targaryen.

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