House Of The Dragon May Have Changed A Major Part Of The Story’s Ending


The House of the Dragon season 2 premiere indicates that a significant component of the book could be changed. The HBO fantasy drama is based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which serves as a “fictional history” text and companion book to his main series, A Song of Ice & Fire. The book isn’t written in novel format; instead, it proposes the accounts of different “sources” from the era of Targaryen history, meaning the TV show adaptation has made changes based on what the writers believe could actually have happened.

House of the Dragon season 2’s book changes are already adding up, ranging in scale of importance. In some cases, they add characterization to underrepresented figures from the books, but in others, entire characters and segments of the story are omitted. These decisions could come back to haunt the show later on, as details are vital in George R.R. Martin’s world. Loose threads that may not seem important come back later on, and even minor characters are worth noting, especially those of noble birth that carry the Targaryen name.

Has House Of The Dragon Cut Maelor, The 3rd Child Of Aegon & Helaena?

Maelor Is Notably Absent From Blood & Cheese, Which Could Change The Overarching Narrative

In Fire & Blood, Aegon II and Helaena Targaryen have three children: Jaehaerys, Jaehaera, and Maelor. The season 2 premiere prominently featured Jaehaerys as the child who was killed in the Blood & Cheese assassination, but Maelor was notably absent from the episode. While these kids may seem too young to be essential, the Dance of the Dragons is a war of bloodlines, and they all play pivotal roles in the events to come. One of the biggest Blood & Cheese changes from the book was Maelor being missing, completely shifting the situation’s dynamic.

Maelor’s absence has longer-lasting consequences

In the book, Blood & Cheese demand that Helaena choose between her two sons, having little regard for which one is Aegon’s heir. Helaena chooses Maelor, believing him too young to know what was happening, but the pair of assassins decide to kill Jaehaerys anyway. In that sense, the show amounted to the same outcome, but Maelor’s absence has longer-lasting consequences. It’s possible that he just isn’t in King’s Landing, but the scene seems to suggest that Aegon II’s only heir has been killed, which would mean Maelor doesn’t exist in the TV series.

Maelor isn’t the only Targaryen who’s been cut from the show. Among House of the Dragon season 2’s new characters, Prince Daeron Targaryen, Aegon and Aemond’s younger brother, is also absent. Daeron’s absence rids the Greens of a dragonrider, making his disappearance notable as well. In the show, if Aegon is truly without an heir in the absence of Jaehaerys, the Blood & Cheese event was far more impactful in damaging the Greens.

House Of The Dragon Could Give Maelor’s Death To Jaehaera Instead

Jaehaera Could Suffer Maelor’s Fate, But This Could Also Change The Ending

Seeing as he’s a child, Maelor doesn’t have an active role in the Dance of the Dragons, but his death is an important moment in the story. When Rhaenyra captures King’s Landing, Larys Strong escapes the city with Aegon II, Maelor, and Jaehaera, hoping to protect the young prince and princess. Larys then passes off Maelor to Ser Rickard Thorne, a knight of the Kingsguard. Unfortunately for Maelor, Rickard doesn’t make it very far before he’s killed, losing the child to common folk.

The common folk attempted to decide on Maelor’s fate, debating whether they should sell him to Rhaenyra or to the Hightowers. Though it’s disputable which way he died, Maelor ended up dying during this debate through some brutal means. This death starts a sequence of violent vengeance from Greens like Ormund Hightower and Daeron Targaryen. It’s possible that it’s been omitted for the same reasons that Blood & Cheese was tuned down, with it being too violent, but the other alternative is this will instead be Jaehaera’s fate.


Jaehaera’s Death Would Change The Dance Of The Dragons’ Ending

Jaehaera Ends Up Marrying Aegon III, Ending The War

Jaehaera dying earlier on also poses difficulties for the story, as she’s pivotal to the end of the war. Ultimately, neither Aegon II nor Rhaenyra wins the Dance of the Dragons, though the latter’s bloodline winds up on the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra’s son with Daemon, Aegon III, continues the historic Targaryen dynasty, and peace is made between sides by a marriage between Aegon III and Jaehaera. This unites the two Targaryen sides after years of bloody violence, and Aegon III continues to rule for years following.

This would, of course, be impossible to pull off without Jaehaera, as she’s the only match for Aegon III that would be suitable for the Greens to make the deal. Ultimately, Jaehaera dies by suicide before the marriage can be consummated, ending the bloodline established by Viserys I and Alicent Hightower. But this occurs after the war is over and would likely be after House of the Dragon’s ending. Keeping Jaehaera alive at least until the Dance is over may be important, but it’s possible for the show to work around this.

Why Changing Jaehaera’s Story May Not Be A Problem

The Show Could End With The Hour Of The Wolf, Before Aegon III & Jaehaera Wed

The event of Aegon III and Jaehaera’s marriage may not matter in the end for House of the Dragon, as it’s unclear when the series will be resolved. In fact, ending the series with this marriage alliance may even send an unclear message, as it would imply to television audiences that both the Blacks and the Greens joined houses and continued the Targaryen lineage, which isn’t true due to Jaehaera’s death. This all depends on at what point the TV series ends and if it will be concluded with the Hour of the Wolf.

Toward the end of the Dance of the Dragons, Aegon II executes Rhaenyra with his dragon Sunfyre, then recaptures King’s Landing with the Greens. However, the Blacks continue the fight, with armies from the North, the Riverlands, and the Vale marching on King’s Landing. The Northern army was led by Lord Cregan Stark. Before they arrived to avenge Rhaenyra, Aegon II was poisoned by his own supporters in the city, including Corlys Velaryon and Larys Strong.

Cregan Stark wasn’t happy with this choice and decided to take judgment into his own hands. He had Rhaenyra’s son, Aegon III, declared king and himself declared Hand of the King so he could enact justice, holding trials for all involved in Aegon III’s betrayal. This could be an excellent ending point for House of the Dragon, as at this point, many of the primary characters’ arcs would be over, and Aegon III could be shown ascending the throne, continuing the Targaryen line with or without Jaehaera.