House of the Dragon: why did Aemond fail to control Vhagar?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon season 1 finale. At the very end of the series, Aemond, who is chasing his nephew in an attempt to gouge out his eye, can no longer control Vhagar, his dragon. But why?

Vhagar and Arrax, out of control © HBO

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon season 1 finale.

The first season of House of the Dragon ended in tragedy. On the back of his dragon Vhagar, Aemond slays his nephew, Lucerys Targaryen, above Storm’s End. A tragic event that will lead to war and to all the events we will see in season 2 of the series.

While Aemond has long had a vendetta against Lucerys, all of the evidence in this scene demonstrates that he’s not pursuing him to kill him, but rather to get revenge for Lucerys gouging out his eye when they were younger. Given their history, it would make sense that Aemond would want to kill Lucerys (which is the case in the book Fire and Blood). But the series makes it clear that Aemond had no intention of doing this and that Vhagar, his dragon gone out of control, is the culprit. So why did Vhagar act like that that night?

Vhagar, the oldest dragon in Westeros, had nothing to do with Aemond’s wishes

If Aemond is infatuated with a desire for revenge and a thirst for power riding the greatest dragon in all of Westeros, he only sought to intimidate his nephew and seek revenge, with no murderous ulterior motives. ” It’s a complex scene. Aemond isn’t blameless, but he’s not a psychopath either. said Ryan Condal, the showrunner of the series, in a interview.

This scene is revealing as far as Aemond is concerned. If he provokes this pursuit, it is worth remembering that Aemond was first and foremost a bullied child, made fun of all his childhood because he didn’t have a dragon. In the end, his look says it all: he didn’t want to kill his nephew, he didn’t intend to.

To read : House of the Dragon season 2: release date, cast, story, what to expect?

Aemond comes to realize that his dragon Vhagar has just killed his nephew, Lucerys, and nothing will be the same © HBO
Aemond comes to realize that his dragon Vhagar has just killed his nephew, Lucerys, and nothing will be the same © HBO

But then, why can’t Aemond reason with Vhagar? Yet she had no no problem obeying the orders of his former rider, Laena, especially when she ordered him to end his life. Not wanting to hurt her partner, Vhagar was reluctant to do so, even though she eventually obeyed. But Vhagar and Laena had built a real connection over many years and she knew how to talk to him. Aemond, on the other hand, simply sees Vhagar as a weapon to wieldand has only been riding it for a short time.

The scene says a lot about the character that dragons can have, as Arrax, Lucerys’ little dragon, also spirals out of control, spitting fire at Vhagar as Lucerys tries to regain control. Much older and slower than Arrax, Vhagar is also five times bigger, tougher and tougher: Arrax didn’t stand a chance.

Beyond their size, it should be remembered that the dragons of the world of Westeros cannot be completely tamed. No dragon can be perfectly tamed, as explained Viserys I to his daughterat the start of the series: “ The idea that we can control dragons is just an illusion “.

To read : House of the Dragon: why does Aemond have a blue eye similar to that of the White Walkers?

Viseras and Rhaenyra
Viserys brings up the subject of dragons in Rhaenyra © HBO

Finally, at this moment in the series, in the year 129, Vhagar is the largest and oldest dragon in all of Westeros: born in the year – 52, she will have been ridden first by Visenya Targaryen, the eldest sister-wives of Aegon the Conqueror. Vhagar will then have had two other dragon riders: Baelon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon. Aemond is, at this moment in history, the least experienced of them.. He may yell at her “ serve me » (Dohaeras in High Valyrian), Vhagar will have had his way, leading to this tragic event that will trigger the Dance of the Dragons.

House of the Dragon: why did Aemond fail to control Vhagar?