Will Rhaenyra Die in House of the Dragon Season 2? Here's Who Kills Her in the Books

Will Rhaenyra Die in House of the Dragon Season 2? Here's Who Kills Her in the Books
Image credit: HBO

Spoiler: It's all very tragic. This is George Martin after all!


  • Fans of the HOTD characters should be prepared for many major deaths in Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Rhaenyra Targaryen will also not escape a tragic fate.
  • Although her death will not come soon, it will probably be the most violent event in the series.

Where Game of Thrones felt like a fantasy take on historical conflicts like the Wars of the Roses, House of the Dragon feels like a Shakespearean tragedy. In the vein of Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, GoT's prequel is a poignant family drama that follows the tragic consequences of political ambition, revenge, and paranoia. So it's probably not much of a spoiler to say that not every character in the series created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan Condal will live to see the finale. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that few will survive at all.

Now, after two years of waiting, HBO has released the first two episodes of the second season of House of the Dragon. The civil war is in full swing and the victims are often children. All this leads to even more tension between the greens and the blacks, and thus to even greater risks for its main figures, two siblings who hate each other, Aegon II and Rhaenyra.

But under what circumstances exactly did Rhaenyra die, and who was responsible for her murder in the source material, Fire & Blood?

How Does Rhaenyra Targaryen Die?

It should come as no surprise that both Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) will meet a similar fate to Daenerys in the Game of Thrones finale. After all, true to Shakespearean motifs, characters consumed by ambition and willing to sacrifice everything for the throne never get a happy ending.

Will Rhaenyra Die in House of the Dragon Season 2? Here's Who Kills Her in the Books - image 1

But how exactly did the rightful heir to the Iron Throne meet her tragic end? In short, pretty messy. It was mentioned long before Fire & Blood was published — a spoiler for Rhaenyra's fate can be found in the novel A Dance with Dragons. In it, Dany recalls historical events from the past, specifically Rhaenyra's death. It is also mentioned in the series when Joffrey in Game of Thrones Season 3 told Margaery Tyrell in very graphic detail how things were.

In order not to spoil the experience for our readers who are unfamiliar with Fire & Blood, we won't go into the much details that led up to this, but we will note that towards the end of the civil war, Rhaenyra developed an incredible paranoia that caused many of her companions to turn their backs on her. Dragonstone was left virtually unprotected, and Aegon II fed Rhaenyra to his own dragon, Sunfyre, in front of her son, the future King Aegon III.

When Will It Happen in the Show?

Given that House of the Dragon has been renewed for at least one more season, the writers will clearly be trying to delay one of the key events that brought the war to an end. After all, fans will have to endure the equally tragic deaths of Damon (Matt Smith), Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), and many other major and minor characters before this one.

In other words, get ready for someone else to die this season, dear friends, because the end for Rhaenyra will clearly be in the style of Daenerys' death in Game of Thrones.

House of the Dragon Release Schedule

Like the first one, HOTD Season 2 airs on HBO and lands on Max Library on Sundays at 9 p.m ET. Check out the full Season 2 schedule below:

  • S2E1, 'A Son for a Son' — June 16, 2024
  • S2E2, 'Rhaenyra the Cruel' — June 23, 2024
  • S2E3, TBA — June 30, 2024
  • S2E4, TBA — July 7, 2024
  • S2E5, TBA — July 14, 2024
  • S2E6, TBA — July 21, 2024
  • S2E7, TBA — July 28, 2024
  • S2E8, TBA — August 4, 2024
Which side of the Dance of Dragons are you on?