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House Of The Dragon Showrunner Had That Season 1 Finale Death Planned Since The Very Beginning

Warning: Major spoilers for "House of The Dragon" Season 1 Episode 10.

"House of the Dragon" wrapped its first season on a glorious and devastating note that propelled the series into the highly anticipated Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. After King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) succumbs to his startlingly grotesque illness, the Iron Throne is up for grabs and Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) seizes the opportunity. She misinterprets the final words of the King and places her son Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the throne, dividing House Targaryen into the Greens, led by the Hightowers, and the Blacks, led by Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy).

An early warning sign of this sharp division is the harrowing physical altercation between the royal children resulting in one life-changing incident. This vicious event tiered up the inevitable showdown we saw in Episode 10 between Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) and Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault), aka Luke. Above the stormy waters of Shipbreaker Bay, Luke and Arrax met their bloody demise in one fell mighty swoop from Vhagar.

As the unforgiving war ensues, each side desperately clings to power while tolling unimaginable losses. This is crystal clear in Rhaenyra's quiet rage when she receives the news of Luke's death. Following its official release, showrunner Ryan Condal reveals the jaw-dropping dragon clashing sequence was always planned that way in order to end Season 1 fittingly with fire and blood. 

The fates of Lucerys and Arrax were sealed from the start

Episode 10 "The Black Queen" showcases Rhaenyra's calculated response to Alicent usurping her claim to the Iron Throne. After her coronation, Queen Rhaenyra aims to rally her sworn allies using her sons as envoys, including Luke, who swoops off dragon-back to find a massive and deadly surprise. Luke seeks to recruit House Baratheon at Storm's End, but Aemond and Vhagar have already presented a stronger case.

As the dragons roar and dance throughout the stormy skies, Aemond's colossal dragon Vhagar unexpectedly slaughters Arrax and Luke. The stunning and tragic moment fulfills the series' promise of fierce dragon-induced gore while setting Season 2 up for all-out war. Showrunner Ryan Condal states this brutal showdown was unavoidable when asked if he'd considered an alternate ending with Variety.

"Maybe, at some point? But no, I looked back at the original bible that I wrote for the series back in May of 2019, and that was in there as the endpoint," Condal said. "It just felt like the one-two punch of Viserys dying, the Greens seizing the throne and telling that story from Alicent's team's perspective, Rhaenyra's team finding out and putting in place the engines of war and then setting the dragons off and having this horrible thing happened over Storm's End — the story is called the Dance of the Dragons. To kick off the war/end the first act of our story with the first dragons dancing seemed to be the right dramatic place to leave everybody off."

Season 2 of "House of the Dragon" is officially happening — but fans might have to wait a long while to see how the aftermath of Luke's death plays out.