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A House Of The Dragon Season 2 Episode 1 Scene Is Sadder Than You May Think

Contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" Season 2 Episode 1 — "A Son for a Son"

At the end of the first season of "House of the Dragon," Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy, receives utterly gut-wrenching news: her second-eldest son, Lucerys Velaryon (Elliott Grihault), is dead. Wordlessly, she looks at her husband and uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) as he delivers the news, and in the Season 2 premiere "A Son for a Son," Rhaenyra is conspicuously missing from Dragonstone. Ultimately, we find out that she's flying towards the place where her son died — more on his cause of death shortly — to see if she can recover his body, searching atop her massive dragon Syrax.

The scene where Rhaenyra notices people gathered around a mysterious mass on a beach — which happens to be the remains of both Lucerys and his own dragon Arrax — is heartbreaking enough, particularly as Rhaenyra finds her son's body in pieces. It's even more gutting than you realize, though; as @RON1NSenju observed on X (formerly known as Twitter), two mothers are in pain in this fraught moment. "Just wanted to point out, Arrax (Lucerys' dragon) is also son of Syrax (Rhaenyra's dragon)... so both mothers are mourning in this scene," they wrote in the post.

While not confirmed in George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood," it's widely believed that Arrax is the on of Syrax due to the fact that Syrax lays several eggs during the timeline. If the show is nodding to this familial connection, it makes the scene all the more heartbreaking.

Last season, Rhaenyra lost her second-eldest son during a horrific dragon battle

So what exactly happened to Lucerys Velaryon at the end of Season 1, and why is his body — along with that of Arrax — washing up on shore on some random Westerosi beach? Let's rewind to partway through Season 1 of "House of the Dragon," where a young Lucerys and Aemond, played at the time by Harvey Sadler and Leo Ashton, get into a physical altercation over Aemond "stealing" control of his enormous dragon Vhagar. (Vhagar was bonded to Nanna Blondell's Lady Laena Velaryon when the expecting mother decided to self-immolate by dragonfire rather than die in childbirth; the dragon should have passed to one of her two daughters, but Aegon took her instead.) Fighting for Laena's daughters, Lucerys wields a knife and ends up injuring Aemond to the point where the young prince loses an eye.

Fast forward several years, and the two are sent by their mothers Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) to plead their case at Storm's End, with both boys believing they can sway House Baratheon to their side. Upon leaving, they fight viciously in the air during a thunderstorm, and when Arrax lands a decent hit of dragonfire on Vhagar, the older, larger dragon goes rogue and kills Lucerys and Arrax with a single bite mid-air. It's a brutal and unforgettable sequence, and seeing the aftermath in "A Son for a Son" really drives the point home.

Rhaenyra's revenge came at the end of the first episode of House of the Dragon

Rhaenyra does definitely want revenge after Lucerys' deeply tragic death at the end of Season 1 of "House of the Dragon" — but when she tells Daemon that she wants Aemond Targaryen, he doesn't exactly bring that plan to fruition. In "A Son for a Son," Daemon hires two men known as Blood (Sam C. Wilson) and Cheese (Mark Stobbart), a former soldier and a rat-catcher, and tells them to hunt down a prince with blonde hair and an eye-patch. Somehow, the eye-patch part gets lost in translation, and when Blood and Cheese infiltrate the royal chambers in King's Landing, they end up face-to-face with Queen Helaena Targaryen (Phia Saban), the sister-wife of King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney). 

It's at that point that the hapless assassins force Helaena to point out which child is her son — though what happens in "Fire & Blood" is actually way worse — and subsequently behead the very young Prince Jaehaerys, eldest heir of Helaena and Aegon. Yes, Rhaenyra is devastated when she finds Lucerys' partial remains on the beach, but we'll have to wait until the next episode of "House of the Dragon" to see how she feels about Team Black's retribution against Team Green.

"House of the Dragon" airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 P.M. EST on HBO and its streaming service Max.