5 big questions House of the Dragon season 2 needs to tackle after that finale

Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon’s finale has dropped – and unlike the rather fizzled-out interest in Rings of Power (sorry, Amazon), the finale of this Game of Thrones prequel has us feverishly looking forward to House of the Dragon season 2. (Spoilers to follow, obviously!)

The finale truly delivered on the casual bloodletting that Game of Thrones was known for, with a series of key character deaths that are set to shake up the existing power dynamics of the Targaryen family, and shape the direction of the story ahead.

There are sure to be consequences in House of the Dragon season 2, when it eventually arrives – but for now, these are the 5 questions that will be keeping HotD viewers up and night.

1. Will Aemond take responsibility for his brother’s death?

The most harrowing moment in the season finale was, of course, Aemond’s dragon Vhagar chomping down on Lucerys and his smaller dragon Arrax, after the riders lost control of their respective mounts.

The death is undoubtedly Aemond’s fault, since he began the chase, even if the specific outcome was unplanned – and this semi-accident seems likely to only turn the troubled character into even more of a villain in the seasons ahead. However, we’re yet to see how Aemond spins the death of his kin, as either an unfortunate accident or a kill he takes responsibility for – if not something he keeps secret as Lucerys’ absence begins to be noticed.

2. What dragon was Daemon singing to?

We sure did get a lot of dragons in this episode! We saw Daemon entering a cave, singing in High Valyrian to a gigantic dragon in the darkness. There’s no firm confirmation on which dragon this is so far – whether one of the 13 dragons already under the family’s control, or a ‘wild’ dragon with no existing allegiances.

Either way, it looks like a new key dragon is set to enter the mix (we are one down, after all) and we expect the beginning of season 2 will clear the matter up.

3. Will Laenor Velaryon return?

One question remains regarding Laenor Velaryon, who successfully faked his own death to elope with his lover, abdicating his responsibilities and leaving his family unawares of the truth.

The rule of Checkhov’s gun says that if a gun is shown in the first act, it will be used before the last, and we expect this story thread will be picked up in later seasons, whether Laenor returns or his family learn the truth about Rhaenyra helping him escape – something that could make tense diplomatic relations even more unstable.

4. Will House of the Dragon season 2 cleave close to the books?

We know from the Game of Thrones books what’s being set up: an all-out civil war that largely demolishes the might, power, and dragons of the Targaryen family, setting the stage for Daenarys’ rise to power as Mother of Dragons in the original Game of Thrones TV show.

The previous Game of Thrones TV show did deviate from the books in a few key ways, including changing the age and appearance of characters, as well as swapping or combining the storylines of different characters. So while we expect the main thrust of successive books to be followed in House of the Dragon season 2, there should also be a few surprises in store.

5. What is the blue gemstone?

Okay, this is a question we think we know the answer for already, but you never know in shows like this. One curious development in the finale was one-eyed Aemond taking off his eyepatch to reveal a blue sapphire placed within the socket – taking the place of the eye that was slashed out by Lucerys several years prior.

The sapphire is Aemond’s personal sigil – an individual equivalent of the house symbol of the Targaryens. Revealing the sapphire marks the moment Aemond is ready to take revenge on Lucerys, and ceases hiding the scar for the comfort of others. It doesn’t seem to have a wider significance than that, and we can't help but feel like maybe its story isn't finished yet…

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Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.