Did House Of The Dragon Stars Just Debunk A Gruesome Fan Theory About The Greens In Season 2?

 Ewan Mitchell and Tom Glynn-Carney in House of the Dragon Season 1x09.
Ewan Mitchell and Tom Glynn-Carney in House of the Dragon Season 1x09.

Nearly two years after the first season premiere of the first Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon Season 2 is finally on the horizon for a summer premiere. For as violent as the first season was in setting up the Targaryen civil war, the Blacks vs. Greens dueling trailers are creating even higher stakes for the conflict in the Targaryen family tree. Readers of George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood have a pretty good idea of just how bloody that conflict will get; as one of those readers, a recent funny video about Season 2 prompted me to wonder if the actors debunked a pretty gruesome fan theory early.

As actors Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell – who play brothers Aegon and Aemond Targaryen, respectively – sat down to react to some of the biggest Season 1 scenes for the Greens, they dropped some quick comments that didn’t just have me flashing back to the first season. I was also flashing back to Fire & Blood.

The three scenes that the on-screen brothers watched and reacted to were Aemond’s fateful (and fatal) confrontation with Lucerys that culminated in Lucerys getting – to quote Tom Glynn-Carney – ”munched” by Vhagar after Aemond lost control of the dragon; Aegon and Aemond’s physical fight after their father’s death when Aegon was trying to flee his responsibilities as new king; and Aegon’s coronation, which Rhaenys quite literally crashed on the back of her dragon, Meleys. It was this third scene and the actors’ commentary that made me think of Fire & Blood and reader discourse during Season 1. But let's start at the beginning with the theory for some context.

Warning: HUGE, MAJOR, GIGANTIC SPOILERS for George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood through the “The Red Dragon and the Gold” chapter.

Phia Saban as Helaena in House of the Dragon Season 2
Phia Saban as Helaena in House of the Dragon Season 2

The Theory About Helaena's Latest Prophecy

As fans may remember, Helaena Targaryen had a knack for dropping phrases that seemed nonsensical at the time, but were actually accurate predictions about the future, such as foreshadowing Aemond losing an eye to gain a dragon and the eventual Blacks vs. Green conflict. The prophecy that I’m thinking of came in the penultimate episode of the first season, when Alicent came to tell her daughter that Viserys was dead. Helaena all but hissed at her mother:

There is a beast beneath the boards.

Now, on the surface and without any knowledge of Fire & Blood, “a beast beneath the boards” seems to most obviously refer to Rhaenys destroying Aegon’s coronation on Meleys, and it’s certainly one of the more literal translations of a Helaena prophecy. At the time, though, I was not the only viewer on social media who thought she might have been foreshadowing a different sequence straight from the book: Blood and Cheese, from the early days of the civil war.

The Blood and Cheese incident that is presumably on the way early in Season 2 is the one thing that I suspect might flip some Team Black fans over to Team Green. This is when Daemon uses some pretty despicable means to exact revenge on the Hightower-Targaryens for the death of Lucerys. Even as a supporter of Team Black who has known about Blood and Cheese since Fire & Blood was released in 2018, I know this is going to be difficult to watch.

To summarize: Daemon recruits two assassins in King’s Landing to infiltrate the Red Keep, known as Blood and Cheese. The latter was a rat catcher in the capital, whose knowledge of the hidden tunnels in the castle enable them to sneak into Alicent’s rooms, where they would hold her captive until Helaena arrived with her two sons and her daughter.

Long story short – the assassins forced Helaena to choose which of her sons they killed. Helaena eventually chose her youngest so, so that her eldest – and heir to the Iron Throne – would be spared, but Blood instead murdered her older son. Helaena understandably would never be the same afterwards, and it was a truly despicable act from Daemon, who wasn’t nearly as bad in the book as he was in the show up to this point in the timeline. (No, I’m still not over show Daemon murdering his first wife in a departure from Fire & Blood.)

So, while the “beast beneath the boards” seemed to most obviously point towards Rhaenys crashing Aegon’s coronation in Season 1, Helaena's prophecy also seemed like it could be foreshadowing Blood and Cheese invading the Red Keep through the secret tunnels. I personally liked the idea that the most obvious explanation was wrong and that the payoff would take some time... but the commentary from Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell seems to have debunked it.

Tom Glynn-Carney at Aegon's coronation in House of the Dragon Season 1x09
Tom Glynn-Carney at Aegon's coronation in House of the Dragon Season 1x09

How The Actors May Have Debunked It

Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell’s commentary on Aegon’s coronation was a lot funnier than when the event actually happened in the show, since it was clearly a point of no return when it came to the Greens picking a fight with the Blacks. Glynn-Carney sang a line from Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” when Rhaenys crashed through the sept on Meleys, and Mitchell – in the understatement of the century – said that it was “ruined by Rhaenys.” Then they had this exchange:

  • Ewan Mitchell: “We should have listened to Helaena, because she already predicted it."

  • Tom Glynn-Carney: "'‘There’s a beast beneath the boards.’”

Now, is this the same as a writer or a showrunner or George R.R. Martin confirming that “beast beneath the boards” was foreshadowing Rhaenys on Meleys in Season 1 rather than Blood and Cheese in Season 2? Definitely not, but it does feel to me like it debunks the Blood and Cheese prophecy theory. All in all, it probably doesn’t make a huge difference one way or the other if House of the Dragon somehow confirms what Helaena was referring to. Still, it was fun to theorize during Season 1 and the long wait for Season 2.

“Fun” isn’t quite how I’d describe what’s on the way with Blood and Cheese in Season 2, and I have to wonder how graphic House of the Dragon will actually be with it. The show does not shy away from murder and mayhem, and Lucerys was chomped on screen, so it’s not out of the question for a child character to be killed off in a gruesome way. Still, Luke dying when Vhagar caught his dragon Arrax is an entirely different visual from Helaena’s son being decapitated, as happens in Fire & Blood. For now, check out the two actors’ commentary on three key Green scenes:

All in all, the wait to find out is nearly over, relatively speaking. I’m expecting Blood and Cheese to happen early in Season 2, since Daemon will presumably want to exact his “a son for a son” revenge plan sooner rather than later. House of the Dragon Season 2 will premiere on Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO in the 2024 TV schedule. You’ll also have the option of streaming the series with a Max subscription.