Who Died in ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Episode 4?

“House of the Dragon” came out swinging with Season 2, Episode 4 — aptly titled “A Dance of Dragons” — and gave us our first major casualty of the civil war.

Last week’s Battle of the Burning Mill might have been the first official fight in the Dance of the Dragons, but this week’s Battle at Rook’s Rest was the real start of the whole bloody mess.

If we were to score the battle, Team Green definitely gets the W here, because Team Black suffered massively by losing an experienced dragonrider AND a dragon. When the Dance is all about dragon math, losing a single one is costly.

Here’s the death toll and who came out alive for “House of the Dragon” Episode 4.

Eve Best in “House of the Dragon” Season 2 Episode 4 (Ollie Upton/HBO)

Who Died?

The Battle at Rook’s Rest didn’t come without a high cost. There were a number of deaths but Team Black was definitely hit hardest, losing a pair of major assets. Here’s who didn’t survive the clash.


Rhaenys (Eve Best) fought with her legendary fury but it wasn’t enough to overcome Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Vhagar while also being pestered by Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Sunfyre. Had it just been one brother/dragon pair it’s likely the princess would have come out on top. She still almost did thanks to some brotherly infighting.

She refused to flee and left Vhagar with some serious wounds, before accepting her fate and going out on dragonback like a true Targaryen. The loss is especially tough for Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) as Rhaenys was one of the few voices on her council that had her side.


Losing any dragon is tough but the Blacks losing the Red Queen is particularly devastating. She was one of the oldest dragons in the world, renowned for her speed and ferocity, and she squared up nicely with Vhagar – who to be real is the only serious dragon threat currently for the Greens.

Her and Rhaenys’ bond was exemplary, putting the wishy-washy connection Aemond and Vhagar have to shame. Losing the combo is a devastating loss for Team Black and despite the general soldier loss for both side, it’s losing these two that’ll likely have a lasting impact on the civil war.

Lots of Soldiers

It feels weird only signifying the major losses when hundreds of soldiers on both Team Black and Team Green were burned to death by dragonfire. This is me remembering them.

Who Lived?

Aemond and Vhagar

Aemond and Vhagar’s ambush during the battle kind of went better than planned. The pair were able to knock off a dragon and their rider AND Aemond was able to finally get some well-deserved payback on his older brother for the years of bullying.

Aemond is on the verge of gaining a lot more power it seems – he has the Kinslayer reputation and now he’s responsible for taking out Rhaenys and Meleys. Expect terrible but great things from him in the episodes to come.

Criston Cole

It brings me no joy to report that Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) survived the Battle at Rook’s Rest. He was boots on the ground and spent much of the fight fretting over the fact that Aegon and Sunfyre showed up unannounced. It’s unclear yet based on what he could see from the battle in the sky, or how he read those final moments, if Criston has any idea of the part Aemond played in how things turned out for the king.


The last shot shows Sunfyre breathing despite being hurt so that’s at least confirmation the Greens didn’t trade a dragon for a dragon. It’s not clear the extent of Aegon’s dragon’s injuries but in the book they’re severe.

In “Fire and Blood,” Sunfyre is too wounded from the battle to fly, and too heavy to walk so he remains at Rook’s Rest feeding on the corpses from the battle and eventually sheep and cattle. His wings never heal properly, but Sunfyre does eventually regain the ability to fly.


King Aegon II

It’s unclear whether Aegon survived the friendly fire from Vhagar and fall to the battlefield. We can’t see whether he was moving like Sunfyre or if Aemond saw his brother alive or dead.

In “Fire and Blood,” Aegon survives the battle like Sunfyre but with severe injuries. Half of his body is covered in burns and the armor on his left arm was melted to his skin. It took the king over a year to recover from the battle and much of that time was spent in the drugged haze provided by milk of the poppy.

The show has altered a number of things from the book – including in this episode when it’s revealed that Aemond was the reason for Aegon’s injuries and not Rhaenys and Meleys. Killing Aegon here outright would be a massive departure from the book, but it’s also possible the king’s injuries aren’t as extensive if he survived.

For Aegon, it’s a waiting game.

New episodes of “House of the Dragon” air Sundays on HBO and stream on Max.

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