What Do Rats and Blood Mean In ‘House of The Dragon’ Season 1?

“Game of Thrones” had a knack for teasing things. Showrunners teased the White Walkers in the opening seconds of the show, and we also got our first glimpse of the dragon eggs in the opening episodes. The same stands true of the latest HBO spin-off “House of The Dragon,” which explores the Targaryen Dynasty at the peak of their power and will pursue a major and deciding event of the entire franchise dubbed “Dance of The Dragon,” which will divide the Targaryen Household into ‘Green’ and ‘Blacks.’

You might have often noticed the swarms of rats in Westeros. They were everywhere, from King Viserys’s chamber to the great hall. In the closing moments of “House of the Dragon” Episode 4, we see rats feeding on the pool of Blood that Ser Criston Cole drained from Joffrey Lonmouth’s face. We see rats feasting on the Blood as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Ser Laenor take their wedding vows. Even though this scene might seem ordinary and unimportant, it significantly impacts the show because it sets the stage for one of the most disgusting and heinous crimes in the whole Dance of the Dragon. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about that crime, so you don’t miss it. But tread carefully. There will be Dragon-Size spoilers, so if you’re not okay with that, fly away!!!

Spoilers Ahead

What Do Blood And Rats Represent?

The Blood and Rats tease the arrival of two of the most essential characters in the show, namely “Blood” and “Cheese,” from the source material. The duo is hated and despised even by the worst of criminals for the deeds they’ve carried out in the name of their service. Blood was a butcher who was once a respected member of Daemon’s Golden Cloak, and his ally, Cheese, was a ratcatcher employed in the Red Keep. These two men were once tasked by Daemon’s Targaryen to murder one of Aegon’s children. But why in the world would Daemon Targaryen want to murder one of his own grandsons? Well, the story is tied to Lucerys Velaryon, one of the many children of Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon.

Who Is Lucerys Velaryon?

Prince Lucerys Velaryon, known commonly as Luke, was one of the many born of Princess Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon. Lucerys was also a brave dragon rider like his father and often leveled the skies and battlefield, mouthing his fiery beast, Arrax. When it came to fighting, Lucerys was a sturdy young man. He shared the same dark features, tresses, and pug nose as his siblings, Jacaerys and Joffrey. Because of this, many people in the small council began to question whether he was originally the son of Ser Harwin Strong.

In the latest episode of “House of the Dragon,” we see Ser Harwin Strong intervene as Aegon Targaryen kicks Lucerys during training. As a response, Cristen Cole makes a remark implying that he is Lucerys’ birth father. The remark didn’t bode well for Harwin, as in the next scene, we see him beating the shit out of Ser Criston Cole.

Prince Lucerys was among King Viserys’s favorite grandsons, and Viserys often claimed that Lucerys would grow up to be a fine knight. In 118 C, Lucerys tied the knot with Baela Targaryen, one of the two daughters born through the enterprise of Daemon Targaryen and Laena Valarryon. Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys I, wanted to demonstrate that he believed his boys were rightful successors to the kingdom, so he ordered that dragon eggs be placed in their basinets to strengthen their bonds with their respective beasts. Many in the council who didn’t believe in Rhaenyra’s children’s legitimacy believed that the dragon eggs would never hatch, but they were proven wrong when the little dragons started coming out. These fiery beasts were later named Vermax, Arrax, and Tyraxes. Even though the dragon was young and still maturing, he was rideable when the Targaryen Civil War broke out.

The Velaryon siblings faced Prince Aemond Targaryen as he tried to mount Vhagar, one of the oldest and most fierce dragons of the Targaryen Household. Luke, then only five years old, was attacked by Aemond, who smashed his face, breaking his nose. In response, little Lucerys used his knife to stab Aemond in the eye. After this incident, Aemond received his new moniker, “The One-Eye Targaryen.”

The Dance Over Shipbreaker Bay

Lucerys’ time as a steward predated even the famous Targaryen Civil War. Lucerys was living his teenage years when the Civil War broke out. Lucerys was dispatched as an envoy to Storm’s End, where he was anticipated to be warmly welcomed by Lord Borros Baratheon. He made a solemn oath to Rhaenyra Targaryen on Dragonstone that he would not pick up his blade in battle. Unfortunately, Aemond Targaryen was also present at the fortress. After entering the Round Hall, Luke handed over his message to Borros while ignoring his big brother. When questioned about whom among his daughters Lucerys would marry, the Velaryon prince revealed that he was engaged to Rhaena Targaryen. Burros asked him to fly back to Dragonstone. He was stopped by Aemond, who raised his blade, but Lucerys reminded him that he was just an emissary and not a warrior.

Arrax looked for Lucerys in the fortress courtyard while the tempest raged outside. Borros agreed to Aemond’s demand to depart the fortress. As Aemond rode out on his dragon to pursue Luke, Arrax struggled to maintain flight. Arrax was a much smaller and weaker dragon compared to Aemond’s Vhagar, which eventually contributed to his tragic demise. Flying over Shipbreaker Bay, the two giants collide. During a violent storm, Arrax collapsed and was swept away by the bay’s raging seas. After three days, his body parts drifted ashore on the shore underneath the rocks at Storm’s End. The body of Prince Lucerys was also discovered. Queen Rhaenyra fainted when she learned of his demise, and Joffrey, Lucerys’ younger brother, made an awful pledge of revenge on both Lord Borros and Prince Aemond Targaryen. A raven flew in from Harrenhal while the dark council discussed how to retaliate. Prince Daemon came forth to avenge the death of his grandson and entrusted this task to two of his most loyal mercenaries, “Blood” and “Cheese”. It was deemed a nefarious crime, but the Rogue Prince called it “Justice.”

What Blood And Cheese Did, That Was So Gruesome?

After Lucerys’ death, Mysaria, often referred to as the “White Worm,” called upon Cheese and Blood to do Daemon’s heinous bedding and ordered the duo to murder one of Aegon’s children. Cheese’s lengthy employment as a ratcatcher of the Red Keep conferred him the secrets of all the hidden passages that lead to the palace. Through a long-forgotten tunnel, Cheese and Blood made their way inside the Red Keep, and then, by squeezing between narrow openings in the stonework, they managed to enter the private chambers of Queen Alicent Hightower. Both assailants hid themselves waiting for Aegon’s spouse, Queen Helaena Targaryen, and her kids to come.

When Helaena came, Blood dispatched her bodyguards, and Cheese snatched Prince Maelor Targaryen. They enquired of Helaena, asking which of her sons they should murder. Helaena volunteered to die for her kids, but Blood insisted that he must murder one of his sons. When Aegon’s sister-wife tried to distract the two, Blood threatened to strip her six-year-old daughter, Princess Jaehaera Targaryen, of her dignity. Halaena offered to murder Maelor hoping that the toddler won’t even realize the deed, but despite Helaena’s best efforts to save her youngest child, Blood murdered Jaehaerys and exited the Red Keep holding Jaehaerys’ head in his hand. 

“It has to be a boy.”

Blood was apprehended shortly after he attempted to deliver Jaeharys’ decapitated head to Prince Daemon Targaryen at the Gate of the Gods to claim his prize. His torment led him to confess that he had been recruited by a lady who matched Mysaria’s profile. Blood died of constant abuse and torture. Ser Luthor Largent sent the gold cloaks in an attempt to locate Mysaria and Blood’s partner in crime, Cheese. Unfortunately, they failed to find them. Angered and broken by his son’s murder, Aegon II ordered his guards to level the Dragonstone, but Ser Cole intervened and asked for the dispatch of Ser Arryk Cargyll to do his bidding.

See more: ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending, Explained – Why Did Rhaenyra Leave For Dragonstone?

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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