King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) sits at his council table in 'House of the Dragon' 2.04

Yes, Aemond Should Have Killed Aegon in ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2

Like it or not, there’s an obvious answer to House of the Dragon’s succession crisis—and fair warning, it’s pretty brutal. So even though Prince Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) can’t fix everything for the Greens, here’s why he probably should’ve gone through with murdering his brother in the most recent episode.

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If House of the Dragon season 1 was about betrayal, then season 2 is about revenge. So far, we’ve seen key players from both Team Black, loyal to Queen Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), and Team Green, loyal to King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), go up in literal flames as the squabble for the Iron Throne rages on. Season 2, episode 4, ‘The Red Dragon and the Gold,” marked a turning point in the war, putting some of the most steadfast alliances into question. Suffice it to say that blood isn’t always thicker than water.

Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4.

A quick recap of episode 4: dragons. MULTIPLE dragons. Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) doordashes a Plan B. Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) proves once again that he’s the biggest doofus in all the Seven Kingdoms. Ser Gwayne Hightower (Freddie Fox) gives some criminally offensive side-eye. Daemon (Matt Smith) is still tripping balls at Harrenhal, while Rhaenyra returns to Dragonstone after attempting to reconcile with her ex-girlfriend—I mean, BFF—only to find that her council is incapable of doing, well, anything. Oh, and you think you had a sh**ty day? Well, not only did Rhaenys (Eve Best) find out that her husband cheated on her and fathered bastard children, but she also died—painfully. Bummer!

Plus, Aemond nearly murders his brother. The girls are fighting! And dare I say … he might’ve been in the right?

Why did Aemond try to kill Aegon?

After ambushing Rhaenys and Meleys, Aemond zooms over to where Aegon has totaled his dragon—but not in a concerned, brotherly way. No, instead of checking in on his idiot sibling, Aemond has an ulterior motive: to capitalize on Aegon’s drunken foolishness and put an end to his reign once and for all. What happened to Aegon during the fight wasn’t premeditated—rather, a lucky coincidence. Nonetheless, it gives Aemond the perfect window of opportunity. But just as he’s about to stick a dagger in Aegon’s chest, Criston appears and stops Aemond in his tracks. It’s not hesitation, though—rather, it was a wise move on Aemond’s part to make sure he doesn’t have any witnesses when he finally, ahem, does the deed.

Westeros’ Draco Malfoy may not be dead yet, but if George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood is anything to go by, he’ll be severely injured and bedridden. Hypothetically, Aemond could snatch the crown right out from under him, but it’ll only be official if Aegon either dies or abdicates. Spoiler alert: Aegon? Not exactly the kind of guy to throw in the towel. The brothers have been at each others’ throats all season, and there’s a whole new layer to their rivalry following the build-up to the battle at Rook’s Rest. So even if it meant having Criston as a witness, Aemond just made things a whole lot harder for himself by not getting rid of his little Aegon problem while he could, as he may never get the opportunity again. If I may channel Thanos here, he should’ve gone for the head.

You don’t have to like it, but Aemond is more fit to be King than Aegon

The absolute ego-fueled pissing match between Aemond and Aegon has been a highlight of this season so far, but there are some legitimate reasons behind why Aemond is feuding with his big bro—aside from just wanting the crown for himself. I mean, Aegon was always ill-equipped to ascend the throne, given he didn’t even want to rule in the first place. In House of the Dragon season 2, we’ve seen Aegon become increasingly arrogant and brash, hanging out in taverns and brothels. To put it lightly, he’s young and dumb and is essentially a doormat in the eyes of his council.

We all know Aemond is a bit … sociopathic. I still haven’t forgiven him for killing Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), but he has proven himself to be a strategic thinker. Not only is he one of the few people who can one-up Criston in a sparring match, but he’s also demonstrated some impressive diplomacy skills, having convinced House Baratheon to pledge loyalty to his brother back in season 1. Oh, and he claimed Vhagar, showing us beyond doubt that he is a true Targaryen. Again, is the man a bit unstable? Yes. But at least he has a tiny semblance of honor—toward Helaena (Phia Saban) and Madam Sylvi (Michelle Bonnard), at least—and that’s honestly more than I can say for Aegon.

Look, I’m not advocating for murder here. But what I am saying is that if the Greens are to be taken seriously, having a powerful warrior like Aemond at the helm would help turn the tide—even if it does muddle up what started the Targaryen Civil War in the first place. The only things Aegon currently has working in his favor are A) the collective sympathy of King’s Landing for his son’s death, B) his surname, and C) an—albeit, small—dragon. He can’t even speak High Valyrian! Embarrassing.

Assuming he’s going to come out of the Battle at Rook’s Rest mutilated and scarred, this might just prove that Aegon was never the right man to sit atop the Iron Throne. So while it’s unlikely that he’ll become King anytime soon, Aemond acting as Prince Regent in his brother’s absence could do some serious harm to the Blacks. Don’t get me wrong, both Aemond and Aegon are wildly annoying, terrible human beings. But if I’m playing devil’s advocate here, Aemond is the kind of cold, calculating, manipulative, and decisive leader that could really get under Rhaenyra’s skin, making him perfectly fit to serve as a wartime King—even if it comes at an extraordinary cost to the realm.

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Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.