Harry Collett and Bethany Antonia as Prince Jacaerys Velaryon and Princess Baela Targaryen in season two of House of the Dragon

‘Fire and Blood’ Readers Know How Sick and Twisted That Shot of Jacaerys Actually Was!

Why do the show runners enjoy seeing me in pain?

One of the best things about watching a show or a movie adapted from written material that you are already obsessively familiar with is that you A) get to flex it by becoming both the Annoying Book Reader and also the resident lore wiki and B) catch pretty much every hint of foreshadowing the showrunners drop. 

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And that’s exactly what happened to readers of Fire and Blood everywhere when they were watching “A Son for a Son,” the second episode of the second season of House of the Dragon.

Jacaerys Velaryon, Joffrey Velaryon stand with their mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the dragon
Hint: the foreshadowing is about one of these characters (HBO)

Major spoilers ahead for the events of the Dance described in Fire and Blood and so for future seasons of House of the Dragon. And I do mean MAJOR! You’ve been warned.

Jacaerys Velaryon and the Battle of the Gullet

During “A Son for a Son,” Jacaerys Velaryon shares a scene with Baela Targaryen, who is his betrothed as well as his cousin/step-sister. This conversation, where the two young royals talk about fathers and the wars to come, happens just after Daemon has stormed away from Dragonstone on his dragon Caraxes—which is why his daughter Baela is working through what have to be some considerable daddy issues by doing some crossbow practice.

As Jace approaches here, there’s a shot from behind Baela’s shoulders where it seems like he is the target of her bolts. Of course he’s not and Baela, who also is an excellent shot, is aiming at the post just beside him. But the shot seems like painfully clear foreshadowing of how Jace will end up losing his life during the Dance.

A shot that forshadows Prince Jacaerys Velaryon's future
This is so cruel Ryan Condal! Why would you do this to me! (HBO)

That will happen during the Battle of the Gullet, a naval battle where the Greens tried to definitely break the Velaryon blockade with the help of the Triarchy. The princes Jace, Aegon, and Viserys are caught right in the middle of the battle as they are sailing towards Pentos, where Rhaenyra has decided that they should be fostered until she has secured the Iron Throne—and Jace and his dragon Vermax join the fight from the air.

Eventually, though, Vermax flew too low and crashed into the sea, either after being shot or pulled down by a grapnel. The dragon entangled himself in a burning ship and was pulled down by it under the waves—and when Jacaerys leapt free from him, he was shot to death by, you guessed it, crossbowmen from the city of Myr who were embarked on the Triarchy ships.

And even more scorching-hot foreshadowing!

It’s not the first time the show has indulged in some foreshadowing for those who already knew what was going to happen during the Dance of the Dragons—just remember how in season one a young Rhaenyra encounters a kind of creepy old lady during her escapade through King’s Landing with Daemon. The old woman asks if she wishes to know her death, and the shot immediately after is that of a sort of dragon-shaped lamp blowing a tiny stream of fire—echoing the much larger fire that will put an end to her life when Aegon has his dragon Sunfyre burn her and then eat her.

But Jace’s scene was also not the only one in the episode itself—a good handful of characters had some sort of reference to the way they were going to die for those who knew how to look for them. 

Aemond finds a coin in his room as he inspects them in the wake of Blood and Cheese and holds it up to get a better look at it. The coin aligns perfectly with his remaining eye, the same one that Daemon will run through with his sword Dark Sister during the battle that will end both their lives. Helaena looks up during Jaehaerys’s funeral procession, the wind blowing in her face in terrible parallelism of her end—her jumping out of her bedroom’s window, torn apart by the loss of her child and the progressive death of her family.

Aemond Targaryen, played by Ewan Mitchell, inspects a coin in the second episode of the second season of House of the Dragon
He’ll have to close an eye alright (HBO)

And that’s not all! In the trailer for the third episode of season two, we see Aegon wearing armor and staring at himself in the mirror—likely before the Green army marches out of King’s Landing to war. Half of his face is in the shadows, and incidentally, half his face will be badly burned at the Battle of Rook’s Rest by Princess Rhaenys and her dragon Meleys.

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Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.