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‘House of The Dragon’: Blood and Cheese Explained

daemon standing with a sword in house of the dragon

“Blood and Cheese” is a phrase I never thought I’d heard myself say, and I never want to say it again.

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So Blood and Cheese is not actually some unfortunate fondu-related fan parody of House of The Dragon. It’s worse. It’s actually canon. Worse than that, Blood and Cheese are the names of two actual dudes who played a part in the Dance of the Dragons, which is the big Targaryen civil war that House of the Dragon will (spoiler alert) culminate in. But who the fuck are they and why didn’t their mothers love them enough to give them normal names?

So let’s start with Blood. The jury’s still out on whether or not his mother loved him or not, but his name wasn’t actually Blood. However, no one remembers his real name so the name blood stuck to him … like … well, blood? Blood was once a serjeant (yes, that’s how they spell it) in the King’s Watch of Kings Landing. However, he was sacked after it came to light that he beat a sex worker to death while he was drunk. I’m going to guess that this dude’s mom did not love him whatsoever. He ended up having to leave his cushy King’s Watch job and live in squalor in Flea Bottom with some other unscrupulous types.

Some time later, the Targaryans began their messy civil war, and split into two factions. These two factions were The Blacks, who were supporters of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryan, and The Greens, who supported Aegon the Second. In a victory for The Greens, Prince Aemond II killed Lucerys Velaryon at Storm’s End. This naturally pissed off The Blacks, and so Prince Daemon Targaryan’s spymaster and lover Mysaria hired Blood and a ratcatcher named Cheese to assassinate one of the sons of Aemond’s older brother, King Aegon the Second.

So why is Cheese named cheese? Well, how else do you catch a rat? Why is Blood named Blood? Because he’s really good at spilling it, and this evil Abbot and Costello pair is about to spill even more.

Cheese, being a nasty little rat man, knew all of the secret passages in the Red Keep. One night, he led Blood through one of them and into the chambers of Aegon’s mother, Queen Alicent Hightower. Blood tied her up and gagged the Queen, and the two killers waited for Aegon’s wife, Queen Helena Targaryan, to arrive with her children.

This is where it gets really ugly. Blood killed Helena’s guardsmen when she arrived, and Cheese grabbed her two sons, the princes Jaehaerys and Maelor Targaryan. Blood then demanded that Helena choose which son she wanted to die. Helena offered her own life instead, but Blood wasn’t having it. Helena then chose to sacrifice her younger son, Prince Maelor. Blood however, being the massive dick that he is, beheaded Jaehaerys instead. What a fucking bastard.

Blood and Cheese fled the Red Keep through more rat-bastard passageways, and into the night. Blood was later found at the Gate of the Gods by the gold cloaks and tortured to death, but no trace of Cheese was ever found. Aegon the Second wasn’t having it though, so he ordered every rat-catcher in the city to be hanged. He then replaced them with 100 cats, which was probably cheaper and way more effective.

So we haven’t seen Blood and Cheese yet in the show, but we know they’re coming. Where last we left off, Viserys and his fam were actually having a pretty good time. They were drinking and laughing things seemed like they were going to be okay. But if there’s anything we’ve come to know about the world of a Song of Ice and Fire, it’s that things are never okay, and when they are, they don’t stay that way for long. Alicent Hightower is already about to put some madness into motion for misconstruing Visery’s prophetic dream of the “prince who was promised,” and things are gonna get real nasty again real soon. Lots of rat-catchers are gonna die, but I’m honestly pretty excited about the cats that they’re gonna be replaced with. I would love nothing more than a fat old tabby to walk into a war meeting of the king and start knocking shit off of tables. Now that’s a kind of chaos we can all bring ourselves to love.

(featured image: HBO)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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