'House Of The Dragon' Season 2: Don't Worry, Jacaerys Velaryon's Messenger Mission Goes A Lot Better Than His Brother's
To Winterfell we go!
WARNING: SPOILERS for House of The Dragon 1x10, 'The Black Queen', and some potentially spoilery season 2 speculation.
The first season of HBO's Game of Thrones prequel, House of The Dragon, has come to it's shocking conclusion.
In the finale's opening scenes, Princess Rhaenys arrives on Dragonstone aboard her Dragon, Meleys, to inform Rhaenyra of the death of her Father, King Viserys I, and warn her that the Greens have usurped the Throne that was supposed to pass to Rhaenyra, instead crowning her half-brother, Aegon, as King Of The Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra's Husband, Prince Daemon, suspects foul play in Viserys's death, and is eager to go to War for the throne. Rhaenyra, however, shows restraint, wishing to be sure of her allies before committing to any war.
A Not So Perfect Plan
Rhaenyra's eldest son and heir, Prince Jacaerys, offers himself and his brother Lucerys, both Dragon-riders, as messengers, reasoning that Dragons are faster and provide a stronger showing than ravens. Rhaenyra agrees, but it is a move she will come to regret, as things soon take a tragic turn.
The now Queen Rhaenyra sends Lucerys, her second son, to Storm's End to treat with Lord Boros Baratheon, as it is the closest, and therefore, least dangerous journey. Unfortunately, Lucerys arrives at Storm's End to discover that the new King Aegon's brother, Prince Aemond, and Aemond's monstrous dragon, Vhagar, have beaten him there. Aemond demands Lucerys's eye in exchange for the one his nephew took from him in a brawl as children. Lucerys refuses, fleeing on the back of his young, inexperienced Dragon, Arrax, but Aemond and Vhagar pursue them.
Tragically, both Princes, inexperienced with the use of Dragons in battle, lose control of their mounts, and Vhagar, against Aemond's wishes, brutally kills Lucerys and Arrax. With Lucerys's death, any chance of a peaceful resolution is shattered, and the Dance of Dragons begins.
Obviously, Prince Lucerys's mission went as badly as it could possibly go, leaving some fans, mostly those who may not yet have read the Targaryen history book Fire and Blood, fearing for the fate of Rhaenyra's older son and heir, Prince Jacaerys. Thankfully, it seems that Jace's quest is set to go a lot more smoothly.
A Northern Alliance
Jacaerys, older and slightly more experienced with his dragon, Vermax, is given two messages to deliver: One to Jeyne Arryn, the Lady of The Vale, and the other to Cregan Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. Rhaenyra believed Lady Jeyne would be easy to treat with, as they shared Arryn blood through Rhaenyra's Mother, Queen Aemma.
The trip to Winterfell, at least at surface value, would seem the more dangerous of the two, mostly for the greater distance, the fact that Jacaerys will not have a blood relationship to fall back on when he goes to treat with Cregan Stark, and that it had been Cregan's Father, Lord Rickon Stark, and not Cregan himself, who had sworn fealty to Rhaenyra when Viserys named her as his heir. However, the Black Camp takes some comfort in the fact that Starks are not known for breaking oaths, and Rhaenyra hopes that her son and Cregan will be able to find common ground as young men.
In Fire & Blood, it is said that Prince Jacaerys and Lord Cregan do in fact get along well, bonding as they hunt, drink, and train together. Their burgeoning friendship is aided by the fact that Jacaerys reminds Cregan of his deceased younger brother. It is possible that Jacaerys received news of Lucerys's death during his time at Winterfell, allowing he and Cregan to bond further in shared grief for their lost siblings.
Eventually, Jacaerys and Cregan swear an oath of brotherhood, and arrange a marriage pact for their future children, allowing House Stark, and therefore the North, to declare for Rhaenyra. We will likely see these events play out in the early episodes of House Of The Dragon season two.
As Rhaenyra's heir, Prince Jacaerys is not safe, by any means. But, unlike his younger brother, he will at least make it back from his Messenger duties in one piece. Fans of Team Black can relax.. at least for a little while.