House Of The Dragon has already had some majorly f**ked up things happen in it. There have been deaths whilst giving birth, women asking dragons to kill them, Kids with filed teeth in fighting pits and so much more. However, there’s an even worse moment coming down the line that I thought we’d talk about. Now either you’ve read the book and already knew what it would be from the thumbnail or you don’t and are just curious about the tease with Helaena.
Either way, I will be spoiling one of the upcoming chapters in the book, so if you don’t wanna know, then I recommend you head off like Vaemond. Please hit the thumbs-up button if you enjoy the video…you sick f**k, and make sure you subscribe for more House Of The Dragon videos.
Who Are Blood and Cheese?
In order to set this situation up, we have to talk about one of the major deaths that happen early on in the Dance of the Dragons. Lucerys and Aemond are both dispatched to Storm’s End in order to try and get people on their side. The Baratheons are a major house and having them on board would have the potential to swing the civil war in their favour.
Aemond arrived there first, and he agreed to marry one of Lord Borros’ daughters in order to strengthen both sides. Lucerys showed up not long after, but as he was already betrothed to his cousin, he couldn’t do the same thing.
Aemond demanded that he cut out his eye and though Luke didn’t do this, Aemond eventually did get his revenge. He followed Lucerys out, and, on the back of Vhaghar, he killed both him and his dragon.
Upon learning this, Daemon promised Rhaenyra, that there would be a son for a son and this is where things really started to go down.
Daemon goes to Mysaria who as we’ve seen has now amassed a foothold in the underworld of King’s Landing. She runs almost all aspects of it outside of the seedier elements, like the fighting pits.
Daemon asks for her to become his instrument in order to inflict pain on the high towers and she hires two assassins in Blood and Cheese.
According to the book one was once a sergeant in the city watch that had had his gold cloak removed for beating a prostitute to death. The other was a ratcatcher who had worked in the red keep. Known as cheese for using… well, cheese… he had mastered all the ins and outs of The Keep whilst hunting after the vermin.
This meant that he had experienced knowledge of all the back passages, hidden doorways and secret tunnels that could lead one to anywhere in the castle. Devised by Maegor the Cruel these could often be found when candles were seen flickering due to a draft coming from under the doorway.
What Happens To Helaena’s Sons?
The book tells us that they used a once-forgotten passageway and through this, they went into the heart of the Keep. They hadn’t been told who to kill only that there should be a son for a son.
After the death of Viserys, Queen Alicent had moved to residency in The Tower Of The Hand, and this is where they headed to.
They crept through the passageways and popped up in Alicents room which is where they gagged the queen and strangled her bedmaid.
Here they waited, fully aware that Helaena used to bring her children in to see the queen every night before they were put to bed.
In the darkness, they leapt out and killed her Guards before Cheese grabbed her son Maelor.
With a knife pointed to his neck, he started to lay out the terms after introducing himself as a debt collector.
In our breakdowns, we’ve often talked about how there was very much an eye for an eye mentality that started all the way back in Aemond’s childhood. After he lost his, Alicent demanded that Lucerys hand over one of his too, and this would be carried into the character’s death several years later.
Cheese actually said the line:
“An eye for an eye, a son for a son. We only want the one, t’ square things. Won’t hurt the rest o’ you fine folks, not one lil’ hair. Which one you want t’ lose, Your Grace?”
Horror then crept over Helaena as she realised what he meant. As most parents would, she offered her life in place of the children, but blood-chillingly uttered, ‘A wife’s not a son… it has to be a boy.’
Why The Blood And Cheese Arc Is So F**ked Up
Helaena was in an impossible situation. She had no chance of escape and would have to choose one of her children to die. If you’ve ever seen the films Sophie’s Choice, then you’ll likely be aware of a similar situation presented in that. It’s a terrifying prospect for any parent with it meaning life for one child but the guilt and grief of knowing that another died.
Helaena pleaded whilst she was on her knees for them to stop, but Cheese said that if she didn’t choose soon that Blood would assault her little girl Jaehaera.
With time running short, Helaena chose her youngest son Maelor.
In her mind, he was too young to understand what was going on and in her heart, she also carried the idea of succession.
The older son Jaehaerys was Aegon’s firstborn, and therefore, he was next in line for the throne.
Cheese whispered in Maelor’s ear.
“You hear that little boy? Your momma wants you dead.”
According to the source material, Cheese then grinned at Blood, who instantly turned and cut off Jaehareys head instead in one fell swoop.
It had all been a ruse to see which child she cared about the most. Jaehaerys was killed then and there, and Maelor would spend the rest of his life knowing that his mother chose him to die over his brother.
Blood and Cheese actually kept their word, and they didn’t harm Alicent, Helaena or any of the other children.
Instead, they snuck off through the passages and fled into the night carrying Jaehaerys head with them.
What Happens To Helaena After Blood And Cheese?
This night of terror would completely change Helaena for the rest of her life, and she would end up going completely insane.
The book says that she wouldn’t eat, bathe, or leave her chambers, and she couldn’t look at her surviving son Maelor. She knew that she had chosen him to die and couldn’t bring herself to face up to what she’d done. Eventually, this got so bad that Aegon had the child taken away from her and he was given over to Alicent so that she could raise him as her own.
It completely rocked the royals, and this was really when Rahenyra’s side showed that they weren’t messing around and would stoop to levels of depravity in order to win this war.
Helaena was completely knocked out of the fight, and because of this, The Greens lost a dragon on their side.
Due to the level of the crime, Otto immediately had a search party sent out for the two assassins.
Blood was seized trying to flee King’s Landing with Jaehaerys head, and under torture, he confessed he was taking it to Daemon in Harrenhal.
Whilst he was being cut apart, he told them who’d given them the job. A woman named Misery.
Blood was tortured for 13 days before he was eventually allowed to die. Alicent went to Larys and asked that he find out his real name so that she could have his entire family killed but whether this actually happened or not is something that the book doesn’t tell us.
The Kingsguard searched through the streets of King’s Landing looking for both Cheese and Mysaria, but neither could be found.
King Aegon demanded that all of the Ratcatchers in the city should be hanged, and after this was carried out, 100 cats were brought in to hunt the rats instead.
It’s safe to say that the family were never the same again, and it acts as the last handful of paragraphs in the Son for a Son chapter, closing out what was a devastatingly brutal one.
How This Shapes The Dance Of The Dragons
I think it’s at this point that the Greens started to realise the kind of war that they’d brought on themselves by robbing Rhaenyra of her crown and son.
Up until this point, they’d pretty much been winning due to supplanting Aegon and taking out Lucerys.
However, this shows that with an eye for an eye mentality we both lose our sight, and it was all started by Aemond’s need for revenge.
This was of course put in him by his Mother, who tried to strike one out of Lucerys when they were younger.
Though she walked away from this moment without getting into any trouble, it would have major ramifications that wouldn’t be felt for decades.
Aemond would kill Lucerys, and eventually, this would lead to the death of Jaehaerys.
It started a war of escalation in which both sides constantly tried to outdo the other because they were worried about how bad things might get.
This story is a perfect summation of why the Dance of the Dragons was so costly and how it could’ve all been avoided without the poisoning and plotting that came from the parents.
I think that when it finally makes it to the show, this scene will be unforgettable and something that will stick with those who watch it for a long time.
Now there are many many many events in the Dance Of The Dragons that are completely f**ked up and if you know of another one then make sure you comment below and let me know.
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