‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Confirms One of ‘Fire & Blood’s Big Mysteries

‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Confirms One of ‘Fire & Blood’s Big Mysteries

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 Episode 4 of House of the Dragon.

The Big Picture

  • House of the Dragon
    Season 2 reveals Corlys’ secret regarding Alyn and Addam, diverging from
    Fire & Blood
  • Addam’s dragon-riding ability sparks the question of what makes a dragon rider in a Targaryen family.
  • The revelation of Alyn and Addam’s parentage clarifies future storylines and raises key questions.

In one of House of the Dragon‘s most epic episodes to date, Rhaenys (Eve Best) tragically dies in a fight against Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Vhagar. Season 2, Episode 4, “The Red Dragon and the Gold,” has many important moments as it shows the carnage of the Battle at Rook’s Rest, the rising conflict between Aemond and Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), and the continued struggle for Daemon (Matt Smith) as he holds Harrenhal. Yet in one seemingly innocuous scene, House of the Dragon reveals the truth behind an important mystery in Fire & Blood. While the source material is contradictory and intentionally ambiguous in some details, the series is not, and the latest example raises questions that will resonate throughout the rest of the series.

Colys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Rhaenys have a close relationship, showing a loving marriage rare in Westeros. However, they are not without their problems. Before her demise, Rhaenys shares an eye-opening conversation with her husband, revealing that Alyn of Hull (Abubakar Salim) and, assumedly, his brother Addam (Clinton Liberty) are the sons of Corlys Velaryon. Fire & Blood presents this as a possibility but often defaults to the story of them descending from Corlys through his son, Laenor (John MacMillan), validating their Velaryon blood but not attributing them as Corlys’ sons. The mystery of Alyn and Addam’s heritage is important as Addam becomes a dragonrider, citing Laenor’s Targaryen blood. With this, Addam’s ability to claim a dragon begs the question, what makes a dragon rider?

‘House of the Dragon’ Confirms Corlys’ Affair

Corlys and Rhaenys are the best couple in the series, but this episode exposes their past. When Rhaenys goes to the docks to deliver a message for Corlys, she meets Alyn, the man who saved Corlys from death in Season 1. But upon seeing him, Rhaenys is stricken by his appearance, commenting that his mother must have been beautiful. Corlys interrupts this introduction, sending him back to work as the couple talks. Their conversation reveals the truth behind Alyn’s origins as Rheanys confronts Corlys for not telling her the identity of his savior. She admits that “Alyn’s past is no fault of his,” while Corlys calls her words an inquisition.

Rhaenys is not surprised by his existence, nor is she enraged by it, refusing to blame Alyn and even suggesting that he should be honored for saving Corlys, though she cannot hide the bitterness in her voice. For his part, Corlys is ashamed. This interaction alludes to marital issues long past. Though Alyn is now an adult, Rhaenys is still hurt by seeing him, showing that while their marriage is strong, she is not over the betrayal. Yet, Corlys and Rhaenys are happy, having faced many challenges together. House of the Dragon previously hinted at the parentage of Alyn and Addam. In Season 2, Episode 2, “Rhaenyra the Cruel,” Addam comments that Corlys owes them. Still, Rhaenys and Corlys’ conversation shows the wound to their marriage and proves that Rhaenys knows about the boys, adding an important detail to the story.

Alyn and Addam’s Parentage Revelation Is a Change from ‘Fire & Blood’

In George R. R. Martin‘s in-universe history, Fire & Blood, Alyn and Addam claim to be the bastard-born sons of Laenor, not Corlys. However, there were always rumors, and generations later, the book mentions that there is debate. Because Fire & Blood is a collection of different historical accounts, there is no clear answer to the question. Though the boys’ mother, Matilda of Hull, claims Laenor as the father, the account told by the court jester, Mushroom, suggests Corlys to be the father, claiming Corlys didn’t acknowledge them to avoid offending Rhaenys. After all, they only become part of the story shortly after her death, which comes across as underhanded. However, in House of the Dragon, the brothers are not totally hidden from Rhaenys, and she even acknowledges that Alyn should be acknowledged for his rescue of Corlys. This change makes the rest of the story less of a slap in the face to Rhaenys, as Alyn will be legitimized as Corlys’ heir.

House of the Dragon clears up the debate, giving a definitive answer to the question of Alyn and Addam’s parentage, and it makes sense. The show established Laenor to be gay (another rumor in the books). So, while it is still possible for him to have fathered bastard children, it’s far less likely than it would be for other lords, especially after the show explained that he and Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) tried for a child of their own, but never succeeded. House of the Dragon has been forced to choose a path before, notably in another parenthood storyline involving Laenor. The father of Rhaenyra’s children is strongly believed to be Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) in Fire & Blood, but there is no way to prove it, and Laenor continuing to claim them makes it more difficult. In the book, there is slightly more ambiguity because Rhaenys has her Baratheon mother’s dark hair, technically giving her grandsons the potential to inherit it. Of course, there are many more examples, such as Rhaenyra sleeping with Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) killing his father and brother.

Why Is Alyn and Addam’s Parantage So Important?

A dragonseed in House of the Dragon Season 2
Image via HBO

The mystery of Alyn and Addam’s heritage is notable because of Addam’s future on the show. Addam claims the dragon Seasmoke, which was previously bonded with Laenor, which makes sense if he is, in fact, Laenor’s son. Laenor and Laena (Nanna Blondell) ride dragons largely because of their mother’s Targaryen blood. With Corlys as his father, Addam’s dragonriding abilities open questions about what makes a dragonrider. Yes, the Velaryons are Valyrian, but they have never had dragons themselves, at least not ones who didn’t also have Targaryen blood. Corlys has Targaryen ancestors, which could explain this, but they are distant. Though there are several intermarriages between the two families, Targaryen marriages since Aegon I are well-recorded. Aegon I’s mother was born a Velaryon, and she was noted to have a Targaryen mother herself, which would be the most recent Targaryen in Corlys’ family, five generations before him.

That seems to be enough for dragonriding if blood is what matters, and it seems to be. Targaryens marry their siblings or other relations to “keep the blood of the dragon pure,” according to Fire & Blood, which likely has to do with the blood magic rumored to be the source of their bond with dragons in the first place. There are no direct answers about what makes a person a dragonrider, but during the Targaryen dynasty, the only ones allowed to bond with a dragon were direct descendants of Targaryens, and sometimes not even them. Fire & Blood explores this question through the inclusion of Nettles, a dragonrider with no Targaryen traits, but she is reportedly cut from House of the Dragon, leaving others to pose the question. Addam being Corlys’ son is a place to start. Only distantly related to the Targaryens, he certainly has the ability, showing that pure Targaryen blood is not a necessity.

New episodes of House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere Sundays on HBO and Max.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *