House of the Dragon sets up one of the most disturbing storylines from the book

House of the Dragon episode 10
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon episode 10 sets the Targaryen civil war into motion, with Rhaenyra finally learning of her father's death – and Aegon's coronation in her absence. The episode also directly sets up one of the most disturbing moments in George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood. 

To say anything else here would be spoilers, so consider this your warning: the following will be going into major spoilers for both the book and the show, so turn back now if you don't want to know potential future plot points for House of the Dragon! 

Blood and Cheese explained

House of the Dragon episode 10

(Image credit: HBO)

Still here? Then let's get into the spoilers. The House of the Dragon finale sees Aemond Targaryen and Lucerys Velaryon get into a dragon chase over Storm's End. Aemond wants to exact revenge on Luke after the Velaryon prince took Aemond's eye earlier in the season – when Borros Baratheon forbids bloodshed in his halls, Luke leaves on his dragon Arrax, but Aemond soon follows on Vhagar

Both Luke and Aemond lose control of their dragons, though. The tiny Arrax seems to panic in the face of Vhagar's unbelievable size and sprays the other dragon with fire, while Luke tries and fails to regain control. Vhagar then goes after Luke and Arrax, ignoring Aemond telling her not to, and ultimately tears Arrax and his rider to shreds. Aemond looks absolutely horrified, no doubt realizing he's just single-handedly kickstarted a civil war. 

Rhaenyra hears what happened to her son and looks furious in the final moment of the season. The episode ends before we find out how she'll retaliate, but if the next season follows Fire & Blood, a particularly disturbing event looms on the horizon: Blood and Cheese. 

That storyline sees a rat catcher known only as Cheese team up with a butcher using the name Blood. Together, on the orders of Mysaria, who herself is working for Daemon, they sneak into the Red Keep via a secret passageway which leads them to Alicent Hightower's bedroom. There, they tie up Alicent and await the arrival of her daughter Helaena. She's married to her brother Aegon, the new king, and together they have three children: two sons and a daughter. The youngest son is named Maelor and the oldest is called Jaehaerys, who is also heir to the throne. 

This is where the story takes a terrifying turn. After Luke's death, Daemon hires Blood and Cheese through Mysaria for their gruesome task. "An eye for an eye, a son for a son," Daemon says in a message to the black council. "Lucerys shall be avenged." 

When Helaena arrives to the room with her children, they are trapped, and Cheese tells Helaena she must choose a son to die. Eventually, after some terrible threats have been issued about what will happen should she not pick a son, Helaena chooses the very young Maelor. But Blood beheads Jaehaerys, the oldest son and heir, instead. Blood and Cheese then escape King's Landing with Jaehaerys' head, and while Cheese vanishes without a trace, Blood is ultimately caught as he tries to deliver the grisly proof of death to Daemon. 

Blood and Cheese has already been foreshadowed once in the series before. In episode 4, Daemon invites Rhaenyra out to King's Landing after dark, both of them disguised as commoners. To sneak out of the Red Keep, though, Rhaenyra needs to use a secret passageway that she had no idea existed – Daemon draws her a diagram to reveal its location. The hidden passage leads all the way to the outside of the Red Keep, and from there, the duo head down to the streets. As one Redditor points out, the secret passageway could be setting up Blood and Cheese's entry into the Red Keep. Plus, as another Redditor notes, we see rats as Rhaenyra heads outside, and that seems too reminiscent of Cheese the rat catcher to be a simple coincidence. 

Up to speed on the finale? Then find out everything we know about House of the Dragon season 2 through the link. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.