Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson) doesn’t get as much House of the Dragon screen time as his brother, sister-in-law, niece or nephew. However, he is still an important part of the Valyrian house. Vaemond, the Sea Serpent’s younger brother himself, is instrumental in the fighting in the Stepstones, repeatedly demonstrating both martial prowess and strategic understanding. However, in Episode 8, “The Lord of the Tides,” he makes a huge misjudgment when he tries to take away the Driftmark birthright from Rhaenyra’s (Emma D’Arcy) son Lucerys (Elliot Grihault).
Vaemond knows the truth – that Lucerys is not a real son of Laenor (John Macmillan). But both Viserys and Rhaenys are clearly on Rhaenyra’s side from the start. Realizing that he will not prevail, Vaemond lashes out, giving voice to the treacherous (but true) accusations that everyone has previously only whispered. And then, before he even has a chance to finish, Daemon splits his skull in half.
Vaemond doesn’t spend enough screen time to really bond us, and his attitude toward Rhaenyra and her children is downright toxic. But that doesn’t make his death any less brutal. Though his approach is flawed, it’s easy to sympathize with Vaemond’s plight. He is not here for power, but to ensure the true continuation of his family line. However, if that means attacking the princess, that’s a death sentence.