House Velaryon suffers an uneasy transition of power as the head of the family, Corlys (Steve Toussaint), languishes in distant peril. After sustaining a serious injury in battle, Corlys may be on the brink of death. The family is thus forced to consider other inheritance options. Driftmark, the seat of power of Velaryon, would fall to Rhaenyra’s children as they are Laenor’s heirs. This leads to unrest among several influential members of the empire, including Corlys’ brother Vaemond (Wil Johnson). Vaemond feels he has a far more legitimate claim, since Rhaenyra’s children, he vociferously declares, are illegitimate.
This proclamation enrages King Viserys. But before he can do anything about it, Daemon slices through Vaemond’s skull like butter. This is a stunning, scene-stealing moment: Vaemond loses everything above his lower jaw and falls to the ground like a sack of potatoes. It’s gory, gross, and shocking, making the ruthlessness of Daemon and Rhaenyra loud and clear.