The real problem with House of the Dragon changing the Blood and Cheese moment from the book

House of the Dragon made some substantial changes to the Blood and Cheese moment from the book. It will have an impact on the rest of the story, and not in a good way.
House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon /

There is a lot of discussion about the Blood and Cheese moment in House of the Dragon Season 2. The premiere episode brought us it at the end, but it was nothing like the book moment.

Of course, there are always comments of “sorry you didn’t see the brutal murder of a child on screen.” That’s not the change that impacts anything. Not having that moment on screen was a good thing.

The change is that there wasn’t another child involved. It has a huge effect on Helaena’s storyline as the moment wasn’t as traumatic as the book tells it. Sure, we don’t want to see all that trauma play out, but sometimes it needs to for a realistic story.

Helaena didn’t have a Sophie’s Choice moment in House of the Dragon

Blood asked Helaena which child was the boy. He didn’t ask her to make a choice between her children, choosing one to die over the other. The moment isn’t as devastating without that.

There is so much to the story from the book. Cheese holds Maelor over the window while Blood has Jaehaerys. Helaena has to make a choice between two of her sons—and she’s literally choosing one of them to die. She can’t choose the heir to the throne, so she chooses Maelor.

As Cheese tells Maelor that his mother chose him to die, Blood decides to make it worse for Helaena. He kills Jaehaerys. It didn’t matter who Helaena chose; she was going to lose one son and it was going to be the opposite one to the one she chose. She had to go through all that and then watch her son be brutally murdered.

Oh, and at the same time, Blood threatened to rape Jaehaeyra, Helaena’s six-year-old daughter. All her children were at risk in this moment.

House of the Dragon /

Helaena wasn’t stuck in the room as the murder happened

Then on top of that, House of the Dragon has Helaena take Jaehaeyra and run out of the room to Alicent. In the book, she witnesses the brutal murder of her son. She isn’t able get out of the room.

In the show, she’s able to avoid seeing the worst of it. Seeing the murder plays far more on the mind. There’s something for the mind to hold onto, and that’s all a mother would see. This, coupled with the other child being chosen, is something that would cause Helaena’s descent into madness.

Instead, the show is going to have to find another way to make her shut herself off from everyone else. It may do that if someone blames her for the death of her own son, but that remains to be seen. With the way the story has played out so far, there’s no way Helaena would just suddenly lock herself in her rooms and isolate herself.

We don’t even see a connection between parents and children in House of the Dragon

There’s been a major issue with the time jumps and the storytelling in House of the Dragon Season 1. It lost a lot of the connection between characters. That’s especially the case with the connection between Aegon and Helaena and then the connection between them and their children.

The idea that Aegon would even be that devastated by the loss of his son seems odd. The first episode tried to show us some sort of connection, but it failed to make it believable without more buildup.

Helaena’s experience was so muted in the moment that it makes it hard to believe that she could go so mad that she chooses to kill herself. More needs to happen in House of the Dragon Season 2 to believe that.

So, no, I didn’t need to see the death of a child on screen, but I did need it to be more like Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin.

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