King Joffrey, one of the most memorable villains from HBO's “Game of Thrones" series, is long gone, but his cruel spirit lives on in the form of spoilers.
"House of the Dragon," the latest HBO incarnation of the epic fantasy series and a prequel to "Thrones," just aired its sixth episode, featuring a major time jump. Some 10 years after the previous episode, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king's heir apparent, and Queen Alicent Hightower, King Viserys I Targaryen's wife, are portrayed by older actors and have gone from friends to frenemies to full-on foes.
Those well-versed in George R.R. Martin's book "Fire & Blood" (or the many threads on Reddit) already know the fate of the two royals embroiled in a pas de deux.
But anyone who originally watched "Game of Thrones" also knew what happened — it just might not have registered back in 2013, when a Season Three episode included what appeared to be a throwaway detail at the time.
In the key scene, Joffrey Baratheon (or shall we say, Lannister), played by Jack Gleeson, reveals what happened to Rhaenyra during a brief Westerosi history lesson.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead!
Here's what went down.
In the episode "And Now His Watch Is Ended," Joffrey gives his fiancée, Margaery Tyrell, a tour of the royal sept within the Red Keep and tells of its gruesome history.
How does Rhaenyra die?
At one point, he pauses to show his betrothed the late Rhaenyra's grave. As Joffrey puts it (a bit too gleefully), Rhaenyra is murdered by her brother's dragon.
“It ate her while her son watched," he explains with a grin. "What’s left of her is buried in the crypts right down there.”
Based on the plot of “Fire & Blood," the brother that Joffrey refers to is Aegon II Targaryen, son of Alicent and Viserys I, Rhaenyra's father — making Aegon II her half-brother.
Aegon II is a major player in the Targaryen war of succession called the Dance of the Dragons. The civil war sees Aegon II and Rhaenyra fight for their father's throne.
Despite Joffrey’s loose lips, “House of the Dragon” fans can rest assured that it’s the palace intrigue (Larys Strong, anyone?), backstabbing and, yes, dragons that will make Rhaenyra’s unfolding journey anything but routine.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com