Luke was the second child of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her first husband, Ser Laenor Velaryon. His name was Prince Lucerys Velaryon. He was a dragon rider, and Arrax was his horse. Lucerys is played by Elliot Grihault and Harvey Sadler (young) in the TV version of House of the Dragon.
His Appearance and Character in the Series
Luke was a big, strong boy who was good with weapons. His eyes and hair were brown, and he had a pug nose, just like his brothers Ja caerys and Joffrey. Many people in court thought that Ser Harwin Strong was really their father because of this.
Lucerys Velaryon as a Young Boy
When Luke was brought to court, King Viserys I Targaryen was pleased with him. When the year 118 AC came around, Rhaenyra Targaryen told Rhaena and Baela Targaryen, the daughters of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon, that her two oldest sons, Jacaerys and Lucerys, were going to marry them.
In the year 120 AD, Laenor Velaryon passed away. His son Lucerys and the rest of his family came to Driftmark to attend his funeral. There, Luke’s uncle Prince Aemond Targaryen, who was ten years old at the time, tried secretly to take Vhagar, the dragon of Luke’s aunt Laena Velaryon, who had just died. Prince Joffrey, Aemond’s three-year-old nephew, caught him. To keep the younger boy quiet, Aemond hit and threatened him, then pushed him into a pile of dragon dung and climbed Vhagar.
When he returned from his first flight, Joffrey had woken up his bigger brothers, Lucerys, who is five years old, and Jacaerys, who is six. They attacked him with wooden training swords. Even though only three of them existed, Aemond fought back against his cousins Luke and Jace.
He broke Luke’s nose and cracked one of the training swords over Jace’s head. But when Aemond called his nephews “Strongs,” Jace hurt Aemond again because he was old enough to know what he meant. Because Aemond had the upper hand and was beating Jace badly, Luke pulled out his knife and cut Aemond in the face, killing him.
After what happened, Aemond’s mother, Queen Alicent, asked King Viserys to make Lucerys lose an eye as punishment, but Viserys refused. Luke’s mother, Princess Rhaenyra, wanted Aemond to be questioned “sharply” until he told her where he heard her sons being called “Strongs,” because calling them that meant they were scum, which meant Rhaenyra was a high traitor for sleeping with Ser Harwin Strong.
Aemond finally told his father he had heard the name from his brother, Prince Aegon. After that, King Viserys said that anyone who called his grandchildren “Strongs” again would have their tongues pulled out with hot pincers. Also, Alicent and her sons were to return to King’s Landing, while Rhaenyra and her boys were to stay at Dragonstone.
Rhaenyra Targaryen, Lucerys’s mother who had lost her husband, married her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen, later that same year. At the end of the year, Luke’s half-brother Aegon was born. In 122 AC, Viserys was born next. Rhaenyra’s younger kids looked nothing like their half-brothers from Velaryon.
Luke’s grandpa, Lord Corlys Velaryon, got sick in the year 126 AD. As his children Laenor and Laena were no longer alive, the question of who would take over as Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark became a debate. Ultimately, Laenor’s oldest son Jacaerys, would take over as king, replacing his other grandpa and mother.
Rhaenyra told Corlys that her second son, Lucerys, should be his heir, but Corlys’s oldest nephew, Ser Vaemond Velaryon, said that Rhaenyra’s Velaryon boys were not Laenor’s, but Harwin Strong’s. Rhaenyra had her husband grab Vaemond and cut off his head. She then fed Vaemond’s body to her dragon, Syrax.
Vaemond’s wife, boys Daemion and Daeron Velaryon, and five cousins ran away to King’s Landing to ask the king for justice. Viserys listened to them, but when they called Rhaenyra’s sons jerks, he had each of their mouths cut off.
A cut on Viserys’s hand on the throne made it sick, and people thought he might die. When the king got better on the first day of the year 127 AD, he held a feast to celebrate. Rhaenyra and Alicent showed their love and friendship by being together. But after the king left the feast, Aemond toasted his three Velaryon nephews, calling them “three strong boys” to make fun of their brown hair, brown eyes, and strength.
Price Lucerys Velaryon In The Dance of the Dragons
In the year 129 AC, King Viserys I Targaryen passed away while sleeping. There was a war over who would be king next, called the Dance of the Dragons, between Viserys’s choice of heir, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, and her younger half-brother, Viserys’s oldest son, King Aegon II Targaryen. Aegon II offered Rhaenyra “generous terms,” saying that if she would submit to him, he would do many things, such as recognize Lucerys as the true heir to Driftmark and all of House Velaryon’s lands and holdings. She turned down the offer, though.
Lucerys had been a squire for a long time and was thirteen years old when the Civil War began. His dragon, Arrax, was doing well and getting bigger every year. At Rhaenyra’s first black council on Dragonstone, Lucerys and his brother Jacaerys offered to go to the lords of Westeros as her representatives to get support for her claim. They rode dragons to show that they were real Targaryens. Rhaenyra let this happen, but not before making her young boys swear on The Seven-Pointed Star that they would not fight.
As the younger son, Lucerys was sent on a journey that was thought to be shorter and safer than his brother Jacaerys’s. He was sent to Storm’s End as a messenger on Arrax, where Lord Borros Baratheon was expected to greet him warmly. However, Prince Aemond Targaryen had already arrived at the house on Vhagar to marry one of Borros’s four daughters in order to win Borros’s loyalty to his brother King Aegon II.
Aemond called Lucerys “Little Luke Strong, the bastard” and asked him out loud if he was wet from the rain or if he had peed himself in the Round Hall. Luke didn’t care about Aemond’s comments; he just took his letter to Borros. If he joined forces with Rhaenyra, Lord Baratheon asked him which of his daughters he would marry. Luke was told to choose one.
Luke said he couldn’t because he would marry his cousin Rhaena Targaryen. Yes, Borros said. He told him to go home and tell his mother not to have thought the Lord of Storm’s End would be so obedient like a dog.
Iemond pulled out his sword and told Luke that he owed him something and had to pay it. Aemond showed Luke the sapphire he wore instead of his lost eye and told him to stick out his own eye. If he did, he would let Luke go. Aemond told Lucerys that he was only an envoy, not a hero, so she wouldn’t fight him. But Aemond demanded Luke’s eye or his life.
Lord Borros stepped in because he didn’t want envoys to die under his roof. His guards led Lucerys back to the castle yard, where Arrax was waiting in a terrible storm. Aemond got very angry when Maris, Borros’s daughter, made fun of him by asking if Lucerys had removed his balls and his eye. Aemond asked Borros for permission to leave, and Borros told him he had no control over what he did when he wasn’t in Borros’s home. He then let Aemond leave.
Arrax was having difficulty staying in the air during the storm while Aemond climbed Vhagar and went after Luke. Arrax was younger and faster, and on a calm day he might have been able to fly faster than his pursuer. But the weather made it impossible for him to do so, and Vhagar was five times bigger than her enemy and had been through a hundred fights, so she was tough. The two dragons met up in the sky above Shipbreaker Bay.
The Archmaester Gyldayn said that if there was a fight, it didn’t last long. Arrax broke when he fell, and the storm-tossed water in the bay took him up. The next three days, his head and neck washed up on the rocks below Storm’s End. No one ever found Prince Lucerys’s body.
Legacy of Prince Lucerys ‘Luke’ Velaryon
Mushroom’s slanderous Testimony says that Aemond found Luke’s body washed up on the shore and cut off both of his eyes to give them to Lady Maris while the body was lying on a bed of seaweed, but Archmaester Gyldayn’s history doesn’t support that. Some say that Vhagar grabbed Lucerys off of Arrax’s back and ate him whole, which Gyldayn also points out.
Some people have even said that Luke lived through his fall and swam to safety, but that he forgot who he was and lived the rest of his life as a simple fisherman. But more honest scholars, like Munkun, don’t believe these stories and say that Lucerys died with his dragon.
After Luke died, the Dance of the Dragons was no longer a peaceful event. It turned into a war with fire and blood. In King’s Landing, Aemond Targaryen, who is now known as Aemond the Kinslayer, was not greeted as a hero. Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower turned pale and begged the Mother to help her.
Ser Otto Hightower, Aemond’s grandpa and the King’s Hand, was also angry. He told him, “You only lost one eye, how could you be so blind?” However, his brother, King Aegon II greeted him with a big feast and told him that he had made “a good beginning.”
When Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen heard that her son Luke had died on Dragonstone, she fell to the ground. Luke’s younger brother Joffrey, swore revenge against Aemond and Borros. Prince Daemon Targaryen, Luke’s stepfather, got back at the people who killed him by sending “Blood and Cheese” to kill one of Aegon II’s sons.