House of the Dragon Season 2: How Blood and Cheese Was Different in Books

House of the Dragon Season 2 premiered recently with the much-awaited debuts of Blood and Cheese. While many significant characters are yet to debut in the ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel series, Blood and Cheese are the minor characters whose appearances were anticipated by the majority of the fandom. Well, that’s because despite being the minor characters, they were picked up by Daemon Targaryen for an elephantine task, i.e., to kill Aemond Targaryen. However, House of the Dragon didn’t stay faithful to the source material, and here, we discuss the changes it made to the scene involving Blood and Cheese.

Blood and Cheese’s Debut Felt Underwhelming in House of the Dragon Season 2

Blood and Cheese were the assassins chosen by Daemon Targaryen to avenge Lucerys’s murder. The first episode of Season 2 started well, but as the story moved forward, it started feeling quite weak. Many fans were excited to witness how the TV show would tackle the Blood and Cheese sequence, but when it happened, something felt missing. To make the events short and crisp, the creators of HOTD tailored them in a way that couldn’t impress the audience.

In the books, Mysaria is the intermediary between Daemon and the assassins, but in the screen adaptation, Daemon handles everything directly. The show basically didn’t give Mysaria a chance to shine in order to make Daemon appear heroic.

Blood and Cheese sneak into the Red Keep through the unguarded passages, but unlike in House of the Dragon, they do not straightaway capture Helaena in the books. Instead, they wait for Aegon II’s sister-wife in Queen Alicent’s chamber as they are familiar with Helaena bringing her children to their grandmother before making them sleep.

In the series, Blood and Cheese accidentally stumble into Helaena’s chamber and witness her two children asleep. As per George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, Blood and Cheese seize Queen Alicent and murder her bondmaid before Helaena’s arrival. When Helaena arrives with her daughter Jaehaera and two sons, Jaehaerys and Maelor, the assassins give her the most terrible choice to make.

Notably, Maelor was a missed appearance in the scene for those who have read the books.

They ask her to choose one son she would want to sacrifice, and if she takes too much time, Blood will sexually assault her daughter. Queen pleads in front of them and asks them to kill her and spare the lives of her grandchildren, but Blood and Cheese don’t pay attention to her. They clarify that they are debt collectors tasked to take a son for a son.

Eventually, Helaena gets ready for the forthcoming disaster and asks them to kill Maelor because she believes he is the youngest, so he won’t understand what’s happening. However, going close to Maelor, the assassin duo passes a wicked smile, seeing each other.

At which, Cheese says to Maelor, “You hear that, little boy. Your momma wants you dead.”

The next moment, Blood swung his sword toward Jaehaerys and severed his head with a single blow. So, all these impactful events were missing from the TV series, which didn’t give us any reason to feel for the characters.

While reading the books, we could feel what pain Helaena felt when Blood and Cheese murdered her elder son in front of her eyes. However, the TV show could leave no impact despite executing the scene more brutally than the books.

We could only hear the sound of stabbings and Jaehaerys’s anguished screams, but the entire killing takes place offscreen. On top of everything, we can accept the scene being shifted from Alicent’s room to Helaena’s chamber. However, it’s disappointing that Helaena’s second son, Mealor, didn’t even get any screen time and the dialogue by Blood was also missing.

Who Are Blood and Cheese?

In the books, nothing has been revealed about Blood and Cheese’s past except that the former was a butcher earlier and the latter is a rat-catcher. Blood also worked as a City Watcher at the King’s Landing until he murdered a hooker.

On the other side, Mushroom stated that Cheese is familiar with the secret pathways of the Red Keep. These two characters don’t have a massive role in the fictional world of George R.R. Martin. However, they are certainly the ones who murdered Jahaerys Targaryen and eventually started an open war between the Blacks and the Greens.

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