Who are the Blackwoods in House Of The Dragon Episode 4?

House of the Dragon episode 4 opens with a scene from Rhaenyra’s tour of Storm’s End where she meets all his suitors ranging from a simple boy to a man older than his father. Here we meet a young boy named Samwell Blackwood from House Blackwood in the Riverlands. He attempts to win Rhaenyra and her hand in marriage. Boremund Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End, sits alongside Rhaenyra as he helps her through the process. He explains that House Blackwood is an ancient house with a formidable army. They have the blood of the First Men of Westeros running through their veins. In the moments that follow, young Samwell is taunted by a knight of House Bracken. This erupts a duel between them which surprisingly ends in Samwell’s favor as he thrusts his sword through the knight. So who are the Blackwoods and how powerful are they?

Blackwood House

Blackwood House

The Blackwood House at Raventree Hall is an old house in the Riverlands. Their arms and shields are engraved with a flock of ravens on a scarlet background. They are descended from the First Men. The First Men were the culture of humans who first set foot on the continent of Westeros. House Blackwood played an important role in the history of House Targaryen. They aided Aegon the Conqueror in his war of conquest as he united the Seven Kingdoms and ruled the realm. When Jaehaerys Targaryen called on the lords of Westeros to decide on an heir, the Blackwoods supported Laenor Velaryon’s claim. House Blackwood even became a powerful ally of Princess Rhaenyra during the Dance of the Dragons. They supported the blacks and fought multiple battles alongside them. So that’s not the last time you’ll see House Blackwood in House of the Dragon.

Who is Samwell Blackwood?

Samwell Blackwood in The House of the Dragon

“My princess, ours is a long-lasting bond from Lucas Blackwood, my grandfather’s grandfather who aided the dragon in his war of conquest.”

Samwell Blackwood presented his proposal with the lines above and suggested an alliance to strengthen the Kingdom. While his presence may have seemed like just filler, he will continue to play a pretty big role in the future, especially during the Dance of the Dragons. The young boy has already shown his power and bravery when he stabbed a knight much larger than him with ease and expertise. He had claimed that he would be able to protect the princess, and he proved himself.

Although he was unable to win Princess Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage, he will continue to support her and her claim to the Iron Throne. To that extent, he turns out to be quite the loyal and chivalrous man. During the Targaryen Civil War, he will fight bravely with Rhaenyra Targaryen and face House Bracken. In the books, he ultimately meets his demise at the hands of Ser Amos Bracken.

The feud of House Bracken and House Blackwood

Blackwood killing Bracken in House of the Dragon

This feud is one that has been going on for ages. House Bracken and Blackwood were both contenders for the Riverlands and their rivalry never died down. Both Houses were also among the First Men to arrive in Westeros. In the episode House of the Dragon itself, Samwell and another knight from House Bracken get into it. Even during the Dance of the Dragons, as House Blackwood supports Rhaenyra, House Bracken stands by Aegon II. This further intensifies their rivalry as they face off directly. From the very beginning, even before the birth of the Targaryens, the Blackwoods had nothing but contempt for the Brackens and they fell for each other. The Blackwoods saw them as petty lords and horse herders who desperately tried to overthrow the upper House Blackwood.

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