'Fire & Blood' Fans Are Ready for Bloody Ben Blackwood on 'House of the Dragon'

The Brackens and the Blackwoods are backing different Targaryens.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Jul. 1 2024, Updated 12:40 p.m. ET

Davos Blackwood, believed to be Bloody Ben, in House of the Dragon
Source: HBO

Even though House of the Dragon is different from Game of Thrones in that there's just one book to read and follow along with, the HBO and Max show still has plenty of book readers waiting for specific moments and characters to pop up. In the June 30 episode, it was Bloody Ben Blackwood, whose face made the rounds on social media in the days leading up to the new episode. At least, that's what viewers thought.

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But who is Bloody Ben Blackwood on House of the Dragon and what role does he play in the war to come? A character by the name of Davos Blackwood is instead introduced, though he certainly appears to be the show's version of Ben.

Although his scene is relatively brief at the top of the June 30 episode, this character, whether he is a Ben stand-in or not, may be important as one of Rhaenyra Targaryen's allies, and his house has a legitimate role to play in the Blacks versus the Greens.

The aftermath of the Battle of the Burning Mill on House of the Dragons
Source: HBO
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Who is Bloody Ben Blackwood on 'House of the Dragon'?

In the Fire & Blood book (again, there's just one from which all of the content of House of the Dragon is drawn), Bloody Ben, whose actual name is Benjicot, earns his nickname for his penchant for being absolutely ruthless in battle. It's a good thing Rhaenyra has him riding for her, right? He also becomes the ruler of House Blackwood when his father dies.

Although the character we meet in the House of the Dragon episode isn't called Ben, and is instead named Davos, he might still be the character believed to be Bloody Ben. It doesn't make sense why the show's writers would create a new character who isn't from the books without bringing in the iconic Bloody Ben.

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In the episode, Davos argues with someone from house Bracken, and after it's clear that the Blackwoods have made their allegiance with Rhaenyra, and the Brackens have made their thoughts clear on following Aegon, we cut to a shot of dozens of Bracken soldiers dead on a battlefield. This is the Battle of the Burning Mill, and it's part of the book. It also sets things in motion for more allies for Rhaenyra.

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The Brackens vs. the Blackwoods plays a role in the war on 'House of the Dragon.'

According to the after episode commentary from House of the Dragon producers, the show's writers wrote in the rivalry between the Brackens and the Blackwoods because in the book, the two houses have a feud that goes back generations. The feud between the families goes back so far that even some more die hard fans don't quite understand the beef.

Regardless, though, the Brackens and the Blackwoods are happily separated, and now that they both stand behind different sides of the Dance of Dragons, viewers will get to see this rivalry play out on the show. They'll also, presumably, get to see more of this in-show only Davos character, which is a good thing, since social media went nearly feral for the bad boy before the episode even dropped.

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It's possible that a character named Bloody Ben will appear as we see more of the Blackwood family. Or, Davos is indeed the show version of the infamous book character. Either war, war is coming.

Watch House of the Dragon on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Max and HBO.

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