“House of the Dragon”'s Eve Best Calls That Major Death a 'Kamikaze Mission' That Marks the 'Point of No Return'

The July 7 episode of the 'Game of Thrones' prequel series raised the stakes even more as the Dance of the Dragons heats up

<p>Ollie Upton/HBO</p> Ewan Mitchell (left); Eve Best in

Ollie Upton/HBO

Ewan Mitchell (left); Eve Best in 'House of the Dragon'

No one is ever safe in the Game of Thrones universe, but the Targaryens lost a particularly beloved character in this week's episode of House of the Dragon.

In the Sunday, July 7 episode of the prequel series, Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) made the ultimate sacrifice as she and her dragon went up against Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) and their dragons in the first real battle between Team Black and Team Green – one that marks the "point of no return."

"Somebody had to plunge in, and somebody had to press the red button, and start the nuclear war, effectively," Best, 52, said on an episode of The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon, debriefing the fourth episode, which marked her character's death.

"It became like her final piece of wisdom, like her final gift to Rhaenyra, which is, you know, this is how you are a good leader, this is the way."

Related: Milly Alcock Was 'Eager' to Reprise Role on House of the Dragon but Showrunner Says Keeping It 'Secret' Was a 'Feat'

She called it a "kamikaze mission" to send Rhaenys on dragon back to help defend Rook's Rest from Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and Aegon's army, but it was emblematic of her character's dedication to Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy). "She's just looking after everybody in the room. She's looking after Rhaenyra. It's her last piece of wisdom for Rhaenyra."

Best told Variety that Rhaenys "knows that there's no living after" she volunteers herself – and her dragon, Meleys – but it "felt very samurai."

"It was that last stand of the noble warrior. She could have just about escaped, and they could have maybe left everybody to deal with it," she said of Rhaenys' choice to face Aemond and Vhagar instead of fleeing. "But she turns because she knows that’s what she has to do, morally and spiritually."

<p>Ollie Upton/HBO</p> Eve Best in 'House of the Dragon' season 2

Ollie Upton/HBO

Eve Best in 'House of the Dragon' season 2

The actress believes that her character — who started the series as the would-be queen, but her cousin Viserys was instead chosen for the throne — "finds peace" in the end.

"She just felt like she was getting lighter and lighter until that final moment on the back of Meleys. I think that’s the one moment that she suddenly — she finds peace. Literally, letting go." Best told the outlet. "She’s been carrying all her own stuff, and pretty much everybody else’s too, certainly for season 2. The weight of this unimaginable burden, and just letting it go. It was truly peaceful."

Related: Emilia Clarke Says She 'Still Can't' Watch Game of Thrones Prequel Series House of the Dragon (Exclusive)

Fans were devastated at Princess Rhaenys' death following the episode, and many took to social media to share their reactions to the eventful episode.

"The queen who SHOULD have been. Mother will be missed," one fan wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter), paying tribute to the character.

<p>HBO</p> Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen in 'House of the Dragon' season 1


Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen in 'House of the Dragon' season 1

Another fan applauded Rhaenys' dedication to Rhaenyra's fight for the throne, writing in a Tweet, "SHE HAD THE CHANCE TO ESCAPE BUT SHE DIDNT SHE CHOSE TO FIGHT FOR HER QUEEN UNTIL HER LAST BREATH. RHAENYS I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU."

"Rhaenys and Meleys my heart is broken 💔🥹," another fan wrote alongside photos from the episode of the Princess sharing a moment with her dragon before departing Dragonstone.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.