HBO's House of the Dragon enjoyed overwhelmingly positive reviews from viewers. A Song of Ice and Fire fans were looking forward to House of the Dragon, as they know much more information about the show's key characters, like Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen.
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Daemon and Rhaenyra's relationship has been a focus of House of the Dragon. Nevertheless, book-to-TV adaptations are difficult, and HBO was bound to leave some facts out. However, George R. R. Martin's books can tell TV fans everything they need to know about Rhaenyra and Daemon's relationship.
Updated May 24, 2023, by Isaac Williams: Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen have one of House of the Dragon's most complex relationships. However, books like Fire & Blood can give readers even more information about their tumultuous romance and whether Daemon actually loves Rhaenyra. We've updated this list to provide answers to even more burning questions surrounding Daemon and Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon.
This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon
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10 Daemon Crowns Rhaenyra
The line of succession is a key theme in House of the Dragon and is very important in the world of Westeros. Daemon believes himself to be the rightful and lawful heir to the Iron Throne. When King Viserys I removes Daemon as heir, he does all he can to cause issues and disarray.
Daemon causes further trouble in the realm by crowning Rhaenyra himself. She is declared the Queen of Dragonstone, while her younger brother Aegon II is named King in King's Landing. These parallel crownings inadvertently kick off the Dance of the Dragons civil war when both sides refuse to give way.
9 Many Rumors Circulate About Daemon's Relations With His Niece
Fire & Blood details several accounts of Daemon's relationship with Rhaenyra. Septon Eustace gives a version of events where Daemon seduces Rhaenyra, but Mushroom recounts a different scandalous tale. Mushroom says that Rhaenyra asked her uncle to help her learn how to "please a man" because she wanted to be with Criston Cole but still kept her virginity.
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There are differences between House of the Dragon and the books. In the early episodes of the show, Rhaenyra is in her late teens. In the books, however, there is a 16-year age gap between Daemon and Rhaenyra. The show also removes the different accounts and rumors surrounding their relationship by outright showing Daemon taking Rhaenyra to a brothel.
8 Rhaenyra Loves Her Uncle
In the fourth episode of House of the Dragon, Daemon first becomes intimate with Rhaenyra after taking her to a brothel. The show leaves unanswered questions about their dynamic. House of the Dragon leaves it deliberately unclear at that point whether they're in love or whether Rhaenyra is just infatuated with a man who is using her.
In Fire & Blood, however, Rhaenyra is in love with Daemon from a young age. Things change after she meets Criston Cole. Nevertheless, George R. R. Martin's books show that Rhaenyra's first love was Daemon, whereas House of the Dragon has a slower build-up between the two.
7 Their Marriage Is Controversial
Daemon marries twice and Rhaenyra once before the pair exchanged vows. Daemon first marries Rhea Royce and then Laena Velaryon, while Rhaenyra spends years wed to Laena's brother, Laenor Velaryon. After Laena and Laenor die, the uncle and niece commit themselves to one another in holy matrimony.
House of the Dragon changes some of the details in Fire & Blood surrounding their marriage. Notably, the show removes the suspicion that Daemon had Laenor Valaryon killed because the latter survives. House of the Dragon also glosses over how controversial Daemon and Rhaenyra's marriage was in Westeros by skipping large chunks of time.
6 They Have And Lose Many Children
In Rhaenyra's first marriage, she has three boys: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon. Daemon has twin girls, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen. In Daemon and Rhaenyra's marriage to one another, they have Aegon and Viserys. The pair also have a stillborn daughter, who they name Visenya.
Daemon and Rhaenyra have a large family in both House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood. However, it doesn't remain as large. House of the Dragon shows their first tragic loss of a child when Lucerys Velaryon dies. However, Fire & Blood goes on to list several more tragedies for the couple, as Jacaerys and Joffrey also die.
5 Daemon Is Unfaithful
Daemon Targaryen has a reputation as disloyal in both House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood. Both works imply that Rhaenyra and her first husband Laenor were also unfaithful to one other. After Daemon and Rhaenyra's partners die in the same year, they only waited around half a year before marrying, which infuriated Viserys.
House of the Dragon doesn't show Daemon's womanizing after his marriage. However, Fire & Blood details his frequent liaisons with his lover Mysaria, which Rhaenyra knows about. This detail casts an uncertain eye on Daemon's relationship with Nettles, a House Targaryen bastard.
4 Their Children Sit On The Iron Throne
Daemon and Rhaenyra's sons sit on the Iron Throne after the Dance of Dragons. After King Aegon II's death, supporters of Rhaenyra's cause place her son, Aegon III, on the throne. Aegon then becomes the seventh Targaryen king of Westeros.
However, Aegon isn't the only one of Daemon and Rhaenyra's sons to sit on the throne in Fire & Blood. After the deaths of Aegon's sons, his brother Viserys II Targaryen rules for a short period of time. Daemon never achieves his throne, but both of his sons manage to.
3 Rhaenyra And Daemon Have An Important Relationship
Daemon and Rhaenyra's relationship is a contender for the most important Targaryen relationship in history, possibly in all of Westeros. Without both of them together, the Dance of the Dragons might not have happened. This would make a significant difference to House Targaryen's power and fortunes and possibly prevent their ruined state in Game of Thrones.
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Both Rhaenyra and Daemon die during the Dance of the Dragons. However, the royal line continues through Rhaenyra and Daemon's children. Through Viserys II Targaryen and his sons, they are the forebears of a long line of kings. This extends all the way to Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.
2 Daemon And Rhaenyra Die As They Lived
Daemon and Rhaenyra die within a short time of one another, but they don't die together. However, both of their deaths fit their actions in life. Daemon, who is a warrior throughout House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood, dies in a one-on-one dragon duel with his nephew, Aemond Targaryen.
Rhaenyra, who spends much of House of the Dragon fighting Westeros' unfair customs, dies a sadder death. Her last allies on Dragonstone betray her and hand her over to Aegon II Targaryen for a horrific execution.
1 Daemon Probably Loves Rhaenyra
Daemon Targaryen is one of House of the Dragon's most ambiguous characters. Daemon is a violent and unpredictable wildcard who is happy to lie to or betray his loved ones. House of the Dragon's early episodes are deliberately unclear about whether he actually loves Rhaenyra or whether he's using her to get the Iron Throne.
However, Fire & Blood gives some insights into Daemon's character, which House of the Dragon only touches on in the last episodes of Season 1. Daemon shows his genuine care and attention to Rhaenyra several times before the two marry. This doesn't take away from the many destructive and inappropriate parts of their relationship, but the books imply that Daemon does love Rhaenyra.
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