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Each Week, I Just Love Daemon Targaryen More and More on ‘House of the Dragon’

Daemon and Rhaenyra on House of the Dragon

Spoilers through episode 8 of House of the Dragon ahead.

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House of the Dragon has been a bit of a wild ride in the sense that we’re all trying to figure out where these characters are in their lives and with regard to their time jumps. But one thing that remains consistent is the fact that each week, Daemon Targaryen is always going to be a sassy mess and I love every second of it. Played by Matt Smith, he’s been my one joy week in and week out. Episode 8, titled “The Lord of the Tides,” brought us another great look into my new favorite drama king.

First off, let me say that I know that Book Daemon is bad but House of the Dragon has made some changes that make him an angel by Westeros standards. Yes, he spooked the horse that killed his wife and yet somehow, that doesn’t seem that bad when you look at … well, any other man in Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon. Point being, I know what show I’m watching and so I know what levels of bad are acceptable in this world. (I should note that my other favorite boys of Westeros include Robb Stark and Oberyn Martell who have never done anything wrong in their lives).

This week, we got Daemon as happy as we’ve seen him yet because he married his niece Rhaenyra and the two could finally stop hiding their infatuation for each other. (It’s Westeros, this is normal behavior.) And from the jump, he’s trying to take care of his pregnant wife as best he can. He’s softly giving her hurtful information, he’s at her side as they go to see her father (and his brother) on his death bed, and when it comes down to it, he’s ready to defend her with his sword. It’s a lot to unpack!

Here king, you dropped this

daemon helping viserys in house of the dragon

The episode took Rhaenyra and Daemon back to King’s Landing after being away long enough to have two kids with one more on the way (they really are just jumping past things) and they came not only to defend Lucerys and his right to Driftmark. After the wound that the Sea Snake suffers, who will rule Driftmark is called into question and Rhaenyra and Daemon return to King’s Landing to not only plead with Viserys to make it known that it is Lucerys’ right as Laenor’s son but to defend the legitimacy of Rhaenyra’s children.

To Viserys’ credit, he does so with just as much drama and flair that Daemon possesses. Guess we know it runs in the family! What happens is as Rhaenyra is standing against Ser Vaemond who believes that it should be his right to take over rule of Driftwood since his brother the Sea Snake has no “rightful” heir. He is calling into question the father of Rhaenyra’s son and just when the fight is gearing up, the doors to the Throne room fly open and Viserys, looking like a zombie, makes his way into the room and up to his throne to defend his daughter.

Now, he’s sick. So much so that he tips over and his crown falls to the stairs, and it is Daemon who is handing it back to him and helping him up. Look, Daemon and Viserys’ relationship is now strange because Viserys is technically Daemon’s brother and father-in-law but this moment showed us that Daemon loves his brother and wants to help him. It was moving to see the two have this brief moment where it looked like their relationship could be mended.

He loves Rhaenyra so much?!

daemon standing with a sword in house of the dragon

Now the real meat of the episode came from Daemon’s desire to protect Rhaenyra. It’s always been there, simmering, but as just her uncle he didn’t really make moves to defend her in the way that he did in episode 8, now that he is her husband and her uncle. It started with the message that Lucerys’ right to Driftmark was being questioned, and he waited until she was calm before he brought her the note.

Then, it was seeing her father (who is also his brother). He let her have the time and was taking care of her and looking out for her. It feels strange to see Daemon this caring but then again, he’s always had it in him when it came to Rhaenyra and now that he can be public in his affection for her, it has made him all the more caring.

But the moment that Daemon really showed how deep his dedication runs comes when Ser Vaemond starts to get mad at the “ruling” of who rules Driftmark. Rhaenyra met with Rhaenys beforehand and promised her that Jacaerys and Lucerys would be promised to Baela and Rhaena (Daemon’s daughters with Laena) and trust that the Velaryon bloodline would continue to rule Driftmark and would one day sit on the Iron Throne.

When Rhaenys backs Rhaenyra and Lucerys, Ser Vaemond is so angry that he begins screaming about how Rhaenyra’s children are bastards and Viserys says that he’ll have his tongue for that. Before he can take it from Ser Vaemond, Daemon cuts his head in half and says to the room that he can “keep his tongue” which … okay, drama king.

But the move was a show of support not only for his wife but for the legitimacy of her children. Sure, we know that Laenor is alive and well and happy not pretending to be in love with a woman but those around Westeros do not know that and Daemon stopped the line of questioning from continuing. Yes, Ser Vaemond was right but also all of Westeros doesn’t need to know that.

He was defending his family in the most dramatic way possible but also it’s Daemon Targaryen so are we really surprised?

(image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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