Left: Alicent and Rhaenyra light candles at the sept in House of the Dragon. Right: Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark get married in Game of Thrones

House Targaryen Could’ve Been Happier If They’d Just Stop Pretending

Them Dragons, y’all! I think House of The Dragon fans say this at least ten times during an episode due to the sheer incompetence of the current government at King’s Landing and the opposition party (mainly Daemon).

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But the biggest enemy of House Targaryen has always been their need to be secretive and keep up pretenses, which leads to miscommunication. It screwed them over during the Dance of the Dragons, ending their reign over the Seven Kingdoms that Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters so painstakingly brought with fire and blood. And as if that wasn’t a lesson enough, they continued to let Aegon’s dream and their pretenses ruin them a second time, losing them the Iron Throne and almost ending their line!

Aegon’s cream, everyone’s nightmare


You know why the Dance of the Dragons happened, right? When the first domino fell? You can blame it on King Viserys I, who first told his daughter and heir Rhaenyra about Aegon’s Dream, the Song of Ice and Fire, and the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised. He made her take it seriously that there needed to be a Targaryen on the Iron Throne when things in the North went south. Our girl was locked in.

And then Viserys, on his deathbed, merely hours after making all the warring factions of his family sit together at the dinner table and play nice, fumbled this peace. In his delirium, thinking that it was Rhaenyra by his side, he told his wife Alicent about Aegon’s dream again.

Only Alicent assumed he meant their son Aegon II! And then there was war.

Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen at the sept in House of the Dragon

In House of The Dragon season 2 episode 3, “The Burning Mill,” Alicent and Rhaenyra uncovered the colossal f***up that had transpired because of the mixed-up Aegons. And yet, Alicent decided to keep up pretenses, not do anything to rectify her mistake, and let the war unfold. What could she even do at this point, you may ask? The peace ship has sailed. Yet, this mistake is sure to haunt her for the rest of her life and destroy her psyche.

We could start by blaming the Targaryens overall for not making this song of ice and fire business public knowledge, at least amongst their own family members. Maybe call a Targaryen family-only meeting and share with the class so there’s always backup and they’re not miscommunicating all the time?

Rhaegar’s love, everyone’s war

Is no one listening to the maesters when they’re being taught history in Westeros? That’s how often it gets repeated.

Once again, Aegon’s dream of ice and fire enters the chat, this time in the story of Rhaegar Targaryen, the charming, nerdy prince who suddenly decides to buff up and become a warrior because he read in some scrolls that through his line, the Prince that was Promised would come. 

In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, when Daenerys has her dream in the House of the Undying, she has a vision of her brother, Prince Rhaegar, talking to his wife, Princess Elia Martell of Dorne, about their son Aegon, who Rhaegar thinks is the prophesied prince. Unfortunately, all three of them die, and once again, the knowledge of this prophecy is lost, and the people who’d actually be affected by it have no clue.

Let’s also not forget the real reason Rhaegar, Elia, and their two children, Rhaenys and Aegon, die. A very married Prince Rhaegar falls in love with Lyanna Stark, the sister of Lord Eddard Stark, at the tourney in Harrenhal. Lyanna is already betrothed to Robert Baratheon of Storm’s End, but that doesn’t stop Rhaegar. 


The truth of what happened between Lyanna and Rhaegar is never made public knowledge. Robert, believing that Rhaegar had kidnapped Lyanna, wages war (Robert’s Rebellion). This leads to countless lives lost, the brutal deaths of Rhaegar’s wife Elia and their children at the hands of Gregor Clegane, Jaime Lannister slaying King Aerys II, and Robert killing Rhaegar, thereby ending the Targaryen reign on the Seven Kingdoms. Their house is almost ended, except somehow Prince Viserys and Princess Daenerys are able to escape to Essos.

It is only later revealed that Rhaegar loved Lyanna and didn’t abduct her; they eloped. Rhaegar stayed away with Lyanna while her father and brother were burnt alive by King Aerys II and Robert started a war. Had they come forth and revealed their truth instead of letting this pretense of abduction carry on, an entire war could’ve been averted! House Targaryen could’ve survived. If only they’d learned from the past how destructive this miscommunication can be.

Seriously. Them Dragons, y’all!

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.