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Our Favorite ‘House of the Dragon’ Characters as Songs

What are folks in Westeros listening to?

Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon quickly became a sensation after it premiered. Considering that it’s a Game of Thrones prequel, it was bound to be grand in terms of production, though I don’t think any of us really expected it to be even better than GOT—nor did most of us expect to come out of season 1 with a controversial ship (a.k.a. Rhaenyra and Daemon, which we’ve all come to terms with).

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With House of the Dragon, we get to witness pivotal events of the past while considering characters in more complex ways. But have you ever thought about which contemporary songs apply to some of the HOTD characters? What song makes sense for young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) compared to her older self (Emma D’Arcy)? Keep reading to find out!

Young Rhaenyra – “The Tradition” by Halsey

young rhaenyra in HOTD

“Take what you want, take what you can”
Take what you please, don’t give a damn
Ask for forgiveness, never permission”

Young Rhaenyra had such a presence and really helped introduce us to the character. And the younger version of Rhaenyra hated the pressures of tradition—unless it involved her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith), right? Therefore, Halsey’s “The Tradition” feels very apt for her character. It’s a song about empowerment that essentially spits in the face of patriarchal concepts.

Older Rhaenyra – “Under The Table” by Fiona Apple

older rhaenyra in House of the Dragon

“Kick me under the table all you want
I won’t shut up, I won’t shut up”

It was difficult to imagine anyone else playing Rhaenyra, but Emma D’Arcy (a new non-binary icon) swept us away anyways. Their depiction of a more mature and experienced version of the character was chef’s kiss. She suffered through a lot over the years (especially in terms of her kids being known as bastards) as she tried to navigate the world as a grown woman. Now, as she gets ready to take revenge on the other side of her family, this song feels exactly right.

Alicent – “Anti Hero” by Taylor Swift

alicent walking with a weapon in HOTD

“It’s me, hi
I’m the problem, it’s me
At teatime, everybody agrees”

It’s safe to say that Olivia Cooke plays the older Alicent perfectly. Her self-righteousness and adherence to traditions (including her role as queen) are now deeply rooted. She’s got villainous qualities, though she’s not entirely a villain because she’s a victim of the circumstances of her time. Rather than rebel like Rhaenyra has boldly done, Alicent has remained duty-bound—though I can’t deny she definitely falls into Karen territory. And I’m no Swiftie, but this song makes all the sense for Alicent. Watch this edit to be further convinced.

Daemon – “Seven Nation Army (The Glitch Mob Remix)” by The White Stripes

daemon in HOTD

“I’m gonna fight ’em all
A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back”

Daemon very quickly became a chaotic fave for many folks. I’m not ashamed to say that he’s a personal favorite of mine. He’s so unpredictable as a character, and that makes his scenes so nail-biting in HOTD, especially when he’s around Rhaenyra (with whom he has a complicated relationship) or his brother. Plus, he’s kind of a bi icon, so there’s that! Therefore, a song that’s full of blood and chaotic energy is suitable.

Viserys – “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man

viserys in HOTD

“But I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put your blame on me”

Nobody is flawless in the GOT universe, and certainly not the men. Viserys (Paddy Considine) wasn’t the worst person to sit on the iron throne: he did his duty and made a lot of mistakes (which definitely included marrying his daughter’s best friend) during his reign as king. And might I say that Paddy Considine’s performance was stellar? Ultimately, the song that feels most fitting for his character is one we’ve heard too many times.

Ser Criston Cole – “Cut” by The Cure

ser criston cole talking to rhaenyra in HOTD

“But you don’t
You don’t feel anymore
You don’t care anymore
It’s all gone, it’s all gone, it’s all gone”

Try to honestly convince me that Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) wouldn’t play The Cure after listening to Rhaenyra. His character has become even less intriguing than ever before (the shit he did at Rhaenyra’s wedding was … yeah). Genuinely, Criston Cole is a bit of a bitch baby (bringing back this oldie but goodie from Shondaland); however, his one bit of good taste would be listening to The Cure, which is exactly why I’ve chosen this (potentially) lesser-known song.

Otto – “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” by Tears for Fears

otto being chill in HOTD

“So glad we’ve almost made it
So sad they had to face it
Everybody wants to rule the world”

Otto (Rhys Ifans) is a messy bitch who is always in the background causing all the drama. From practically pimping his daughter out so they could gain some power to influencing Viserys, he’s so clever and doesn’t make a single move that’s not well thought out. It may seem like an obvious choice, but either Lorde’s cover of the song or Tears for Fears’s original version works for him.

(featured image: HBO)

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Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.

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