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The Messy Bitch Antics of Daemon Targaryen Continue on HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

God do I love the mess that is Daemon Targaryen. As we watched the fourth episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon come and go, nothing but love for Matt Smith and his portrayal of Daemon (and my equally messy queen Rhaenyra) remained. Episode 4, titled “King of the Narrow Sea” brought Daemon back to King’s Landing after the war that he brought to fruition, and while his dramatic antics led to a bloodied Daemon closing out episode 3, this fourth episode was really a look into the mess he loves to create.

Rhaenyra is still struggling with her place in line for the crown, with everyone telling her that it shouldn’t be hers in the first place. Her father is standing by his decision, but those around him want him to name her brother, Aegon, as the heir to the Iron Throne, and her struggle with her place in the world now that she is of age manifests in letting herself be led into a night of adventures with her uncle, Daemon.

**Spoilers for the first four episodes of House of the Dragon lie ahead.**

matt smith as daemon smirking

The return of Daemon to King’s Landing is, in short, a mess. His brother Viserys is, at first, very happy to see him. The two are joking around together and having fun with one another, but it quickly takes a turn when Daemon’s flirty nature with his niece goes too far into the Targaryen way. His messy ways lead to him showing Rhaenyra how to explore the city undetected (which she does a bad job at), and the two spend the night running around King’s Landing and exploring the nightlife there that she doesn’t get into as the princess.

But it continues down the path of their flirting ways that we’ve come to expect when the two are together, and boy howdy do I love how Daemon just brings chaos wherever he goes.

In true Targaryen fashion (more like just true Game of Thrones fashion), incest has become a focal point of the series in the relationship between Daemon and Rhaenyra. The relationship has become a topic of conversation around King’s Landing, is ruining Rhaenyra in the eyes of her father, and is a complete and total mess of a situation, and it is definitely all thanks to my drama king.


Now, let’s be clear: I don’t ship this uncle and niece. I didn’t ship Cersei and Jaime in Game of Thrones, and knowing that Jon Snow was also a Targaryen ahead of time made it so I never had to be shocked that his relationship with Daenerys was also incest. (At least there I didn’t ship it anyway because … sorry, they’re boring.) But I am fascinated by the Targaryens and their incesty ways that are connected to trying to preserve their lineage.

We saw, in the second episode, how the Hand thought Rhaenyra should marry her brother Aegon, and the shock from their father, Viserys, wasn’t because they were brother and sister but, instead, because Aegon was a toddler. So, I think the problem with Daemon and Rhaenyra, which our Princess Weekes has also written about, is that this relationship boils down to Rhaenyra being a woman and being the heir to the throne. If this were Daemon, still as the heir, sleeping with his niece, no one would bat an eye.

And I think that Daemon is aware of this—not that he doesn’t have a genuine connection to his own niece (god, this show makes me write the strangest sentences), but I do think that he also knows the chaos a relationship between them would cause for his brother and his council.

marie kondo saying she loves mess

So, Daemon making out with his niece in a brothel in public and nearly having sex with her against a wall does feel like, to me, Daemon embracing the messiest of his nature and causing drama for the Targaryen name at every chance he can, and frankly? Good. Bring on the mess because we know what happens to the Targaryens down the line, so this is just fun to see play out.

Now, I do, however, wish that Matt Smith would look at me in the way that Daemon Targaryen looks at Rhaenyra Targaryen, and I, personally, do not want to unpack that.

(featured image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.