Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Why Did Daemon Cut His Hair on ‘House of the Dragon’?

He's going for a rebrand.

We know the Targaryen family for their signature long, silvery-white hair. The first two Targaryens (Daenerys and her doomed brother Viserys) we met on Game of Thrones had the trademark hair. On House of the Dragon, there are so many Targaryens that intricately braided long white hair is looking like the new normal.

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In episode four of House of the Dragon, Daemon Targaryen (the younger brother of the king, played by Matt Smith) came rolling up to the Iron Throne with a new look. He had cut off most of his long, luxurious locks. After being gone from the court for over three years, it definitely made his return strikingly different from when he left. And the crab shell/bone crown he wore just added to the dramatic reveal. But why did Daemon decide to cut his eye-catching hair?

Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair…

HBO's House of the Dragon: Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen looking sad

The show doesn’t spell out why Daemon went with such a drastic haircut, but we can make a pretty good guess. With House of the Dragon, the creators have used small time jumps to cover more development of the characters. At the beginning of episode four, we have already been with the Targaryen clan for about five years. Because of this, we have seen Daemon go through several life-changing events.

When we first met Daemon, he was in line to be king of Westeros as his brother had no sons to take over. He was brash, arrogant, and drank too much. Basically, he was living his best life. Then King Viserys’s wife Aemma birthed a son. Daemon got super bitter and celebrated when the baby died only a day after being born. That attitude got him disinherited from the throne. So he tried to claim the familial home of Dragonstone as his own and stole a dragon egg before his niece Rhaenyra put him in his place.

It was time for a glow-up.

Feeling a little lost and depressed, he joined up with Corlys Velaryon to fight against the Crab Feeder in the War for the Stepstones. The war lasted for years, taxing everyone involved. But when Daemon snapped and took out the Crab Feeder on his own, the war finally ended. Daemon was celebrated and named King of the Narrow Sea.

Drastic haircuts or appearance changes signify a new stage in a person’s life. Daemon’s long hair was tied to his family name and his youth. Now he had grown through his own victories in battle and became a different man than we saw in the first episode (okay maybe not that different). The haircut signified a change in Daemon. He’s matured and was ready to enter a new phase of his life. Cutting his hair off let everyone else know that he was ready for bigger and better things (like trying to seduce his niece…).

Or maybe all the blood he got in from killing the Crab Feeder made it a weird red color and he wasn’t feeling those highlights. For whatever reason he cut it, Daemon proved silver hair looks good both short and long.

(feature image: HBO)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.