Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Westeros is the most romantic setting, as everyone who has watched HBO’s newest fantasy drama House of the Dragon knows. Why, even now, remembering that time those two were in love makes my heart race… No, she was murdered; or how about those newlyweds? They were related, of course. Ok, but before that, huh?
Yeah, now that I think about it, many of the relationships on House of the Dragon are seriously dysfunctional, but there are still a lot of them. Don’t they merit some consideration as well? Love deserves love, doesn’t it?
Let’s go through each romance on House of the Dragon in honor of Valentine’s Day, starting with the most bizarre and moving on to what is considered normal in this area.
13. Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce
On this show, there are certainly many unhealthy relationships, but can we all agree that this was the worst? Political considerations led to the marriage of Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce, who, from what we can tell, have never been able to stand one another. Daemon and Rhea never bothered to complete their marriage; he flew to King’s Landing to work with his older brother Viserys (his true love; fight me), and Rhea remained in the Vale to ride, hunt, and use a hawk. They preferred being hundreds of miles away.
Rhea doesn’t try to hide her complete disdain for her husband during the one time we see them together.
then he kills her with a rock after she falls off her horse, claiming it was an accident while riding. Yes, this relationship was terrible—even for Westeros.
12. Rhaenyra Targaryen and Criston Cole
Another lovely tire fire is here. Rhaenyra Targaryen approaches Ser Criston Cole, her sworn shield, when inebriated, youthful, and reckless. Cole breaks his promise, gives in, and has a passionate night with the princess.
And that might have been where it ended, but apparently Cole fell harder and faster than any man in history, going from desperately wanting Rhaenrya to the point where he begged her to flee with him to falling into such a deep and dark shame spiral that he killed a man at a wedding rather than be reminded of what was probably his only sexual encounter in years, if not ever.
The only positive thing we can say about this affair is that it was short-lived, even though Cole is set on harboring bitter feelings toward it for the rest of his life.
11. Aegon Targaryen and Helaena Targaryen
Did you know that Aegon Targaryen and Helaena Targaryen, respectively the first and second children of Viserys Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, are married? The show doesn’t spend a lot of time on their relationship, but they are wed! They even have a few children of their own.
Obviously, this relationship is political. It probably says something about their romance that even though they’re man and wife, we couldn’t find a good picture of them together; even above, their younger brother Aemond pulls focus, so little do these two want to spend time with each other. At the family dinner in Episode 8, Helaena makes a toast where she basically calls her husband a layabout who ignores her.
Ah, marital bliss.
10. Viserys Targaryen and Alicent Hightower
Here’s another miserable union, and these two had been married for a lot longer. Alicent’s father Otto practically presents her to King Viserys when she is a girl, much like someone else might present a friend with a new lawnmower or Springsteen tickets. Alicent marries Viserys not out of love, but because she was brought up to be married off to a strong man to advance the status of her house. Being young, she largely fulfills her duty without complaining; only later in life does she start to wonder about it.
King Viserys doesn’t seem to adore Alicent either; he marries her primarily because she was present when he was supposed to wed a new bride following the passing of his first wife. And whereas Alicent spent her time raising Viserys’ children and is available to him anytime he wants to start a new one, her companion Rhaenyra had the opportunity to sow some wild oats in her youth.
Alicent and Viserys did appear to gain some amount of trust and understanding later in their lives. They liked each other but weren’t in a romantic relationship. Even if it’s not much, at least neither of them used a rock to murder the other.
Here, we’re lowering the bar for romance.
9. Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen
This two’s history is extensive. Initially, they were merely uncle and niece; they conversed in High Valyrian, and he occasionally gave her jewelry, but their connection couldn’t be deemed inappropriate.
Nevertheless, after taking his teenage niece out for a night on the town and making an attempt at having sex with her, Daemon gave up after realizing she was interested in him. When both of the co-parents of their children had passed away, they eventually had sex and were married after dancing around their desire to one another for a number of years.
They eventually had their own children. In addition to being Rhaenrya’s husband, Daemon serves as one of her principal advisors as they prepare for the upcoming conflict with her half-brother Aegon for the Iron Throne. He was so enraged that he briefly strangled her when she suggested making peace with Aegon.
Their connection appears twisted when it is laid out like way, and it is. I am aware that these two have a following because they appear to be drawn to one another and complement each other in some ways, but there is also a lot of ickiness present. It’s difficult to think that their tale will finish happily.
8. Daemon Targaryen and Mysaria
Here is yet another connection that Daemon has. The Targaryen prince had a relationship with Mysaria earlier in life; she was a dancer and sex worker who later rose to prominence as a significant information broker in King’s Landing. Although it primarily seemed like an attempt to win his older brother’s attention, Daemon once declared his wish to marry Mysaria.
Mysaria agreed to this since being with Daemon gave her access to a degree of privilege and luxury that was difficult for someone of her low birth to achieve. None of them appears to be hiding the reality of their connection. That isn’t love, but they both benefit from it, which is less bizarre than many of the relationships on this program.
7. Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon
Following the failure of his romance with his little niece, Daemon married Laena Velaryon, the daughter of his former combat partner Corlys Velaryon. Years later, when they are raising a set of identical twin daughters while residing in Pentos, we catch up with them.
Although by no means flawless, Daemon and Laena seem to have a relationship that is more or less functioning. Daemon establishes eye contact with serving boys and seems a little detached from his children, especially Rhaena. He’s still fixated with Rhaenrya, which has prevented him from building a solid alliance with Laena that will last them for the rest of their lives.
They have nevertheless raised a couple of decent children and appear to respect and understand one another. The relationship deserves a middle-of-the-road rating on this show since, at the very least, neither partner is violent toward the other nor do they despise one another.
6. Jacaerys Velaryon and Baela Targaryen; Lucerys Velaryon and Rhaena Targaryen
It’s hardly accurate to argue that any of the four personalities are even close. Together, their parents and grandparents determined that Jacaerys Velaryon’s marriage to Baela Targaryen and Lucerys Velaryon’s union to Rhaena Targaryen would be politically advantageous.
But guess what? They haven’t had much time to bond as a couple, so they haven’t had an opportunity to treat one other badly, which on this program always tends to happen when two individuals are left alone for a long enough length of time. They all seem like sweet kids, too. They are familiar with one another because they grew up together. The future? It might turn out okay.
Hey, perhaps the one pair will succeed. Rhaena could have to look for a new man after the events of the season 1 finale.
5. Laenor Velaryon and Joffrey Lonmouth
Even though Joffrey Lonmouth was introduced to us in just one episode, it was clear that he and Laenor Velaryon had a healthy, respectful relationship.
Of course, the two had to get by under less than perfect conditions. Laenor was the first born son of a noble house, and it was evident that his father Corlys was uncomfortable with his son’s homosexuality. Laenor was expected to marry a highborn woman in order to better his family’s position.
Despite the limitations they were forced to live with, Laenor and Joffrey remained committed to one another. Particularly Joffrey was practical about how he and Laenor could carry on their relationship even after Laenor wed Rhaenyra Targaryen, who was also quite understanding of the circumstance. Regrettably, Joffrey attempted to make Ser Criston Cole, a blatant sociopath, his ally. Yet until he stepped in, Laenor and Joffrey were functioning reasonably well.
4. Laenor Velaryon and Qarl Correy
Laenor started dating Qarl Correy, a knight working for House Velaryon, after Joffrey was killed by Ser Criston Cole. Although we don’t get to see much of their relationship, it was strong enough for Qarl to assist Laenor in faking his own death in order to escape the pressures of living a noble life. Perhaps they are spending quality time together away from this garbage.
3. Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Harwin Strong
By this point in the article, all of the interactions we’re discussing are convoluted but mostly functioning. For instance, Rhaenerya Targaryen and Ser Harwin Strong had a dedicated, loving relationship in Episode 6. She is the crown prince of the kingdom, and he is the Commander of the City Watch. They get along well, have three sons together, and Rhaenrya’s spouse is okay with them dating.
Recall that I mentioned how difficult things are? Despite having a nice thing going, Rhaenyra and Harwin must keep it a secret from the majority of people. Rhaenrya, the heir to the Iron Throne, was forced to wed due to political considerations; her spouse, Laenor Velaryon, is the first-born son of another significant family and a fine man to boot. It’s just a problem that he’s gay. They get along well and have a terrific marriage in terms of politics, but they need to discover more passionate relationships.
The fact that Rhaenrya’s children are unmistakably not Laenor’s could complicate matters for their potential claim to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra and Harwin might have found happiness together in an other life, with different circumstances. But on House of the Dragon, their romance was doomed from the start.
2. Viserys Targaryen and Aemma Arryn
Viserys Targaryen and Aemma Arryn, the ruler and queen of Westeros, are introduced to us in the first episode of the series. She passes away in the same episode, and the rest of the season is dominated by her memory, which directs the king’s every move.
Viserys was obviously in love with Aemma, and what little we have seen of their relationship is quite promising. They are close and considerate to one another, and they both adore their daughter Rhaenrya. They appear to be a content family.
But the demands of royal life have a price. Despite how happy the family was together, Viserys was required by custom to have a son who would take his place on the Iron Throne. He encouraged Aemma to continue having children despite suffering many miscarriages all the way up until she tragically passed away during childbirth. Viserys, who knowing it would kill the mother, gave the order for the maester to perform a caesarian section on her as she lay on the delivery bed in the hopes of saving the life of the son she carried.
Viserys will live with the consequences of this decision, but he still made it. They may have had a happy life together, but the king brought about the end of their union in a tragic way.
1. Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen
Rhaenys Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon both have problems. He can sometimes treat his children more like chess pieces than as actual people since he is a little too concerned about leaving a legacy. She is the Queen Who Never Was and appears a little dejected that she didn’t get to sit on the Iron Throne. They have issues, just like any other relationship.
Nonetheless, these two are here for one another at the end of the day. Although they can both be honest with one other when one of them goes a little too far, he supports her goals and she respects his. Also, they listen to one another. As Corlys, who has sought to sit his own blood on the throne for the entire series, is finally prepared to give up on his goal in Episode 10, Rhaenys persuades him to reconsider after being moved by Rhaenyra’s queenly demeanor. They go on all of their journeys together.
Strong ties bind Corlys and Rhaenys together. When House of the Dragon returns for season 2 in 2024, we’ll see more of it.
You concur with our list? Disagree so deeply that it hurts? Inform us!