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House Of The Dragon: Daemon Targaryen’s Worst Decisions

Rhaenyra watches the Greens' dragons in House of the Dragon.


  • Daemon Targaryen’s ambition and rogue behavior posed a threat to King Viserys and resulted in political discord in
    House of the Dragon
  • Daemon’s actions, such as conducting a brutal slaughter in King’s Landing, humiliated the king and destabilized the realm.
  • By defying Viserys and occupying Dragonstone, Daemon’s arrogance and actions further weakened the king’s position and emboldened enemies.



King Viserys loved his younger brother, Daemon Targaryen (and vice versa), but the latter proved to be his biggest political headache in House of the Dragon. Daemon was a rogue who believed in the show of force, and his ambition knew no bounds. He wasn’t interested in the throne at the expense of his brother, but he certainly wanted to rule by his side.


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Viserys’ Hand, the cunning Otto Hightower, sowed discord between the two brothers and saw to it that they remained estranged while his daughter, Alicent, wormed her way into House Targaryen. Otto wanted Daemon away from power, and spoke malicious half-truths to the King, while Daemon’s bad decisions worsened things in House of the Dragon.

6 Rogue Behavior

Daemon Was The Rogue Prince

Daemon Targaryen with the Velaryons at war in House of the Dragon.

No matter his unpredictability, Daemon was expected to turn up at the Heir’s Tournament because he just couldn’t miss the chance to parade himself and his Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister. He was certain that unless Queen Aemma Arryn gave birth to a boy, he was the uncontested king’s heir. That being said, Daemon wasn’t malevolent but a morally gray character who rarely exercised restraint.

Daemon had urged the crown to invest a significant sum in the re-training and re-equipping of his City Watch of two thousand but avoided accountability as Commander. He hadn’t filled his seat in the small council and failed as Viserys’ Master of Laws, and his Master of Coin by acting as a tyrant and a spendthrift, respectively. Many in the small council feared that Daemon could destabilize the realm if he remained the king’s heir, and rightly so.

5 Carried Out A Slaughter In King’s Landing

Acted Without Fear And Humiliated The King

Daemon Targaryen commands the Gold Cloaks in House of the Dragon.

Daemon was the Commander of the City Watch at the beginning of House of the Dragon, and he made a spectacle of violence on his first night in the city after a long absence. He rallied an army behind him and slaughtered petty criminals and thugs.

The next day, King Viserys found himself at a loss for words at his small council. Daemon was overstepping his boundaries as the chief job of the Gold Cloaks is to act as a peacekeeping force, and not as a military justice system. In Otto’s words:

“It was an unprecedented roundup of criminals of every ilk. Your brother made a public show of it, meting out the summary judgments himself. I am told they needed a two-horse cart to haul away the resulting dismemberments when it was done.”

Viserys was humiliated in front of his councilors, thanks to Daemon’s act of monstrosity.

4 Leaving Viserys’ Side After Marrying Rhaenyra

Daemon Spent Years Away From The Capital

Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen's secret wedding ceremony in House of the Dragon.

Daemon should have persuaded Rhaenyra to stay in the capital after marrying her in a Valyrian wedding ceremony on Dragonstone. With Rhaenyra as the king’s heir, and Daemon her consort, the two should have taken their place at court in King’s Landing to be by Viserys’ side.


House Of The Dragon: Worst Decisions Made By Viserys

Viserys had several opportunities to do what was right, but he often chose not to. Here are some of his worst decisions in House of the Dragon.

The king was becoming weaker because of his “rot, and Alicent and Otto ruled in his name. He was reduced to a nominal head, and he needed his real family in his final years. Daemon and Rhaenyra chose to stay back at Dragonstone, foolishly thinking that the Hightowers would easily vacate upon Viserys’ death. First Daemon and then Rhaenyra, spent years away from the capital and wondered why they had fewer friends at court each time they returned. Moreover, their absence made the Greens’ usurpation of power easy.

3 Name-Calling Prince Baelon

Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon.

Viserys’ heir, Prince Baelon from his dead wife, Queen Aemma Arryn, lived only for a few hours. The court was in disarray, the king was shattered, and Rhaenyra was alone and angst-ridden.

The same night, Daemon found himself lost in a crowd at a pleasure house on the Street of Silk. He toasted the dead prince as “the heir for a day” and the next morning, Otto, who had built a network of spies all over the city, presented an exaggerated account to the king. While Daemon was distraught, the part about styling Prince Baelon as the day’s heir was true. Viserys couldn’t shake off the hurtful comment, and he ended up banishing his brother from the city. Daemon spoke without tact and lost the privilege of being the uncontested heir.

2 Sullying Rhaenyra’s Name

Sneaked The King’s Heir Out Of the Red Keep

Rhaenyra and Daemon watch a street performance in House of the Dragon.

Daemon returned to King’s Landing after winning the war against the Crabfeeder and the Triarchy in the Stepstones. Lord Corlys crowned him as King of the Narrow Sea, but he laid the crown at his brother’s feet, declaring that he had secured the Stepstones for the realm.

Daemon had returned with the intent of making peace with his brother, and it hurt Otto’s interests. Once again, his spies brought him the news that Daemon and Rhaenyra had ventured off into the Street of Silk in the dark, and they were seen “coupling” in a brothel. While Daemon had stopped halfway through the act, he didn’t deny the accusations when brought before the king. Consumed with ambition, he asked for Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage but Viserys ordered him to leave. Daemon’s senseless act risked Rhaenyra’s position as heir, disgraced their family, and hurt his brother.

1 Occupying Dragonstone

Provoked Viserys After He Named Rhaenyra Heir

Daemon Targaryen and Mysaria on Dragonstone in House of the Dragon.

Daemon’s arrogance stemmed from the false confidence that he’d remained Viserys’ uncontested heir. That changed when he referred to Baelon as “the heir for a day.” Viserys sent him away from King’s Landing to go to his Lady Wife, Rhea Royce, in the Vale.

While Daemon left the capital, he defied the king’s command. He took his paramour, Mysaria, with him to Dragonstone and occupied it. The occupation of the island of Dragonstone by Daemon and his army of Gold Cloaks made Viserys look like a weak king and emboldened the Crabfeeder to intensify the war in the Stepstones in House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon

Release Date
August 21, 2022

Matt Smith , Emma D’Arcy , Olivia Cooke , Rhys Ifans

Ryan J. CondalGeorge, R.R. Martin


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