It’s hard to imagine a more fan-pleasing experience than House of the Dragon.
The first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel has done right by both fans of the original series and George R.R. Martin’s novel’s. The show has faithfully adapted everything that it can from Martin’s Fire & Blood (which is written as a historical text and therefore leaves much up to interpretation) while also introducing some genuine surprises and alterations.
Still, for as fan-friendly as House of the Dragon has been thus far, a handful of Fire & Blood die-hards have pointed out that a major character appears to be missing. Daeron Targaryen, King Viserys’s third son and fourth overall child with Queen Alicent, has not yet appeared on the show.
During this time in the show’s continuity, the lad would still be quite young but he would be around all the same. Well put the pitchforks away, Daeron-ites! Because Queen Alicent’s most handsome boy is indeed canon in House of the Dragon…he just hasn’t turned up onscreen yet.
This news comes from none other than papa bear himself: George R.R. Martin. In a post on his “Not a Blog” live journal website today called “Random Musings,” the “A Song of Ice and Fire” creator indeed muses on a few random things and in the process reveals that Daeron Targaryen remains a part of the House of the Dragon‘s plan. More than that – Daeron is technically a part of the show now, he just doesn’t happen to be onscreen yet (or even necessarily have an actor announced to play him). You can find the relevant passage below (bolding added for emphasis):
Very briefly, however, I think Ryan has handled the “jumps” very well, and I love love love both the younger Alicent and Rhaenyra and the adult versions, and the actresses who play them. (Truth be told, we have an incredible cast, and I love all of them). Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and YES, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season), and everything else we had to skip? Sure.
There you have it: young Daeron (who should be around 15 years old right now) is down in Oldtown, a.k.a. the domain of House Hightower. Since he’s a third son, he doesn’t really need to be around the capital for succession purposes so he’s likely getting an education in his family’s hometown and arguably the cultural center of Westeros. Those unfamiliar with Fire & Blood may be wondering why Daeron Targaryen is of particular importance to this story. The truth is that he’s not necessarily.
Daeron definitely gets into some action in the incoming civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons but a show concerned with either its budget or the amount of characters with similar-sounding names could have found a way to cut him out of the proceedings. In fact, House of the Dragon‘s forefather Game of Thrones likely would have! Thankfully this prequel series is a bit more invested in bringing the full (even if at times confusing) version of Martin’s world to bare.
The good news about Daeron’s confirmation is that he should be one of the few likable lads involved in this story going forward. Daeron is not a drunken sex criminal like his brother Aegon nor a sociopathic Cyclops like his brother Aemond. Instead, Daeron is a popular royal who is widely considered to be “the gentlest” of King Viserys’s sons. That doesn’t mean that Daeron will sit out the conflicts to come though. Indeed, he and his dragon prove to be effective military assets. And that’s all we’ll say about Daeron for now until we get to officially meet him in House of the Dragon‘s second season.
Speaking of season 2, Martin also confirmed the desired number of episodes and seasons that House of the Dragon will need to complete its tale. Previously, showrunner Ryan Condal had alluded to a three-to-four season plan but in this blog post, Martin writes that “it is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.”
If Martin gets his way (and he will) it looks like we’ll have 32 more House of the Dragon episodes to come with the whole Targaryen family intact.
New episodes of House of the Dragon premiere Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. and Sky Atlantic in the U.K.