Rhaenyra Could Be Pregnant in House of the Dragon
HBO’s House of the Dragon, based on Game of Thones author George R.R. Martin’s prequel Fire & Blood, follows the Targaryen royal family’s war of succession, with multiple princes and princesses vying for the Iron Throne.
Much like Game of Thrones before it, House of Dragon features an ensemble cast, but Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the closest thing we have to a main character, and the story follows her the most closely as she attempts to navigate palace life and find a way of asserting herself in a strictly patriarchal world.
Episode 1 saw Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys, officially name her his heir after the death of his newborn son Baelon. Naming a girl as heir to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms is pretty much unheard of in Westerosi history, and it’s safe to say that a lot of the stuffier male figures in the Small Council aren’t exactly thrilled by this decision, urging Viserys to switch favor once his new son Aegon has been born, and encouraging him to marry Rhaenyra off to the head of a suitably noble house.
Among Rhaenyra’s potential suitors are the slightly douchey Jason Lannister, and her first cousin Laenor Velaryon, although the characters with whom the character shares the most chemistry are deemed a lot less appropriate: the common-born Ser Criston Cole, whose ascent to the Kingsguard Rhaenyra facilitated, and, well… her uncle, Prince Daemon.
Gross, I know. But this is Westeros we’re talking about. Incest between blondes is par for the course.
After spending most of the series rebutting advances, episode four of House of the Dragon sees Rhaenyra’s first sexual encounters. First, she is reunited with Daemon after his prolonged absence, and they appear to rekindle their deeply messed up connection, with the avuncular relationship turning carnal before Daemon seemingly puts a stop to it. Then, we follow Rhaenyra back to the palace, where she hooks up with Criston.
Is Rhaenyra pregnant?
In the final scene of the episode, Rhaenyra meets with the royal maester, who brings her some kind of potion or remedy, which he tells her is for the “consequences” of her actions. It’s heavily implied that this is a fantasy world equivalent to Plan B, and that Rhaenyra is in need of emergency contraception following her trysts—although it is all still unclear whether she fully consummated things with either Daemon or Criston.
Incest aside, if Rhaenyra did conceive with Daemon, it might help to cement her claim to the throne over her half-brother Aegon, as Daemon was the official heir before Viserys changed his mind and chose her. However, if she were to be pregnant with the offspring of a member of the Kingsguard, that is more likely to be seen as a scandal than cause for celebration.
Spoiler alert for the books
In George R.R. Martin’s fictitious history of the Targaryen family, we learn that Rhaenyra does eventually have children with her uncle Daemon: two boys named Viserys II and Aegon III, both of whom eventually become king. However, this happens later in the timeline, with Rhaenyra first marrying and having children with her cousin Laenor Velaryon, while Daemon marries Laenor’s sister Laena.
Of course, the House of the Dragon showrunners may well end up remixing the order of events, so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out just how messy this line of succession gets.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
When we are putting together outfits, please don’t forget the icing on the cake. I’m not a huge fan…