5 lesser-known facts about House of the Dragon character Princess Rhaenyra

Rhaenyra Targaryen (Image via HBO)
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Image via HBO)

The first child of Viserys I Targaryen, Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of the most important characters in House of The Dragon, which premiered on HBO Max on August 21, 2022.

Celebrated as the Realm's Delight, Rhaenyra is a proficient dragonrider who began dappling with power from a very young age, given that she started ruling quite early on.


Her succession, however, is embroiled in conflict, sparking much debate about whether she is the right heir to Viserys I. This is further complicated owing to her marriage to Daemon Targaryen, who is her uncle.

In House of the Dragon, the character of Rhaenyra is essayed by Emma D'Arcy. Here are some lesser-known facts about the Targaryen princess.

Things you did not know about House of the Dragon character Rhaenyra Targaryen

1) Rhaenyra had two brothers who died at a young age

Viserys from House of The Dragon (Image via HBO)
Viserys from House of The Dragon (Image via HBO)

Rhaenyra had two brothers who both died young. A hint of the same was given in the premiere episode of House of the Dragon, where Queen Aemma, the wife of Viserys I, talks about having multiple miscarriages and stillbirths.

This seemingly insignificant detail plays a pivotal role in the character arcs and the eventual course that the story takes.

The deaths of Rhaenyra's brothers have great significance in the issue of succession that the princess is later faced with, and even forces her into a conflict with her half-brother Aegon.

2) She is only half Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen (Image via IMDB)
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Image via IMDB)

Rhaenyra's father married outside of his house, thereby defying the popular Targaryen tradition of marrying within the bloodline to keep the lineage pure. This makes Rhaenyra a descendent of not one but two of the most noble houses in the House of the Dragon and the Game of Thrones universe.

Rhaenyra's mother is from House Arryn - from the rulers of Vale - and her father is a Targaryen. The mix of genes makes Rhaenyra only half-Targaryen.

This adds an even more compelling layer to her character, as the greed and madness that runs through the Targaryen bloodline is mostly toned down when it comes to her. However, Rhaenyra does keep her Targaryen lineage pure when she marries her uncle Daemon and has children with him.

3) She was married once before she wedded Daemon

Daemon and Rhaenyra (Image via Telegraph India)
Daemon and Rhaenyra (Image via Telegraph India)

Her marriage to her uncle Daemon Targaryen is popular, given that it marks Rhaenyra's adherence to the Targaryen tradition of marrying within the family and also forms one of the central relationships in House of the Dragon.

What is little known, however, is that Rhaenyra was married once before. Prior to wedding Daemon, she was wife to Laenor Velaryon, and even shared three children with him.

However, it was widely known that her husband was homosexual and had no interest in women.

4) Her first three sons were taunted to be born outside of her marriage

Owing to widespread knowledge that her first husband, Laenor Velaryon, was homosexual, there were rumors that the three sons she had during that marriage were not born of Laenor. It is also often suggested that Ser Harwin Strong is the real father to those children.

At one point, these taunts and rumors also spark some significant bloodshed and violence. The credibility of these rumors, however, is yet to be elaborated upon in House of the Dragon.

5) Rhaenyra was subject to the Iron Throne's rejection

The Iron Throne (Image via IMDB)
The Iron Throne (Image via IMDB)

In House of The Dragon and Game of Thrones, the Iron Throne is a character of its own. It determines the fate of many, and most of all helps to make predictions about the fate of those who ascend it.

Although her competence was widely applauded, Rhaenyra was fiercely rejected by the Iron Throne, which peppered her with cuts and bruises when she attempted to occupy it. While some believed that the the injuries were an omen trying to warn the Princess, most took it to be a sign of her incompetence.

This is another in the long series of conflicts that she faces when it comes to succession.

The first episode of House of The Dragon is now streaming on HBO Max.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal