1 House of the Dragon Line Sets Up A Wild New Character (& Mocks GOT)

WARNING! This contains SPOILERS for George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood and House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6.

Amidst the preparation for the inevitable Dance of the Dragons, House of the Dragon set up a singular new character while also mocking Game of Thrones. The first House of the Dragon episode to feature adult versions of characters like Alicent and Rhaenyra following the 10-year time jump, “The Princess and the Queen” has moved the show’s plot faster than many anticipated. By skipping over some storylines and combining others, House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6 revisited all the important pieces of the puzzle for the wars to come – including the war for the Stepstones and the Triarchy alliance.

A decade after Rhaenyra and Laenor’s marriage, the status of the realm has not changed that much. Rhaenyra now has three male heirs, but the tension regarding Viserys’ succession continues to increase as Queen Alicent and most of the court are aware of who the father of Rhaenerya’s children really is. While Rhaenyra and Laenor continue to be allies, Laenor was initially oblivious to the conflict forming around them and was more focused on what was happening at the Stepstones and on how he could be of help in the fight.

When describing the current situation at the Stepstones to Rhaenyra, Laenor Velaryon mentioned a Tyroshi general who likes to dye his beard purple. While a seemly throwaway line, Laeonor’s reference to this Tyroshi general helps establish how the House of the Dragon timeline compares to that of the books. The mention of the purple-bearded Tyroshi general is also a Game of Thrones callback, more especially, a callback to what many considered to be a flaw of the original show.

The Tyroshi general with a purple beard mentioned by Laenor is Racallio Ryndoon. A six-and-a-half feet tall captain-general whose reputation echoed across the Narrow Sea, Racallio Ryndoon was one of the five men who succeeded Daemon Targaryen as the self-proclaimed King of the Narrow Sea. Racallio Ryndoon was extremely skillful both as a fighter and as a commander, yet was often found drinking and partying to excess when not in combat. While Racallio Ryndoon is assumed to be Tyroshi, the fact he used to dye his hair purple suggests that he may have actually been from Braavos as that is a usual custom for the Bravoosi. Described as a contradictory general, Racallio Ryndoon played a key role in the war of the Stepstones and in the overall Triarchy’s initiative to control the region.

In Fire & Blood, Racallio Ryndoon was already leading the Thriarchy’s offensives in the narrow sea even before Daemon returned to court for the first time since the beginning of the war for the Stepstones. In the House of the Dragon timeline, it’s only now that 10 years have passed since the beginning of the war for the Stepstones that Racallio Ryndoon’s role in the conflict is being brought up. By the time the Triarchy gets actively involved in the Dance of the Dragons, Racallio had already been succeeded by Sharako Lohar as the commander of the Three Daughters. Still, considering how House of the Dragon is slightly changing the Fire & Blood timeline, the purple-bearded Tyroshi general could still have a role to play on the show.

On top of setting up the importance of the Triarchy for the Dance of the Dragons, House of the Dragon’s purple beard line secretly mocks a Game of Thrones creative decision. When adapting to the world created by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones decided to skip the more unconventional, fantasy-heavy character descriptions. One famous example is Daario Naharis, a Second Son presumably from Tyrosh who in the books dyes his beard purple. However, in Game of Thrones, the purple beard element was missing from Daario. Despite adopting a high-fantasy story, Game of Thrones tried to keep its world significantly more grounded than the one in A Song of Ice and Fire. Other examples are Euron Greyjoy, who in the books had long hair and an eyepatch, or even Tyrion Lannister, whose scar was much more prominent in the books than it was in Game of Thrones.

House of the Dragon, on the other hand, is incorporating more of the fantasy aspect of the world created by George R.R. Martin. The Iron Throne itself has been redesigned for House of the Dragon, now more on pain with how it is described in the books. Even the King’s title now includes the Rhoynar, who in Game of Thrones weren’t mentioned at all. Essentially, House of the Dragon is so far trying to be more aesthetically accurate to the books than Game of Thrones was, whether in the form of major changes like the Iron Throne or small throwaway lines like the purple-bearded Tyroshi general.

New episodes on House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO & HBO Max.

Next: House Of The Dragon Episode 6 Cast: Every New Actor & Recast Character