Spoiler alert: This article spoils parts of House of the Dragon’s first season.The finale of House of the Dragon’s first season began the war between the Greens and the Blacks. This war will divide the Targaryen house as well as the great houses of the realm.
While there are many great characters in this series, the Targaryens are the stars of the show. As the death of King Viserys ends a peaceful time within the Seven Kingdoms, his children will battle over their claim to his throne. Despite the great characteristics of these complex characters, each Targaryen (not including the young children without any significant role yet) has a less-than-favorable personality trait.
Rhaenyra has proven she should be queen throughout the years she was named heir. Though she was a bit rebellious in her teen years, she realized as she grew into an adult what her responsibilities are to the realm and her house.
However, as Rhaenyra has grown older she has also proven she is quite uncertain about her path in life. She confesses to her ailing father that she knows making her heir divided the realm, and she’s hesitant to confront the Hightowers with force after they usurp her crown. Though her hesitation demonstrates she doesn’t want to plunge the realm into war, her uncertainty can cause issues when they’re battling the Greens.
While there are some characters that have some redeemable qualities, as Aegon Targaryen has grown from a boy into a man he has proven to be a self-centered, arrogant, and pitiful person undeserving of ruling a kingdom.
Even Aegon believes he is undeserving of the Iron Throne, which he made clear in the episode « The Green Council ». Though he is almost pitiable in this episode, because he’s so defeated and desperate to avoid being king, he demonstrates the main reason why he shouldn’t be king is that he’s a selfish, self-centered individual that only knows the best way to take care of himself.
There are many things misunderstood about Aemond’s character, but as he has grown up the audience has watched him fight to prove himself. While this makes him a great prince of the realm, it also makes him quite unpredictable.
The show has demonstrated how erratic Aemond can be in a few instances, including the shocking scene in the finale in which his dragon Vhagar ends up killing Lucerys Velaryon. Though Lucerys’ death was an accident, had Aemond not been so determined to frighten the young prince, he would have avoided the catastrophe.
Besides the characters still children in the Targaryen house, Helaena is the one in the family that remains very much in the background of the series. However, the scenes featuring her have suggested she’s quite a meek woman who is fearful of her husband-brother and seemingly uninterested in the affairs of the kingdom.
From the time she was a young girl, Helaena was seen on the outskirts of the party, avoiding others and more content to play with spiders and centipedes. It might be wise of her to not place herself in the midst of court business, but her passiveness likely makes her largely unaware of what’s going on within her family and, in turn, her life.
Daemon Targaryen has complicated relationships with everyone he cares about, including his wives, children, and brother. He often isn’t seen showing much emotion, but often when he does it’s with outrage and a bad temper.
He has proven repeatedly throughout the first season that he has trouble handling emotions and, in particular, sadness. Daemon’s drive for recognition makes him an unstable character, always leaving the audience, as well as his family, wondering when he’s going to reveal his emotions in the most unexpected and often violent ways.
There are several great quotes that sum up Rhaenys’ character throughout season one. At first, she appeared to be a spiteful person, but as she appeared more throughout the season she proved to be an extremely intelligent, wise, and loving person.
Despite her many positive attributes, however, she is not the head of her household and often shows restraint at times when she should be making important decisions. In « The Black Queen », instead of making her intentions to declare to Rhaenyra clear, she chose to keep her feelings inside until she spoke with Lord Corlys. While this made her character all the more intriguing, it also makes one wonder if her cautiousness will affect how she makes decisions in the upcoming war.
Viserys the Peaceful was a beloved king and was undoubtedly loved by many. However, he didn’t always make the best decisions as a king. There are many instances throughout the years in which he struggles to decide what his best course of action is.
One example of him being slow to act is when it came to the Crabfeeder pirates in the Stepstones. One would think it was his duty to provide aid to one of the great houses of the kingdom and prevent Lord Corlys from losing any more ships. As the king, it was his responsibility to be able to weigh his options and make a decision for the good of the realm.
Since the introduction of Prince Jacaerys in « The Princess and the Queen », it was obvious he would play a key role in the upcoming conflict within the Targaryen family. Even at such a young age, he was very observant, figuring out that Harwin Strong was his true biological father.
As he gets older, it is clear Jacaerys is proud of his position and supportive of his mother and her influence as queen. However, as a young adult, he has also suggested he’s quite a prideful noble. Though it’s good he tells Lucerys not to be ashamed at court, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about them, his pride can be a risky trait in the midst of war.
Lucerys, like the other children, hasn’t often been front and center in the show. However, he proved he was a bold character when he stood up for Jacaerys against Aemond, eventually cutting the other prince’s eye out in defense of his older brother.
Despite his bravery, Lucerys has also demonstrated that he doesn’t have a high opinion of himself. He suggests to others, including Lord Corlys and his mother, that he doesn’t believe he’d make a good lord to Driftmark. Unfortunately, his sudden death in the season finale means Lucerys will not get a chance to grow into a confident Targaryen.
Baela, the daughter of Laena Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen, has largely been in the background for much of the first season. However, as she grew older, she seemed more present in court matters and was even seen defending Rhaenys against her great-uncle Vaemond’s ambitions.
This seeming dedication to Rhaenys made her decision to send word of Vaemond’s attempts to overthrow Lucerys as heir to Driftmark a bit shocking. As it seems like she does this without the knowledge of her still-conflicted grandmother, it’s clear she isn’t sure whether her allegiance should be with her grandparents or her Targaryen kin.
Rhaena, the sister of Baela, has had as little screen time as her sister in the first season. Her most prominent scene thus far is her expressing her anger at Aemond for taking Vhagar before she had a chance to claim the dragon herself.
As a child, Rhaena expressed her desire for a dragon. Had she been more determined, she may have been able to claim Vhagar before Aemond did. However, the girl is often seen clinging to her grandmother or betrothed Lucerys, leaving her little opportunity to speak up and make her presence and opinions known.