House of the Dragon Showrunner Responds To Fans Shipping Rhaenyra & Daemon

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal responds to fans shipping Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen. At the beginning of the Game of Thrones prequel, the Prince and Princess exhibit a special bond, though nothing more than would be expected from an uncle and niece. When it comes time for the King to name a successor, Daemon naturally emerges as the likeliest suitor, but Viserys breaks tradition by naming his daughter, Rhaenyra, his heir and banishes his hot-headed younger brother from King’s Landing.

After winning a triumphant victory in the Stepstones against the Crabfeeder, Daemon returns to King’s Landing just as Rhaenyra is also ending her months-long tour for a consort. That night, Daemon and Rhaenyra sneak out after dark for a night on the town. The two visit a brothel where Daemon seduces Rhaenyra, though he abandons her there before the affair is consummated. Since one of Ser Otto’s spies witnessed the intimacy, Viserys attempts to avoid scandal by ordering Rhaenyra to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon and, once again, exiles Daemon to the Vale. However, as subsequent House of the Dragon episodes have aired, fans haven’t forgotten about Rhaenyra and Daemon’s fling and are holding out hope the two enter a romantic relationship.

During a recent interview with Variety, Condal responded to fans who shipping Rhaenyra and Daemon. The House of the Dragon showrunner said he is not surprised by audiences’ reaction to this taboo relationship and credits Game of Thrones for making viewers more accustomed to incestuous romances. Read what he said below:

I mean, nothing surprises me these days. I really didn’t know what people were going to make of that at all. Look, it’s part of the story, and I think that’s what makes it fascinating, because it sort of is taboo in a way and in our modern sensibility. It’s even pretty taboo as far as “Game of Thrones” goes, maybe not for — well, I think even so for Targaryens, because it’s different generations. But, yeah, it’s amazing what a great performance can do to make people accept things about a character. That’s credit to Matt and Milly, and soon, I think, to Matt and Emma, because you’ll see they also have a complex relationship. But look, I mean, I went back to “Back to the Future,” which is just like, you know, Marty goes to the prom with his mom, and you’re kind of creeped out about it, but also you’re kind of like, “Huh! These are two good-looking people. Are they’re going to make out tonight?!” Look, it’s not your uncle. So, you know, I guess people are OK with it, or the original series did enough groundwork to normalize Targaryen mating rituals that we don’t have to worry about it. What Daemon does to young Rhaenyra is, in modern terminology, an act of abuse. And, as a traumatic event would, it shapes who Rhaenyra becomes.

A lot has happened on House of the Dragon since Rhaenyra and Daemon were caught carousing throughout King’s Landing in episode 4. Following episode 6’s 10-year time-jump, Rhaenyra is married to Laenor and has three sons, while Daemon is wed to Laena and has two daughters. However, there have been hints along the way to keep shippers’ hopes alive, including Daemon murdering his wife, Lady Rhea Royce, to make himself eligible to marry Rhaenyra. Though that doesn’t immediately pan out, the two share a flirtatious dance during episode 5’s celebratory feast where Rhaenyra mentions getting married at Dragonstone.

House of the Dragon episode 6 also saw Laena suffering complications during childbirth and die by Vhagar’s dragonfire, making Daemon an eligible bachelor once again, though Rhaenyra remains married to Laenor. However, no character on House of the Dragon is safe, especially with a war of succession on the horizon in which a knight and dragonrider like Laenor might be called to battle. With both characters expressing interest in such, don’t count out the possibility of a Rhaenyra and Daemon marriage if the right circumstances arise.

Source: Variety