House Targaryen
Milly Alcock and Matt Smith and Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Fans Are Totally Divided Over Daemon And Rhaenyra's Incestuous HOTD Romance

I mean, it's creepy.

by Ani Bundel
Ollie Upton/HBO

Game of Thrones’ big reveal in the series premiere was that Queen Cersei Lannister, who despised her husband, had a larger secret than regular adultery. Once she’d given birth and secured the line of succession, sleeping around is one thing. Sleeping with her twin brother — the father of all three of her children — is quite another. Her excuse was the Targaryens did it for centuries. House of the Dragon can confirm, having introduced Daemon and Rhaenyra’s incestuous romance in Episode 4.

Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 4 follow. Since Daemon and Rhaenyra’s first scene together in House of the Dragon’s series premiere, their chemistry has been undeniable. The air practically crackled when she flew out to the Eyrie to force him to return the dragon eggs he stole. Even in episodes where they weren’t together physically — like Episode 3 — they were spiritually, as two blood-soaked fighters.

Daemon showed up at King’s Landing with a hot new haircut and enticed Rhaenyra to join him in Flea Bottom for a night of drinking and carousing. Audiences had a pretty good idea this was not going to end with them still vertical, but when they hit the brothel, it was a foregone conclusion.

Like in Game of Thrones, viewers are torn about how to feel about this. On the one hand, they’re hot together, they’re hot for each other, and there’s so little actual emotional romance in this world that people will take what they can get.

On the other hand....she’s his NIECE. He’s practically been grooming her since she was 13. And it’s not clear what his actual intentions are.

Why Daemon didn’t go all the way with his niece is still a mystery. Was he suddenly taken with a desire to preserve her virginity? Did he suddenly realize her first time shouldn’t be in a dirty room crowded with people?

Or did he decide he’d defiled her enough that Viserys would insist the two wed and therefore called it a night? Is she just a step towards the Iron Throne as the end game? Or was this all to get back at Viserys for disinheriting him in the first place?

House of the Dragon Season 1 continues with new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.