House of the Dragon’s first season has not been the easiest to follow if you’re not used to shows shifting through timelines at breakneck pace. The fight for the Iron Throne only has two factions, but the constant time jumps mean the actors keep changing. Through it all, one character seems to have been completely lost in the shuffle: Daeron Targaryen. However, author George R.R. Martin explained there’s a straightforward answer to why he’s not in House of the Dragon Season 1.
Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 8 follow. With only two episodes to go in Season 1, House of the Dragon finally made it to the story’s “present day” of 129 AC and the passing of King Viserys I Targaryen. The show has been a shifting speed run through 30 years of history, dipping in at critical moments. So far, those include the Great Council of 101 AC, the day Viserys’ wife Aemma passed away and he named Rhaenyra heir, the day Viserys agreed to get remarried, and Rhaenyra’s first and second weddings days, to name a few.
As the show has passed through these moments of history, the next generation’s children have gone from babies to toddlers before jumping to preteens and now adults. Viewers could be forgiven for not keeping close track of which baby is whose or what the birth order is, as it will all change in an episode or so. But with the show reaching “present day,” fans stopped and counted up the now-adult (or almost adult) offspring of Rhaenyra and Alicent and realized the series is one short: Daeron Targaryen, Alicent’s youngest son, is unaccounted for.
Alicent has been mainly shown with three children so far. She’s had toddler Aegon and baby Helaena while visibly pregnant with her third kid; she’s had teen Aegon, preteen Halaena, and precocious Aemond. But the series never showed her pregnant or nursing a fourth kid, and at the Last Supper table, there was only Aegon and Helaena as husband and wife, with Aemond as a vicious troublemaker. However, according to the books, there is one more child, Daeron, who was born several years after his other siblings. Aegon, Helaena, and Aemond are all 18 months apart; Daeron came almost five years later. As such, he was largely overshadowed by his siblings.
As for where Daeron is in the HBO series, author George R.R. Martin revealed the show had to cut him out to fit everything else into Season 1. But he’s not expected to be erased from the show completely. In a post on his “NotABlog” Martin wrote, “Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season.”
Daeron isn’t the only part of the story that got shorted this season, as Martin noted the constantly forward-driving timeline also left out a lot of other things he wished could have made it in. “Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children?” he wrote. “Sure. But there are only so many minutes in an episode ... and only so many episodes in a season.”
Hopefully, Daeron will eventually make it to King’s Landing with his Dragon, Tessarion, “the Blue Queen.” Until then, House of the Dragon Season 1 continues with new episodes every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.