Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria in House of the Dragon

The Reason For Mysaria's Nickname In HOTD Is Rooted In The Books

"The White Worm" isn't the cutest moniker, is it?

Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon Season 1 has focused mainly on the goings-on in the Red Keep. It’s all Targaryen and Velaryon this and Hightower that, and there hasn’t been much time for other characters. However, a few outsiders have turned up, mainly through Daemon Targaryen, who tends to sleep with many people, including, once upon a time, Mysaria, now known as the White Worm. It may not be the most flattering nickname on House of the Dragon, but it *is* interesting.

Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 9 follow. Despite starting as one of Daemon’s women on the side, Mysaria knew she could not rely on men, a lesson reinforced after Daemon brought her to Dragonstone and tried to convince his family he was going to marry her, and that they would have a child together. The character disappeared from the screen after that, only resurfacing years later in Episode 4, no longer a sex worker but now as the center of the network fans know as “the Little Birds.”

Game of Thrones first introduced the Little Birds as a network inherited by the then-Master of Spies in King’s Landing, Varys, also known as “the Spider.” It seems Mysaria is one of Varys’ predecessors not just in occupation, but also in nickname, as the White Worm and the Spider have very similar vibes.

Ollie Upton/HBO

According to the books, her nickname is due to her appearance. With smooth, milky skin, and her tendency to wear hooded robes to protect it from the sun, she became known as “the White Worm” to her rivals. It was meant as an insult, but Mysaria took it as a reference to the worms that spun silk and made it her own.

As viewers saw in Episode 9, Mysaria is no longer in the flesh trade. She lives in a decent-sized house on the edge of Flea Bottom, and she uses her power and influence to spin threads of intel that ensnare the powerful. Her trajectory has been much like Varys’, including her dedication to the realm: She’s bargaining to make life better for those still mired in the poverty of Flea Bottom, using her secrets to get things done politically.

House of the Dragon Season 1 debuts its finale on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.