Game

Daemon’s House of the Dragon plan connects him to a key Targaryen tyrant

All over Daenerys Targaryen comes to power In Game of Thronesthe ghost of her father, Mad King Aerys, large frame. Over the course of the series, as Daenerys experiences setbacks and successes in his quest for thronemany characters, from Barristan Selmy to Tyrion Lannister, Varys to Jon Snow, question whether she will ultimately show greatness or succumb to the genetic predisposition to madness in her lineage.

Similar, Dragon’s House uses the memory of a former king known for his brutality and cruelty to inform the personality of one of its central characters, Prince daemon. King Maegor the Cruel’s repeated invocations regarding Daemon throughout the series are not coincidental. But who exactly is Maegor the Cruel, and what is the show trying to say about Daemon by creating this bond between the two?

Abomination on the throne

Daemon raised his sword next to the white flag on the battlefield, shooting from a distance

Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO

Maegor the Cruel was the son of Aegon the Conqueror and third Targaryen ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Like his descendant Daemon, he is the second son, with his half-brother Aenys, heir to Aegon’s throne. Where Aenys engages in brainstorming pursuits, Maegor is the more hilarious one. When he was 13 years old, his mother Visenya gave him her Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, and he was knighted by his father at the age of 16, making him the youngest knight in the world at the time.

Despite their different personalities, Aenys and Maegor get along very well. When Aegon died, Aenys declared to his brother, “We will rule this kingdom together, you and I,” but in reality, only Aenys was crowned. Maegor helped his brother (brutally) put down a number of rebellions and was named the King’s Hand. However, the two brothers failed in a marriage. After 13 childless years with Ceryse Hightower, Maegor decided to take a second wife, an act that affected the Faith of the Seven and disappointed the folk so much that King Aenys issued an ultimatum: Quit. his second wife go, or go into exile. . Maegor chose a life of exile.

He returned when Aenys suddenly died, but instead of kneeling before Aenys’ heir, Aegon, Maegor’s grandson, Maegor claimed the Iron Throne for himself. Finally, Aegon began to rally forces to impose his claim, prompting Maegor to meet him in battle atop Balerion the Black Dread – the largest of the Targaryen dragons in Westeros. He kills his relatives (and the true heir to the Iron Throne), earns him the “Maegor the Cruel” zest, as well as a black mark as a Kinslayer, which is said to be one of the curses. the most cursed and despicable that anyone in Westeros could possibly be.

Maegor’s conflict with the church and his ability for cruelty escalates when he takes a third wife, fueling a religious uprising led by the Sons of Warriors and Military Believers (the armies of church) leader. The rebellion ended when Maegor used dragon fire to burn down the September Monument and everyone inside it. He then ordered the construction of the Dragonpit where the church once stood. In other acts of construction-based atrocities, Maegor celebrated the completion of the Red Keep by throwing a huge three-day party for all who worked on its construction; When the party is over, he executes all the workers to ensure that he will be the only one with full knowledge of the many hidden rooms and secret passageways.

Maegor’s rule for six years and 66 days ends with his gruesome and mysterious death debut one of the great urban legends of the Seven Kingdoms. It ends as it is, bloody.

Maegor reincarnated

Daemon stood in the doorway leading to the great hall, sword in hand, ax in hand and crown of bone

Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO

Just like the Mad King stalking Daenerys throughout Game of ThronesMaegor is considered to be a match for Prince Daemon, in clear and subtle ways, throughout Dragon’s House. In episode 1, Otto Hightower openly warns that naming Daemon’s heir risks giving the kingdom another Maegor the Wicked One. Much of that sentiment stems from Otto running his own long-running game for control of the lineage, but there are kernels of truth that emphasize comparisons that help it resonate.

Like Maegor, Daemon was the second son, and like Maegor, his claim to the throne was usurped by his brother’s son. Both use Dark Sister. Both achieved fame in the military and gloriously fighting pirates in the Ladder. Both are considered warriors compared to more book brothers. And both were exiled by their king brothers for their transgressions. But despite Otto’s assertions, Maegor remains a worst-case scenario for Daemon’s progression rather than a reflection of who he is when Dragon’s House begin.

By episode 2, however, Daemon seems to be drawing comparisons to his own ending: Exiled from court, squatting on Dragonstone, desperate for his brother’s attention, he steals an egg dragon gives birth to his unborn child through a woman he announces that he will marry – despite the fact that he is already married to another woman. While it was the last dragon egg to light the fire under Viserys, Daemon’s (ultimately false) statement of his intention to take a second wife is immediately reminiscent of Maegor’s history with polygamy and how he wants to marry and remarry leads to significant struggles with the church and horrific bloodshed throughout the kingdom. The deadlock at Dragonstone represents Daemon to what is arguably his closest resemblance to Maegor.

Screenshot from HBO's House of the Dragon.  Rhaenyra was holding her hands behind her back and looking up at Daemon, who reached out to check the necklace he had given her, which she was wearing.

Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO

While Dragon’s House amplifying the Maegor/Daemon comparison – the Dragonstone distinction is almost entirely a creation of the show, adding drama and enhanced cinematic style to what’s quickly aside in Fire & Blood – the hosts Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik are finally absorbing what George RR Martin has to offer, as the similarities between Maegor and Daemon come from the book itself. Just like the showrunners, Martin clearly wants readers to keep Maegor in their minds as they read about Daemon (and readers of Fire & Blood knowing that the Maegor/Daemon collection is still incomplete), to worry along with Otto Hightower and the rest of the kingdom that Daemon is leaning too far into that comparison.

Thankfully, Rhaenyra was able to defuse the situation in episode 2 – and Daemon proved himself better than his uncle by not taking down his niece, who is ranked above him in the line of succession. In episode 4, Daemon returns to the court and fixes things with Viserys, but is kicked out again after being caught almost having an affair with Rhaenyra (important to note: one of Maegor’s six wives is one of Maegor’s six wives. his niece). But the story of Daemon Targaryen is far from over, and Maegor’s ghost will continue to stalk him as he moves deeper into the Dance of the Dragons.

Just as the tension in the story is created by the question of how Daenerys’ coins will land, Dragon’s House is recalling the memory of the cruelest Targaryen ruler to suggest a worst-case scenario for Daemon’s character arc.

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