Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.
The many time jumps in the first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon have hurt the story’s pacing and the show’s character development. But it has also meant that viewers have gotten to see the characters at different points in their lives, with various different partners. Prince Daemon alone has been through several wives since the season began.
Some couples in House of the Dragon are wholesome, like Westerosi power couple Corlys and Rhaenys and the surprisingly well-matched Daemon and Laena, while others have been alarmingly toxic, like Rhaenyra and Criston or Viserys and Aemma.
Daemon & Rhea
Marriages don’t get more toxic than ones that end with a murder. Prince Daemon always made it very clear that he had no interest in reconnecting with his wife, Lady Rhea Royce. When Daemon tracked down his wife in the Vale, he promptly knocked her off her horse and killed her with a rock.
When Rhea’s cousin confronted Daemon about the killing, he brazenly denied the allegations and claimed that he was entitled to inherit her properties, explaining the only reason he married her in the first place.
Viserys & Aemma
What Viserys did to his former queen, Aemma, is not quite as bad as what Daemon did to Rhea, but it’s pretty darn close. When Aemma faced difficulties during childbirth, Viserys allowed her to be gruesomely killed in a makeshift caesarian section to save his heir – and the baby still didn’t survive the labor.
Before the unfortunate circumstances of Aemma’s death, Viserys was a pretty kind and supportive husband. Of course, the way their marriage abruptly ended has sullied everything that came before.
Rhaenyra & Criston
Ser Criston Cole was initially introduced as a straightforward action hero who effortlessly won jousting matches and flirted with princesses. But after breaking his oath to sleep with Rhaenyra, he revealed his true colors.
Criston expected Rhaenyra to renounce her royal title and run away with him after spending one unspectacular night together, then brutally beat her husband’s lover to death in a very misguided attempt to defend her honor.
Viserys & Alicent
Following Aemma’s death, an aging Viserys was under pressure to find a new queen so he could sire an heir and keep Daemon from ever seizing the throne. After being set up on a few dates, Viserys finally settled on Ser Otto’s daughter Alicent as his next wife.
Based on the cold look of indifference on Alicent’s face during sex, she doesn’t have any genuine affection for her husband; she just enjoys the power that comes along with her fancy new royal title.
Daemon & Mysaria
At the beginning of House of the Dragon’s run, Daemon planned to upgrade his relationship with his favorite sex worker, Mysaria, by marrying her. There was clearly a lot of passion between Daemon and Mysaria, but like any terrible husband, Daemon made big decisions for his wife’s future without consulting her.
Daemon decided he would marry and impregnate Mysaria to consolidate power and didn’t even mention it to her before using it as leverage to threaten the Hand of the King.
Rhaenyra & Laenor
Rhaenyra’s marriage to Laenor might be a sham, but they accept each other for who they are, which is the foundation of any strong marriage. Rhaenyra and Laenor both take extramarital lovers, but they’re very open about it.
It’s important for any couple to give each other space, even if that means giving each other the space to sleep around.
Daemon & Rhaenyra
When Daemon took Rhaenyra to explore the seediest corners of King’s Landing, they enjoyed a brief fling in a brothel. They shared a lot of passion during this short affair, but since they’re related by blood, there’s a lot wrong with their romance.
Despite how inappropriate it was for an uncle to romance his niece, it was impossible to deny the sparks between them and some fans hoped (against their better judgment) that these two would end up together.
Rhaenys & Corlys
As the head honcho of the wealthy and powerful House Velaryon and the bitter rightful heir to House Targaryen who was passed over due to her gender, Corlys and Rhaenys are House of the Dragon’s resident power couple.
Most of the couples in this universe are torn apart by an unquenchable thirst for money and power, but Corlys and Rhaenys have so much money and power between them that that’s not an issue.
Daemon & Laena
After the 10-year time jump, House of the Dragon fans only got a brief glimpse at Daemon and Laena’s union. Following the time jump, they’ve already been together for a while and have two children. During the birth of their third, Laena found herself unable to finish the labor and ordered her dragon to incinerate her.
But before Laena’s untimely passing, she really did love Daemon and the feelings went both ways. It was strange to see Daemon show genuine affection to somebody.
Laenor & Joffrey
Due to social prejudices, Laenor and Joffrey had to keep their love a secret. Their romance was by far the most passionate in the series, but their forbidden affair was tragically cut short not too long after it began.
If Criston hadn’t mistaken Joffrey’s more than reasonable offer to guard each other’s secrets for a threat and beaten him to death, then Laenor and Joffrey would’ve enjoyed one of the only happily-ever-after romances in Westerosi history.
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