Rhaenyra Targaryen is without doubt one of the principal protagonists of House of the Dragon. She’s the inheritor of King Viserys I Targaryen, regardless of the custom of sons taking the throne. As a end result, Rhaenyra has a whole lot of enemies and can find yourself preventing within the Dance of the Dragons in an try and press her declare.
So far, House of the Dragon has proven Rhaenyra to be compassionate, daring, and sympathetic. She’s removed from good however has loads of constructive traits. However, books like Fire and Blood go into far more depth concerning her actions later in life. She’s removed from a one-dimensional villain, however she does bask in horrific conduct earlier than the conflict’s finish.
10 Carrying Out A Purge In King’s Landing
Rhaenyra Targaryen does handle to say the Iron Throne earlier than the top of the Dance of the Dragons. She guidelines for lower than a 12 months earlier than fleeing again to Dragonstone. Her reign is initially welcomed and thought of much better than that of her half-brother Aegon II. Before lengthy, nonetheless, Rhaenyra indulges her vengeful facet.
Rhaenyra initially forgives a few of those that sided with Aegon. Notably, she spares former queen Alicent Hightower regardless of the enmity between the 2. Then, Rhaenyra begins to kill these she sees as traitors. Her purge of King’s Landing is bloody, fills the partitions with heads upon spikes, and turns the peasants in opposition to her.
9 The Alleged Brothel Imprisonment
Fire and Blood, in-universe, attracts from many sources to retell the Dance of the Dragons. None of those sources are keen on Rhaenyra, as they’re both written by Aegon’s allies or affected by Westerosi sexism. Many of them include conflicting anecdotes which can be designed to color her within the worst gentle. As such, certainly one of her worst acts could also be a whole lie.
One supply alleges that Rhaenyra took offense at Alicent describing her allegedly-Velaryon sons as bastards. In response, Rhaenyra has Alicent and her daughter Queen Helaena imprisoned in a brothel. She let anybody pay to assault them. It’s a horrific act, however one that’s dismissed as a falsehood by a number of different sources.
8 Condoning The Blood And Cheese Murders
Rhaenyra is way from the one vicious member of her faction. Daemon Targaryen, her uncle and husband, additionally does depraved issues all through the conflict. His most vicious act is the hiring of Blood and Cheese to homicide a toddler. Following Lucerys Velaryon’s demise, Daemon pays the 2 assassins to precise revenge on Aegon’s household.
Blood and Cheese seize Alicent, Helaena, and Helaena’s three kids. They power Helaena to decide on which of her sons ought to die, however they kill the opposite. It’s by no means stated that Rhaenyra helped plan this horrific act, which lessens how a lot accountability she bears. However, she by no means rebukes Daemon for it and exhibits no regret or sympathy.
7 Harming Her Family With The Dance Of The Dragons
No member of the Targaryen household survives the Dance of the Dragons unscathed. However, Rhaenyra’s 5 sons endure greater than others. Lucerys, Jaecerys, and Joffrey Velaryon all endure horrific deaths, and her sons with Daemon survive with intense quantities of trauma.
The accountability for his or her struggling lays primarily with Aegon’s faction within the conflict. Alicent does attempt to preserve them secure all through the Dance of the Dragons. Nonetheless, the conflict and the choices Rhaenyra makes trigger her sons to endure a fantastic deal. However simply her trigger, Rhaenyra is prepared to observe it by way of at nice price to throughout her.
6 Declaring The Dragonseeds Traitors
During the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra’s faction finds itself with extra dragons than riders. As such, they promise to reward anybody who can tame one. Several folks full this activity. The most profitable candidates are dragonseeds, bastards of House Targaryen and Velaryon.
The dragonseeds show key to Rhaenyra’s success. However, two dragonseeds, Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White, betray Rhaenyra on the First Battle of Tumbleton and inflict a fantastic defeat. Rhaenyra declares all of them traitors, even harmless loyalists, and orders their arrest or execution.
5 Potentially Having Helaena Targaryen Murdered
Helaena Targaryen’s demise is the breaking level for Rhaenyra’s rule. Helaena was beloved by the smallfolk, so her demise turns their dissent into outright fury. The circumstances round Helaena’s demise stay a thriller. Her physique was discovered impaled on the spikes beneath her bed room with no different proof.
Popular perception is that Rhaenyra ordered Helaena’s homicide, regardless of being Helaena’s half-sister. Most sources dispute this and as a substitute recommend that Rhaenyra’s actions traumatized Helaena. However Helaena’s demise occurred, Rhaenyra possible bears some blame.
4 Ignoring The Smallfolk’s Suffering And Throwing A Feast
Rhaenyra’s rule of King’s Landing is way from affluent. The metropolis suffers closely from conflict and struggles additional underneath Rhaenyra’s harsh taxes. Its folks starve and endure and there is little assist accessible to them. Plenty of Rhaenyra’s actions trigger turmoil, however few greater than throwing a lavish feast.
Rhaenyra celebrates her son changing into Prince of Dragonstone, which embitters town’s folks in opposition to her. It’s such a present of privilege that it does lots to undermine Rhaenyra’s rule. While it isn’t her worst act, feasting whereas her folks starve is emblematic of nobles’ disregard for commoners in Westeros.
3 Ordering Several Opposing Houses’ Extermination
For all of her virtues, Rhaenyra suffers from a vengeful streak. She’s fast to anger and gradual to forgive, which is not helped by the numerous slights and injustices all through her life. Her conduct throughout the conflict attests to this. Rhaenyra exhibits she’s prepared to forgive some enemies, together with members of Aegon’s household, however is totally ruthless towards others.
While in King’s Landing, Rhaenyra chooses to go on the offensive. Rather than consolidate her victory and sue for peace, she pushes for revenge. In specific, she seeks to utterly wipe out House Baratheon, Lannister, and Hightower. Although they’re amongst Aegon’s principal supporters, she suggests killing each member, together with non-combatants and kids. Although Daemon provides her the concept, Rhaenyra helps it wholeheartedly.
2 Trying To Have Nettles Murdered Because Of Gossip
When Rhaenyra activates the dragonseeds, she tries to have most of them arrested and tries to homicide one named Nettles. Nettles is an uncommon dragonseed. She’s doubtlessly not of Valyrian descent and is the non-public pupil of Daemon Targaryen. Their closeness causes a number of to invest that they are having an affair, together with Rhaenyra.
As such, Rhaenyra orders Nettles’ demise. Worse than that, she orders Manfryd Mooton to interrupt the visitor proper and kill her in his personal fort. In Westeros, such an act goes past homicide and is extensively thought of one of many worst crimes an individual can commit. Rhaenyra’s willingness to violate sacred legal guidelines based mostly on mere rumors is her worst trait.
1 Arresting Her Father-In-Law For Protecting His Family
Addam Velaryon is without doubt one of the most achieved dragonseeds in all the Dance of the Dragons. Even after he is accused of treason, he wins the Second Battle of Tumbleton for Rhaenyra’s forces and dies a hero. When Rhaenyra orders his imprisonment, the one particular person on his facet is Lord Corlys Velaryon.
The relationship between the 2 is unknown. Addam might have both been Corlys’ son or his grandson. For daring to assist his harmless relative, Corlys receives harsh punishment. Rhaenyra has her former father-in-law overwhelmed and arrested and plans to execute him. For this, most of her allies desert her.
NEXT: House Of The Dragon: A Complete Timeline Of Targaryen History