- Warning: Major spoilers ahead for the “House of the Dragon” season one finale.
- The final episode sees Daemon react violently when Rhaenyra taunts him about an ancient prophecy.
- Emma D’Arcy was “hyper-aware” about how the scene would affect the characters’ relationship.
“House of the Dragon” has finally ended after a number of time jumps, political intrigue, and yes, hordes of dragons.
But the last episode of the season sees the drama escalate to new heights as Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) has to reckon with the fact that her former friend, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), has usurped the Iron Throne and installed her son, Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), as king.
And as Rhaenyra grapples with her dangerous new situation, she also has to contend with her own husband, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). The impulsive prince reacts violently when Rhaenyra points out that his brother, Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), didn’t even trust him enough to tell him about the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy or to take over the crown.
There’s been plenty of discussion about Rhaenyra being choked by her husband, and showrunner Ryan Condal recently explained that the news broke Daemon.
Emma D’Arcy opened up about the violence in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying that it’s all about grief over the death of Viserys.
“We were both hyper-aware that that act of violence could possibly mark a shift in their relationship or dynamic. You have two people who are grieving in different ways, and perhaps Daemon’s grief is less eloquently managed than Rhaenyra’s,” they said.
But the star also pointed out that it goes much deeper than that for Rhaenyra because it means her father truly trusted her with the Iron Throne, even if he didn’t show it.
D’Arcy said: “For Rhaenyra, realizing that Daemon was never told about the prophecy is to suddenly, finally receive legitimacy. And the same message for Daemon is to be finally humiliated.”
The actor added: “It’s sort of perfect for Daemon because he can claim not to believe in this stuff. He wasn’t trusted with it anyway.”
Daemon’s reaction is so shocking because of how their controversial relationship has changed so drastically over the course of the season. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes even further after the death of Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) and the coming war with the other Targaryens.
Rhaenyra and Daemon are the only ones that know the truth about the Song of Ice and Fire, as Alicent mistook Viserys’ dying words about the prophecy from his ancestor, Aegon the Conqueror, as confirmation that he wanted their son to be king. So, this knowledge could be an ace up their sleeves in future seasons.