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Is Princess Rhaenyra Still Suitable For The Iron Throne?

By Chandraboli Majumdar
September 22,2022

Now I understand that fans including myself love Princess Rhaenyra and Milly Alcock who portrays her in House of the Dragon. While she started off as a character who seemed perfect for the Iron Throne, a lot has changed ever since. In fact, I believe that she is not nearly as suitable for the Iron Throne as she was in the first few episodes and here’s why.

Princess Rhaenyra was intelligent and courageous

Rhaenyra Targaryen with her Dragon Syrax

Rhaenyra Targaryen with her Dragon Syrax

In the very first episode, Rhaenyra showed us how courageous and valiant she was. She never wanted to sit in a castle and bear children. Instead, she wanted to become a warrior and be on the battlefield while riding Syrax. The fact that her father neglected and overlooked her made Rhaenyra even more determined and strong. Her bonding with Syrax at the young age of 14 was commendable. In the next episode, she also showed her intelligence and wit. Rhaenyra was nothing like her father. King Viserys was a meek and mild-mannered ruler who resorted to inaction when it came to the matter of the Stepstones. Despite Lord Corlys and his constant warning, the King let the situation escalate. In the meanwhile, Rhaenyra wanted to show the might of House Targaryen by sending dragonriders to the Stepstones. This showed how fierce and mighty a ruler Rhaenyra would make one day.

Princess Rhaenyra proves her potential in House of the Dragon episode 2

Princess Rhaenyra proves her potential in House of the Dragon episode 2

Even deciding to appoint Ser Criston Cole as the new knight in the Kingsguard was a great strategic decision. She went into the selection process knowing exactly what she wanted and wasted no time on diplomacy. When Daemon had stolen a dragon egg from Red Keep, the King sent Otto Hightower with the rest of the Kingsguard to confront him at Dragonstone. However, Rhaenyra used her intelligence and figured that she could get the dragon egg back and also get Daemon to stand down without forcing any sort of conflict. She gave Daemon the ultimatum of either killing her as she was the next heir or relenting.

Rhaenyra started off as a strong, intelligent, and courageous girl who was the most suitable heir to the Iron Throne. Princess Rhaenyra would have truly returned House of the Dragon to its destined glory and ruled over the seven kingdoms like never seen before.

How she became reckless and irresponsible 

Daemon and Rhaenyra roam King's Landing at night

Daemon and Rhaenyra roam King’s Landing at night

Over the course of the next few episodes, Rhaenyra becomes increasingly more reckless and jeopardizes her position as heir further. Running away with Daemon Targaryen into King’s Landing was already a questionable decision before she further put herself in a precarious position by kissing Daemon in the Street of Silk without her disguise. While I see the glaringly obvious double standards and the patriarchy, Rhaenyra needed to be more responsible if she wanted to sit on the Iron Throne one day and make the changes she so desired to see. This one night changed the events drastically as she was pushed to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon and also lost her dear friend Alicent.

Daemon takes the princess to the Street of Silk

Daemon takes the princess to the Street of Silk

After Daemon left her that night, she also sought physical intimacy with her sworn protector Ser Criston Cole. This was a pretty selfish and reckless act considering the fact that he had taken a vow of chastity. It also led to the rift between Ser Criston and Rhaenyra that we see today. While she turned down his offer to run away with him, she was ready to run away with Daemon to Dragonstone. Another fatal mistake was when she thought that public opinion did not matter.

Should Rhaenyra still be the heir?

Rhaenyra and Laenor wedding

Rhaenyra and Laenor wedding

There’s actually a reason why Rhaenyra seems to be sabotaging her chances as the heir. Rhaenyra never truly wanted to be the heir or understood the responsibilities that came with the position. After all she was just a child. She just wanted to win over the affections of her father. Rhaenyra was not prepared for the sacrifices and the duties that came with being the heir. However, by marrying Laenor Velaryon it seems as if she’s finally on the right path.

When it comes to whether or not she should be the heir, yes she should. Compared to any other choice including Daemon and Aegon, she is a thousand times more suitable for such a position. Now that she’s passing her teenage rebellious phase and becoming more mature, we will definitely see Rhaenyra become the true heir of House of the Dragon. Im sure she will silence the haters!