Rhaenyra Targaryen idolising Visenya Targaryen is an intentionally ironic decision by G.R.R. Martin. Why? Read the explanation inside
House of the Dragon season 1 has setup the Targaryen civil war called the Dance of the Dragons. In season 2 it will be set in motion as the Greens and the Blacks will engage in an all-out fight over the Iron Throne. But as we dissect the first season of the show, we can’t help but notice that the one Targaryen Queen, or rather, the very first one, who Rhaenyra Targaryen idolises serves as a cruel reminder of what’s going to happen to her. True irony indeed!
Right from the first episode itself it is hinted that Rhaenyra Targaryen idolises Visenya. When Viserys and Aemma are having a conversation in the bath, Aemma says that Rhaenyra wants a sister and she already has a name picked out- Visenya.
Also, when Rhaenyra Targaryen miscarries her child in the series, we are not told the gender of the baby. But in the books it was a daughter and Rhaenyra had planned to name her Visenya. So it’s clear that she idolises Visenya Targaryen, the first Queen of Westeros and the sister-wife of Aegon Targaryen.
It’s quite ironic that of all the Targaryen royalty, Rhaenyra Targaryen looks up to Visenya. This is because the Queen parallels Alicent’s character arc in the show. Visenya was the one who overthrew Aenys (her nephew’s) claim to the Throne so that her son Maegor, a rapist, could ascend.
Now, Visenya Targaryen wasn’t anything like Alicent. She was a skilled swordswoman and a brilliant tactician unlike Queen Alicent Hightower, who is just a pawn in her father’s game. However, Visenya’s ill-treatment of her nephew is similar to Alicent mistreating Rhaenyra as her step-mother.
So it’s certainly quite funny and ironic that Rhaenyra Targaryen, the heir to the Iron Throne, would love someone like Visenya Targaryen who overthrew the proper line of succession to make her son King. This is exactly what Alicent did.
It’s clear why Rhaenyra Targaryen looks up to Visenya. After all, she’s a sword-wielding smart badass. In Game of Thrones, Arya Stark also idolises her because of those traits. And even though its ironical that the heir idolises the first queen, but there’s indeed one similarity between the two. But it’s a sad one.
Just like Visenya, Rhaenyra Targaryen’s name is also going to be besmirched in the history pages. She will be seen as the usurper and as such, no other Targaryen female is going to be named after her.
What do you think about this theory? Leave a comment below.