King Viserys is taking every measure to deny the rumors regarding the true parentage of Princess Rhaenyra’s sons. And this is not just in public or in court. He denies the rumors and refuses to believe them even in the presence of his wife, Alicent Hightower despite her every attempt. In House of the Dragon episode 7, he even scolds both of his sons, Aemond and Aegon when he hears of them talking about such vile rumors. After all, it is quite evident to everyone in the realm that Rhaenyra’s sons are not Laenors’s. This is even pointed out by Aegon when he is questioned regarding the source of the rumor.
However, Viserys refuses to see what is simply apparent. He even decrees that everyone in the realm stop talking about Rhaenyra and the parentage of her sons. He goes a step further and threatens to cut off the tongues of those who continue. So why is he going to such lengths to deny and squash the rumors?
Naturally, the consequences of Rhaenyra’s actions would be devastating if the rumors were to be true. So King Viserys protects his daughter from this fate by denying the rumors at every turn. Not only would she be disinherited but if her actions were to be considered as treason, she would face drastic punishments. Moreover, Princess Rhaenyra’s sons are after all his grandsons and he loves them just as much. It is quite obvious that he would want to protect his family.
Princess Rhaenyra is the heir to the Iron Throne and will be succeeded by her oldest son, Jacaerys Velaryon. Such a claim questioning the true parentage of Rhaenyra’s sons would surely force King Viserys to denounce her as heir. Moreover, if these rumors go on then House Targaryen will be at crossroads when Rhaenyra’s sons are to inherit the throne. In fact, the entire realm may refuse to accept them as King due to their disputed parentage. King Viserys surely saw this coming and thus decided to put an end to the rumors and prevent a possible Civil War between the sons, although to no avail as we already know.
Another very important reason to deny the allegations are because the marriage between Laenor and Rhaenyra was meant to serve as a peaceful alliance between House Targaryen and House Velaryon. Viserys was surely worried that if these rumors went on, then the Velaryons would be offended by the derogatory remarks involving their son Laenor. This would threaten the alliance between the two strongest and mightiest houses in the realm.
As much as we consider King Viserys as unfit for the Iron Throne, he does deserve some credit in this scenario. His decision to squash the rumors were not just from a place of love. It was also a strategic decision to maintain his alliance with the Velaryons. It was also an attempt to end the infighting between his sons and those of Rhaenyra. He knew just as his predecessors that the only ones who could defeat House Targaryen were Targaryens themselves. And such a rumor could destroy their legacy. Viserys foresaw the Dance of the Dragons and did all he could to stop it.