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*Spoiler Alert Ahead…Proceed Cautiously*
The season finale of the much-awaited House Of The Dragon aired last night on Disney+ Hotstar, and lucky users of HBO Max even got early access on Sunday night. To say that I am shocked would be an understatement – I mean, what with another gory birthing scene and that unfortunate death in the end and the last scene with Rhaenys Targaryen!
Keeping my shock at the finale aside, let’s discuss something even more exciting today!
Today’s Focus: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen vs. Queen Rhaenyra – the queen who never was!
Yes, we are here to discuss the queen(s) who never ‘were’ (?) and smash some patriarchy in the process. Keep reading to find out more!
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen: Explaining Why Was Rhaenys Known as the Queen Who Never Was?
The last few minutes of the ninth episode did make me sit up straight and notice Princess Rhaenys Targaryen intensely for the first time. Immediately I was on the internet typing ‘game of thrones Rhaenys’ (since GOT is still relevant) – to my utter surprise, much hasn’t been written about this fiery princess.
So I had to resort to George R. R. Martin’s works for some help! Here’s what I have found – scroll down to check it out!
Who Is Princess Rhaenys Targaryen?
Before moving onto finer details about the Queen who never was, check out the table below for details about the Targaryen Princess!
|Name||Princess Rhaenys Targaryen|
|Allegiance||House Targaryen (By Birth) | House Velaryon (By Marriage)|
|Title(s)||Princess | Lady of Driftmark|
|A.K.A||The Queen Who Never Was|
|Religion||Faith of the Seven|
|Children||Laenor Velaryon | Laena Velaryon|
|Series||House Of Dragons|
|Appeared In||7 Episodes|
|First Seen In||The Heirs of the Dragon|
|Portrayed By||Eve Best|
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen is the eldest daughter of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen’s eldest son, Aemon Targaryen, after his marriage to Jocelyn Baratheon. This naturally makes Princess Rhaenys the first cousin of the next king Viserys I and his brother Daemon, both sons of Baelon Targaryen, the second son of Jaehaerys.
Named after Aegon the Conqueror’s wife, Princess Rhaenys married Corlys Velaryon of House Velaryon, who was also the admiral responsible for the Targaryen fleets. When Corlys carried out a successful expedition east of Essos, he became one of the wealthiest men in Westeros. The couple gave birth to a son Laenor Velaryon, and a daughter Laena Velaryon.
Why Is Princess Rhaenys Targaryen Known As The Queen Who Never Was?
Before you can google ‘house of the dragon characters,’ let’s find out why Rhaenys Targaryen is the Queen Who Never Was! In an unfortunate turn of events, Aemon (father of Rhaenys ) passed away, and King Jaehaerys made his second son, Baelon, the heir to the Iron Throne. But even Baelon died after a few years.
When Jaehaerys made Baelon heir, things became controversial because Princess Rhaenys was the eldest child of Aemon, thereby becoming the first in the line to the Iron Thorne according to the traditions of Westeros. But that plea was ignored, and then when Baleon passed away, again Jaehaerys had the choice to make Rhaenys heir.
But that didn’t happen.
The first episode of House Of The Dragon opens on the day when Rhaenys loses the Iron Throne to Viserys. Jaehaerys probably feared a Civil War and decided to name Baelon’s eldest son, Viserys, heir to the Iron Throne – but this was done ‘democraticaly’ because Jaehaerys hosted the Great Council of 101 AC, where all the Westeros lords voted in favor of Viscerys.
Thus, it was the claim that Rhaenys Targaryen had over the Iron Throne which earned her the name ‘the queen who never was’ – in fact, she was the only other Targaryen with a rightful claim to the throne!
Queen Rhaenyra: The Prince(ss) That Was Promised Or Another Queen Who Never Was
While GOT fans are already scrambling around looking for ‘Jon Snow Rhaenys Targaryen’ or something even more random, let’s shed some light on the newly coronated Queen Rhaenyra. From the very first episode of House Of Dragons, the creators have drawn several parallels between the former queen who never was (Rhaenys Targaryen) and the new queen!
So what’s the connection? Scroll down to find out now!
Who Is Queen Rhaenyra?
Before moving on to finer details about the Black Queen, check out the table below for details about this Targaryen Princess!
|Name||Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Viserys I Targaryen|
|Title(s)||Princess of Dragonstone | Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Man | Lady of the 7 Kingdoms | Protector of the Realm|
|A.K.A||The Prince That Was Promised | The Black Queen|
|Religion||Faith of the Seven|
|Father||Viserys I Targaryen|
|Siblings||Aegon II Targaryen, Helaena Targaryen, Aemond Targaryen,& Daeron Targaryen (Half-siblings)|
|Spouses||Laenor Velaryon (Separated) | Daemon Targaryen|
|Lovers||Criston Cole | Harwin Strong|
|Children||Jacaerys, Lucerys, & Joffrey Velaryon (with Harwin Strong) | Aegon & Viserys Targaryen (with Daemon)|
|Series||House Of The Dragon|
|Appeared In||9 Episodes|
|First Seen In||The Heirs of the Dragon|
|Portrayed By||Emma D’Arcy | Milly Alcock (younger version)|
Queen Rhaenyra is not just the eldest child of King Viscerys, but she is also the ‘only surviving child’ from the late King’s marriage to Aemma Arryn. King Viscerys had named Rhaenyra heir to the iron throne because, as the late king revealed towards the end, he believed that Rhaenyra was the promised prince(ss) who could unite the song of fire and ice.
Viscerys, in fact, passes on the knowledge about the Song Of Fire And Ice prophecy. He says,
“When this Great Winter comes, Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must stand against it. And if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must be seated on the Iron Throne. A king or queen, strong enough to unite the realm against the cold and the dark. Aegon called his dream ‘The Song of Ice and Fire.’ This secret has been passed from king to heir since Aegon's time. Now you must promise to carry it and protect it.”
So the question that kept bothering me was whether Queen Rhaenyra was the princess who does fulfill the Song of Fire & Ice prophecy or another queen who was – let’s find out!
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen Vs. Queen Rhaenyra: The Parallels House Of The Dragon Banks On!
While both Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and Queen Rhaenyra are the first-borns with direct claims to the Iron Throne, Rhaenys Targaryen’s father died even before he could ascend the throne, leaving Jaehaerys responsible for the fate of Rhaenys. Instead of passing the throne to her, Jaehaerys depended on the lords of Westeros to make a decision to keep peace and unity as common goals.
House of Dragons establishes how Rhaenys Targaryen never became queen in the first fifteen minutes of the debut episode, and then the next few episodes are all about how Rhaenyra might never become queen, even after Viscerys named her his heir.
Moreover, the two queens are also married to reputable men from House Velaryon, thereby uniting the two ancient houses of Old Valyria. For centuries, the two houses have intermarried to keep the Valyrian bloodline completely pure. While Princess Rhaenys married the Sea Lord, Corlys Velaryon, Rhaenyra married their only son Laenor Velaryon.
Both marriages could have put House Velaryon on the throne, too, with children of the two houses sitting on the Iron Throne in the years to come. But that fails to play out, first when Princess Rhaenys loses her claim because of her gender and then when Laenor’s marriage to Rhaenyra fails to produce any legitimate heirs of Velaryon blood.
In a strange twist of faith, Rhaenyra’s battle for the throne also becomes Rhaenys’ battle – the finale episode showed how House Velaryon pledges support to the Black Queen, and Rhaenys even says how she will take part in the war with her dragon Meleys. But all’s well that end’s well logic never worked anything written by Geroge R.R. Martin.
So if you have read the books, you will know that things don’t really end well for either Princess Rhaenys Targaryen or Queen Rhaenyra, thus, making me wonder for the nth time – why are the creators so bent on drawing parallels between the two princesses?
And It’s A Wrap: What’s Coming Up?
While most of us can’t wait for the second season of House Of The Dragon to appear, it doesn’t mean you can’t google stuff like ‘Aegon Targaryen sisters’ or ‘Princess Rhaenys Targaryen’ for more information on the same. But then why ruin the plotline with spoilers – see, there are two ways to go about this. One, you patiently wait like most of us for what’s about to come (remember, the last five silent minutes of the finale?)
Second, you go online and find out whatever you need to figure out from the GOT fandom! In the meantime, I would love it if all of you shared your thoughts about the Targaryen Dynasty and related topics in the comments below.
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