House of the Dragon had been highly-anticipated since the polarizing conclusion of Game of Thrones, and the prequel series did not disappoint. The first season cemented Rhaenyra Targaryen as a fan-favorite character, and audiences compared her to her distant relative, Daenerys.
In a lot of ways, Rhaenyra is very similar to Daenerys, and neither of them let their position as a woman in their society drag them down. They both fought to be the queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and both absolutely deserved it. Rhaenyra was bold, defiant, and ahead of her time in House of the Dragon and could therefore be likened to future Targaryens to come.
10/10 Rhaenyra Wished For Battle Instead Of Birth
At the beginning of House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra’s mother, Aemma, tells her that she will one day be on her birthing bed, as it is her duty. Rhaenyra retorts that she would rather perform her duty in battle.
Female warriors are a rarity in Westeros. That is why so many people treat Brienne as though she is an oddity; they aren’t used to a female fighter, particularly one who is so tall. It is very forward-thinking of Rhaenyra to desire battle over the regular duties of a woman, especially as someone in such a powerful family and position.
9/10 Rhaenyra Flew Her Dragon To Face Daemon
Rhaenyra’s status as a dragonrider proves her strength. However, her ability to fly into the unknown, alone, to confront her chaotic and violent uncle is a very impressive and cool move. Rhaenyra even tells Daemon to straight up end her life as she is what stands in his way.
Rhaenyra knows that Otto Hightower and his men will accomplish nothing but bloodshed. As such, she decides to take over the situation herself, which is a very independent and bold thing to do. This is just another example of Rhaenyra acting outside of what’s expected of her.
8/10 Rhaenyra Honors Herself By Defying Duty
Viserys granted Rhaenyra leave so that she could find her own husband. However, she recklessly chose to leave meetings with suitors and head home way ahead of schedule. Rhaenyra did not want to marry, so she ignored her duties and responsibility as the king’s daughter and heir. Nevertheless, this move was very progressive.
Rhaenyra stands up to her father and tells him she does not want to marry. This, of course, is not possible for someone in her position. There is no one vocalizing these thoughts like Rhaenyra does. There are likely a lot of women who don’t wish to marry, but Rhaenyra is telling her father, the king, that she won’t.
7/10 Rhaenyra Explores Her Sexuality
While it isn’t talked about publicly, Rhaenyra isn’t shy about her love life. She receives a brief lesson from her uncle Daemon and then goes out on her own. It would be treason to question the ‘purity’ of the princess, which proves how serious it is when she spends the night with Criston Cole, and he tells Alicent.
Rhaenyra has had many romantic partners in her lifetime because she wants to and because she can. She also needed to provide heirs, so she had children with Harwin. Rhaenyra does what she needs to, but House of the Dragon also explores her sexuality as a woman, which would usually be kept well under wraps.
6/10 Rhaenyra’s Relationship With Daemon
In House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra enters a brothel with her uncle and listens as he discusses sex before seducing her. Additionally, Rhaenyra and Daemon kiss at her wedding in front of her father and everybody else. It is a bold and incredibly dangerous move.
Rhaenyra tells Daemon that he can take her away and marry her for himself while they’re at her wedding to someone else. Rhaenyra is not afraid to ask for what she wants and take it. She proves this by not letting her husband get in the way of her marrying her uncle.
5/10 Rhaenyra’s Dark-Haired Children
It takes a very confident person to present her dark-haired children to everybody and claim they are her and Laenor’s sons. They clearly aren’t, but Rhaenyra holds her own and truly dedicates herself to the lie. Giving even an inch and allowing people to see the mask come off would be a dangerous slip-up for Rhaenyra and her family.
Rhaenyra likely got this courage from her father’s unwavering support. He consistently defends Rhaenyra and accepts no bad words said about her. This bond is really special and very different from the parent-child relationships that surround them.
4/10 Rhaenyra Rejected Jason Lannister
The way Rhaenyra rejects Jason Lannister is both bold and hilarious. She doesn’t beat around the bush in rejecting him. In fact, she simply walks away. Rhaenyra ignores social pleasantries and the Lannister’s position when she rebuffs Jason’s advances.
Rhaenyra doesn’t care about who he is or what he stands to inherit. A person’s ego can be easily bruised, especially if they are a Lannister. Regardless, Rhaenyra rejects Jason because she isn’t interested, and refuses to be demure and coy about it.
3/10 Rhaenyra’s Blended Family
Rhaenyra’s family grows throughout Season 1 of House of the Dragon, and she enjoys a large and blended family after marrying Daemon. Not only do they both have children from previous marriages, but the pair also begin to have children of their own. Unfortunately, their first child is stillborn.
Divorce does not really exist in the Game of Thrones universe, and so Rhaenyra has to ‘divorce’ Laenor by faking his death. It is a dramatic and risky route but allows her to remarry and lets him be with his partner. This relationship route isn’t openly discussed. Rhaenyra seems to be very ahead of her time as she knows that her first marriage doesn’t have to be her last.
2/10 Rhaenyra Supports Laenor And His Sexuality
Even as a fairly immature young woman, Rhaenyra takes her match with Laenor very well and accepts him as he is. She knows his sexuality and expresses how everybody is different, and it doesn’t matter to her. Homosexuality is frowned upon in many parts of Westeros, and the main reason Laenor cannot be with a man is because of his high-born status and his duty to provide heirs.
Rhaenyra also knows that both she and Laenor need to marry well. In her partnership with Laenor, they can both explore other avenues while still pleasing their parents and performing their duties.
1/10 Rhaenyra Accepts And Fights For Her Position As Heir
Viserys truly breaks the mold when he makes Rhaenyra his heir and has all the houses bend the knee and swear allegiance to her as the future Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra had been on the sidelines for a long time, wanting her father to notice her and realize that he has a suitable heir already waiting.
It takes courage to accept the position as heir, but it takes even more to fight for the position. She is rightfully apprehensive to begin an all-out war against the Greens but changes her tune following the death of her son. Rhaenyra isn’t afraid of the battle to come as she knows that the crown is rightfully hers, even though she’s a woman.
NEXT: 10 House Of The Dragon Season 2 Theories We Hope Come True