House of the Dragon: Daemon, Rhaenyra & Viserys Targaryen – Who They Are, Actors & Lore
Image Source: HBO

House of the Dragon: Daemon, Rhaenyra & Viserys Targaryen – Who They Are, Actors & Lore

Pretty ready for a new Game of Thrones story with even more dragons.
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With House of the Dragon around the corner, Game of Thrones fans might still be a little foggy on the thicker parts of the lore. We’ll help straighten things out so you will be able to enter the show with all the necessary information. Here’s who Daemon, Rhaenyra & Viserys are, including the actors playing them and important lore.

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There is the possibility of spoilers within the information below, so for those who want to go in blind, return here after the first or second episode.

Who Is Daemon Targaryen?

Daemon Targaryen House of the Dragon
Image Source: HBO

Daemon Targaryen is prince and brother to Viserys I Targaryen, who is king at the start of House of the Dragon. While he has been married twice before, House of the Dragon will show only his marriage to Princess (and niece) Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Daemon was once Commander of the King’s Landing watch and was much admired. In fact, he is the reason that the guards are still referred to as the Gold Cloaks years later during a Song of Ice and Fire after giving every other watchman that exact item. Daemon being Commander saw a drop in crime, but only because he was notorious for the brutal punishments given to thieves. It seems the series might host yet another brutal Targaryen.

Daemon doesn’t have the best relationship with brother Viserys, especially after he named Rhaenyra heir to the throne and Princess of Dragonstone. Daemon wields the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister and rides the dragon Caraxes. Seeing as Caraxes is still alive at the start of the Dance of Dragons, he will likely appear in the series.

Daemon will be played by Matt Smith (Doctor Who) in the House of the Dragon series.

Who Is Rhaenyra Targaryen?

Rhaenyra Targaryen House of the Dragon
Image Source: HBO

Rhaenyra Targaryen is Princess of Dragonstone the rightful heir (by will) to the throne held by her father Viserys I Targaryen and was named his heir at the age of eight. At around this age she became the dragonrider of Syrax, and the dragon is still alive at the start of the Dance of Dragons.

The fact that she is also called the “Half-Year Queen” should also speak volumes about the terrible luck of House Targaryen. She is a loyal daughter and often by her father’s side while he is on the throne. Rhaenyra has two children, Aegon III and Viserys II, with her husband, Daemon Targaryen.

Rhaenyra’s relationship with Queen Alicent Hightower where House of the Dragon will begin is largely strained. While the two were on good terms early into her father’s marriage, his refusal to retract naming Rhaenyra his heir despite having two sons with Queen Alicent caused a rift. This is bound to set up plenty of scheming and usual Game of Thrones aggression.

Rhaenyra will be portrayed by Emma D’Arcy.

Who Is Viserys Targaryen?

Viserys Targaryen House of the Dragon
Image Source: HBO

Viserys I Targaryen is king at the start of House of the Dragon and is the fifth Targaryen to have the Iron Throne. House Targaryen was at it’s most powerful during the reign of Viserys I, having both the largest number of Targaryen family members and the most dragons there ever would be.

There isn’t much notable within the reign of Viserys I, as he was a peaceful, benevolent king. It’s ironic that his death would spark the tragic Dance of Dragons civil war.

The show is set largely at the end of the king’s life, and thus the start of the civil war that sprouts from his choice to name Rhaenyra as heir instead of Daemon. Rhaenyra was named heir to the throne due to his lack of success producing a male heir with his first wife and the cold relationship with his brother.

He once was a dragon rider of the legendary dragon Balerion, but didn’t accept another dragon after it died of old age many years before the House of the Dragon story begins.

Viserys I will be played by Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon.

Other House of the Dragon Lore

One son of Daemon and Rhaenyra, Aegon III, was referenced in Game of Thrones. In the book, Daenerys remembers that her brother told her the dragons died out during the rule of Aegon III.

The House of the Dragon will be roughly between 129 AC and 131 AC. For perspective, Game of Thrones began in the year 298 AC.

In Season two of Game of Thrones, one of the ships owned by Daenerys Targaryen is named Balerion, after the dragon ridden by Viserys.

That is everything you need to know about who Daemon, Rhaenyra & Viserys are, including the actors playing them, and important lore that should hold you over until House of the Dragon premieres on Aug. 21. Big shoutout to the Song of Ice and Fire wiki for filling in some blanks.

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Cameron Waldrop
Cameron is a freelance writer for Twinfinite and regularly covers battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends. He started writing for Twinfinite in late 2019 and has been lucky enough to review many really great games. While he loves a good shooter, his heart will always belong to JRPGs.