If there’s one thing, you can’t accuse George RR Martin, the mastermind behind the fantasy series Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, of doing its playing favourites. The murderous author’s killed more Game of Thrones characters than all the dragons in the Seven Kingdoms combined.
Still, it turns out he does, in fact, have a favourite character, or he has a favourite Targaryen, at least. In an interview to promote Fire and Blood’s release, the book House of the Dragon is based on; Martin was asked which Targaryen was his favourite.
“You know, I’m notorious for my love of morally grey characters, and one of the greyest characters in the entire story of Westeros is Daemon Targaryen, the Rogue Prince,” Martin said. “We took one of those separate sidebars and made a story out of it ‘The Rogue Prince’.
“Daemon’s the younger prince of King Viserys I. For a time, he was the heir to the throne when Viserys had no children,” he continued. “Then Viserys had children, and he stopped being heir to the throne. He’s a notorious bad boy, a rogue in every sense of the word, he was a rival for Viserys’ sister and his niece Rhaenyra, and then later he became [her] husband.”
“He switches sides several times. You never know what side he’s going to come down on,” Martin finished. “He’s a very colourful and predictable character, and I think he has to rank up there as my favourite.”
Still, being Martin’s favourite doesn’t necessarily spare Daemon from the author’s scythe. In the books, we learn Daemon will eventually go missing during the Dance of Dragons after a battle with his nephew Aemond. That said, while the bodies of Aemond and the dragons they fought on were found after the Dance, Daemon’s remains were never discovered.
So perhaps Martin couldn’t bring himself to kill the Rogue Prince and instead let him live out his days in hiding. We’ll have to wait until the TV series gets to that part of the story to find out. If you love the land of Westeros, check out our guides to two key players in the coming civil war, Ser Criston Cole and Larys Strong.