House of the Dragon: does Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra?

The Targaryen family tree's full of rotten apples and betrayal is basically a familial tradition at this point so will Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra?

House of the Dragon: does Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra?

Does Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra? If there’s one thing we know about the Targaryen family tree, it’s that it’s full of bad apples. From Maegor the Cruel to Aegon the Unworthy, a full Targaryen family reunion would be a collection of idiots, madmen, and despots with Jaehaerys sat in the corner wondering where it all went wrong.

In House of the Dragon (one of the best fantasy series of the year), Daemon Targaryen is the baddest apple of them all. He’s ambitious, cruel, and violent, a deadly combination when you’re as close to power as Daemon is. This toxic triad of personality traits means Daemon has a tendency to betray people.

So far, he’s betrayed his brother Viserys, his paramour Mysaria, aka The White Worm, and not one but two wives. All this has people worried for Rhaenyra Targaryen, his current wife and the queen he pledged his loyalty to. So does Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra during the Dance of the Dragons?

Does Daemon Targaryen betray Rhaenyra?

Daemon Targaryen stays loyal to Rhaenyra and does not betray her, or at least he doesn’t betray her claim to the Iron Throne. There are rumours that during the Dance of the Dragons, Daemon seduced the dragonseed — a term used to refer to Targaryen bastards  — Nettles.

The books written about the Dance are a little ambiguous on whether these rumours are true, however. At least one person claims Daemon treated Nettles more like a daughter than a lover. Regardless, Rhaenyra begins to feel jealous of Nettles, and when other dragonseeds betray the Black’s cause, she orders the girl to be executed.

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Before the orders can be carried out, Daemon allows Nettles to escape on her dragon, Sheepeater. Rather than return to Rhaenyra and face her wrath, Daemon flies to the Riverlands, where he kills Vhagar and Aemond.

Daemon goes missing after the Battle at the God’s Eye and is presumed dead. That said, the common folk in Westeros claim he actually survived and reunited with Nettles, and the pair spent the rest of their lives together. Is it true? Well, they never found Daemon’s body…

If you need to know more about the Targaryen civil war, check out our guide to House of the Dragons season 2, or we have guides on some of the best House of the Dragon characters, including Alicent HightowerLarys Strong, and Ser Criston Cole.