The fantasy series House of the Dragon has documented the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty. Though he doesn’t know it yet, Viseys Targaryen’s decision to name his eldest child and daughter Rhaenyra over his firstborn son Aegon will doom his family.
There have been plenty of opportunities in the TV series for Viserys to fix this situation. His councillor Otto Hightower literally begged him to name Aegon heir for the sake of the realm, but still, Viserys said no. Now we could praise Viserys for being strangely progressive (by the standards of Westeros at least), but according to one of the show’s writers, that’s not the reason.
Sara Hess, a writer on the show, recently appeared on HBO’s House of the Dragon podcast, where she was asked why Viserys doesn’t just disinherit Rhaenyra to make his life a little easier. However, Hess said it wasn’t that easy for Viserys because he named Rhaenyra heir out of love.
“I am extremely clear on what I think about it,” Hess said. “And I will say that I believe Patty also believes this very strongly, and that is that this is a love story. Viserys was deeply in love with his wife, Aemma and never stopped loving her and doesn’t ever stop loving her.”
“He realises that his quest for a boy ended up killing her, and he feels horrible about it, and this is his way of making it up to her. Like, I should have realised that you gave me Rhaenyra. He says in episode one, ‘You are the best of your mother’, and she is Aemma’s daughter and Aemma’s child. She’s the only thing he has left of Aemma, so he is going to make her heir, and he is never going to change his mind because he’s never going to stop loving Aemma.”
If you love the people of the Seven Kingdoms, check out our list of the best Game of Thrones characters, or if you need to know more about House of the Dragon, we’ve got an article on the drama series big bad in waiting, Daemon Targaryen.