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House of the Dragon: why did Daemon strangle Rhaenyra Targaryen?

House of the Dragon: Warning, this story contains references to domestic violence and as such some readers may find it triggering.

House of the Dragon: why did Daemon strangle Rhaenyra Targaryen?

Why did Daemon strangle Rhaenyra Targaryen? Warning spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon episode 10. The fantasy series House of the Dragon has never shied away from violence. We’ve seen Daemon Targaryen chopping off heads, Ser Criston Cole reducing a man’s head to pulped watermelon, and Larys Strong had his own father and brother burned alive.

Despite all that, however, the most shocking bloodshed in the TV series has always been more domestic. Need we remind you of the first episode where poor Aemma Arryn bled to death after King Viserys Targaryen ordered an emergency C-section?

Well, not to be outdone, episode 10, The Queen in Black, had a horrific moment of domestic violence where Queen Rhaenyra was strangled by her husband, Daemon. So why did Daemon Targaryen strangle Rhaenyra? 

Why did Daemon strangle Rhaenyra Targaryen?

Daemon strangled Rhaenyra because despite a substantial part of the online fan base believing he’s some romantic swashbuckler, he’s actually a bad guy. And as a bad guy, Daemon does dreadful things like strangling his wife, who just miscarried.

Seriously is there anything more profound to it than that? Some may argue Daemon is grieving the loss of his brother Viserys or that it’s a reaction to Rhaenyra losing the throne but come on. Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship has never been a healthy one, and how many red flags is it going to take before people accept that he’s a nasty dude?

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If you had to examine Daemon’s psychology, you’d presume there’s a degree of jealousy behind Daemon’s attack. He chokes Rhaenyra after she starts telling him The Song of Ice and Fire prophecy and learning that Viserys kept secrets from him. Perhaps Daemon’s attack was motivated by this perceived betrayal?

Part of it also may be related to his dislike of Viserys weakness. Daemon frequently called out his brother’s lack of strength. Maybe when he saw Rhaenyra trying to broker peace, he saw the part of his brother he hated most, and it caused him to lash out.

Or, you know, maybe he’s just a tw*t. If you’ve enjoyed House of the Dragon, check out our list of the best Game of Thrones characters.