Does Rhaenyra Become Queen In House Of The Dragon?
Rhaenyra Targaryen is officially named Princess of Dragonstone and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, but does she ever actually become Queen?
Rhaenyra Targaryen has officially been made heir to the Iron Throne, but doe she become queen in House of the Dragon? While Game of Thrones‘ history of Westeros would suggest that a queen hadn’t officially sat on the Iron Throne until Cersei Lannister, this isn’t entirely accurate. Rhaenyra Targaryen was, in fact, the first Targaryen woman to be named heir to the Iron Throne and the Princess of Dragonstone, but her future status as the recognized Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is a contentious subject.
In House of the Dragon season 1, episode 1, King Viserys I Targaryen named his only child and daughter Rhaenyra Targaryen his heir, passing over his brother Daemon. Viserys’ decision was completely unprecedented, as the custom of male primogeniture was established at the Great Council of 101 AC, when the lords of Westeros named King Jaehaerys Targaryen’s heir Viserys over his older cousin Rhaenys. As was feared when King Viserys chose to marry Alicent Hightower and have more children, Rhaenyra’s title as heir to the Iron Throne may be official under the rule of her father but – as Rhaenys Targaryen warned her in House of the Dragon episode 2 – “men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne.”
While she’ll have to fight a devastating civil war to claim her crown, Rhaenyra Targaryen technically does become queen in House of the Dragon. Through the Dance of the Dragon, a devastating civil war fought against her younger half-brother Aegon II Targaryen, Rhaenyra fights her way to the Iron Throne as the disputed Queen of Westeros. Before House of the Dragon‘s ending, Rhaenyra Targaryen will take King’s Landing and rule on the Iron Throne for six months, earning her the nickname the “Half-Year Queen.” However, when Aegon retakes the capital, he orders that Rhaenyra’s reign as queen be officially erased from the histories and that she only be referred to as “princess” in court records – hence why Game of Thrones suggests there had never been a true queen in Westeros.
How Rhaenyra Becomes Queen In House Of The Dragon
When King Viserys I Targaryen dies in House of the Dragon season 1, Otto Hightower, Alicent Hightower, and the “green” council (Alicent’s loyalists) will conspire to place Viserys’ eldest son Aegon II Targaryen on the Iron Throne instead. When Rhaenyra finds out that her father died and her brother received an official coronation (thus why her time as queen is also disputed), the deadly Dance of the Dragon breaks out. Rhaenyra’s loyalists, the House Targaryen “black” party, crown her Queen of Westeros while she’s still ruling on Dragonstone, and a series of some of the most catastrophic battles in the history of Westeros follow. However, it isn’t until about a year after the Dance of the Dragons begins in House of the Dragon that she takes the Iron Throne from her brother.
Rhaenyra seizes the Iron Throne in a somewhat similar way to Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. After the deaths of her two eldest sons, Rhaenyra’s anger takes over, and she finally decides to use her dragons to take King’s Landing by force. With Daemon Targaryen on Caraxes, Rhaenyra on Syrax, and Corlys Velaryon’s fleet in Blackwater Bay, the blacks successfully take King’s Landing in less than a day, with Aegon II and the greens escaping the capital. However, Rhaenyra’s time on the Iron Throne isn’t particularly successful, as the House of the Dragon character flees King’s Landing after six months and meets a tragic end when confronted by her brother.
Is Rhaenyra The Rightful Ruler In House Of The Dragon
The question of whether Rhaenyra is the rightful ruler of the Iron Throne is certainly the question at the heart of House of the Dragon’s story. Outside the sexist custom of male primogeniture, Rhaenyra Targaryen would have always been considered the rightful ruler of Westeros after the death of her father. However, since Rhaenys was passed over as heir at the Great Council 101 AC, Westeros had already set a precedent for the eldest male child to be preferred as heir over the eldest female. Despite this, Rhaenyra still had the best claim to the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon, as her father had officially decreed that she be named his heir, which he maintained even after Alicent Hightower gave him sons.
But, as Rhaenys says, Viserys and the lords of Westeros who bent the knee to Rhaenyra knew that men would not accept a woman on the throne. Had Alicent given Viserys only daughters, there would have been no significant dispute over whether Rhaenyra Targaryen should be the rightful ruler. Because Rhaenyra is a woman going up against the claim of a man, she has to begin a civil war to claim her rightful seat in House of the Dragon.
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