House of the Dragon’s showrunner has explained why Daemon abruptly choked Rhaenyra in the Episode 10 finale.
Daemon has been on a journey with the audience. He started off as the king’s petulant brother, weaponizing the City Watch to murder its inhabitants in the name of law and order.
He got himself exiled for celebrating the death of Viserys’ baby and trying to sleep with Rhaenyra in a pleasure house, as well as defeating the Crabfeeder in the Stepstones.
Heading into the finale, he was the “internet’s boyfriend” and fan favorite, but one intense scene has seen his character regress somewhat – and the creator is here to explain why he did it.
Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 10 to follow…
Why Daemon choked Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon finale
In Episode 10, Rhaenyra and Daemon have a tense face-off, with Daemon clearly struggling to take orders from his wife and believing his destructive tactics to be more appropriate.
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When she tells him about Aegon’s dream and the Song of Ice and Fire, a secret passed down through the Targaryen dynasty, he violently grabs her by the neck. He mocks the notion of any sort of vision and Viserys’ “feckless rule… dreams didn’t make us kings, dragons did.” Rhaenyra immediately realizes he mustn’t have been told about the dream.
In an interview with Variety, Ryan Condal explained: “It’s a moment that I think is surprising and shocking for Daemon as a character, but I also think it’s one of those things that’s been set up over the course of the entire season.
“Daemon – while an incredibly charismatic and deeply interesting, complex character, I think – he’s also capable of great darkness. It’s simmering just beneath the surface. When he learns in that moment that Viserys never believed in him enough, as his actual heir to the throne, to pass this thing on that he clearly just easily passed on to Rhaenrya, it breaks him.
“He loved his brother so deeply and trusted him, even through all the problems that they had, and Viserys never shared it with him. He kept [Daemon] in the dark, and it just it breaks Daemon. Instead of reacting with grief or sadness that you see out of him later, he reacts with rage and he takes it out on Rhaenrya.”
House of the Dragon Season 1 is available to stream now. For more on Season 2, click here.