House of the Dragon’s two big “rivals” haven’t even spoken to each other

Jessica Cullen
Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon

War and conflict is at the heart of Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, but fans have noticed that two major enemies have never interacted.

While the heart of the HBO series lies in the tragic relationship between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, the main battle in House of the Dragon is ultimately founded in Rhaenyra’s quest for the crown. While it’s rightfully hers, her brother and Alicent’s son, Aegon II, makes his claim at the end of Season 1.

House of the Dragon Season 2 is set to explore the bloody war to come. Not only does Rhaenyra have to make moves for the Iron Throne, but she’s also hellbent on avenging her murdered son. The stakes are high, and one might expect the majority of drama to come from the growing volley for power between Rhaenyra and Aegon. However, fans have noted that this isn’t the case at all.

In fact, across the entire first season of the TV show, the two characters barely interact at all. You’d struggle to catch sight of them actually looking at each other. With an entire kingdom being torn apart between the two parties, how is it that Rhaenyra and Aegon have never actually spoken?

As one fan on Reddit asked: “Have Aegon and Rhaenyra even talked to each other? I don’t remember this happening on screen. Which is funny because they were rivals.”

Others were quick to answer, with one comment replying: “Nope. They could have had at least one interaction. In Episode 8 during the dinner, all they had to do was include a stiff and terse: ‘Rhaenyra,’ from Aegon, or an ‘Aegon,’ from Rhaenyra. Like a passing bit of acknowledgment that shows how they have had to be cordial with one another in the intervening years, even if there is no love lost between them.”

“I don’t think Rhaenyra has had any interactions with ANY of her siblings on screen,” another user pointed out. “Other than just sharing the room on a couple occasions. Even in the episode where Aemond loses an eye I don’t think she addressed any of them lol.”

“No, and it’s one of the most baffling writing decisions made in the show,” another user wrote.

But not everyone is mad about this strange dynamic. In fact, they think it encapsulates the entire point of the show, with the narrative being less about the power play between Rhaenyra and Aegon, and more about her relationship with Alicent.

Equally, such a quiet dynamic between the two royals could simply be an echo of the fact that the war, however violent and bloody it becomes, is pointless.

“Maybe an unpopular opinion but I actually love this fact,” one person wrote. “All this bloodshed and destruction for a war between two people who have barely ever spoken to each other, if at all. Hammers home how pointless the whole conflict is.”

Another added: “I think the show is trying to frame the Dance as resulting from the breakdown of Alicent and Rhaenyra’s friendship. So the actual conflict is really between these two women, with Aegon vs. Rhaenyra being the official party line.”

“I actually like it,” one user agreed. “Rhaenyra and Aegon aren’t rivals. Neither of them even really wanted to be ruler in the first place. Aegon is doing it because Otto made him do it. Rhaenyra is doing it because Viserys made her do it.”

For more, check out everything you need to know about the Seven Kingdoms. You can also keep tabs on all the Game of Thrones dragons, and find out what’s going on with A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech