Ever since the House of the Dragon premiere, Matt Smith’s embodiment of “The Rogue Prince” Daemon Targaryen has had fans hooked. No doubt, he is an absolutely captivating character to watch because, well, he’s so chaotic! With an ego running wild, Daemon’s pride has shown that he loves to start drama.
So far, we’ve seen him lead a violent tirade at the head of the Gold Cloaks, piss off his older brother, King Viserys, and spitefully steal a dragon egg. Last night, honing in on the troublesome War for the Stepstones, we saw him at his most reckless, as he led a one-man charge into the heart of the conflict, making quick work of the Crabfeeder. In short, it was absolutely glorious!
Besides the opening sequence, where we hear Daemon trying to draw out the Crabfeeder while Ceraxes lays in on his troops with swaths of fire, this episode truly lets the action speak for itself. Infuriated by Viserys’ message, promising aid from King’s Landing, Daemon shows us a prime example of the Targaryen temper. Deeply resentful and proud, his character would much rather face imminent death than be rescued by his big bro.
Thus, heading into a suicide mission, Daemon rows down to the den of the Crabfeeder, feigning a surrender. When he has the chance, he starts his surprise onslaught, taking on the enemy single-handedly until backup arrives. All of which required not a single word from the Prince. The whole turn of events cemented Daemon as this recklessly brave antihero we can’t help but root for. In other words, I’m definitely starting to see why George R.R. Martin himself deemed Daemon his favorite Targaryen.
A New Dragon
In the middle of all the action in the Stepstones, we saw a new dragon appear to help finish off the Crabfeeder’s army. Diverging from the recognizable red coloring of Caraxes, this new gray-colored dragon, bonded to Leanor Velaryon, rose from the hazy sky to finish the job.
As the first major battle scene in the prequel, Leanor’s arrival on Seasmoke shows how significantly dragons change the nature of combat sequences compared to Game of Thrones. Paralleling Daemon’s surprise attack, it was the abruptness of Seasmoke’s appearance that cinched the success of the Velaryon forces, as there was no time for the enemy to retreat to the caves. Clearly, when engaged in a war with dragonriders, the desired strategy is to hang back and carefully watch the sky. This factor is likely to create short but impactful combat sequences rather than the episode-long endeavors made famous in GoT.
Honestly, I’m still hung up on Daemon’s triumphant emergence from the cave, dragging along the severed body of the Crabfeeder. It was a truly fantastic closing shot. Undoubtedly, going into next week, this victory is only going to fuel his ego even more as he rolls back into court as proclaimed “King of the Narrow Sea.” And, I’m certainly not complaining. I’ll take Daemon’s conceit over Viserys’ incompetence any day. On that note, bring on the chaos and (fingers crossed) a Daemon and Rhaenyra reunion in episode 4!
Looking to relive last night’s episode with some laughs? Check out our weekly roundup of hilarious House of the Dragon Tweets here. Until then, I’ll be continously fueling my obsession with Daemon Targaryen, an absolute icon. Dracarys!