Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) will be one of the main and most influential characters in House of the Dragon. Cruel, but not nearly as cruel as his nephews Aegon II and Aemond, he is known for arrogance, revelry, dishonesty, and great fighting ability. As the seasoned and most feared warrior of his time, he wielded the Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, which he received at age 16 from his grandfather, King Jaehaerys, and rides the feared dragon Caraxes. Despite the latter, Daemon was not born to be a supporting player…
Youngest son of Baelon Targaryen, he hoped to inherit the throne from his brother, Viserys I (Paddy Considine), as he had no direct male heirs. So much so that during the Great Council of 101 AC, which appears in the series, where it was decided that Rhaenys (Eve Best) could not be queen because she is a woman, Daemon supported his brother as king, believing it would make him the direct heir. However, his restless and unstable nature proved that no position on the council interested him for long. This behavior contributed to a rivalry with the Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Iphans), with both of them barely able to cope with each other.
In the position of Commander of the City Watch of King’s Landing, Daemon was happy and had two thousand men under his command, that is, effectively with a lot of power even because he was adored. Severus in his punishments, popular in brothels, he met his lover and confidant, Mysaria in Flea Bottom.
Although he pressured Viserys to recognize him as heir, the King was hesitant and hoped that his wife, Aemma Arryn, would give him the long-awaited prince, but Aemma died in childbirth and the baby only lived a single day. When Viserys learned that Daemon would have celebrated the fact, he revolted and adopted the plan suggested by Ser Otto, of making Rhaenerys his heir (breaking the century-old rule of succession among the Targaryens).
All of these scenes appeared in the trailer and teaser for the series. Daemon, disgusted, retires from the position of command and flies with Caraxes to Dragonston, being absent from the ceremony in which the Seven Kingdoms accept the princess as future Queen. But Daemon still causes a headache. As Mysaria is pregnant, she steals a dragon egg as a gift to her son, which Viserys hallucinates for his boldness (he was a bastard after all). Ser Otto is sent to retrieve the egg and pass on the message that the King wanted Daemon to return to his wife. Mysaria ends up suffering a miscarriage and Daemon blames his brother and the Hand of the King for the accident (actually, a trip during a storm).
Away from the Court, Daemon still wants to be King. He helps Corlys Velaryon battle the Stepstones” with the Triarchy, which features prominently in the trailer. Flying with Caraxes, he led an army of adventurers and declared himself King of Steps and the Narrow Sea, being crowned by Corlys.
Once again bored with the bureaucracy of reigning, he returns to King’s Landing in the middle of the tournament that was already separating the Kingdom between black and green, reconciling with his older brother and returning to his old habits. By this time Viserys was remarried with three children, two of whom were boys. Daemon is distant from his nephews and the king’s new wife, Alicent Hightower. On the other hand, he approaches (some say excessively) Rhaenryra, with whom he made dragon flights and presented rare and expensive objects.
The truce only lasted six months until the brothers quarreled again and Daemon leaves King’s Landing. Something happened in relation to Princess Rhaenyra and her uncle, which provoked the wrath of Viserys, Ser Cole’s perpetual estrangement from the princess, and gossip that entered the pages of History suggesting incest. Anyway, he went into exile.
And far away, a widower, Daemon continued his struggle for power and ascension. His first wife died falling off a horse (convenient!) and he even tried to take the Vale of Arryn that was rightfully hers but was rebuffed. He then married Corlys Velarion’s daughter, Laena, after killing the girl’s fiancé. The marriage did not have royal consent, so the couple leaves Westeros and has their twin daughters in Pentos. The family drama only returned to a new truce after Viserys accepted his brother’s request to introduce his daughters to Court. The occasion? Rhaenrya’s marriage to Ser Laenor Velarion, Daemon’s brother-in-law.
Rhaenerys adored Laena and the two families agreed to marry the twins, Baela and Rhaena, to the princess’ children, Jacaerys and Lucerys. But everything goes gray again after Baela’s sudden death in childbirth, while giving birth to a boy who dies too. The Velaryons’ grief is heightened when the princess’s husband also dies in the same year. Laenor was murdered by his companion, Ser Qarl Correy. Some claimed that Daemon was involved in the death of his brother-in-law as well as Rhaenerys’ lover, and alleged father of her children, Ser Harwin Strong, who died in a Harrenhal fire the same year, leaving Rhaenerys free to marry and love again. The elect? None other than Daemon. Viserys became mad at his brother again as he saw his union with Rhaerya as a blow to the Crown. The couple had two sons, Aegon III and Viserys II.
Rhaenyra has lost an important ally on Corlys Velaryon by a reckless decision. She wanted the Sea Serpent to announce Lucerys Velaryon as his heir but encountered opposition from Corlys’ nephew Ser Vaemond Velaryon, who accused her of having been an adulteress. By order of the princess, Daemon arrests and executes Vaemond, giving his body as food to Syrax, the dragon of Rhaenyra.
And this all happens BEFORE the civil war. With the death of Viseryon I, everything takes a turn for the worse. With the throne being usurped from his niece and wife, Daemon takes the lead in battles to regain the Iron Throne. In King’s Landing, where the couple was not, the decisions were made in absentia but on controversial grounds. For Ser Otto Hightower, father of Queen Alicent Hightower and Daemon’s enemy, it was inconceivable to have him as king consort. Ser Criston Cole, now King of the Guard, as opposed to the couple as he said they would turn the Red Keep into a brothel. Alicent wanted her son as King, respecting the natural order of succession before the alteration to crown Rhaeerys. Together the three came to an agreement and Criston crowned Alicent’s son King Aegon II Targaryen.
Upon learning of her father’s death and the coup, a pregnant Rhaenyra loses her daughter, Visenya, and blames the Greens for her grief. The blacks gather in the black council and go to war with the greens, crowning Rhaenyra in Dragonstone. As his wife’s top commander, Daemon racks up victories but is revolted when he discovers that Aemond has killed his cousin Lucerys. With Mysaria’s help, he has Aegon II’s firstborn, Jaehaerys, killed. The other stepson, Jacaerys, dies in a naval battle against the Greens.
In a daring ploy and Ser Criston’s mistake, Rhaenerys and Daemon take King’s Landing, but Aegon II escapes. Despite Ser Corlys for Peace’s advice, the couple now wants revenge. The princess is more paranoid than ever, seeing betrayals in the shadows, insecurity fueled by Mysaria, who is on the Queen’s advice, even though she is Daemon’s lover. Together the two have the prince’s other lover killed, but he saves the girl in time.
At his wife’s request, Daemon flies with Caraxes after his dangerous and cruel nephew, Aemond, who is flying with Vhagar. The two eventually face off in an aerial battle where Daemon jumps from Caraxes with the Dark Sister and strikes Aemond’s blind eye. The four fall into the lake of Gods Eye, but only Caraxes resurfaces, before dying. Daemon’s body was never found, only those of Vhagar and Aemond. This spawned the legend that he escaped and went to spend his final years in hiding with his mistress, Nettles. Eventually, with the deaths of Rhaenyra and Aegon II, Princess Don Daemon’s son, Aegon III, ascends to the Iron Throne, reigning as his parents could not.
From the trailers and teasers, Season 1, moving forward in time, will get to the conflict between relatives, but before the bloodiest part. The forecast is for up to four seasons, which some suspect is a lot because in two they would cover almost everything.
The good thing is that with the charisma of Matt Smith, Daemon Targaryen has everything to be unforgettable.