The loves of Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen‘s love life proves to be troubled, fueling the misogyny that accepts men in her position with several lovers, but never one woman.

In the book, there are hints of her lovers, and in the series, we have proof of each of them: her uncle, Daemon Targaryen, Ser Criston Cole, and soon, Ser Harwin Strong. After the sloppy wedding, the image of Ser Harwin “rescuing” the princess (against her will) yielded several hilarious memes. Behind the scenes, actors Matt Smith, Fabien Frankel, and Ryan Corr play with the rivalry, making Rhaenyra’s loves one of the most fun on social media.

Rhaenyra will have two marriages (and two lovers) in House of the Dragon, with six children (technically three by each husband, the suspicion that the first three are by another man is a source of much violence and discord in Westeros). Let’s go in order.

Matt Smith is Daemon Targaryen

The English actor is one of the stars of House of the Dragon, being the second to appear in the credits. With a filmography of respect, always cited as Dr. Who or Prince Philip from The Crown, Matt is stealing the show, even when he doesn’t even have lines. His Daemon is perfectly in line with the book and still brings complexity to the screen.

Daemon and Rhaenyra’s closeness has always been evident in court. On screens, they seem to have a greater distance, but Daemon was 16 when his niece was born, it’s more plausible than Viserys with Alicent, for example.

Rhaenyra’s sexual initiation was conducted by Daemon, who “didn’t finish” but was expelled and took the blame as if he had. Although she has married another and had other lovers, she clearly has a crush on her uncle, whom she secretly marries (after becoming a widow and mistress).

Initially married to Rhea Royce, whom he kills to be free, he marries Laena Velaryon, with whom he has two daughters and lives well. Upon losing his wife when she dies in childbirth, Daemon resumes his connection with Rhaenyra, whom he marries. However, as predicted, Daemon is not a man who is content with what he has and re-engages with Mysaria. The love of his life will be young Nettles, but she is not expected to appear until Season 3.

For now, the attraction and connection of Daemon and Rhaenyra accelerate the dramas in House of the Dragon, with the possibility of even being a sincere love, but also profitable.

Fabien Frankel is Criston Cole


Born in England, Fabien Frankel is 27 years old and the son of two actors (English father, Indian descent, and French mother) and started his career a few years ago, in 2019. His first role was in the romantic comedy starring Emilia Clarke, Last Christmas, but he stood out with a great performance in the series The Serpent, playing Dominique Renelleau. As Sor Criston Cole, Fabien will feature prominently in House of the Dragon as he will be instrumental in the war AGAINST Rhaenyra.

If in the books it is not clear what happened between the Royal Guard and the princess, the series took the doubt. The romance between them is the basis of all drama, but not as one had thought. The reject, indirectly, is him, who breaks his vows, has sex with Rhaenyra, and then commits murder to try to hush up the case. He unintentionally confesses everything to Alicent, but the two will have the hatred of betrayal in common.

Rhaenyra’s idea was to keep Criston as a lover, but he refused. And that refusal changes every power play for the Iron Throne.

If in the books it is not clear what happened between the Royal Guard and the princess, the series took the doubt. The romance between them is the basis of all drama, but not as one had thought. The reject, indirectly, is him, who breaks his vows, has sex with Rhaenyra, and then commits murder to try to hush up the case. He unintentionally confesses everything to Alicent, but the two will have the hatred of betrayal in common.

Rhaenyra’s idea was to keep Criston as a lover, but he refused. And that refusal changes every power play for the Iron Throne.

Theo Nate is Laenor Velaryon


Practically making his debut, young Theo Nate plays Laenor as he marries Rhaenyra, he will be replaced later by John Macmillan when older. He joins the love list because Laenor Velaryon is forced into a marriage with her cousin, thus officially her husband and “father” of three children with her. A homosexual, Laenor tragically loses her lover when an enraged Sor Criston Cole loses his temper at the wedding feast and kills him. He and Rhaenyra understand each other and she doesn’t mind him having a relationship with another man.

Tragedy and politics unite them, and a poorly explained history separates them for good when he turns up dead after fighting his boyfriend. Even short, Laenor’s passage is important because he takes care of his wife’s children as his own. He was a good partner for Rhaenyra, as well as a warrior and dragon owner. We cannot get attached.

Ryan Corr is Ser Harwin Strong


Australian Ryan Corr will also have a short cameo, as coincidentally the princess’ husband and lover die in the same year, clearing the way for Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen’s wedding. The female fan club complains, in particular, about the future “loss”

Ser Harwin has appeared in House of the Dragon more than once and has been gaining prominence. Known as Breakbones, he is the firstborn of Ser Lyonel Strong, Viserys’ best adviser, and his current Hand. Considered one of the strongest men in Westeros, Sor Harwin was a potential candidate for Rhaenyra’s hand, but her father’s integrity didn’t force her chance and instead made her marry someone else.

In addition to being part of the King’s Landing Patrol (thus working with Daemon), Ser Harwin is certainly low-key. He witnessed Rhaenyra’s adventure with her uncle, but he didn’t speak or judge her. He openly flirts with her and after the wedding, where he “saves her”, he takes the position formerly of Ser Criston Cole. In fact, both: are the protector and lovers of the princess.

As long as you stand by Rhaenyra, Ser Harwin will be your biggest support in the power struggle. Unfortunately, their connection generates a lot of gossips, including that he is the real father of the future queen’s children, something that would hinder his rise if the children were not in fact Laenor’s. Let’s be clear: they are not. Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey sign Velaryon, but they look like Harwin and that’s why they’re called Strongs

Ser Harwin will be close to the princes and defend them, but when he gets into a fight with Ser Criston Cole (who appears in the trailer), he ends up being removed from the Court, and exiled to Harrenhal. An “accidental” fire takes her (and her father’s) life, leaving Rhaenyra desolate.

We’ll see how the series portrays this relationship, but I believe Ser Harwin Strong will effectively be Rhaenyra’s, great love. The man who doesn’t try to change her, who accepts his secondary role, who defends her, and who will have three children with her. Losing her lover and the father of her children will be a heavy blow for her. Get the tissues ready!

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