In the time advance of House of the Dragon, season 6 episode, Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon season 1 lived together for 10 years as a man and a woman, with three children to reassure the marriage order for 10 years. Or, as we know, increase the tension on the matter. Their sons, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey – second at Court – look more like Sir Harwin Strong than the boys’ official father. The shadow of a doubt is even further away from Rhaenyra from her former friend, Alicent Hightower.
The Princess and the Queen, the title of episode 6, leaves no doubt about who the theme will be. On the eve of Laenor and Rhaenyra’s wedding, Alicent discovered that her stepdaughter had lied to her, that her father was exiled for telling (part of) the truth, and that to keep her crown, the Princess will do anything. From the choice of the Queen consort to the motivated cores, something of their core war was made clear by incorporating the children as costumes for himself and his greens, through references.
In the war of the astronauts of the planes, we will meet them with a short and dramatic trajectory. Yes, SPOILERS for non-readers of the book. Rhaenyra’s “boys”, her and great loves, have our children as protagonists who lead to the War of the Known Dragons, being the protagonists of this deadly choreography.
Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon are loved by their “parents”, but detested by their grandmother, Alicent, and uncles (Aegon, Aedmond, and Daeron), both because of their doubts about their legitimacy but above all because they have priority over the throne. It’s where feeling like humans mix with politics.
For Alicent, the revolt is because Rhaenyra’s faithfulness doesn’t follow the rules of decency and morality she’s forced to accept, keeping her husband 30 years older (and sick). So now she agrees with her father, Otto Hightower, that Aegon must be king. The boy is legit and man would bring things “back to normal”. Rhaenyra, a pure Targaryen, wants her father’s wish and agreement to be honored, keeping her on the Throne and leaving the pure Targaryen bloodline in charge. Having been forced to marry Laenor, who prefers men to women, was not her choice, so she does what she can to maintain the bloodline. And on her husband’s side, Ser Corlys Velaryon plays the same game as Otto, and wants to change the Targaryen bloodline to Velaryon blood (even if it’s ‘fake’). In short, neither greens nor blacks are 100% correct.
Therefore, in this scenario, it is important to meet the Velaryon boys, called behind Strong’s back, because it is their fates that will accelerate the conflict.
Jacaerys is the eldest, seen as the protector of his family and at the same time political, daring, and responsible, a skilled squire who will be after his mother, the heir to the Iron Throne. Although his father, Laenor, wanted to honor his friend Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (murdered by Ser Cryston Cole at the wedding), his grandfather, Corlys, suggested a traditional Velaryon name for the boy, a suggestion the princess accepted but later called from Jace.
We won’t see it in the series, but Alicent and Rhaenyra will have had children very close, with Daeron Targaryen being born close to his nephew. According to the story, to bring the boys together, Viserys ordered Jacaerys and Daemon to share a wet nurse until they were weaned, hoping that they were wet brothers would make a difference. Obviously, it only makes things worse, like everything Viserys tries to do to stay popular.
A year after Jace, Rhaenyra has Lucerys and we’re going to follow the day of Joffrey’s birth. The three will have dragon eggs as a gift, in Targaryen lore. Here is an important fact. Tradition has it that for those who aren’t of pure bloodline the eggs would never hatch, but the three boys kind of shut up the gossip because they all get their dragons.
As a reflection of their mothers’ bad relationship, the boys hate each other and the forced coexistence only makes everything worse. As we will see, when they train together in weapons, mutual aggression is soon obvious.
Jace will be an important ally of his mother, participating in the civil war as a great strategist. Luce will have a fate that makes matters worse, as by defending Joffrey, she will literally “take the eye out” of Uncle Aemond and – of course – literally turn the feud between relatives into something more violent.
Before the season ends we will have to say goodbye to the boys, unfortunately.
The (alleged) biological father, Sir Harwin Strong will be exiled from the Court after quarreling with Sir Criston Cole and dying in a suspicious fire at Harrenhal. With Sir Harwin’s and Rhaenyra’s clear “closeness,” of course the princess’s children were also attached to the Kingsguard. His death will impact them, especially Jace.
As third in line for succession, Jace is one of the Greens’ biggest rivals. When his grandfather dies and his uncle usurps his mother’s crown, he is one of the most eager to reverse the situation. However, his protective spirit unwittingly creates the perfect situation for rivals to take advantage of. It will be the end of the season.
In order to remove Aegon II from the throne, Rhaenyra decides to exact the loyalty that the Lords of Westeros have sworn to her position as heir. Because Stormsend was closer and Lord Baratheon was in theory loyal, it is Jacaerys who suggests that Luce be the envoy and that he will take the riskier mission of going north to collect the Starks’ response.
Luce flies on Arrax to the Baratheon castle, but not only finds they’ve switched sides, her uncle, Aemond, is there. Borros Baratheon wants a bigger commitment from the blacks (the marriage of one of the princess’s sons to a daughter of his own), but of course, it’s not possible because Jace and Luce are engaged to their cousins Velaryon (daughters of Daemon and Laena). Therefore, considering himself “justified” to join the Greens, an important member of the court helped in the division. But Lord Baratheon does something worse.
As always, a Velaryon is never at peace when a green Targaryen is in the environment. Aemond challenges his nephew but is prevented from attacking him “inside” Stormsend. On the sword, Luce would have a better chance. As he leaves, riding Arrax, in the midst of a terrible storm, Aemond (who by then was riding the gigantic Vhagar) sets out in pursuit. It doesn’t stand a chance.
Rhaenyra will have a big change when communicating about Lucerys’ death. Just like Jack. We’ll talk more about that later on.