Who Is the Wife of Daemon Targaryen and Why Won’t He Return to Her?

Daemon Targaryen makes it extremely obvious in the first episode of season 1 of “House of the Dragon” that he has no love for his unidentified wife and will not go back to her. The fiery prince, one of several Targaryens setting the stage for civil war in the HBO prequel series to Game of Thrones, is portrayed by Matt Smith with nuanced depth. Daemon only leaves King’s Landing after receiving a direct order from his brother, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), though it is unclear whether he would follow the order to return to his wife.

Daemon is presented in House of the Dragon as a dangerous foe. He is a cunning and brutal knight who commands the King’s Landing City Watch and rides the terrifying red dragon Caraxes. Although Daemon’s Dark Sister Sword has already claimed a few heads and will undoubtedly claim more before the event is over, he is not made entirely of acrid steel and jagged edges. He treats his niece Rhaenyra Targaryen and his paramour, the prostitute Mysaria, with a fair amount of affection as he departs King’s Landing on Caraxes.

Lady Rhea Royce, the heir to Runestone and House Royce in the Vale, is Daemon’s spouse. In the novel Fire & Blood, it is revealed that Daemon disliked Rhea and thought the Vale was boring and uninteresting. Daemon mocks the Royce family’s ancient bronze armor by calling Rhea his “bronze b***h,” and he even begged his brother King Viserys I to annul the union but was turned down.

What Befalls the Wife of Daemon Targaryen

In the end, Rhea Royce has no bearing on the Targaryen ancestry. She dies alienated from her husband Daemon after a barren and loveless marriage. Accidentally, Lady Rhea dies when she falls off her horse while hawking and hits her head on a rock. Over several days, she makes an effort to get better, but when she finally gets out of bed, her injuries kills her. As a result of her demise, Daemon now has a tenuous claim to House Royce and the freedom to pursue the marriage he so much wants.

As “House of the Dragon” progresses, Daemon’s marriage to Lady Rhea and her eventual demise will undoubtedly have a significant impact on his storyline. While there are many differences between the Targaryens in “House of the Dragon” and those in Game of Thrones, their proclivity for unstable marriage arrangements strikes us as being rather similar. It will be fascinating to see whether the plot of Daemon and Rhea is altered in any way and whether or not she has a bigger role in HBO’s prequel series than she did in Fire & Blood.

New “House Of The Dragon” Image: Matt Smith In Full Targaryen Armor