Prince Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) was chosen over Rhaenys Targaryen because, according to Targaryen custom, no woman can govern Westeros (Eve Best). However, at the time of Game of Thrones, both Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) were seated on the Iron Throne, albeit for very limited periods of time. “House of the Dragon” transports viewers to a time about 200 years before Game of Thrones, when the Targaryen dynasty was on the edge of a titanic collapse even though it was at the height of its strength as the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms.
The Great Council in 101 AC marks the beginning of “House of the Dragon.” Old King Jaehaerys I, who ruled quietly for nearly 60 years, anticipated that the Targaryen line would be torn apart by the issue of succession. The lords of Westeros debated the succession and the 14 candidates for the Iron Throne at the Great Council that Jaeherys convened. Prince Viserys Targaryen and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen were the only two claims that were taken seriously. Viserys was the eldest child of Baelon Targaryen, King Jaehaerys’s son and designated heir, and the grandson of the late king Jaehaerys. Who would be the Targaryen family dynasty’s next heir was a crucial question after Baelon’s passing. Aemon Targaryen, the third son of King Jaehaerys, provided the foundation for Rhaenys’s claim, which was made in the meantime. Despite the fact that Rhaenys’ father, Aemon, served as the Prince of Dragonstone prior to his passing in 92 AC, the Princess had already been displaced in favor of Baelon in the succession.
The Great Council decided on Viserys, as shown in the premiere of “House of the Dragon.” This choice was made in accordance with the patriarchal culture of Westeros and the Aegon the Conqueror-instituted custom that Targaryen males would be preferred over Taryns. Due to Visenya, his elder sister, not Aegon I, who along with her brother-in-law conquered the Seven Kingdoms, becoming Westeros’ first monarch, Viserys’ bloodline was considered to be stronger because she is a full Targaryen, as opposed to Rhaenys, who is half Baratheon on her mother’s side, Lady Jocelyn Baratheon. Viserys was anointed king in 103 AC after King Jaehaerys passed away, and Rhaenys was dubbed the “Queen Who Never Was.” No woman sat on the Iron Throne and oversaw the Seven Kingdoms before Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, even after the Dance of the Dragons, which is shown in “House of the Dragon.”
Why Rhaenys Couldn’t Be Queen But Cersei and Daenerys Could
In actuality, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), who succeeded his elder brother, King Joffrey, died before Cersei Lannister could claim the Iron Throne (Jack Gleeson). As a result of the War of the Five Kings, which the Seven Kingdoms had already experienced, Cersei gradually got rid of her rivals and hand-picked the members of the Small Council in order to rule. Daenerys Targaryen came to Westeros from Essos in the meantime to reclaim the Iron Throne and reignite the Targaryen dynasty. Daenerys and Cersei engaged in battle after the Night King, and the White Walkers were vanquished, with the Mother of Dragons coming out on top. However, a plot and Jon Snow’s murder put an end to Daenerys’ very brief rule (Kit Harington).
The patriarchal system was much more entrenched in Westeros during Rhaenys Targaryen’s unsuccessful bid for the Iron Throne since it occurred during a less turbulent time. The same structure would have likely prevented the ascensions of Cersei and Daenerys in Game of Thrones, just as Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) will encounter opposition as Viserys’ designated heir in “House of the Dragon.” In Game of Thrones, both Queens “broke the wheel” and claimed the Iron Throne for themselves. Sadly, neither could maintain it for very long. After Cersei and Daenerys died, the patriarchal order eventually came back, and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was dubbed King Bran the Broken. However, Rhaenys lacked the opportunity or means to “break the wheel” and take the throne in the “House of the Dragon.”