Daemon cost Rhaenyra the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon

It doesn't matter that Rhaenyra didn't order the murder of Jaehaerys. Daemon's actions have cost her the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon season 2. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO
House of the Dragon season 2. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO /

One thing is clear at this point in House of the Dragon. Rhaenyra has lost the Iron Throne in the Dance of the Dragons.

Caution: This post contains some spoilers from House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 2.

When Rhaenyra learned of the murder of Jaehaerys, she was heartbroken—not just about the death but for the pain that Helaena will now go through. Rhaenyra knows that pain all too well. She would never wish it on a person, especially not Helaena.

We know that Rhaenyra didn’t order the child’s death. Daemon did. But none of this matters. The smallfolk believe that Rhaenyra ordered it.

Daemon proves why he can’t be king in House of the Dragon

Daemon’s actions have always been impulsive. The version in the book is much crueler than the one in the show. The book isn’t written as a straight novel. It’s an account of Westeros history, which means people are using their own opinions of others. The opinion of Daemon was that he was cruel, so there will be elements of the book that make him seem crueler.

In House of the Dragon, we can’t necessarily believe that Daemon would be cruel enough to order the death of a child. However, he didn’t implicitly say to avoid murdering a child. He left the choice up to Blood and Cheese, and they did something that even Daemon would know would lose the Iron Throne.

Daemon makes it clear why he can’t be king. He is too impulsive, and he can’t be trusted to do the right thing for anyone but himself.

Rhaenyra can’t gain the support of the people back in House of the Dragon

There may have been people in King’s Landing on Rhaenyra’s side. As Otto said to Aegon, the quick coronation and the loss of a dragon from the Dragonpit makes him look weak.  Some people would still want Rhaenyra to sit on the Iron Throne.

Not anymore, though. The murder of a child takes things too far. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed in war, and this is one of them. Otto was right that the funeral procession would help to bring the smallfolk on Aegon’s side. That’s exactly what it did.

Rounding up the rat catchers and killing them isn’t going to dissuade them from Aegon. Not on the level that Rhaenyra being responsible for the murder of a child does. The only think that could potentially lead to people wanting Rhaenyra in is if the gates remain closed for so long that the smallfolk start to starve. If Aegon won’t help them live, then they will turn to someone who will. Rhaenyra can’t control that, though.

And sure, Rhaenyra could end up driving the Greens out of King's Landing. That doesn't mean the people will forget the murder of Jaehaerys. There is no escape from that, and it means she can't hold the Iron Throne for too long.

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