Viserys I Targaryen’s death automatically makes Rhaenyra Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. The King firmly believes that his daughter was destined to rule Westeros, citing Aegon the Conqueror’s prophetic dream of the “Prince That Was Promised”. Unfortunately, Queen Alicent misunderstands her husband’s last words and installs her son Aegon on the Iron Throne.
Rhaenyra’s allies retaliate by crowning her the Black Queen, sparking conflict across the continent. Although Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the central character of house of the dragon, he often does not behave in a manner befitting his position. As the first heir to the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra is already under a lot of pressure: she simply cannot afford to make mistakes if she wants to rule Westeros.
10/10 Rhaenyra has secret affairs with Daemon and Criston Cole
Rhaenyra is notoriously independent, an unconventional but admirable trait that sets her apart from most women in Westeros. She wants to take control of her own destiny and her fandom appreciates her for it. However, she fails to understand the consequences of nonconformity, especially given her royal reputation.
Rhaenyra indulges in a consensual escapade with her uncle in Flea Bottom, but he eventually leaves her behind. The princess returns to her chambers in the Red Keep, where she has a one-night stand with Criston Cole. Rhaenyra’s agency, while commendable, risks her already precarious position.
9/10 She roundly fools the king and queen
One of Mysaria’s moles spies on Rhaenyra “beyond the walls of the Keep”, supposedly copulating “in a house of pleasure”. Otto raises this risky issue with Viserys, but the King angrily banishes the Hand from sight of him. Consequently, Alicent confronts the princess with the same accusation.
Rhaenyra reassures the Queen, stating that Otto “couldn’t have witnessed such a thing”. […] because it didn’t happen.” When Alicent seems unconvinced, the princess states that “questioning [her] virtue is an act of treason.” The queen “just wants to help” her stepdaughter, but the latter persistently protects her secret. Later, Rhaenyra also lies to her own father. … just perception.”
8/10 Rhaenyra ends her engagement tour prematurely
Viserys sends Rhaenyra on an engagement tour across the continent, during which she is expected to select a potential husband from one of the many Great Houses of Westeros. The princess is quite dissatisfied with the experience, as the vast majority of suitors are not worthy of becoming her king consort.
She despises the unseemly Lord Beric Dondarrion, a man “older than her father”, and justifiably mocks the youthful Willem Blackwood. Rhaenyra’s faltering patience is further weakened when Jerrel Bracken and Willem Blackwood duel. The princess flouts her father’s direct orders and returns to King’s Landing without appointing a suitable mate.
7/10 She worsens her position with the little advice
Although her status as Viserys’s heir remains unchanged, Rhaenyra’s authority is significantly weakened following her marriage to Laenor. The Princess attends a meeting of the Little Council organized by the King and Queen approximately ten years after the wedding. Alicent and Rhaenyra adamantly refuse to concede their respective views, frustrating Viserys beyond measure.
Also, Rhaenyra’s political attitude alienates her from the Small Council, as they would prefer to adopt a non-interference policy when it comes to the Seven Kingdoms. Jasper Wylde, Tyland Lannister, and Grand Maester Orwyle are all noticeably taken aback by the Princess’s proposals. Most of them support Aegon’s succession in “The Green Council”, showing their distrust of Rhaenyra.
6/10 She coldly dismisses Aemond’s life-altering injury
Timid Prince Aemond quickly transforms into an arrogant bully after pairing up with Vhagar. Rhaena challenges her cousin, but he sarcastically scoffs at her accusations. Aemond loses an eye in the ensuing fight, courtesy of Lucerys Velaryon. King Viserys angrily censures the Kingsguard, while Queen Alicent slams Aegon for not accompanying her brother.
Rhaenyra coldly dismisses Aemond’s life-changing injury, even though it was technically her son’s fault. Lucerys isn’t even disciplined, let alone punished for his violent outburst. The heiress to the throne should set a better example for her children, at least to prepare them for the succession, if nothing else.
5/10 Rhaenyra jeopardizes her relationship with House Velaryon
Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen are fully aware of Laenor’s sexual identity, even if Corlys mistakenly believes her son will “get over it”. Laenor and Rhaenyra’s marriage produces three children, none of whom bear the slightest resemblance to their father.
Fortunately, Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Laenor strike a deal that works for all three: with Qarl’s help, they stage Laenor’s assassination in the Great Hall of High Tide Castle. Rhaenys and Corlys are naturally devastated by their son’s death, privately blaming his wife for killing him. Laenor is free to wander the world with Qarl by her side, leaving Rhaenyra free to marry Daemon. This scheme is basically foolproof, albeit with some pretty troublesome repercussions for Rhaenyra.
4/10 His illegitimate children compromise his royal authority
Illegitimacy is an institutional problem among the aristocrats of Westerosi. Children born to single parents are almost always labeled “bastards” and are almost never given the same rights as their born siblings. This is especially true when it comes to monarchs, as it effectively neutralizes the royal order of succession.
By law, Rhaenyra’s two eldest sons will inherit the Iron Throne and the Driftwood Throne, respectively, but their legacies depend on their lineage. Luke and Jace may be lovable, but their illegitimate origins incite hatred and intolerance from other royal contenders. Furthermore, the very existence of the boys compromises Rhaenyra’s claim.
3/10 Rhaenyra risks her life unnecessarily and often
Fans really enjoy Rhaenyra’s adventurous spirit, but she also risks her life unnecessarily and on multiple occasions. Though Viserys instructs her daughter not to pursue her mutinous uncle to Dragonstone, the princess nonchalantly ignores her directive and flies away on Syrax.
Similarly, Rhaenyra reacts to her impending engagement by riding into the dangerous Kingswood, where she is attacked by a boar. Had Criston Cole not been present, Rhaenyra could easily have been injured or even killed. Princesses deserve all the privileges their male counterparts have, but Rhaenyra’s actions are downright reckless.
2/10 She sends Lucerys on a solo journey to Storm’s End.
The illegal coronation of Aegon Targaryen shocks Westeros. Rhaenys breaks the bitter news to Rhaenyra at Dragonstone, and Daemon instantly begins preparing for war. The new queen orders her husband to leave, declaring her intention to carry out Viserys’ wishes.
To that end, Rhaenyra sends Jacaerys on a quest to Eyrie and Winterfell, hoping to draw the Lords of the Vale and the North to her cause. At the same time, she tasks Luke with obtaining the support of Lord Borros Baratheon. Prince Lucerys bravely endures a turbulent flight to the Stormlands, only to discover that Aemond got there first. Poor Luke becomes a bite-sized snack for Vhagar at the end of “The Black Queen.”
1/10 Lucerys’s death is likely to trigger Rhaenyra’s final downfall.
Rhaenyra receives the news of Lucerys’s death in the final scene of the season finale. She stares into a burning home before looking directly into the camera, an expression of anguish and animosity clearly visible on her tear-stained face.
Rhaenyra may not have done anything truly reprehensible up to this point in the story, but there’s no telling where the path of revenge will take her. The so-called Black Queen will surely blame Aemond and by extension Alicent for the murder of her child, which doesn’t bode well for anyone living in Westeros. In other words, Rhaenyra hasn’t yet made the worst mistakes of her life.
NEXT: 10 Game Of Thrones Characters Who Would Survive House Of The Dragon Politics