[This post contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon season finale]
The Dance of the Dragons has begun. In the House of the Dragon season finale, Rhaenyra was considering a peaceful compromise with Alicent — right up until the moment where one-eyed Aemond’s dragon Vhagar kills her son, Lucerys. One of the reasons why Rhaenyra is so determined to lead the Seven Kingdoms, besides King Viserys (RIP) declaring her his heir, is the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy. It dictates that a Targaryen must sit on the throne to prevent the approaching dancer from the north, but couldn’t the prophecy also apply to Alicent’s Targaryen son, Aegon — sorry, King Aegon?
In a post-finale interview with Deadline, House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal cleared up some potential confusion about the prophecy, and if Aegon could be considered the Prince That Was Promised. “It’s not as easy and clear cut as that,” he said. “I think what Rhaenyra is struggling with is this idea that her father has entrusted this charge with her, and that she is the named heir, and the other side has seized the throne. She’s been told that Viserys changed his mind on his death bed but I don’t think Rhaenyra believes any of that for a minute, because he backed her. We saw him in episode eight climb the throne in that beautiful scene and essentially back her claim.”
Rhaenyra also believes that she’s “uniquely qualified to be somebody who keeps the realm at peace and to unite everybody,” Condal continued. “She does not think that Aegon is the guy to carry on the charge, nor does she believed that Viserys ever entrusted the secret with him.” It’s what she’s wrestling with throughout the finale, “when all the men around the table just want to charge off for war.”
After the events of the finale, war is inevitable heading into season two.