Each episode of House Of The Dragon inches ever closer to the Dance of Dragons, and the latest entries have seen questionable parenting choices take center stage in the Targaryen House as catalysts of the impending civil war between the Greens and Blacks.
This is proven in the way the feud between Rhaenyra and Alicent has spilled out into their children, encouraging them to fight one another. It’s clear that the parents within this series care about their children and only wish the best for them. However, all the parents have made some questionable decisions when it comes to parenting.
10/10 Viserys Ignoring Rhaenyra In Her Youth
One of the darkest episodes in House Of The Dragon, the premiere, features the death of Aemma Targaryen. However, it was only after the death of her and her infant son that Viserys gave Rhaenyra any recognition.
One of King Viserys most defining character traits early in the series is his obsession with having a male heir. While he eventually has sons following his second marriage, his first wife’s death left his lineage uncertain. It was only at this point that he finally chose to consider his daughter Rhaenyra’s potential.
9/10 Otto Pushing Alicent On Viserys
After the death of Queen Aemma, Otto Hightower was quick to encourage his daughter to build a relationship with the grieving king. It was clear his intentions were to make Viserys and Alicent connect romantically.
His decision did eventually lead to his daughter gaining one of the most powerful positions in the kingdom. However, he made this decision purely to put himself and his house in a higher position of power in the realm. While Alicent is one of the most important people in the kingdom, this also means she’s always in a dangerous position, and it’s clear that she spends much of her life incredibly unhappy.
8/10 Corlys Pushing Laena On Viserys
Otto Hightower wasn’t the only one to push their children on Viserys when he had to remarry. Corlys Velaryon also suggested his daughter Laena would be the best match for the king.
Corlys’ reasoning may have been sound, considering the Velaryons and the Targaryens are the last houses of Old Valyrian blood, and this marriage would create a powerful union. However, most fans and many characters, including Viserys, thought Laena was too young to be married or become queen.
7/10 Corlys Ignoring The Danger Of Laenor’s Marriage
Laena wasn’t the only child Corlys wanted to marry into the Targaryen house. When Viserys suggested the marriage of Laenor Velaryon and Rhaenyra, Corlys jumped at the prospect.
At first glance, this was a good opportunity for his son to gain a powerful position, setting him up to eventually be the King Consort. However, as his wife Rhaenys points out, the position was dangerous because the people were against Rhaenyra becoming queen. This was also a dangerous position to put Laenor in because Corlys was aware of his son’s sexual orientation, which was at odds with marrying Rhaenyra.
6/10 Alicent Being Cruel To Aegon
While there are many characters angling for the throne, Aegon has not shown much interest in ruling. The boy seems content to live as a prince and enjoy all the luxuries available to him in his position.
It’s clear that the young man isn’t fit to sit on the iron throne, at least not at this stage in his life. He shows little of the promising qualities like thoughtfulness and bravery that Rhaenyra showed in her youth. However, Alicent’s hatred for Rhaenyra has clouded her judgment, and she takes out her anger on her children, as seen in the multiple times she assaults Aegon for not acting as she expects.
5/10 Rhaenyra Not Being Honest With Jacaerys
One aspect often misunderstood by fans is that Rhaenyra‘s son’s parentage didn’t matter much. While the boys may be bastards, there was no way of proving their true paternity, and therefore they are still regarded as Targaryen heirs.
However, Rhaenyra should have been honest with Jacaerys when he asked her if Harwin Strong was his father. Instead, she avoided the question, telling him, “You’re a Targaryen, that’s all that matters.” While that may be true, her heir should have been aware of the danger he was in by knowing his true parentage.
4/10 Daemon Keeping His Family Away
One aspect misunderstood about Daemon Targaryen is that he cares deeply for his family. After the time skip, it’s clear he was more comfortable away from the royal court and hidden away in Pentos.
However, his hiding out in a distant land was only a temporary situation, and he had to have known that he couldn’t avoid his family forever. Keeping his children away from their homes for so long was a dangerous situation. Had the girls been around the nobility more, they would have been more informed about the dangers and deception within the Targaryen house and their court.
3/10 Alicent Pushing Her Opinions On Her Children
Alicent firmly believes that Rhaenyra’s three sons are bastard-born. However, she’s also aware that making this accusation is one of the highest acts of treason.
By pushing this belief onto her impressionable children, she’s hoping to instill in them her belief that they will one day be the heirs instead of Rhaenyra and her children. However, pushing this onto her children, who aren’t known for withholding their opinions, puts them at risk of committing open treason.
2/10 Rhaenyra Marrying Daemon So Quickly
By marrying Daemon, Rhaenyra is choosing her own happiness as well as ensuring she has legitimate heirs she can prove are produced within her marriage.
However, it was not a sensible decision considering her children. The young boys had lost their true father, Harwin Strong, and then lost their political father, Laenor Velaryon, within a short period of time. Marrying Daemon so quickly after so much devastation was insensitive to her children’s mourning, which could result in them resenting her.
1/10 Viserys Not Punishing Alicent
One of Alicent’s most reckless decisions was pulling a knife on Rhaenyra and her children when she lost her temper. This proved she wished to harm the heir to the Iron Throne.
This violent act against the heir of the kingdom was an act of treason. However, Viserys chooses not to do anything about the decision, which is sure to have dire consequences for the relationship between Alicent and her children and Rhaenyra and hers. The audience doesn’t even witness him scold her for her actions. This makes a point that it’s okay for people within his family to degrade and assault the child he chose as his heir.