House of the Dragon finally solves the mystery of Daeron Targaryen’s absence

The second episode of House of the Dragon season two, “Rhaenyra the Cruel”, just revealed that a major book character hasn’t been cut from the show.

In George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood, the book that House of the Dragon is based on, Daeron Targaryen is a major character. He’s the fourth child of King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), and so the younger brother of the controversial current King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney).

He wasn’t mentioned at all in the first season of House of the Dragon, even during scenes of his siblings’ childhoods, leading fans to theorise that the character had been cut. However, the new episode has confirmed his existence and explained why he has yet to appear.

In a tense conversation between Alicent and her scheming father Otto Hightower, the family plots their next moves. Otto (Rhys Ifans) considers travelling to the city Oldtown. He tells Alicent: “The Hightowers still have strength and you have a son there who will take more kindly to instruction. Daeron may yet help us in weeks to come.”

This exchange reveals that Daeron does exist in the world of House of the Dragon and will likely make an appearance in the future (talking to Variety in a new interview, showrunner Ryan Condal confirmed that Daeron hasn't been cast yet, which means he won’t appear until next season).

As in Fire & Blood, Daeron has been serving as a squire to his mother’s relatives in Oldtown, far away from the events of season one.

Daeron plays a considerable role in the book Fire & Blood, even before the time of season two. He was born in 114 AC, a little after his half-sister Rhaenyra’s oldest son Jacaerys Velaryon. His father Viserys insisted that Daeron and Jacaerys have the same wet nurse, hoping that this would help the family all get along (spoiler: it doesn’t quite work). Daeron was raised alongside his siblings (Aegon, Aemond and Helaena), and Rhaenyra’s children (Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey). Daeron ought to have been in the scenes of the children fighting in episodes six and seven of season one.

Daeron Targaryen’s older siblings - Aegon, Aemond and Helaena (HBO)
Daeron Targaryen’s older siblings - Aegon, Aemond and Helaena (HBO)

Daeron was considered a slightly nicer person than his older brothers. The book describes him as “gentle and softspoken” and “the most popular of the queen’s sons, as clever as he was courteous, and most comely as well”. He has the traditional Targaryen silver hair. He rides a blue dragon called Tessarion.

Daeron fights in the wars in Fire & Blood, which suggests he will become a key player in future episodes of House of the Dragon.

In the book, he proves himself in several battles, earning the title “Ser Daeron the Daring”. His ending is a bit more unclear. Fire & Blood is written in the style of a real history book, which weighs up different biased sources. The book offers three different possible accounts of Daeron’s end, and says that his death was so mysterious that many people pretended to be him afterwards.

House of the Dragon previously stepped away from its source material and gave Laenor Valyrian (John Macmillan) a different story to any of the possible endings outlined for him in the book. The show also added the scene in which Rhaenys (Eve Best) and her dragon explode through the floor at Aegon’s coronation. So, it is hard to predict exactly what his fate will be in the show.