I Can Fix Daemon Targaryen, House of the Dragon’s Toxic Bad Boy

·7 min read
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/HBO
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/HBO

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) has big “I’ll leave you on delivered for 24-48 hours and have you apologizing for being needy when you double-text me” energy.

The second I set my eyes on House of the Dragon’s resident bad boy, I thought to myself, “I can fix him.” Why are bad boys, particularly ones with dragons, so appealing? Is it Damon’s silver-haired swagger? His thirst for power? The fact that the actor formerly known as the Eleventh Doctor is portraying him on-screen?

But how do you “fix” a dragon-riding second son who resents his older brother for not naming him as his heir? I have a few ideas.

Targaryen therapy

Seriously, if there’s a family that’s in dire need of a good therapist in the Seven Kingdoms, it’s the Targaryens—Daemon in particular. It’s stressful being the second son! After all, all Daemon’s brother Aegon has to do is exist and marry his daughter’s best friend and call it a day as king.

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Meanwhile, Daemon has to fight an entire army in the Stepstones single-handedly and slay the Crab Feeder ring-leader. Where’s the justice in that? It’s bound to make anyone feel resentful. Not only that, but Daemon is trapped in a loveless marriage, and his side chick is mad at him too for making up a rumor that she was pregnant. Can you blame the guy? He’s got to sow discord just to get his big brother to pay attention to him!

What Daemon needs, or rather deserves, is a qualified therapist, ideally one who specializes in dealing with powerful ancient families. (Is there health insurance in the Seven Kingdoms? Viserys likely signed Damon up for the premium plan.)

The therapist could help Daemon work through his inner demons, especially his icky attraction to his young niece Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).

Seriously Daemon, you could bed any woman in Westeros and you’re pining for your niece? (Look at how well the whole incest thing worked out for Jaime and Cersei! Yes, I know they don’t exist yet in the House of the Dragon timeline!)

So what could Daemon do in his downtime in between Targaryen therapy appointments?

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Start a war or two

We know that the Targaryen civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, is looming on the House of the Dragon horizon.

However, what’s a guy like Daemon to do in the meantime? Viserys should let his brother start a war or two on his behalf.

Nothing too huge obviously. But Daemon seems to gets a great sense of fulfillment from wordlessly winning wars without his big brother’s help, and the man is damn good at what he does.

So why not make war-waging a side hustle? Maybe Viserys can lend Daemon a few of the Gold Cloaks he trained so vociferously! (Without letting Daemon know of course. We all know what happened to the last emissary Viserys sent to Daemon.)

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It would be a great way for Daemon to let out his pent-up rage and strike fear into the hearts of anyone who dared stand against the Targaryens! (Or he could burn down Kings Landing like Daenerys did in the Game of Thrones season we’d all like to forget, as a major F-you to Viserys. The options are endless!)

Let Daemon get a divorce

You’ve got to give Daemon credit for being unflinchingly honest, even when he says that farm animals are more attractive than his actual first wife. So why not let Daemon get divorced so he can wed another woman?

We know he was down for a second wedding (it’s another Targaryen tradition that strengthens my case for a dedicated family therapist), but maybe what Daemon needs is one woman to rule them all, someone who will capture his heart and soul completely. A woman that accepts him for who he is. Someone who truly understands his desire to make something of his life. They say behind every man is a great woman, and Daemon needs someone that can match his fiery vibes, literally and figuratively.

And no, I’m not talking about Rhaenyra. (Yes, I know Daemon and Rhaenyra get married in the book House of the Dragon is based on, let me just live out my non-incestual fantasy instead. All of you Fire & Blood readers know full well how Daemon and Rhaenyra’s marriage turned out.)

Prove to Daemon the Iron Throne isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Just start streaming Game of Thrones Season 8 for Daemon while he’s at one of his whorehouses as Exhibit A!

The only thing Daemon wants more than a wholly inappropriate relationship with Rhaenyra is the Iron Throne. Isn’t it natural for siblings to fight over each other’s things?

Maybe if Daemon is shown that possessing the Iron Throne actually kind of sucks, he’ll chill and go start another war and/or take a third wife or something. The man is a hot commodity after all!

Give Daemon a ship or two

Bad boys love ships right? They’re like the cars of the Seven Kingdoms. Give Daemon a top-notch ship or two, the ocean’s Ferraris if you will, so he can embrace his inner pirate and show all the other lords, “Mine’s bigger.”

We’re still talking about ships, of course,

After all, Daemon’s loyal dragon Caraxes needs a break every once and a while, right? Do dragons get tired of being commanded to dracarys all day long? Is there a dragon union somewhere?

If one thing’s for certain, dragon dad Daemon clearly does care about Caraxes (he’d probably take Caraxes out to a dragon park somewhere to play fire fetch, but on the down low of course—Daemon has a bad boy reputation to maintain.)

I think he’d be genuinely devastated if anything happened to Caraxes, so let’s give his fiery red friend a break and let Daemon sail the seven seas, and go pillage to his heart’s content!

Keep him away from family reunions

Incompetent king of the century, Viserys, finally realizes that his brother is out for blood—literally. Papa Targaryen is understandably pissed when his trusty advisor (who definitely doesn’t have a tiny, baby-sized conflict of interest whatsoever!) tells him that Rhaenyra and Daemon were spotted doing the dirty in a house of pleasure (cue the inevitable Gossip Girl/Otto Hightower memes from Twitter).

Daemon is like, “Of course I was kissing my niece, lemme propose to her and I’ll never annoy you again big brother.”

For the sake of everyone’s sanity, Viserys should ban Daemon from family reunions and tell his brother to stay in his lane. Stick to being King of the Narrow Seas, Daemon! It’s still a title after all, and you won’t completely tarnish your young niece’s virtue!

Make Daemon think this is all his idea

Daemon’s a proud Targaryen man. He does not like being offered help in any way, shape, or form. Naturally, in order to implement the aforementioned plan, it would have to appear as if it was all his idea.

Of course, even if Daemon initially went through with Targaryen therapy, waging wars, and wedding women he isn’t related to, he’d likely slip right back into his bad-boy habits the second someone annoyed him.

But hey—that’s what makes House of the Dragon’s quintessential bad boy so fun to watch. (Maybe I’m the one that needs a therapist.)

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