With the war between the Blacks and the Greens in full swing on House of the Dragon, it seems that fans support is largely behind the Blacks, led by Rhaenyra Targaryen. But while there have certainly been moments worth cheering for them, they have also made more than a few mistakes in season 1.
From the rare missteps of intelligent characters like Rhaenyra to the frustrating actions of arrogant characters like Daemon, these poor decisions weakened their claim on the throne and made things harder for their path to victory. Time will tell how things work out for the Blacks on House of the Dragon and how much they’ll regret these mistakes.
Daemon’s Feud With Viserys
Though many fans seem to love Daemon Targaryen, he is far from a heroic character. Along with his many crimes, he is also responsible for many of the Blacks’ biggest and most easily avoidable mistakes in season 1, including his feud with his brother, King Viserys.
From his joke at the expense of Viserys’ dead son to his night out with Rhaenyra, Daemon seems to deliberately try to anger his brother. This leads to them spending much of the series apart, but with Daemon by his brother’s side, he would have surely prevented the Hightowerrs from taking so much control.
Daemon Not Killing Criston Cole In The Tourney
One of the biggest character changes on House of the Dragon in season 1 has been Ser Criston Cole. He is introduced as a seemingly honorable and valiant knight serving to protect Rhaenyra but ends up being one of her bitterest enemies.
When Criston and Daemon face off in a tourney early in the season, fans were likely rooting for Cole to take Daemon down a peg. However, looking back on the scene now, had Daemon killed Criston in the fight, it would have saved everyone a lot of pain.
Rhaenyra Trusting Ser Criston Cole
Being forced to find a suitor she doesn’t want, it is understandable that Rhaenyra would want to find some love of her own. Sadly, after being rejected by Daemon, her next choice ended up being quite regrettable.
Though Criston is a willing participant in the relationship, he quickly grows to blame Rhaenyra for his feeling of inadequacy and becomes a bitter enemy to her and her family. Had she chosen nearly anyone else, the situation likely would have gone a lot better.
Allowing The Heirs’ Legitimacy To Be Questioned
Another understandable choice yet a dangerous one was in the relationship between Rhaenyra and Laenor. Not in a position to conceive children of their own, they raise the new heirs to the Iron Throne with Harwin Strong as the true father.
However, few people believe Laenor is the father leading to the children’s legitimacy being constantly questioned behind their backs. It puts the children in a dangerous position while also making their hold on the throne very tenuous.
Leaving Suspicion In Laenor’s “Death”
It becomes clear that Laenor is not a suitable husband for Rhaenyra with both of them being interested in life with someone else. They then come to a surprising compromise which makes for one of House of the Dragon’s biggest plot twists.
It is staged as though Laenor was killed in a dual only for him to escape and go live his life on the seas. While a decent plan, it is executed in a way that leaves too much suspicion leading some accusing Rhaenyra being behind the murder.
Rhaenyra’s Sons Fighting Aemond
Even before the war breaks out, the tensions among both sides of the family were certainly boiling over and it was inevitably going to lead to violence. Sure enough, this happens during a brutal fight between Alicent ‘s son Aemond and Rhaenyra’s two sons, Jace and Luke.
What starts as childish insults quickly becomes a serious fight in which someone could surely be killed. In the end, Aemond is blinded in one eye, making him a vengeful enemy for the two princes going forward and further dividing the families.
Becoming Provoked Too Easily
While Jace and Luke could be somewhat forgiven for getting carried away with their fight against Aemond, they show no more restraint with their anger when they get older. And unfortunately, the biggest provocation of their anger is questioning who their father is.
During a very tense family dinner, Aemond makes a toast not-so-subtly referring to this question and the boys lash out in anger. They are obviously still too young and hot-headed to see that they are playing right into Aemond’s hand and giving those rumors more legitimacy.
Making Enemies Of The In-Laws
Among those who suspect that Rhaenyra might have been involved with Leanor’s death are his parents. The Velaryon family is one of Rhaenrya’s greatest allies in the war and she didn’t make it easy for them to stay by her side.
Along with quickly marrying Daemon right after Laenor’s supposed death, she allows the princess Rhaenys to grow distant and Laenor’s uncle Vaemond to begin challenging Rhaenyra’s children’s claims over the Velaryon titles.
Sending Luke Alone To Storm’s End
In hoping to secure the allegiance of their sworn allies, the Blacks decide to send Luke and Jace on dragon to treat with the lords. While it makes sense that a dragon makes more of an impression and is faster, letting these young boys go alone to visit potential enemies was risky.
As it turns out, the risk was a fatal one as Lucerys unexpectedly ran into Aemond at Storm’s End. As one of the biggest rivalries on House of the Dragon, it is clear things won’t end well between them. Their encounter led to them battling atop dragons resulting in Aemond’s beast killing Lucerys and his dragon, marking the first major casualty of the war between the Blacks and the Greens.
Leaving Kings Landing
Despite being named as Viserys’ heir early in the series, Rhaenyra finds that actually taking the throne will not be so easy. However, she makes that claim all the more vulnerable by leaving King’s Landing when things get too intense.
Not only do the Hightower’s basically start acting on the king’s behalf while Rhaenyra is gone, but they are simply able to crown Aegon as king once Viserys dies. Rhaenyra left herself so vulnerable by leaving behind the thing she was fighting for.
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