The Big Picture
- Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin admitted that his favorite Targaryen is Daemon and briefly went into detail as to what made Daemon stand out to him so significantly.
- Prince Daemon Targaryen was brother to King Viserys I Targaryen and later went on to marry his niece, Rhaenyra. He was known to be a cunning warrior and a skilled dragon rider.
- George R.R. Martin said that he was “notorious” for his love of gray characters, and cites that it’s Daemon who is one of his most morally ambiguous characters in his writing.
Matt Smith‘s Daemon Targaryen became a fan favorite during Season 1 of House of The Dragon, and the Game of Thrones fanbase isn’t alone in taking such a liking to him. In an interview, Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin admitted that his favorite Targaryen is indeed Daemon, and he briefly went into detail as to what made Daemon stand out to him so significantly. It’s common for authors to become attached to their characters regardless of how they’re written, and regardless of what the Targaryens have done throughout the Game of Thrones universe, Martin has admitted that Daemon stands out above the rest.
Based on the novel about the Targaryen dynasty, Fire & Blood, and prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon quickly became the breakout series that launched the world of Westeros back into the public eye following the original show’s disappointing eighth and final season. House of the Dragon takes place 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series investigates a pivotal moment in the dragon-owning dynasty, looking at their family politics and following the events that lead up to the disastrous civil war between the Targaryens. House of the Dragon introduced a new set of characters that readers of Fire & Blood may be familiar with, but for TV fans, these characters were entirely new. In typical Game of Thrones fashion, certain characters became beloved characters throughout Season 1.
Who Is Daemon Targaryen?
Prince Daemon Targaryen was brother to King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) and later went on to marry his niece, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy). He was known to be a cunning warrior and a skilled dragon rider. His proficiency in combat was greatly recognized, and Daemon was knighted at age 16. He was later given Dark Sister — a famous Valyrian sword once used by Visenya Targaryen, one of Aegon the Conquerer’s sisterwives. Daemon bore many aliases throughout his life and was most commonly known as the Rogue Prince. In fact, Martin even wrote a novelette about Daemon for the anthology Rogues featuring Daemon called The Rogue Prince.
Although Daemon was, for a time, the heir to the throne since his older brother had no sons, he never sat the Iron Throne. However, during the war in the Stepstones, Daemon was titled the King of the Narrow Sea. At his wife/niece’s side, Daemon was one of Rhaenyra’s main generals during the Dance of Dragons, the war of succession between Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon II (Tom Glynne Carney). He rode the dragon Caraxes and participated in many of the major battles during the war.
George R.R. Martin and Fans Agree That They Both Love Daemon Targaryen
George R.R. Martin said that he is “notorious” for his love of gray characters, and cites that Daemon is one of his favorites because he is one of his most gray characters. Martin points out the aspects of Daemon that he likes the most: his relationship with Rhaenyra, his side-switching during times of conflict, and his “colorful, unpredictable” nature. Beyond the book Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon also gave television watchers a new version of Daemon. Matt Smith’s wild card character wasted no time in winning over fans with his charisma and daring. The chaotic prince of the realm became catnip for viewers who love a character that walks the line between good and evil — not to mention Smith’s performance is rich with the actor himself offering improvisation in moments that enrich the character. Daemon Targaryen is a complicated person, that complex nature makes him all the more compelling and fun to watch.