Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 Episode 3 of House of the Dragon.

The Big Picture

  • Rhaenyra sends her stepdaughter Rhaena to the Vale with four dragon eggs, hinting at her potential.
  • Rhaena’s journey and role in the series differ from the books, with potential changes in her character development.
  • The dragon eggs Rhaena takes with her are connected to Daenerys Targaryen’s from Game of Thrones, altering the storyline.

The Greens and the Blacks are finally gearing up for war in this week’s episode of House of the Dragon, “The Burning Mill.” Preparing for the conflict and trying to safeguard the future of House Targaryen and her own family, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) decides to send her stepdaughter, Rhaena Targaryen (Phoebe Campbell), to the Vale as the guardian of her children, princes Joffrey (Oscar Eskinazi), Aegon, and Viserys. Rhaena, the only Targaryen with no dragon of her own at this time in history, is outraged at Rhaenyra’s command, but not everything is lost for her, as she also guards four dragon eggs on the journey. Could one of them finally hatch for her?

Rhaena’s Journey to the Vale Is a Little Different in the Books

It can’t be easy being the only person to not have a dragon in a family that is known precisely for its dragons. That’s Rhaena Targaryen’s burden, aggravated by being the daughter of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), one of the fiercest dragonriders ever, and Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), who rode the legendary Vhagar, the queen of all dragons. Not just that, but Rhaena’s twin sister, Baela (Bethany Anthonia), is shaping up to be just as skilled as their parents with her own dragon, Moondancer. So, when Rhaenyra decides to send Rhaena to care for her kids at the Vale, it seems like an insult, a confirmation of her uselessness.

Indeed, taking care of three young boys certainly doesn’t feel like an important task; it feels like babysitting, so Rhaena’s feelings are valid. She may not understand it like that, being young and eager to fight, but she has been entrusted with the very future of House Targaryen. There are also four dragon eggs under her care, and that certainly feels like a hint that there is more in store for her. In Fire & Blood, Rhaena is also sent to the Vale to care for Prince Joffrey, while Aegon and Viserys are sent to Pentos with a whole different fate. Her life at the Eyrie is far better than it could ever be in Dragonstone at that time, growing into a politically able and skilled young woman.

Rhaena is also far from the conflicts of war. The Eyrie is known for being an impregnable fortress by land, the Bloody Gate being the only way in or out. During the Dance of Dragons, the Vale of Arryn is also too distant for the Greens (or anyone) to pay attention to, as most of the fight is focused on the Riverlands, so a dragon attack is also off the table for them. There is no safer place to be in Westeros during a war.


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Can Rhaena Finally Get a Dragon of Her Own?

Not only is Rhaena Targaryen going to take care of her three half-brothers, but also of four dragon eggs from Dragonstone. According to Rhaenyra, the idea is that, if everything goes wrong in the war, and it comes to actual ruin, the future of House Targaryen is protected – something the Greens are not in the slightest worried about. In Fire & Blood, one of the eggs she is caring for actually hatches, and Rhaena quickly bonds with the hatchling, a white and black dragon she calls Morning.

However, House of the Dragon has taken many liberties when adapting the Dance of Dragons to screens, and Rhaena could be one of them. Dragonseeds are being introduced in Season 2, with the debuts of characters like Hugh Hammer (Kieran Bew), Ulf the White (Tom Bennett), and Addam of Hull (Clinton Liberty). Each of them has the blood of Old Valyria and, therefore, is apt to ride a dragon, but a dragonseed from Fire & Blood has not been cast at all; the girl Nettles. She rides the dragon Sheepstealer in the book, and rumors on the internet have teased that Sheepstealer will play a part in Season 2.

Sheepstealer is one of the more likable dragons in Fire & Blood. He has the funny habit of eating only mutton, and Nettles manages to tame him by feeding him freshly killed sheep every day until he grows used to her presence. He’s so good-natured that he never killed shepherds herding sheep, for example, although he has killed many potential dragonseeds that tried to ride him. He is also uniquely related to the Vale of Arryn in the books, so rumors of Rhaena claiming Sheepstealer as her mount in House of the Dragon may end up proving right. She just deserves a dragon, be it Morning or Sheepstealer.

The Eggs Rhaena Takes With Her Tie Directly to ‘Game of Thrones’

Bethany Antonia as Baela standing next to Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena in House of the Dragon Season 2
Image via HBO

The biggest surprise in Rhaena’s plot in “The Burning Mill” isn’t her departure to the Vale with the kids, but the eggs she is taking with them. There are four of them: a light blue one, a scarlet one, a jade one, and a cream-colored one. The last three are confirmed by director Geeta Patel to be Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) eggs from Game of Thrones. In a little over a hundred years, they will eventually hatch, and Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion will be born. They are instrumental in the fight against the White Walkers during the Long Night, meaning that Rhaenyra and Rhaena now have a direct influence on it — “the future” Rhaenyra talks about, fully aware of the Song of Ice and Fire.

This is a major change from the books. In Fire & Blood, a character named Elissa Farman steals three eggs laid by Dreamfyre from the Dragonstone hatcheries and makes her way to Essos, where she sells them to the Sea Lord of Braavos. These eggs eventually petrify due to being away from constant heat and end up being lost. When Daenerys gets her eggs from Magister Illyrio Mopatis (Roger Allam) as a wedding gift in Pentos, it’s said they came from Asshai, in the far East of Essos. A fan-favorite theory claims that Dany’s eggs are the ones stolen by Elissa Farman and that Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are Dreamfyre’s children. Coincidentally, Farman did this after a rift grew between her and her best friend, a princess also named Rhaena Targaryen.

In House of the Dragon, it’s already been confirmed by series creator Ryan Condal that the eggs Rhaena is taking with her come from Syrax, not Dreamfyre. The light blue egg, then, is a nod to Dreamfyre, who has light blue scales and isn’t likely to show up in the series after her brief appearance in the Dragonpit in Season 1. The other eggs will somehow be lost eventually, and there are theories about that, too. In Fire & Blood, Aegon and Viserys are sent to Pentos, not the Vale, and their ship sinks (though the kids survive). It’s a big tragedy, and it could be that this now happens to Rhaena and the kids on their way to the Vale, instead. That way, all those different plots are condensed into a single plotline.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air weekly on Sundays on Max.


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