There is little doubt that House of the Dragon Season 1 concluded with a promise that the Dance of the Dragons will finally begin. But before all that happens, Emma D'Arcy's Rhaenyra Targaryen went through a lot in the season finale, from the death of her father, a painful stillborn birth, and the murder of her son Lucerys. Additionally, the queen was attacked by her own husband.
But why did Daemon Targaryen choke Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon Episode 10? Emma D'Arcy shared their thoughts on why Daemon resorted to violence at that moment.
In House of the Dragon Episode 10, both Rhaenyra and Daemon were greatly affected by the death of Viserys I Targaryen but they needed to deal with Aegon II usurping the Iron Throne. When Rhaenyra asks her husband if she knows about the Conqueror's dream, Daemon chokes her, declaring that dreams didn't make them rulers.
So did Daemon mean to harm Rhaenyra in that scene? Emma D'Arcy told GQ that the sequence was something that they discussed in length with co-star Matt Smith.
"Me and Matt spoke about this scene a lot. We wanted to make sure we understood it really intimately. That moment could be perceived as a huge change in their dynamic. In that scene, by the fireplace, two things happen at once. First, you have two characters who are grieving. And I think one might say that Daemon is managing that grief less eloquently than Rhaenyra is," D'Arcy said.
They further stated that they believe Daemon has never been violent to Rhaenyra before the choking scene. Still, the queen had a different kind of lightbulb moment after that.
"I don't actually think he's been violent to her before, although I think there's been a lot of conflict. But fundamentally, when Rhaenyra realises Daemon was never taught the prophecy, she suddenly gains legitimacy. Because she understands that it was her, she was chosen for this," D'Arcy said.
"There's this huge question for her all the way through the series: ‘you chose me, and now you don’t fucking speak to me’. She was tasked with uniting the kingdoms when she becomes Queen but by naming her his heir, Viserys has done the opposite, because his heir is a woman and that has divided the Kingdom," they continued.
"She begged him to show her what to do because she can’t do it alone, and I think in this scene, she gets a message from beyond the grave the moment that she understands that Damon wasn't chosen. ‘Wow, it was never you.’ Simultaneously, Daemon gets shafted from beyond the grave by his brother, who he loves more than any other character in the show. On the one hand, he can say that he doesn't believe in prophecies. But he was never trusted to anyway," D'Arcy concluded.
In the end, it's all about Rhaenyra now and we can't wait for what she will do as the dragons begin to dance.