House of the Dragon Episode 5 finally introduced us to Lady Rhea Royce. However, the arrival of the Bronze Bitch only allowed a few minutes of screentime as she is unceremoniously thrown off her horse and is gravely injured by the "accident" that was caused by her own husband. But did Daemon Targaryen actually murder his own wife? Showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal reveal whether the Rogue Prince left Rhea for dead or if he went through with the act himself.
In House of the Dragon Episode 5, we are immediately brought to the Vale where Lady Rhea Royce is out hunting for deer. Although her cousin Lord Gerold Royce offers to join her, she chooses to go on the hunt alone.
Rhea's hunt is interrupted by the arrival of Daemon Targaryen who doesn't say a word. She isn't pleased by his return, taunting him for being passed over as heir of the Iron Throne. As she ponders what Daemon intends to do with Rhaenyra Targaryen, Rhea realizes that her husband plans to kill her and tries to defend herself. However, he causes her horse to rear up, making her fall.
As Rhea lay injured, she continues to insult Daemon as he walks away. However, it is revealed that he has fetched a rock to bash her skull in. Interestingly, the scene is immediately cut before we see whether he goes through with killing her.
So did it happen? Miguel Sapochnik pretty much confirms that Daemon did use that rock. "We allude to Lady Rhea all through the season," he told Total Film. "It felt like a good way to meet her was literally just before we kill her."
Co-showrunner Ryan Condal agrees, pointing out that George R.R. Martin suggested that Daemon was responsible because of how her death is mentioned in Fire and Blood.
"There was this line in the book that always fascinated me: Daemon's wife, the Lady Rhea Royce of Runestone, fell off her horse and her skull was crushed in the fall. And I read that and I was like, 'That's such a weird detail to include with no context around it'" Condal said.
House of the Dragon Episode 5 is now streaming on HBO Max. House of the Dragon Episode 6 is titled The Princess and The Queen and will premiere on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 9:00 PM EST.