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Who Is Daeron Targaryen: Alicent's Fourth Child In House Of The Dragon, Explained

Contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" Season 2 Episode 2 — "Rhaenyra the Cruel"

In Season 2 of "House of the Dragon," Alicent Hightower, played by Olivia Cooke, might not be the best small-screen parent around. Despite fiercely loving her children — including the boy she crowned herself, King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), his sister-wife Queen Helaena (Phia Saban), and Aegon's younger brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) who wears an eyepatch after a brutal childhood assault — it's safe to say that Alicent's kids are pretty much always in some sort of danger, and she doesn't always do an excellent job when it comes to looking out for them. This is all relevant because Alicent and her late husband King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) actually have four children ... but as Cooke told Variety in an interview after "Rhaenyra the Cruel" aired, her youngest, Daeron, isn't in the show yet for a very good reason — though he's briefly mentioned in the episode.

"Daeron has not been cast yet," Cooke revealed. "I've said he's a character in the show, but at this point in the story, he's in Oldtown [the Hightower stronghold] where he was warded off as a young child. So we don't have a point-of-view character in that world yet and there is no dramatic reason to go there." After pointing out that in real medieval societies, young children were frequently separated from their parents for periods of time, Cooke continued describing the unseen character. "We know he's not yet a dragon rider, but he's had a dragon born to him," she explained. "So he will come to the narrative and have a role to play, just as he does in the book — we're just not there yet in the storytelling."

Who is Daeron Targaryen, and what can we expect from him when he does appear?

Olivia Cooke does point out something vital about Daeron Targaryen, despite the fact that the show hasn't even cast an actor to play the character yet — he does have a dragon, and it's noted in George R.R. Martin's novella "Fire & Blood," which serves as the source material for the show, that Daeron goes on to bond with and ride a dragon named Tessarion. (Targaryens have a unique and desired ability to ride dragons, which many other Westerosi houses cannot do.) When the action really kicks off in the series and the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons begins, pitting would-be monarchs Aegon II and Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) against each other in a bloody conflict, Daeron is, as Cooke also correctly noted, squiring in Oldtown, the home of House Hightower. 

Without entirely spoiling Daeron's trajectory here, fans can definitely expect to see him on the award-winning series at some point, as he becomes a major threat against his aunt Rhaenyra ... and he and his dragon Tessarion are forces to be reckoned with as he gets older and stronger. As one of Viserys' apparent heirs to the throne — despite Rhaenyra's claim as his eldest child — Daeron will be a powerful player in the Dance of the Dragons, so fans will just have to wait and see just how important he becomes when he appears on "House of the Dragon" eventually.

Alicent's three on-screen children aren't exactly thriving on House of the Dragon

It's also safe to say that none of Alicent Hightower's children are doing particularly well so far in "House of the Dragon." As a child, Aemond (Leo Ashton) is stabbed by his nephew Lucerys Velaryon (played in that episode by Harvey Sadler) in the eye, which results in a permanent injury; years later, an adult Aemond kills Lucerys, then played by Elliott Grihault, during a dragonbattle in the midst of a thunderstorm. In Season 2, Aemond isn't really thriving either — as of the second episode, he spends a decent amount of time curled up in the arms of King's Landing brothel owner Sylvi (Michelle Bonnard), mourning the fact that he killed Lucerys in the first place. Then there's Aegon, a wildly inept monarch who proves to be a total contradiction; he wants to provide his people with endless resources (that the crown can't provide), but he's also committing extremely nasty acts against his wife's own chambermaids.

Speaking of Aegon's wife (and sister) Helaena, she's probably having the worst time of any of them. Before Season 2, it's well-established that Helaena experiences visions of some sort, which means that she's usually somewhat untethered from reality; in the Season 2 premiere "A Son for a Son," Helaena is forced to watch as her eldest son, Prince Jaehaerys, is beheaded by assassins in a revenge plot regarding the death of Lucerys. Then there's the funeral procession for Jaehaerys in Episode 2, "Rhaenyra the Cruel," which does nothing but torture the young queen.

During Season 2 of House of the Dragon, Alicent tries to win over people through a child's funeral

As the Variety article notes, Prince Jaehaerys' head is reattached to his body for the funeral procession throughout King's Landing, which mostly serves as a craven PR attempt to curry favor for Team Green ... and against Team Black, led by Alicent's childhood friend turned rival Rhaenyra. As Alicent and increasingly disturbed, panicking Helaena ride through the streets, a town crier shouts insults pointed at Rhaenyra as the crowds bemoan the loss of their young prince.

Olivia Cooke and Phia Saban both discuss this sequence in the interview; surprisingly, they both said the sequence was actually lovely. ""I remember them being like, 'Do you want to see the dummy?' Oh goodness, it was really beautifully done," Saban revealed. As for Cooke, she said that she thought it was pulled off perfectly. "It's a very moving sequence," Cooke said. "Sara Hess [who wrote the episode] pitched that in the room, making a funeral procession a public show and marching Jaehaerys' body — and showing the fact that they had cut his head off and then stitched it back onto his body — through the public square as a way of diminishing Rhaenyra and her claim, to try to create a monster out of her."

"House of the Dragon" Season 2 is currently airing on HBO and Max at 9 P.M. on Sunday nights; hopefully, things look up for Alicent's kids sooner rather than later, and Daeron won't face too much trouble whenever he does appear.