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House Of The Dragon: Here’s Why Daemon Targaryen Killed The ‘Bronze B*tch’ And What It Means For Him

Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce

Rhea Royce, the Lady of Runestone and wife of Prince Daemon Targaryen, finally made her first (and last) appearance in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon. Her death came as a surprise as everyone thought she would have a more significant role and influence in Daemon’s story.

Rhea Royce House of the Dragon
Rachel Redford as Rhea Royce in House of the Dragon

Played by Rachel Redford, Lady Royce is referred to as the ‘bronze b*tch’, and Daemon often mentions the Vale’s sheep are prettier than her. This hints that their wedding was only for duty, and they never consummated their marriage. The prince only felt disdain towards his lady wife, and the fact that he returned to the Vale to murder her says more than what it presents.

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Why Did Daemon Targaryen Kill Rhea Royce?

The news of Lady Royce’s death soon reached King’s Landing, and although, many presumed it was a total accident, Gerald Royce, her cousin, believes that Daemon had something to do with it. No one knows if the Rogue Prince actually planned it, but clearly, he took advantage of the situation.

Daemon Rhea House of the Targaryen
Scene from Episode 5 of House of the Dragon

It is a known truth that they never had any children and that Lady Royce is meant to inherit the castle of Runestone. This brings a lot of favor to Daemon as he insists on talking to Lady Jeyne of the Vale about his claim over the castle after the passing of his wife. Daemon never slept with Lady Royce, knowing his reputation with women, and this could be seen as a calculated move. The Runestone, once handed to the Rogue Prince, will give him a powerful seat in all of Westeros.

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What Happens To The Runestone?

In House of the Dragon‘s next episode, where the ten-year time jump will occur, Daemon will return to Westeros from his travels to the Eyrie to claim the castle. In the book Fire & Blood, Lady Jeyne denied his appeal. He then proceeded to marry Laena Velaryon and left Westeros for Essos.

Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen House of the Dragon
Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith as Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen

Although things might be different in the next episode of House of the Dragon, the death of Rhea Royce was probably just a resourceful plan of Daemon to claim a higher position in Westeros and eventually get closer to Princess Rhaenyra. Fans know that they will soon team up, and Daemon will lead Rhaenyra’s forces and secure her claim to the Iron Throne.

Despite his unsuccessful attempt at asserting his rights to the Runestone, Daemon’s linkage to the Vale will play a significant role in the foreboding House Targaryen civil war. This will reveal the downfall of the empire as the internal war ensues, which will soon be known as the Dance of the Dragons.

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