Who Is the Father of Rhaenyra Targaryen’s Sons? Explained

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Episode 5 of House of the Dragon allowed us to see Rhaenyra finally getting married to Ser Laenor, as the heirs of the most powerful houses in the Seven Kingdoms finally had a chance to unite their families. Then again, we do know that they had a previous arrangement in relation to who they wanted to be with during their marriage. That’s why, in the book, there were rumors that Laenor wasn’t even the father of Rhaenyra’s children. So, who is the father of Rhaenyra’s sons with Laenor?

It was rumored that Ser Harwin Strong, who became Rhaenyra’s sworn shield, was the father of Rhaenyra’s children to Ser Laenor. That’s because they were rumored to be in an affair during Rhaenyra’s marriage to Laenor, as it was clear that she only got married to the Velaryon heir for practical reasons.

We already knew that Rhaenyra planned to have an affair with other people when she and Laenor talked about loving different people during their marriage. Of course, this allowed the princess to have a lot of people to choose from, especially considering that there were a lot of people who were attracted to her. With that said, let’s look at who the father of Rhaenyra’s children is in House of the Dragon.

Who Is The Father Of Rhaenyra Targaryen’s Sons?

We all know that House of the Dragon is full of time skips because of the fact that the series wants to rush through the preliminary events that will lead up to the eventual Targaryen civil war called the Dance of the Dragons. And that’s why the trailer for episode 6 of House of the Dragon already shows Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s children during her marriage with Ser Laenor Velaryon.

Of course, we already saw in episode 5 that Ser Laenor wasn’t exactly fond of women, and that’s why he spent most of his time with Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, who was his lover. Rhaenyra was aware of Laenor’s preferences, and that’s why she proposed the idea of being able to see other people during the subsistence of their marriage. This allowed them to hit two birds with one stone because their marriage would quiet their fathers and unite their families while also allowing them to have affairs with different people.


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In that regard, it was clear that Rhaenyra was going to continue seeing other people while she was married to Laenor. At first, she wanted that person to be Ser Criston Cole. But the Kingsguard knight dismissed that idea because he didn’t want to sully his honor by being Rhaenyra’s whore. And that’s why Rhaenyra probably looked elsewhere.

It was also shown in the same episode preview that Rhaenyra’s sons looked nothing like Ser Laenor, whose family is dark-skinned. That leads to the possible conclusion that Laenor was never the father of Rhaenyra’s children. So, with that said, who is the father of Rhaenyra Targaryen’s sons?

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The rumored father of Rhaenyra Targaryen’s children is Ser Harwin Strong, who was introduced during the events of episode 3 when he was one of the knights that joined the hunt in celebration of Prince Aegon II’s name day. Harwin Strong is the son of Lord Lyonel Strong, who we all know is the new Hand of the King. He is also the older brother of Lord Larys Strong, who we saw spreading rumors during the events of episode 5.

In the book, it was described that Rhaenyra’s children bore no resemblance to Laenor, and that’s why the rumors pointed to the possibility that the father of her children was Ser Harwin, who became her sworn shield and protector while she was still married to Laenor. 

Considering that Rhaenyra’s children in the episode 6 preview had white skin as opposed to the dark skin that is quite prominent among the members of House Velaryon, it does seem like House of the Dragon is going to make it look obvious that Rhaenyra’s children during her marriage to Laenor are not his but are actually Ser Harwin’s.

When Did Rhaenyra And Ser Harwin Have An Affair?

As mentioned, Rhaenyra proposed to Laenor the idea of having an affair with other people during the subsistence of their marriage to one another because of the fact that they had other preferences in life. We already knew that Rhaenyra wanted the freedom to love whoever she wanted to love but lost that privilege when King Viserys took it away due to the rumors surrounding her and Daemon. And we all know that Laenor prefers the company of men.


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Rhaenyra initially wanted Ser Criston Cole to be her lover during her marriage to Ser Laenor, but the Kingsguard knight made it clear that he didn’t want anything to do with that. And that means that the princess needed to find someone else, who happened to be Ser Harwin Strong.

We already saw hints of the future affair between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin when the knight looked at Rhaenyra with a spark in his eyes when the princess came back from the Kingswood with the carcass of a wild boar that she herself killed. It was already clear that Ser Harwin was interested in her but was in no position to be her husband because his status wasn’t high enough for her.

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Meanwhile, during the events of episode 5, we also saw Ser Harwin rescuing Rhaenyra from the crowd during the brawl between Ser Criston and Ser Joffrey, as the Breakbones carried the princess on his shoulder after he easily fought his way through the crowd. This was also another premonition of their future relationship with one another. But when exactly did Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin start having an affair?

Considering that there are ten years in between episodes 5 and 6, the affair between the two probably started within the first year of Rhaenyra’s marriage to Laenor, considering that the princess’s eldest son was already nearing his pre-teen years during the preview. Jacaerys, the eldest son of Rhaenyra during her marriage to Laenor, was probably already around nine years old in the episode 6 preview, and that could mean that Rhaenyra started her affair with Ser Harwin shortly after getting married to the Velaryon heir

Of course, it is worth mentioning that Ser Harwin would eventually become Rhaenyra’s protector after Ser Criston became Queen Alicent’s sworn shield. That means that it became easy for them to have an affair, considering that they were always together and that Laenor probably didn’t care about her seeing other people.

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