Daemon Targaryen is one of the most polarizing characters in House of the Dragon simply because of the fact that he does things that will either make you adore him or simply hate him. But the fact is that he has been one of the characters that exude manly energy, as he seems to be irresistible to the women of House Targaryen, especially because he got married to Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laena Velaryon. But who was Daemon’s greatest love between Rhaenyra and Laena?
Rhaenyra was always the one that Daemon desired the most ever since her niece was still just a teenager. However, he also loved Laena enough, as he himself admitted that he was happy with her during their marriage. But even Laena realized that she was not Daemon’s first choice because he wanted Rhaenyra more.
Daemon is sort of like a playboy in the sense that he doesn’t run out of women to love in House of the Dragon. But it has always been clear that he loved Rhaenyra more than anyone else because his love for her lasted for a very long time, even as his feelings for the other women had died out. So, with that said, let’s talk more about Daemon’s greatest love in House of the Dragon.
Who Did Daemon Love More Between Rhaenyra And Laena?
When House of the Dragon was introduced, it was clear that Prince Daemon Targaryen was going to be the series’ resident bad boy and playboy because of the many different cruel yet somewhat just things that he did when he was the commander of the City Watch. On top of that, he was also quite active in terms of his sexual life, as he frequented the pleasure houses of King’s Landing during his time there.
Nevertheless, it was already clear as early as episode 1 that there was sexual tension between Daemon and his niece, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. He desired Rhaenyra, as did the girl. But, at first, this desire that Daemon seemed to have for Rhaenyra appeared to have been fueled by his dream of becoming king of the Seven Kingdoms, as King Viserys didn’t have a male heir at that time and had chosen his daughter to succeed him.
Even though Daemon and the young Rhaenyra had their moments during the earlier portion of House of the Dragon, it was still clear that this was a relationship that would not materialize at that time because Viserys wanted a powerful political ally in the form of House Velaryon for his daughter. As such, Rhaenyra was married off to Ser Laenor Velaryon. And that was when Daemon, who had a hand in the death of his first wife, Lady Rhea Royce, desired a new woman in the form of Lady Laena Velaryon, the daughter of Lord Corlys Velaryon.
It was made clear that the ten-year gap between episodes 5 and 6 bore fruit in the relationship between Daemon and Laena because they got married and had two beautiful daughters. They also went off to the east and traveled in the different Free Cities of Essos before deciding to stay in Pentos, despite the fact that Laena wanted to go home to Driftmark.
Then again, Laena died when she forced Vhagar to burn her alive as she didn’t want to die due to childbirth. In that regard, Daemon was once again left without a wife but used the opportunity to finally marry Rhaenyra after the two came up with an elaborate scheme to “kill” Laenor, who actually eloped to Essos with his lover.
While we all know that the relationship between Daemon and Rhaenyra bore more fruit in the form of two sons, Aegon and Viserys, it isn’t a secret that he has loved a lot of women during his time. So, who between Rhaenyra and Laena did Daemon love more?
During his time in Pentos, Daemon seemed to have become content with living a peaceful and quiet life without ambition. But it was always clear to everyone there that Daemon was missing the spark and the edge in his life. And this spark was actually Rhaenyra.
In short, Daemon loved Rhaenyra more than Laena, as it was always clear at the start that he desired Rhaenyra as she was. At first, everyone thought that Daemon was only trying to get close to his niece so that he could take her as his wife and get closer to his ambitions of becoming the king. However, in episode 7, it was made clear that he only wanted to be with Rhaenyra, not because she was the heir to the Iron Throne but because he simply desired her more than anything else in the world.
Laena herself admitted that she knew that she wasn’t Daemon’s first choice. In a scene between the two, while they were in Pentos, Laena saw how seemingly contented Daemon was with his quiet and peaceful life there but had lost his spark. And that was when Laena understood that her husband wasn’t exactly at peace with his decision to live in Pentos as this life wasn’t his first choice, just like how Laena wasn’t Daemon’s first choice.
As such, there is no doubt that Daemon wanted Rhaenyra more than anything else in the world, as the earlier episodes of House of the Dragon made it clear that he was a rogue prince that wanted to find his place in the Seven Kingdoms, only to realize that it was at Rhaenyra’s side where he belonged.
Did Daemon Really Love Laena?
While Daemon really did desire to be with Rhaenyra for the longest time possible, that doesn’t mean that he never loved Laena. In fact, he actually loved Laena Velaryon enough that they were able to enjoy ten years of adventures together while they were frequently riding their dragons throughout Westeros and Essos for a decade.
In fact, Daemon admitted to Rhaenyra that he did love Laena. He told her that he was happy with her during their marriage. Daemon was happy enough that he was now able to marry someone that he actually chose for himself, as he didn’t have that luxury when he was with Rhea Royce because that marriage was arranged for him back when he was younger.
But the fact that he was able to marry Laena, a woman of his choosing, made him happy enough that he was able to live with her for ten years and have adventures with his wife and children during that decade. However, it was still clear that he lived a life that didn’t look like it was complete, as there was something missing.
That missing piece was Rhaenyra, as Laena herself admitted that Daemon seemed to have lost his spark. It was his desire for Rhaenyra that actually gave him that spark during his younger years, as he only wanted to be with her. The fact that Daemon looked more vigorous six years after marrying Rhaenyra that proves that he was happy with her. Still, he did love Laena, as he could have easily left her if he didn’t enjoy his time with her.