Ever since episode 6 of House of the Dragon aired, one of the major issues that people had was the paternity of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s sons, especially because they didn’t look anything like Ser Laenor Velaryon. That is why everyone around them was aware of the possibility that the kids were sired by Ser Harwin Strong, who was particularly close to Rhaenyra and her children. But while everyone knew that Rhaenyra’s sons were bastards, King Viserys still thought that they were Laenor’s. So, why doesn’t King Viserys believe that Rhaenyra’s sons are bastards?
King Viserys stayed blind to the possibility that Rhaenyra’s children were sired by Ser Harwin due to his love for his daughter. Above all that, he is a king that hates conflicts, as he knows for a fact that questioning the children’s paternity will lead to larger issues within the family.
Ever since the first episode aired, Viserys was always someone who tried his best to keep the peace despite the fact that there was a need to confront the issue. On top of that, he has grown weary and old from age and illness. He no longer had the strength to confront issues within his family, as he only hoped for everyone to resolve such issues themselves. That said, let’s look at the reasons why Viserys stayed blind to his daughter’s affairs.
Why Doesn’t King Viserys Believe That Rhaenyra’s Sons Are Bastards?
Since the start of episode 6 of House of the Dragon, the obvious didn’t need to be pointed out because it was clear that Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s children were not sired by Ser Laenor Velaryon but were the bastard sons of Ser Harwin Strong, who was Rhaenyra’s rumored lover during the time she was married to Laenor.
However, the only one who wasn’t willing to accept that they were bastards was King Viserys, as he even talked about how nature works in mysterious ways to Queen Alicent when she brought this subject up. He was even furious in episode 7 when Aemond accused Rhaenyra’s sons of being bastards, as Aegon told him that it’s obvious that they look nothing like their father.
Probably the only other person who wasn’t willing to accept the fact that they are bastards was Lord Corlys Velaryon, who wanted Rhaenyra’s children on the Iron Throne after her reign because it was always his dream for a Velaryon to be king, especially after his wife, Princess Rhaenys, was denied the right to rule long ago.
But unlike Corlys, who knew that they were bastards but was not willing to make it public, Viserys actually thought that they belonged to Ser Laenor. In that regard, let’s look at the possible reasons why Viserys has stayed blind to something that has always been obvious.
A Father’s Love
The first reason why King Viserys has been blind to what Rhaenyra has been doing is the fact that he loves her as any father would. This has been made clear by the late Lord Lyonel Strong, who told Harwin that it was a father’s love that prevented him from getting executed.
Viserys loved Rhaenyra so much due to the fact that he was the only child he was able to successfully produce from the only woman that he ever loved. His love for Aemma was pure. While he did have feelings for Alicent, he was still in love with Aemma after all these years, as it was clear that his love for their daughter was more than his love for the children he produced with Alicent. And he was probably protecting Rhaenyra because she was the only thing he had left from Aemma.
Viserys Hates Conflicts
There is also the fact that Viserys was always someone who hated conflicts. A good king should know when to fight and when to turn the other cheek. But Viserys was always someone who hated conflicts, as he hardly ever confronted issues that he knew were going to blow out of proportion. This was clear in episode 1 when he ignored Lord Corlys’s warnings regarding the Triarchy and their activities in the Stepstones, as Viserys didn’t want to wage war against them because they were funded by the Free Cities of Essos.
Probably the only times that Viserys confronted people were when they were family members or people close to him. He confronted Daemon multiple times because there was already a level of comfort and familiarity between them. But it actually took Rhaenyra for him to confront Otto Hightower and remove him from his post as Hand of the King. In all other cases, he tried to stay away from conflict.
Viserys understands that allowing the rumors of Rhaenyra’s children’s paternity to circulate and spread all over the Seven Kingdoms would lead to conflicts regarding their legitimacy as rightful heirs to her throne if ever she were to become queen. As such, Viserys wanted to dismiss the rumors because he didn’t want a war to break out and cause the realm to tear itself apart.
At that point in time, Viserys only wanted his family to get along because he knew that they only had each other. But the problem was that Alicent and her children weren’t willing to accept Rhaenyra and her sons as heirs to the Iron Throne.
A Tired King
The years and his disease had taken their toll on King Viserys. While he wasn’t an old king, he already looked way older than his years would suggest, as it was clear that he was ready to kick the bucket anytime soon. He was already a tired king that had become too weary of handling any sort of issues in his kingdom during his rule.
Of course, Viserys also knows that he worked so hard to make sure that the union between Rhaenyra and Laenor happened, and that meant that he no longer wanted to carry on the responsibility of handling any of her affairs. He was getting too old and tired to clean up Rhaenyra’s messes, and that meant that he probably tried his best to ignore the issues so that he could just rule and eventually die in peace.
Will Viserys Ever Accept That Rhaenyra’s Sons Are Bastards?
While King Viserys has stayed blind to the paternity of Rhaenyra’s sons for a very long time, it is unlikely that he will ever accept that her sons were not sired by Ser Laenor but were the bastard sons of Ser Harwin. He is likely to carry this to his grave, and the reason why he might never accept this truth is the fact that he never disinherited Rhaenyra from the Iron Throne in the book.
Even until he died, Viserys still stayed true to his word of passing the Iron Throne to Rhaenyra, despite the fact that he already had two sons. Had he accepted that Rhaenyra’s sons were bastards, he could have easily disinherited her from the Iron Throne. But, according to the book, Rhaenyra was still the rightful heir up to the time of her father’s death. And that means that Viserys never accepted the truth behind his grandsons’ paternity.