There are many parallels between Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and Rhaenyra Targaryen from House of the Dragon, however, one of Daenerys’ plotlines is expertly flipped in the prequel series. After the passing of her mother and baby brother in House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra is proclaimed the successor to the Iron Throne by her father, King Viserys I. Rhaenyra Targaryen begins an affair with her sworn kingsguard, Criston Cole of the House of the Dragon, as she gains knowledge of the political and cunning worlds. Rhaenyra is getting ready to wed Laenor Velaryon while simultaneously having a connection with Criston.
After her brother is slain in Game of Thrones, over two hundred years after the events of House of the Dragon, Daenerys Targaryen announces herself to be the legitimate successor to the Iron Throne. By releasing the captives, Daenerys makes allies while she travels. For political reasons, Daenerys marries twice throughout Game of Thrones—once to Khal Drogo and once to Hizdahr zo Loraq. Daenerys Targaryen does, however, connect with Daario Naharis, the Second Sons’ leader, as she navigates politics and power.
By totally switching who rejects the other’s request for a romance, House of the Dragon substitutes Rhaenyra and Criston for Daenerys and Daario in their romantic connection. In her drive to succeed Daario on the Iron Throne, Daenerys rejects Daario’s desire and plea to be her paramour. On the other side, Criston is the one who turns down Rhaenyra’s request for her to be her paramour and sticks by her while she makes an effort to seize the Iron Throne.
GOT’s Daenerys & Daario Story Can Be Beaten by House of the Dragon
These relationships end significantly differently due to the differences in the rejection. In Game of Thrones, Daenerys recognizes the influence and accountability that come with marrying a powerful man, and ultimately Daario does too. Daario Naharis continues to assist Daenerys Targaryen by keeping watch over the city of Meereen when she departs, and their relationship ends happily. Rhaenyra is still attempting to find a way to have a politically beneficial marriage while maintaining her emotional attachment with Criston Cole in episode 5 of House of the Dragon. The romance ends with the two at odds since Criston does not like the concept of having a covert liaison with Rhaenyra.
The House of the Dragon’s inverted finale for Rhaenyra and Criston’s romance contrasts sharply with the calm, contented conclusion Daenerys and Daario enjoyed, and as a result, it could make for a more compelling narrative. After episode 5, when Criston and Rhaenyra are at odds, Criston Cole is shown attempting his own life before Alicent Hightower, the Queen, intervenes. If Alicent Hightower and Criston Cole join forces, they might be a potent oppositional force to Rhaenyra’s bid to usurp the Iron Throne.