How the House of the Dragon changed the marriage of Damon and Rainira from the story of George R. R. Martin

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The  House of the Dragon has made some changes for Damon and Rainira.

In its last episode before another apparent time jump, The House of the Dragon made changes to the rules of the game, which ranged from Aymond losing an eye (and getting a Vagar) to Laynor faking his death, but the event that was expected the longest was Rainier and Damon’s wedding. Since Targaryens can get away with incest in Westeros (as the writer George R. R. Martin explained), the blood relationship between uncle and niece was not a problem, but the political consequences will inevitably be large. While marriage may have seemed almost inevitable after Laena’s death, the show changed the way it happened in George R.R. Martin’s lore, in some key aspects.

In fact, the changes from the book “Fire and Blood” in the show (in addition to the sequence of events) may give some clues about what to expect from Damon and Rainira in the future. So let’s delve into what “Flame and Blood” tells us about the wedding and the events that led to it, and how “House of the Dragon” changed history.

Warning: spoilers for the 7th episode of “House of the Dragon” and the chapter “Heirs of the dragon — the question of succession” “Flame and Blood”.

Age difference

One element of the wedding that is true both in the book and in the series is that Damon and Rainira got married on Dragonstone after both of their Velarion spouses left the road. This event, when the House of the Dragon ages Rainier, is actually of great importance, as Archmeister Gildine (the ecumenical writer of Martin’s novel “Flame and Blood”) tells us in the chapter “The Question of Succession”.:

”Yet hardly had Ser Otto arrived at the Red Keep to take up the Handship than word reached court that Princess Rhaenyra had remarried, taking to husband her uncle, Daemon Targaryen. The princess was twenty-three, Prince Daemon thirty-nine.”

After all the time jumps in the first six episodes, Rainira was about 29 years old when she married her uncle in episode 7. If the age difference between them is about the same, then Damon was 45 years old. Rhaenyra’s aging means that she had a lot of experience in the political intrigues of the Red Castle before moving to Dragonstone, and from this experience she knew that she needed Damon on her side.

Laenar’s death and time

In the book, Lenore died when Ser Carl Corey stabbed him to death after an argument during a joint visit to the fair, and Lord Corlis went to collect his son’s body. So, according to legend, Leyenar finally died shortly before his widow and former son-in-law got married. Flame and blood are divided:

”King, court, and commons were all outraged by the news. Neither Daemon’s wife nor Rhaenyra’s husband had been dead even half a year; to wed again so soon was an insult to their memories, His Grace declared angrily.”

In the series, Damon and Raynor helped Leyenor fake his death and escape the rules of Westeros by going across the sea with Ser Karl. Technically, Rhaenyra now has two husbands, albeit with the loophole that she married Leonor in the Faith of Seven and Damon in a Valyrian ceremony. They still seemed to get married scandalously quickly, as Luke’s nose still looked smashed in the wedding scene!

Why was it a secret

“Fire and Blood” provides two explanations for why they married quickly and secretly, from two different sources: a septon named Eustace and a court jester named Mushroom. They had very different versions of events, but, remarkably, the history book could not name anyone who really witnessed the marriage.:

”Septon Eustace claims that Rhaenyra knew her father would never approve of the match, so she wed in haste to make certain he could not prevent the marriage. Mushroom puts forward a different reason: the princess was once again with child and did not wish to birth a bastard.”

Damon and Rainira’s sex on the beach does mean that maybe she was pregnant when they got married (and it’s true that Viserys probably wouldn’t approve of it), but in episode 7 it was very clear that she was proposing marriage to them to strengthen their rights. not a quiet scandal. There were also witnesses at the wedding: a Valyrian minister, a Dragonstone maester, the children of Damon and Rhaenyra.

The demon clearing the way to Rainira

While Damon certainly earned a dark reputation in “Flame and Blood” (and “House of the Dragon” actually forced him to commit a murder of which he was innocent in the book with the death of Rhea Royce), he was suspected of two more plausible accusations that cleared the way for him to marry Rainier.

At least some in the book suspected Damon of arranging Raynor’s death for his own purposes and definitely not faking it to give Leyenor a happy life in Essos. Flame and blood speaks:

Damon and Rainira’s sex on the beach does mean that maybe she was pregnant when they got married (and it’s true that Viserys probably wouldn’t approve of it), but in episode 7 it was very clear that she was proposing marriage to them to strengthen their rights. not a quiet scandal. There were also witnesses at the wedding: a Valyrian minister, a Dragonstone maester, the children of Damon and Rhaenyra.

The demon clearing the way to Rainira

While Damon certainly earned a dark reputation in “Flame and Blood” (and “House of the Dragon” actually forced him to commit a murder of which he was innocent in the book with the death of Rhea Royce), he was suspected of two more plausible accusations that cleared the way for him to marry Rainier.

At least some in the book suspected Damon of arranging Raynor’s death for his own purposes and definitely not faking it to give Leyenor a happy life in Essos. Flame and blood speaks:

Mushroom, as always, favors the most sinister theory, suggesting that Prince Daemon paid Qarl Correy to dispose of Princess Rhaenyra’s husband, arranged for a ship to carry him away, then cut his throat and fed him to the sea.

As fans now know, Laris Strong was actually responsible for the Harrenhal fire that killed his father and older brother. While there can be no doubt that Damon was actively clearing the way to marry Rainier (including killing an innocent man in Driftmark to carry out their ruse), he did not kill Leyenor and certainly did not kill Harvin.

Only time will tell how loving Damon and Rainira’s marriage will be, but the House of the Dragon has cleared their names of some of the accusations against them in the book. Didn’t they secretly get married too quickly after their spouses were no longer in the way? Absolutely, and my biggest regret about the fast pace of the series is that we probably won’t see Viserys’ reaction to the news that his daughter and his brother got married almost as soon as they were single and left alone.

See what happens next when Damon and Rainira get married, with new episodes of House of the Dragon on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and streaming with an HBO Max subscription. To learn more about George R. R. Martin’s lore and the series, check out our breakdown of the Targaryen family tree.

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