The third episode of House of the Dragon was so focused on “Aegon instead of the King” that it would hardly be surprising if it had its own public relations team led by master manipulator Otto Hightower (Rhys Evans).
Not that Otto needed much support. It seems that the second day of Aegon’s name day gave rise to rumors, and many expected that he would supplant Rhaenyra (Millie Alcock) as Viserys’ heir. Who better to ascend to the throne than a man’s right?
Meanwhile, the crowned heiress Rainira was unceremoniously pushed into the background, making marriage proposals top of her agenda.
To Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall)—pompous, feathered and feathered—was tasked with courting the future queen. His attempts, however, are sour as spoiled milk, as Rainira sees it as depriving her of her birthright in exchange for a wedding and a share in Casterly Rock, dragon pit and all that.
Her suspicions are hardly unfounded, the doubts in her statement extend further than Otto’s poisoning of the well. Viserys himself (Paddy Considine) even admits to Alicent (Emily Carey) that he may have acted too hastily in appointing her heir, not expecting to ever marry again, let alone have a legitimate male heir.
All this is largely based on a dream that he wanted to make a prophecy about a male heir sitting on the Iron Throne in the crown of the conqueror. A dream he shares with his wife.
Despite Rhaenyra’s weak grip on the throne, there seems to be one (or others) who believes she is still worthy of the crown. A collective whose opinion surpasses that of the Lords, the Right Hand, and even her father. It seems that the gods themselves have made her a Queen.
Initially, when a White Deer was spotted during a hunt in honor of Prince Aegon’s name day, it was seen as an accidental royal omen. Later, Otto uses his vision to strengthen Aegon’s claim to the throne when he tells the king:
“Today of all days. I’ve never been particularly important, unless God wants to show His favor,” he nods knowingly and complacently, the hint is too heavy, and Viserys slaps his Right Hand on the shoulder in agreement.
Otto played well, he played well.
To be fair, he’s not wrong. Before the dragons, the White Deer was considered a symbol of royalty in Westeros. The fact that he was spotted hunting for Prince Aegon’s birthday must mean that these blessings of prosperity were for him.
In this vein, the gods seem to be showing their favor, but Otto is looking for the wrong Targaryen brother.
Despite all efforts to make the omen fit Aegon like a custom-made glass slipper, there is simply no Cinderella touch in it.
All attempts to catch a deer elude the hunters, and instead they settle for a big brown deer. The one Viserys couldn’t kill cleanly, relying on instructions to finish the job, which once again points to Aegon’s weak claims as heir.
However, the White Deer opens only to Rainier. Their interaction makes sense not only because it happens without force, but also because of the look they exchange.
It is a goal and a certainty shared by two intelligent beings. We can’t witness exactly what was said— we don’t speak White Deer — but if we did, it would be something like: We choose you, Pikachu, Rainier.
Ser Kriston Cole (Fabien Frankel) draws his sword to kill, but Rainira warns him, which once again indicates that there is mutual understanding between them.