House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 3: The Dating Game

Rhaenyra needs some help picking a husband, so we’re here to break down her options.

house of the dragon episode 3
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

It’s been three years since we last saw King’s Landing, and a lot has transpired in that time. Viserys and Alicent are not only happily married, but they have a son—the aggressively blonde-headed Aegon, a boy of two, whom everyone assumes will soon take his half-sister, Rhaenyra’s place as heir to the throne. Alicent also happens to be heavily pregnant with baby number two (at the young age of ten and seven, I might add), which makes it difficult to watch her struggle in bouncing carriages and the fairly uncomfortable-looking dresses she’s forced to wear late into her third trimester.

Episode three revolves around two events, one being the battle going on at the Stepstones between Daemon Targaryen and the Velaryon army and the much-feared Prince Drahar AKA the Crabfeeder. Daemon and Lord Corlys seem pretty much defeated until Daemon, fueled by his desire to win without the help of his brother (pride is a powerful tool, is it not?), all but sacrifices himself to get the upper hand, and it seems to do the trick. Back in the safety of the realm, it’s Aegon’s second nameday, though everyone seems to be less focused on the toddler and more so focused on Rhaenyra, who has come of age and now must marry. Of course, the prideful Rhaenyra doesn’t want to marry, but instead spend her days riding dragons and grimacing. That hasn’t kept a multitude of suitors from lining up at her door, however. So, to help her make the decision and find a man worth birthing blonde-haired children with, we’ve decided to help her out. Welcome to The Dating Game: Westeros Edition. Now, let’s meet our contestants:

Bachelor #1

He loves lions almost as much as he loves snapping at servants, Bachelor #1 is quite the catch thanks to his seat as Lord of Casterly Rock. He can provide our Bachelorette with all the honey wine and the views of the Sunset Sea she will ever desire. Of course, he doesn’t have a dragon pit, but he’s willing to build one for Rhaenyra. Unfortunately, it will have to be big enough to fit his ego, which may prove to be an architectural challenge. Meet Bachelor #1...Jason Lannister.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Bachelor #2

As it has been made so abundantly clear, in the world of Dragon, marriage is about strengthening alliances, which is what makes Bachelor #2 quite the catch. His sister almost became the queen once, but there was the small issue of her only being 12 years old at the time. Now, though, our Bachelor has the opportunity to become King consort, and he has a lot going for him. He’s of pure Valyrian descent, which means his babies with Rhaenyra will no doubt have that icy blonde hair. He also happens to be the heir to the wealthiest house in the realm, a fact that cannot be ignored, especially by King Viserys. If Rhaenyra does choose #2, the pair could enjoy couples jaunts on dragonback together, that is, if he survives the war he’s currently embroiled in. Ladies and gentleman, Bachelor #2...Laenor Velayron.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Bachelor #3

Yes, he’s only two years old, and yes, he’s Rhaenyra’s half brother, but hey, the Targaryens have never been afraid of a little incest. Plus, choosing Bachelor #3 will put an end to all the debate about who will succeed the throne, they could just do it together. That’s how it works, right? Anyway, here’s Bachelor #3, Rhaenyra’s baby brother...Prince Aegon.

Bachelor #4

Bachelor #4 seems to be the only one who can control the rebellious Princess, so he may just be the perfect fit. Unfortunately, he’s common born, which likely won’t sit well with the King. What advantages can a knight bring Rhaenyra? Well, he seems to be the only man she actually enjoys being around, which is definitely a point in his favor. Plus, he isn’t too hard on the eyes. Give it up for Bachelor #4...Ser Criston Cole.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Who will Rhaenyra choose, and will they live happily ever after? Tune in to next week’s episode of The Dating Game to find out. Though we likely already know the answer to the latter question, which is probably not. I mean, who can be happy in this life of politicking, misogyny, and violence? Not I, and certainly not Rhaenyra.