Top 13 couples on House of the Dragon, from most screwed up to least

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /
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Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and as anyone who’s watched HBO’s new fantasy drama House of the Dragon knows, there’s no more romantic place than Westeros. Why, even now, my heart fills with butterflies as I think of the time those two lovebirds…wait, no she was murdered…or what about when those newlyweds…well, they were closely related…ah, but then there was…huh…

Okay, on second thought a lot of the relationships on House of the Dragon are pretty screwed up, but there certainly are a lot of them. And don’t they deserve some attention? Doesn’t love deserve some love?

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s count through all the romances on House of the Dragon, starting with the most deranged and ending with what passes for healthy round these parts.

Image: House of the Dragon/HBO
Image: House of the Dragon/HBO /

13. Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce

Okay, there are a lot of bad relationships on this show, but can we all agree that this was the worst? Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce married for political reasons and, based on everything we see, couldn’t stand each other from the jump. They never bothered to consummate their marriage; Daemon jetted off to King’s Landing to work with his older brother Viserys (who’s the true love of his life; fight me) while Rhea stayed in the Vale to ride and hawk and hunt. They were hundreds of miles apart and liked it that way.

The one time we see them together, Rhea makes no effort to hide her utter contempt for her husband…and then she falls off her horse and he murders her with a rock, which he later passes off as a riding accident. Yep, even for Westeros, this relationship sucked.

Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /

12. Rhaenyra Targaryen and Criston Cole

Here’s another romantic tire fire. Rhaenyra Targaryen, young and impulsive and drunk on the night, makes a pass at her sworn shield Ser Criston Cole. Cole, forsaking his vows, gives in and spends a night of passion with the princess.

And that might have been where it stopped, but apparently Cole fell harder and faster than any man on record, and in the space of one episode goes from wanting Rhaenrya so badly he asks her to run away with him to plummeting into a shame spiral so deep and dark he murders a guy at a wedding rather than be reminded of what was probably his one sexual encounter in years, possibly ever.

The best thing we can say about this romance was that it was brief, although Cole looks like he’s determined to be sour about it for the rest of his days.