Rhea Royce, the Lady of Runestone and wife of Prince Daemon Targaryen, finally made her first (and last) appearance in episode 5 of Dragon House. Her death came as a surprise as everyone thought she would have a bigger role and influence in Daemon’s story.
Played by Rachel Redford, Lady Royce is nicknamed the ‘bronze female dog‘, and Daemon often mentions that the sheep of the Vale are more beautiful than her. This implies that their marriage was only for duty and that they never consummated their marriage. The prince only felt disdain for his wife, and the fact that he returned to the Vale to assassinate her says more than meets the eye.
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Why did Daemon Targaryen kill Rhea Royce?
News of Lady Royce’s death quickly reached King’s Landing, and although many assumed it was a total accident, Gerald Royce, her cousin, believes Daemon had something to do with it. No one knows if the Rogue Prince actually planned it, but it’s clear he took advantage of the situation.
It is a known truth that they never had children and that Lady Royce is supposed to inherit Runestone Castle. This brings Daemon much favor as he insists on telling Lady Jeyne du Val about his claim to the castle after his wife’s death. Daemon never slept with Lady Royce, knowing his reputation with women, and it could be seen as a calculated decision. The Runestone, when delivered to the Rogue Prince, will give him a powerful seat throughout Westeros.
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What happens to the runestone?
In Dragon HouseIn the next episode, where the ten-year time jump will take place, Daemon will return to Westeros after his travels in the Eyrie to claim the castle. In the book Fire & Blood, Lady Jeyne rejected his appeal. He then married Laena Velaryon and left Westeros for Essos.
Even though things might be different in the next episode of Dragon House, Rhea Royce’s death was probably just an ingenious plan by Daemon to claim a higher position in Westeros and possibly get closer to Princess Rhaenyra. Fans know they will soon team up and Daemon will lead Rhaenyra’s forces and secure her claim to the Iron Throne.
Despite his failed attempt to assert his rights to the Runestone, Daemon’s connection to the Vale would play a significant role in House Targaryen’s disturbing civil war. This will reveal the fall of the empire as the internal war ensues, which will soon be known as the Dance of the Dragons.
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