Episode 2 of House of the Dragon was pretty quiet compared to the pilot. At least, we didn’t see any fractured balls this time around, and I’ll count that as a win. But there’s still plenty to explore in “The Rogue Prince,” so welcome to our weekly breakdown of the show. Let’s start with a bigger topic: can one woman rule in Westeros.

History of Women’s Rule in Westeros

This episode gives us our first direct conversation between Rainyra and Raineys. Apart from having similar names, they also face similar obstacles in their pursuit of power. Ranis wanted to be queen of the Seven Kingdoms, but was passed over for the Iron Throne on several occasions, earning her the nickname “The Queen Who Never Was”. As a result, she gives Rainera a “hard truth”: “Men will sooner put a woman in the torch than ascend the Iron Throne.” This, Rainis says, is “the order of things.”

Rainis isn’t wrong here, but like everything in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy setting, the exact truth is a little more nuanced. Just because a woman has never sat on the Iron Throne doesn’t mean someone can’t. What will it take for Rainyara to succeed his father? What precedent can she point to to ensure that her rule is recognized as legitimate? In short, what exactly is the order of things?

Let’s start by just looking at the Targaryen dynasty. In the nearly 110 years that the Targaryens have ruled Westeros, men have been strongly favored over women as candidates for the throne. This pattern dates back to the time of the first king, Aegon the Conqueror.

Aegon did not conquer Westeros by himself. He came to the continent with two of his sister-wives, Vicenya and Rennes, who became Queen Vicenya and Queen Rennes at his crown. Together they established the Targaryen dynasty.

But why was Aegon sitting on the Iron Throne? Visanya was Aegon’s older sister. She rode the dragon Whorgar (which is still alive in the time of the House of the Dragon), protected the Valyrian steel blade Dark Sister (now in Daemon’s possession), and was particularly adept at warfare.

By all accounts, she was the warrior Aegon in every way and was fit to be Lord of the Seven Kingdoms… In the eyes of many in Westeros, this established that the Targaryen dynasty had the same preference for male rulers as the emperors of the entire continent. had seen for centuries, if not millennia.

However, from there the water becomes dirty. Aegon had only two children, both sons—Aeneas (via Renis) and Megor (via Vicenya). As Aeneas was the older brother, he inherited the throne upon Aegon’s death in 37 A.C. (after the conquest).

Aeneas’s first child was Raina, born before the death of Aegon the Conqueror. At the time, many in Westeros were already thinking about the succession, as Aegon had just turned 50. Aeneas was clearly in line for the throne, but after that, should priority be given to his daughter, Raina, or to his younger brother, Magor?

Before this question could be fully explored, Aeneas had a son, whom he named Aegon. When Aeneas died in 42 A.C., his son Aegon, who was about 16 years old, claimed the throne. Even except for Magor, which set off a violent power struggle, which Magor won. As a result, Magor was crowned as the third king in the Targaryen dynasty.

Magor (who was rumored to have been born as a result of blood magic) had no children despite having taken six wives during his life. After his death in 48 A.C., the crown passed to Aeneas’s oldest surviving son, Jaherys Targaryen. However, Princess Raina, daughter of Aeneas and wife of Aegon, was still alive.

Not only this, his daughters also lived there. A question tickled the minds of the masters and other thinkers in Westeros: If Aegon was the legitimate king—and Megor was just a usurer—shouldn’t one of his children be given the throne?

This question was never fully explored. Raina hated King’s Landing after her brother-husband’s death and had no desire to sit, or have her daughters sit on the Iron Throne. She agreed that the crown should be given to Zeheriz, and the matter was settled.

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