Daemon Targaryen Has Become House Of The Dragon's Most Terrifying Wild Card

This post contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" episode 5.

Every time I tune into a new episode of "House of the Dragon," I wonder what crime our petty, toxic dragon boy, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), will commit this week. Because at this point, what has he not done? Daemon's proclivity for dismemberment has led him to headline some of the show's gnarliest, most brutal sequences of violence. He's a master of chaos — he almost sacrificed his life to spite his brother, and his brothel visits have ended with him seducing his niece. He killed (!!!) his wife to inherit her castle. He's either always smeared in blood or spending time smearing others in blood. He is a red flag at its worst. He's ruining familial relationships and trying to kiss his niece at her pre-wedding feast while his brother watches. He's unpredictable; he never lets anyone know his next move, which makes him extremely dangerous to be associated with. If he isn't causing drama, he wants to be part of the drama. 

Daemon isn't going to stop living in dangerous territory anytime soon, and he's made that clear in "We See The Light," the fifth episode of "House of the Dragon."

A sociopathic wife murderer

Despite his many atrocities, the wayward Targaryen brother has become one of the show's most likable characters. A lot is going on in episode 5; Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Ser Laenor (Theo Nate) form an alliance for the sake of duty and pleasure, Queen Alicent (Emily Carey) takes a stand, and Daemon — well, Daemon gets to be his typical busybody self. He returns to the Vale under the disguise of a Luke Skywalker-esque hood and verbally spars with his wife, Lady Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford), before spooking her horse and murdering her. 

With a newfound place for a ring on his finger, Daemon decides to head back to King's Landing, crash his niece's pre-wedding feast, and does all but kiss her in front of his brother and his salad. He's the most interesting Targaryen for a reason. He has acted on every single impulsive thought he has had, and it's worked to his advantage — he has won a war in the Stepstones, succeeded in seducing his niece, formed an alliance (of sorts) with House Velaryon, and inherited the castle of Runestone after murdering his wife. You can't help but respect his ambition and how he maneuvers through politics to fulfill his whims and fancies. 

It doesn't even matter that he's been exiled from King's Landing twice — Daemon returns a third time and gets his seat at the dinner table. You can't live with him, and you can't live without him, and it'll be interesting to see how this dynamic evolves in the future.

In the game of thrones, Daemon is a major player

Everyone Daemon is connected to has a lot going on. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is wasting away by the minute, and Rhaenyra is dealing with a political marriage and a country challenging her succession. Her newly brewing tensions with her former friend and now stepmother Queen Alicent Hightower aren't going to bode well for her, particularly now that the Queen consort has made a theatrica; display of her waging war against Rhaenyra.

It'll be interesting to see Daemon navigate this new dynamic in the next episode (there's a 10-year time jump incoming) — from the teaser; we've already witnessed a cold, unspoken war between the two women. How Daemon manages to find a place for himself with political tension looming over his family will be intriguing to say the least.

Prince of making everything about himself

Daemon has the best and worst parts of most "Game of Thrones" characters. He's charming like Jaime Lannister and ambitious like Littlefinger; he's plotting and scheming for his advantage, and he's being fine obvious about it. He is as bratty and entitled as Cersei, who took control of the Iron Throne despite having no claim to it. He doesn't shy away from brutality — he'll kill anyone in his path and not be sorry for it. If Daemon has proven anything, it is that he doesn't have a moral code or a conscience guiding him, and he's an expert at making friends and angering them. He doesn't need an invitation to anything — he turns up, and people will labor to meet his wishes. If you ask me, that's pretty king-like behavior. He is able to command an audience without uttering a word, and that kind of confidence can only come from a firm sense of trust in one's ability to outsmart everyone in the game of thrones. You think you know Daemon, but that's when he proves to you that you only know the Daemon he wants you to know about.

So far, every "House of the Dragon" episode has slowly unraveled his psyche and highlighted how far Daemon Targaryen is willing to go to get what he wants. With Alicent and Rhaenyra gearing up for an inevitable fight, I just can't wait to see how Daemon manages to make everything about himself all over again.