House Of The Dragon's Daemon Targaryen Is The Pettiest Character In The Game Of Thrones Universe, And That's Great

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is not the sort of character who should inspire love. He might share a face with the lovably childish Eleventh Doctor, but other than that, he's an absolute menace to society. Thanks to him, we couldn't even get through the "House of the Dragon" premiere without seeing the pillars of Westerosi depravity in action: dismemberments and brothel visits. Nine out of 10 times, the man is smeared in blood or brooding in a corner. He's like a walking ode to chaos and every time he opens his mouth, everyone in the vicinity is in danger of being insulted. He is literally one letter away from being named Demon Targaryen and has palpable sexual tension with his niece — has there ever been a man with more red flags? 

And yet, here we are, three episodes in, and utterly unable to pretend that Daemon isn't the MVP of the series.

Matt Smith is putting on a captivating performance as the ever-smirking rogue, embracing fierceness just as much as fragility. As younger brother to King Viserys (Paddy Considine), Daemon has spent the years since his brother's crowning at arm's length because the council members and other lords of the realm fear his streak for cruelty. Which, let's be honest, they definitely should! Daemon is power-hungry, violent, and has a flair for dramatics — he's all the worst Targaryen elements tossed into one, with a huge hulking dragon to boot. But his most dangerous trait of all isn't being harsh or bloodthirsty — it's the fact that he's the pettiest man in Westeros.

Westeros' worst brother is on the loose

If there were ever any doubts about the lengths that Daemon would go to, they've been sufficiently settled thanks to "Second Of His Name." The third episode of the series includes the greatest encapsulation of Daemon that we possibly could've asked for, in which the rogue prince not only accepts a one-man suicide mission but does so just to spite his brother. It's a great illustration of his complicated nature: an act that's brave and reckless, clever and ridiculously stupid, self-serving, dishonorable, risky ... and also, delightfully successful.

After three years of battling for control of the Stepstones, Daemon, Corlys (Steve Toussaint) and their collective fleet are losing terribly, despite having dragon power on their side. With the Crabfeeder's army hiding out in caves, Daemon's crew is struggling to mount an effective attack. Then, in the spirit of brotherly love, Viserys decides to intervene and send over some backup. Thanks to some encouragement from his wife, he sends a note that says (and I'm paraphrasing here): "Hey baby bro, it sucks that you're so bad at war! But after years of ignoring you, I've decided to finally bail you out. I'm sending 10,000 men to save your ass from death. You're welcome, Viserys."

Daemon gives the note a quick skim, then has the very reasonable response that we all do upon receiving taunting texts from our family members — he absolutely loses his s*** and attacks the messenger. And that's not even the pettiest part.

Daemon sprints into danger

After terrifying everyone within hitting distance, Daemon enacts the world's dumbest plan: he abandons his dragon, rows solo into enemy territory, waves a white flag, and even hands over his sword. Under the guise of surrendering to the Crabfeeder, he lets himself be completely surrounded by enemies — and then he grabs his weapon and fights for his life. And to Daemon's credit, his little suicide mission goes down really well. (On a scale of Rickon Stark to Daemon Targaryen, how good are you at sprinting through a battlefield?)

 The cautious Crabfeeder keeps his eyes on the sky, waiting to see wings or Dragonfire — but when it didn't happen, he begins sending his troops out in bigger swarms. Sans the part where he gets riddled with arrows that narrowly missed some vital organs, Daemon holds his own against the army until at last, the Valaryons arrive to back him up (dragons and all). In the end, a blood-soaked Daemon emerges with one-half of the Crabfeeder's body, finally victorious. And it's all because he would rather die than accept help from his brother.

Daemon is the walking embodiment of younger sibling energy — from his perpetually pouting face right down to the way he constantly insults Viserys, but immediately snaps at anyone who does the same. Let's not forget that the only reason he joined forces with Corlys in the first place was to earn glory while ignoring his brother's orders. Or the fact that just one episode prior, he stole a dragon egg in the hopes of forcing his brother to visit him at Dragonstone. He got one stab away from declaring war against the Crown — then abruptly changed his mind after a quick chat with his niece. They don't call him the Rogue Prince for nothing!

The famous Targaryen temper

Westeros is and always has been full of petty babies, but Daemon Targaryen really takes the cake. Thus far, here is Daemon's arc explained: his brother hurt his feelings so he pouted under a blanket, made fun of his dead nephew, briefly stole a castle, and then, when he didn't get enough attention, ran away to start an unsanctioned war. The way I see it, his staunchest competition for Pettiest Man in Westeros is Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, who once burned half his brother's face off because he *checks notes* borrowed one of his toys. But that's a little less petty and more psychotic. Meanwhile, Daemon has the fragile ego of an insecure teenager and the impulse control of a madman. His pettiness has clearly just begun.

As we all learned the hard way, the Targaryen temper is no joke. Viserys (Daenery's brother, not the king) once referred to pissing him off as "waking the dragon." Of course, he was just a cruel, condescending jerk with a superiority complex and no inner dragon to speak of. But Daenerys later proved herself prone to lashing out — whether that means crucifying slavers, burning witches, or decimating King's Landing. Daemon not only shares her bloodline but seems a lot less hesitant about attacking his enemies (RIP Crabfeeder, we barely knew ye). And when the third episode of "House of the Dragon" comes to a close, the petty prince has wrapped up his war in the Stepstones and now has time to lay his sights elsewhere — like maybe back on Kings Landing, the place he was banished from.

We stan a petty man

Morally speaking, I see how it's not a great idea to root for any Targaryens. Haven't we already learned form that mistake? But I also shouldn't be held accountable for Matt Smith making me throw said morals out the window! Daemon is fun. He's bold, charismatic, snarky, and obviously destined to throw at least 20 more hissy fits before this series comes to a close. While I certainly hope that no common folk get burned in the crossfire, we've already seen that his anger does not discriminate. Some of the Crabfeeders hostages learned this when Caraxes burned enemies and allies alike, and one unlucky knight learned the same when Daemon unleashed his anger over the letter. But uh, it wouldn't be Westeros without a few war crimes, right?

His inevitable descent aside, let's not pretend we won't be impatiently awaiting Daemon's next temper tantrum because lord knows the only thing more entertaining than the prince sulking under a blanket is when he's fuming out in the open.