Why Daemon & Rhaenyra’s Wedding Is So Different From Rhaegar & Lyanna

WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Fire & Blood and House of the Dragon season 1, episode 7!Daemon and Rhaenyra’s private wedding in House of the Dragon looks very different from Rhaegar and Lyanna’s secret wedding in Game of Thrones, with the former being a far more sacred Targaryen ceremony. Game of Thrones’ weddings have a reputation for being bloody affairs, but Daemon and Rhaenyra’s ceremony incorporates the blood in a less gory manner. It seems that the only weddings in Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon that aren’t catastrophic are the secretive unions based on love, with Rhaenyra and Daemon and Lyanna and Rhaegar being significant examples.

Just like Daemon and Rhaenyra, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s wedding before Game of Thrones was performed in secret. The only people in attendance for House of the Dragon’s wedding were their children, a Targaryen maester, and a Septon, while Game of Thrones’ ceremony had no witness but the Septon himself. Despite the circumstances of the weddings being so similar, the actual ceremonies are incredibly different. This is because Rhaenyra and Daemon are performing a Valyrian wedding ceremony, whereas Jon Snow’s parents had to perform a wedding under the Faith of the Seven. The traditional Valyrian robes, ceremonial drawing and smearing of blood, and High Valyrian rites in Daemon and Rhaenyra’s wedding are meant to symbolize Valyrian blood purity and House Targaryen’s words of “Fire and Blood,” with such a ceremony strengthening the legitimacy of their marriage. By performing the Valyrian rites, Daemon and Rhaenyra’s controversial marriage can’t be reversed by Westerosi customs. Rhaegar and Lyanna’s brief marriage, however, was simply bound by the laws of Westeros.

Why Rhaegar & Lyanna Didn’t Have A Valyrian Wedding In GOT

Considering A Song of Ice and Fire teased Rhaegar’s obsession with the Prince That Was Promised prophecy, and thus Aegon’s dream, it would make sense for him to want a Valyrian wedding. However, there wouldn’t have been anyone to perform the rites at that time – Rhaegar and Lyanna’s isolation meant there wouldn’t have been an official of House Targaryen fluent in High Valyrian. Daemon and Rhaenyra also chose to do the Valyrian rights because of how important their ancestry is in their lives, and the fact that they’re both Targaryens keeping their Valyrian bloodline pure. Rhaegar and Lyanna’s marriage wouldn’t mean keeping the bloodline pure, but the blood that came from their marriage still produced the long-prophesied Prince That Was Promised.

Did Any Targaryens Have Valyrian Weddings After Rhaenyra & Daemon?

The only Valyrian wedding recorded in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book is between Maegor the Cruel and his second wife Alys Harroway. The wedding was likely performed with Valyrian rites in order to legitimize Maegor’s polygamy, as this custom was accepted in Old Valyria. However, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s marriage wasn’t specified as being officiated in a Valyrian ceremony in Fire & Blood, so it’s unclear how many other Targaryens secretly married under these ancient rites. According to House Targaryen’s history, however, there isn’t any record of Valyrian wedding ceremonies after that of House of the Dragon’s characters.

The Targaryens were seemingly the last family to have Valyrian wedding ceremonies, as they were the only dragonlord family to survive the Doom of Valyria. As such, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s wedding in House of the Dragon episode 7 could potentially be the last Valyrian wedding ceremony in history. If none had been performed in nearly 150 years by the time Rhaegar and Lyanna married in Game of Thrones, then it makes sense why they wouldn’t have thought to wed under sacred Valyrian customs like Daemon and Rhaenyra.

New episodes of House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO/HBO Max.

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