Who is Daeron Targaryen and why was he cut from 'House of the Dragon' season 1?

Elliot Grihault, Harry Collett, Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Phoebe Campbell HBO House of the Dragon Season 1 - Episode 8
(Image credit: Liam Daniel/ HBO)

"House of the Dragon" season 2, which — yay! — is premiering much sooner than we all thought, will delve even deeper into the history of the Targaryen family, but will one member of the dragon-riding dynasty join the likes of Emma D'Arcy's Rhaenyra, Matt Smith's Daemon, Tom Glynn-Carney's Aegon II and the rest of the Targaryen clan onscreen next season? 

The fantasy site WinterIsComing.Net recently reported that a character named "Daeron Targaryen" was seemingly cut out of the first season of the "Game of Thrones" prequel series. Twitter user @darksvster shared a section of a script from "Driftmark," the seventh episode of "House of the Dragon" season 1, with dialogue that did not make it into the final ep. 

In the scene, Aemond Targaryen (played by Leo Ashton as a child and Ewan Mitchell as an adult in the HBO drama) asks his grandfather Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) about the wellbeing and whereabouts of Daeron, whom he refers to as his "younger brother." "Daeron's place is in Oldtown," Otto tells him but adds that the Targaryen boy "grows like any squire would under your uncle, Robert. Thick of skin."

Yes, that means that, just as in George R. R. Martin's 2018 book "Fire & Blood" on which "House of the Dragon" is based, there are actually five Targaryen siblings born under the late King Viserys (Paddy Considine). We have so far only met four of Viserys' children on screen: Rhaenyra, Aegon II, Aemond and Helaena (played by Evie Allen as a younger and Phia Saban as an adult). We've yet to encounter Viserys' youngest son Daeron, but the cut dialogue suggests that his existence is canon in the TV adaptation. 

Martin affirmed as such in an October 2022 blogpost on his website: "Yes, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season ... there are only so many minutes in an episode." 

"Fire & Blood" book fans might remember that Daeron Targaryen shows up later in the Dance of the Dragons succession war within the House Targaryen, so maybe we'll finally meet the youngest Targaryen brother in the show's upcoming second season, especially given that the HBO series is allegedly making more active changes to Rhaenyra's storyline and fast-tracking the bloody sibling feud between her and half-brother Aegon II over their father's throne.

We'll learn even more about members of the Targaryen family in the various "Game of Thrones" spinoff series that are in the works, including the Dunk and Egg prequel (the latter of whom is the future King Aegon V Targaryen) and the Aegon the Conqueror series, following the origin story of the founder and first king of the Targaryen dynasty who conquered the continent of Westeros.

Tom's Guide will keep you updated on exactly when "House of the Dragon" season 2 is scheduled to premiere and whether or not Daeron Targaryen will be included on its lengthy list of characters. In the meantime, Westeros fans can revisit both "Game of Thrones" and "House of the Dragon" with a Max subscription.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.