Aemond Targaryen is the internet’s new messy boyfriend

An image of the aged Prince Aemond Targaryen, as he will appear during the Dance of Dragons in House of the Dragon

The last episodes from House of the Dragon – after the second big time jump that happened in the series – they showed us that there could be a new hot bomb vying with Daemon Targaryen for the title of “messiest bitch in Westeros”. That new contender is none other than Daemon’s number one certified stanAemond Targaryen, and what can I say but I don’t love him.

If you thought you liked it Daemon Targaryen by Matt Smith, king of committing heinous crimes every time he’s on screen, then think again. You’ll never love one of the most complex Targaryen characters ever created – in George R.R. Martin’s own words – more than his nephew Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), who clearly has Daemon portraits all in his room in the Red Keep and vibrates at a rhythmic frequency that it may shatter glass whenever it is near it.

We had a chance to see a couple of interactions between the two in episode 8: their staring contest at the Targaryen family dinner was the most important of all, filled with teases of what could happen in future seasons of House of the Dragon. I don’t want to spoil too much, but those who have read Fire and blood know what’s in store for both of us once the Dance of the Dragons it really kicks off.

Daemon and Aemond are, after all, each other’s narrative mirrors. Both the second born, tormented by feelings of resentment towards the older brothers; both think they would be better rulers than said older brothers, though everyone around them finds that claim questionable at best; both are skilled dragon riders and fearsome warriors; both are not beyond some murder and maiming to achieve their goals; both worry a little too much about their own family members, i.e. Rhaenyra and Elena. Even their names are similar, only marked by the different placement of the ‘D’ – if that isn’t a textbook example of being narrative mirrors, then I don’t know what is!

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon
The dragon must have three heads and those three heads better always be the wildest possible (HBO)

Plus, they both now have too rose through the ranks of “Internet Boyfriend of the day”, as Tweets, TikToks and comments all over the web confirm, to absolutely no one’s surprise, I should say:

However, it’s not just his membership in the Daemon Targaryen fan club that makes Viserys and Alicent’s second son so interesting. The fact that he is bonded with the greatest living dragon and has reclaimed Vhagar pretty much through sheer force of will surely lets us know that there will be many massive – and likely criminal – events coming for and from him during the Dance.

Aemond’s completely savage discipline when it comes to fighting and the way he moves with what feels like a barely contained rage that is constantly on the verge of exploding – you just know there will be a release sooner or later and it will probably be nuclear . Even his physical appearance is intriguing, with the eyepatch and the angular lines of the face. For me at least, Aemond steals every scene he’s in. Or maybe it’s just that I love my problematic favorites. The crazier a character is, the more I pick them up and put them in my pocket, from where they leave to go and do their horrific deeds, which I will watch with an extremely amused look on my face.

Because that’s what I want from the media characters I watch: to be entertained. And if a show is about dragon-riding nobles, princes, and kings with terrible impulse control and a history of inbreeding that makes them all always within an inch of incinerating everything and everyone around them, then that’s exactly what I want. : Moments of humanity mixed with moments of utter monstrosity, general upheaval, and plenty of drama.

This is also a good time to say again that enjoying a morally deplorable fictional character – emphasis on “fiction”, because media portrayals of real people in real life are a whole other bag – and create memes and fancams about them it’s not the same as approving of what they’re doing on screen. And it’s not even an indicator of the fan’s moral compass.

After all, this is a fictional story about fictional people in a fictional world where dragons are real. So let’s all enjoy Aemond “Mommy’s Little War Criminal” Targaryen without thinking we’re awful people for doing that.

(image: HBO)

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