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House Royce
House Targaryen

"Lady Rhea was a unique character. Her kind... is not soon to be seen again."
―Gerold Royce[src]

Lady Rhea Royce was a member of House Royce and heir to Runestone during the first half of the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen. She was the estranged wife of Prince Daemon Targaryen.

Biography[]

Background[]

Lady Rhea is the heir of Lord Yorbert Royce[4] and wife of Prince Daemon Targaryen, heir presumptive of King Viserys I Targaryen. However, Daemon strongly dislikes his wife, calling her his "bronze bitch" after the color of House Royce, and they have become estranged from one another by the ninth year of Viserys's reign, with Rhea remaining at Runestone, while Daemon serves as commander of the City Watch of King's Landing.[3]

Rhea's marriage to Daemon was arranged by his own sister-in-law, Queen Aemma Arryn, perhaps due to the Royces being trusted vassals of the Arryns.[4]

House of the Dragon: Season 1[]

Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, notes in a Small Council meeting that Daemon has not been seen at Runestone for quite some time. Daemon insults his wife to the rest of the Small Council, mocking her as his "bronze bitch" who he expects is happier for his absence. Otto states that Rhea is an honorable lady of the Vale, though Daemon continues to insult her, offering her to Otto, as he has recently lost his wife, which deeply offends him. Later, Viserys commands Daemon to return to Runestone to be with his wife at once, though he takes Mysaria with him when he departs on Caraxes.[3]

Instead of returning to Runestone, Daemon occupies Dragonstone for half a year. He writes to the Small Council that he is to take his lover, Mysaria, as his second wife in the custom of Old Valyria, and steals a dragon egg meant for Prince Baelon, for the child he is supposedly going to have with her. This notion comes to an end after Otto, unexpectedly aided by Princess Rhaenyra, arrives at Dragonstone to retrieve the egg. During the confrontation, Rhaenyra notes to Daemon that he already has a wife, which Daemon acknowledges, saying that Rhea was not of his choosing.[5]

When Daemon returns to King's Landing from the War for the Stepstones, he and Rhaenyra talk of how he is married to a woman not of his choosing. Daemon notes how the couple is childless, and mockingly suggests that no child would be able to grow in such "hostile environs." Later, after rumors reach the king of Daemon's affair with Rhaenyra, Daemon asks to marry his own niece. When Viserys points out that Daemon is already married, he asks to take another wife, much like the Conqueror did, but an infuriated Viserys tells Daemon that he is merely a "plague," and commands him to go back to Runestone.[6]

WLTW Rhea Royce Still 1

Rhea hunting in the Vale

Rhea rides out into the fields of the Vale to hunt for deer, coming across her cousin Gerold Royce. He asks if she would like company for her hunt but she insists on going alone. While riding and searching for her quarry, she encounters a hooded figure blocking her passage back to Runestone, whom she quickly recognizes as her husband Daemon. She inquires on his presence in the Vale, sarcastically wondering if he is there to consummate their marriage, referring to his insult that the Vale's sheep are prettier than its women. She then reasons that perhaps Viserys has had enough of him in King's Landing and sent him there, mocking his right as heir being revoked in favor of Rhaenyra. Daemon remains silent and tries to approach her horse, frightening it and making Rhea wary.[1]

Rhea asks if he will now kill Rhaenyra to get what he wants, but realizes that he means to kill her instead, since as a widower, he'd be free to marry his niece in the incestuous traditions of House Targaryen. She reaches for her bow, but Daemon spooks her horse into rearing up; the animal loses its balance, falling backwards and crushing Rhea beneath it. As her horse gets up and walks away, Daemon approaches Rhea and steps on her arm; when she has no reaction, he realizes she is now paralyzed from the fall. As Daemon walks away, she insults him for being unable to finish her off. In response, he picks up a large rock and approaches his helpless wife, before bludgeoning her to death. Rhea's passing, reported as her falling off her horse and breaking her skull and neck, came as a shock to many, as she was known for her skills as a rider and hunter.[1]

At the feast in celebration of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon's betrothal, Gerold confronts Daemon for his cousin's death, which Daemon disparagingly calls a "tragic accident." Gerold accuses the prince of being involved in her death, but Daemon instead talks about his inheritance following Rhea's death, as he is meant to inherit all of Runestone since they have no children. Daemon smugly mentions that following Rhaenyra's wedding, he will fly back to the Vale and petition Lady Jeyne Arryn to take what is his, angering Gerold.[1]

Quotes[]

Spoken about Rhea[]

Otto Hightower: "You've not been seen in the Vale or at Runestone for quite some time."
Daemon Targaryen: "I think my bronze bitch is happier for my absence."
Otto Hightower: "Lady Rhea is your wife, a good and honorable lady of the Vale."
Daemon Targaryen: "In the Vale, men are said to fuck sheep instead of women. I can assure you, the sheep are prettier."
— Otto Hightower and Daemon Targaryen speak of his estrangement from his wife.[src]
"Lady Rhea was a fine woman and a good wife to my brother."
―King Viserys I Targaryen discussing his sister-by-law after her death.[src]

Family[]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-RhaenaTargaryen
Rhaena
Targaryen

Deceased
 
Famtree-AegonTargaryenSonOfAenys
Aegon
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Viserys
Targaryen

Deceased
 
Famtree-JaehaerysI
Jaehaerys I
Targaryen
1
Deceased
 
Famtree-Alysanne Targaryen
Alysanne
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Vaella
Targaryen

Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Aemon
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Baratheon-Main-Square
Jocelyn
Baratheon

Deceased
 
House-Arryn-Square
Rodrik
Arryn[b]
Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Daella
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Baelon
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-HotD-Square
Alyssa
Targaryen

Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-CorlysVelaryon
Corlys
Velaryon
House Velaryon

 
Famtree-RhaenysVelaryon
Rhaenys
Targaryen

Deceased
 
Famtree-AemmaArryn
Aemma
Arryn
House Arryn/House of the Dragon
Deceased
 
Famtree-ViserysITargaryen
Viserys I
Targaryen
2
Deceased
 
Famtree-AlicentHightower
Alicent
Hightower
House Hightower/House of the Dragon

 
Famtree-DaemonTargaryen
Daemon
Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen

 
Famtree-RheaRoyce
Rhea
Royce
House Royce
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Daemon
Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen

 
Famtree-LaenaVelaryon
Laena
Velaryon
House Velaryon
Deceased
 
Famtree-LaenorVelaryon
Laenor
Velaryon
3 House Velaryon

 
Famtree-RhaenyraTargaryen
Rhaenyra
Targaryen
2

 
Famtree-DaemonTargaryen
Daemon
Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen

 
Famtree-Aegon Targaryen
Aegon II
Targaryen
Aegon II Targaryen

 
Famtree-HelaenaTargaryen
Helaena
Targaryen


 
Famtree-AemondTargaryen
Aemond
Targaryen


 
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Daeron
Targaryen


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-Baela Targaryen
Baela
Targaryen


 
Famtree-Rhaena Targaryen
Rhaena
Targaryen


 
Famtree-Jacaerys Velaryon
Jacaerys
Velaryon
House Velaryon

 
Famtree-Lucerys Velaryon
Lucerys
Velaryon
House Velaryon
Deceased
 
Famtree-JoffreyVelaryon
Joffrey
Velaryon
House Velaryon

 
Famtree-AegonIII
Aegon
Targaryen


 
Famtree-ViserysII
Viserys
Targaryen


 
Famtree-PrinceJahaerysTargaryen
Jaehaerys
Targaryen

Deceased
 
Famtree-JaehaeraTargaryen
Jaehaera
Targaryen


1 Jaehaerys had thirteen children in all. For simplicity, only the direct ancestors of future generations are on this family tree and they are not in the exact order of birth. The thirteen children in correct order are: Aegon, Daenerys, Aemon, Baelon, Alyssa, Maegelle, Vaegon, Daella, Saera, Viserra, Gaemon, Valerion, and Gael.

2 Due to the nature of their respective births and deaths, Baelon Targaryen, son of Viserys and Aemma, and Visenya Targaryen, daughter of Rhaenyra and Daemon, are not included on this family tree.

3 While Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey are officially Laenor's, he and Rhaenyra never had any biological issue. Their three sons were in fact fathered by Harwin Strong.

In the books[]

In Fire & Blood, Rhea and Daemon's marriage was arranged by Queen Alysanne Targaryen when she was still heir to Runestone. It was a fine political match, but Daemon was bored in the Vale, and developed a deep dislike for his wife. She became ruling Lady of Runestone some time after the Great Council of 101 AC was held, and her marriage with Daemon proved to be barren. Upon the accession of King Viserys, Daemon petitioned to set aside (namely to annul) his marriage to Rhea. This was denied by the king, though he did permit Daemon to return to King's Landing and sit on the Small Council.

According to Jeyne Arryn, Daemon treated Rhea most cruelly.

In 115 AC, while hawking in the Vale, Rhea fell from her horse and cracked her skull. She died nine days later. In contrast to the show, Daemon is not explicitly tied back to her death, since at that time he was at Bloodstone, still occupied with the War for the Stepstones. Daemon flew at once for the Vale, hoping to lay claim to her lands, castles, and incomes, but failed; Runestone passed instead to Rhea's nephew. Not only was Daemon's claim dismissed, but Jeyne Arryn also warned him that his presence in the Vale was unwelcome.

Appearances[]

References[]

Notes[]

  1. "We Light the Way" picks up directly after the events of "King of the Narrow Sea," which takes place in 116 AC.
  2. Conjecture based on information from The World of Ice & Fire; may be subject to change.

External links[]


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