Aemond is developed into a clear antagonist in House of the Dragon. What does he see in his uncle Daemon and why does he emulate him so much?
- In many ways, Aemond and Daemon are similar.
- Both have a penchant for violence, big shows, and dragons.
- But why does Aemond “the one-eyed” take a certain cue from his uncle, with whom he should actually be at enmity?
In episode 8 of “House of the Dragon,” the rifts between the Greens and the Blacks can’t be smoothed over either. Alicent’s and Rhaenyra’s children seem to have it in for each other. One of them feels a particular hatred for his nephews: Aemond Targaryen.
At the same time, Aemond “the One-Eyed” seems to emulate his kinsman Daemon. Why did the young rider of the dragon Vhagar take the brother of the king and husband of his mother’s rival as his role model?
A role model from afar
Aemond did not have many points of contact with Daemon in his childhood and youth. After Daemon married Laena Velaryon, the two traveled around Essos together for many years with their daughters. Aemond, on the other hand, stayed in King’s Landing and was raised by his mother, Alicent.
While he was growing up, he most likely still got to hear numerous stories of his uncle’s heroic as well as villainous deeds. Daemon’s temperament was legendary, as were his skills with the sword and his bond with the dragon Caraxes.
Since young Aemond was often bullied by his peer nephews and older brother Aegon in his early childhood, he may have chosen Daemon as a role model for building his self-confidence. Although he is also more of a loner, the latter has nevertheless built it a certain reputation.
A difficult childhood
After Aemond climbs Vhagar on Driftmark, he outgrows himself. However, he also quickly becomes arrogant and overbearing towards everyone. Driven by the urge to prove himself and become the most dangerous man in Westeros, he trains incessantly and knows about the power that comes with his dragon.
That this approach and attitude can be crowned with some success, Aemond always has his uncle Daemon in mind. Whether Aemond directly emulates him, even though they probably didn’t see each other at all for many years until the 8th episode “House of the Dragon”, can’t be clearly said, though. The long silver-white hair, however, could be Aemon’s favorite hairstyle in reference to his uncle.
When Daemon returns to King’s Landing and the Red Keep with his wife Rhaenyra and their children, the two hot-blooded Targaryen men see each other again.
A bad role model for a spoiled Targaryen boy
On several occasions in the castle, Aemond seems transfixed by Daemon. When the latter beheads Vaemond Velayron for the outspoken insults of his wife and stepchildren in front of numerous eyewitnesses in the throne room, this seems to inspire Aemond.
This is the impetuosity that Aemond wants to emulate, which demonstrates power in his eye and for which people pay respect. The lack of a good role model to steer him in the right direction and, of course, the traumatic experience of losing his eye, continue to shape him to this day.
Through Daemon, Aemond sees that brutality and selfish, self-serving behavior, can take one far. However, because of their own lineage, the second-born sons are also never properly held accountable.
I’ll steal your look
In the imagery of the series, Aemond and Daemon’s resemblance is often shown through a dark aura that surrounds both characters. Likewise, also, almost unintentionally comically, through a dark hooded cloak that both of them wear during their villainous activities in the city. Clearly, they are established as antiheroes with whom one sympathizes and pities.
However, Aemond still sees his uncle as the “stronger alpha dog.” By his presence and charisma alone, he is appeased by Viserys at the conciliatory supper to stop badgering Jace and Luk.
It is pride, respect for an older, stronger Targaryen, and perfidious admiration for his uncle that give Aemond pause. But this will not always be the case. Eventually, Aemond will tire of merely imitating and emulating Daemon. And soon he will see in him only a bitter rival and opponent.
A tragic development – until the bitter end
Amond’s thirst for recognition will drive him to many monstrous deeds in the future. He and his dragon Vhagar will still play an important role in the Green’s dodges in the soon to break out Dance of the Dragons.
In the process, the one-eyed dragon will often act uncontrollably on his own impulses, determining his and his uncle’s fate. Their dragon duel above the Eye of the Gods of Harrenhal will be an epic spectacle. At the same time, however, it is also the tragic end of two characters who, under different circumstances, could have become best friends.
On October 24, 2022, the grand finale of “House of the Dragon” awaits us. In it, we can expect a spectacular scene in which Aemond will also be involved.