House of the Dragon (HBO): Rhaenys had her hair color changed, why?

At this point, we’re not telling you anything new when we explain that TV shows always take some creative license when it comes to adapting books. The case of House of the Dragon was no exception, one of the most striking and curious modifications being that of Rhaenys’ hair. And is that, what reasons can there be for changing the color?

Wait: but isn’t she a Targaryen?

and, Rhaenys Targaryen, as her surname suggests, is a Targaryen in her own right, the daughter of Jaehaerys’ eldest son. The Queen Who Never Was, as she was nicknamed at court, was left without accession to the throne because she was a woman, despite being a direct descendant of Aemon – who died suddenly after a chance attack-, and instead, a man, his cousin Viserys, son of Baelon Targaryen and Alyssa Targaryen (who were siblings) is assigned to wear the crown and sit on the Iron Throne.

So it’s only logical to expect Rhaenys, after and as seen in the HBO Max service series, to have platinum blonde hair, a signature trait of the dragon family. However, this character’s mother was Lady Jocelyn Baratheon, a very dark-haired woman.

Dominant genes did their job when Rhaenys was born and in the book Fire and Blood the Targaryen has black hair, clearly inherited from his mother. Such is the importance of genetics in this affair and its predominance that, several centuries later, this popular fact will make Ned Stark doubt the bastardy of Joffrey, so-called “son” of Robert Baratheon and who, however, was blond like his real parents. -Cersei and Jaime Lannister.

It’s exactly as they explain in this tweet:

Twitter user picture

out of context dragon house


In the Fire & Blood canon, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen has black hair from her mother’s genetics, Jocelyn Baratheon.
Baratheon genetics are extremely dominant and all have dark hair.
That’s apart from why Ned Stark was sure Joffrey was a bastard. #HouseOfTheDragon

September 29, 2022 • 00:00

Things explained like that, you’re probably wondering, “Well, why did they change that?”

Simplify things for the viewer

Despite the fact that what we have just told you is not too complicated, it must be recognized that facing the gallery, it could be somewhat confusing for the viewer who does not know the history of the book. So much so that in a clear attempt to simplify and give more identity to Targaryen’s features, the creators of the series decided to change the hair color.

1668886567 215 House of the Dragon HBO Rhaenys got changed

It also helps onscreen a very important plot in the story, that of the bastardy of Rhaenyra’s children: since Rhaenys is blonde (and thus a key characteristic of Targaryens and Velaryon), her hair is even more evident Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey’s dark background -inherited from their real father, a Strong-, something that catches everyone’s attention, including Alice’s. Also remember that Rhaenys is the grandmother of these creatures, so keeping her hair black would have made everything much more incongruous on the small screen.

Let’s say it gives more meaning to all the doubts hanging over Rhaenyra’s lineage and the viewer is not amazed.

House of the Dragon (HBO): Rhaenys had her hair color changed, why?