With House of the Dragon Season 1 complete, we’ve gotten well-acquainted with the staggeringly extensive Targaryen-Hightower-Velayron family tree. The show has ticked off the box of nearly every central character in Fire and Blood except one: Prince Daeron Targaryen, the fourth child of Alicent Hightower and (the late) King Viserys. 

Though Daeron, who was said to have the coloring of the “blood of the dragon,” was only the third son of Alicent and Viserys, he was the most popular and beloved of the royal couple’s sons, as he was nearly universally viewed as gentle, compassionate, and clever. And because he grew up in the shadow of his brothers, he was more familiar with following orders than giving them. Like his siblings, though, Daeron fiercely rivaled Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, Rhaenyra’s eldest sons, fathered by Ser Harwin Strong.

Also Read: 4 Crucial Changes From Game of Thrones to House of the Dragon

But Prince Daeron has yet to make an appearance in House of the Dragon. So does he exist in the show’s universe? The short answer is yes. He, along with his she-dragon Tessarion, will indeed be a central figure in the Dance of the Dragons.

George R. R. Martin, the mastermind behind A Song of Ice and Fire, cleared up Daeron’s absence in his latest blog post. “Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and 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), and everything else we had to skip? Sure. But there are only so many minutes in an episode (more on HBO than on the network shows I once wrote for), and only so many episodes in a season.”

Where is Daeron Targaryen on House of the Dragon

A Targaryen family portrait on House of the Dragon, with Daeron Tagaryen nowhere in sight. 

Showrunner Ryan Condal, meanwhile, told Variety after the House of the Dragon Season 1 finale that Daeron is… around.

“He does exist. No worries, everybody,” Condal said. “He’s the youngest son. He’s warded off at Oldtown to Hobert Hightower and soon to Ormond Hightower, who is Hobert’s nephew, who becomes Lord of Oldtown. Honestly, this stuff happened all the time in this world. … When he is relevant to be mentioned — and he will be — he will be mentioned.”

For those who’ve read Fire and Blood, Martin’s novel that provides the basis of House of the Dragon, Daeron’s absence in Season 1 isn’t a total mystery. In the book, we don’t officially meet Daeron until later on in the war, when he’s already a teenager. And since the war itself doesn’t really “start” until this upcoming episode, it makes sense that we haven’t seen Daeron in the show yet. So Daeron is out there – just in Oldtown, squiring for his first cousin once-removed, Lord Ormund Hightower, until he joins Ormund’s forces for the war.

In his post, Martin clarified a bit more about the brevity of this season, which has been one of the few major viewer complaints: “If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to ‘time jump’ over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too ‘slow,’ that ‘nothing happened.’ As it is, I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale…I hope that will continue to be true.”

Main image: Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), mother of the absent Daeron Targaryen.