Let's face it: A show about House Targaryen was always going to feature an unhealthy amount of incest. After all, George R.R. Martin's book Fire and Blood confirmed the Valyrian clan had practiced incestuous relations to keep their bloodline pure.
Still, the relationship between Daemon Targaryen and his niece Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon has been raising eyebrows, so much so that co-showrunner Ryan Condal has decided to defend the show's depiction of incest by comparing it to what happened in Back to the Future.
Early on in House of the Dragon, it is suggested that Daemon has an unhealthy interest in his young niece Rhaenyra Targaryen, something that becomes stronger when she is named heir of the Iron Throne. Soon, Daemon is actively pursuing the princess, even going as far as taking her to a brothel where they almost have sex.
The scene continues to be one of the most talked-about moments in House of the Dragon due to its incestuous nature. So when Ryan Condal was asked about it, the co-showrunner was ready with a surprising answer.
"I mean, nothing surprises me these days," Condal told Variety. "I really didn't know what people were going to make of that at all. Look, it's part of the story, and I think that's what makes it fascinating, because it sort of is taboo in a way and in our modern sensibility."
He then added that he was proud of Matt Smith and Milly Alcock's portrayal of the relationship between Daemon and Rhaenyra. Interestingly, Condal continued by reminding everyone that Marty McFly almost ended up with his own mother in the past.
"But look, I mean, I went back to Back to the Future, which is just like, you know, Marty goes to the prom with his mom and you’re kind of creeped out about it, but also you're kind of like, 'Huh! These are two good-looking people. Are they going to make out tonight?!'" he said.
Condal continued, "Look, it's not your uncle. So, you know, I guess people are OK with it, or the original series did enough groundwork to normalize Targaryen mating rituals that we don’t have to worry about it."
It's an interesting way to put it but most people remain unconvinced. Nevertheless, it looks like this part of the story is still moving forward in House of the Dragon.
The latest episode of House of the Dragon is now available on HBO Max. House of the Dragon Episode 7 is titled Driftmark and is set to premiere on HBO on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 9:00 PM EST.