It All Leads To This: Episode Seven”House of the Dragonfeatures of a a wedding between Rhaenyra Targaryen, heir to the throneand her uncle, Demon. Theirs a wedding is unlike anything we’ve seen on the show, so let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this game-changing moment.

What does a blood wedding vow mean?

The most significant part of the wedding ceremony—and the one on which this episode lingers the longest—is the blood oath, during which Rhaenyro and Daemon use dragonglass to cut yourself and ceremonially mix your blood. The most significant moment is when they cut their lips, then kiss so that their blood literally mixes on their lips.

It’s all part of an ancient Valyrian ritual that represents the image of a “two becoming one” wedding on a very literal level. In the real world, blood vows have been part of some wedding traditions, both past and present. They are particularly notable for having some roots in northern European ancient and pagan traditions (think practices based on Celtic, Gaelic, and Norse paganism and rituals), which is certainly consistent with Westeros drawing inspiration from British and other European histories.

What are Valyrian weddings like?

In the book “Fire and blood“, which serves as the source material for House of the Dragon, goes into a bit more detail about Valyrian wedding traditions. They are said to bind spouses by “blood and fire” and, unlike other Westerosi wedding traditions, women can be officiants.

Having multiple spouses at the same time is not prohibited in Valyrian wedding traditions – Aegon I, aka Aegon the Conqueror, had two sister-wives — but this is also not particularly common. By the time House of the Dragon was released, the practice had largely died out. Maegor I (the third Targaryen king) is reported to have been the last polygamous Targaryen king.

Who attends Daemon and Rhaenyra’s wedding?

Damon and Rhaenyra’s wedding, which takes place on the same beach where they strolled (and then some) earlier in the episode, is a quick, quiet affair. It stands in stark contrast to the excessive decadence and the ultimate tragedy of Rhaenyra’s first wedding festivities. The only participants are their children.

Conspicuously absent, of course, is Rhaenyra’s father and Daemon brother, King Viserys. In the book, this absence is the root of more serious conflicts within the royal family and makes the marriage even more scandalous than it already is. Marrying without the king’s knowledge is a significant insult, and we’ve already seen Viserys’ anger at his brother acting on things without telling him. Obviously, this marriage, no matter how expected it was for the audience, will only fuel the factional conflict in the Targaryens.

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