House of the Dragon's most iconic weapon has a Game of Thrones connection
Daemon Targaryen isn’t the only notable character who gets to wield Dark Sister.
The first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon doesn’t place much of a narrative emphasis on Dark Sister, the legendary Valyrian steel sword wielded by Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). Given how invested House of the Dragon Season 1 is in exploring Targaryen history, that’s a bit surprising. But aside from a few purposeful shots, the show hasn’t placed much focus on the weapon.
Consequently, House of the Dragon viewers likely don’t know the history of Dark Sister, including the famous Targaryen warriors that wielded it before Matt Smith’s Daemon, and the notable Game of Thrones character the weapon is eventually passed down to.
Dark Sister’s Past — Dark Sister is one of House Targaryen’s two ancestral Valyrian steel swords. The other is Blackfyre, which was wielded by Aegon the Conqueror. Dark Sister is perhaps best known for being the weapon of Queen Visenya Targaryen, one of Aegon’s two sister-wives. Visenya frequently wielded Dark Sister in battle, but eventually gifted it to her son, Maegor the Cruel. The sword was eventually stolen from Maegor, and later used by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.
Jaehaerys gave Dark Sister to one of his sons, Baelon Targaryen, the father of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). After Baelon died, Jaehaerys gave Dark Sister to Prince Daemon Targaryen, who takes ownership of the sword seriously.
But who gets to wield Dark Sister after Daemon? To answer that, we’ll have to briefly dive into some MAJOR SPOILERS for House of the Dragon.
Dark Sister’s Future — House of the Dragon Season 1 has already established an unspoken rivalry between Daemon Targaryen and his nephew, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell). That rivalry will come to a head when Daemon and Aemond, along with their dragons, Vhagar and Caraxes, engage in a battle near Harrenhal. Daemon will leap from Caraxes onto Vhagar and drive Dark Sister through Aemond’s eye.
Aemond’s bones won’t be pulled out of the water until years after the Dance of the Dragons, but it’s said that Dark Sister is still plunged through his eye socket. Following its rediscovery, Dark Sister eventually passes to Prince Aemon Targaryen, a.k.a. the Dragonknight. After Aemon’s death, the sword is then given to Lord Brynden Rivers, one of the bastard children of King Aegon IV Targaryen.
Brynden Rivers goes on to become a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch before eventually disappearing beyond the Wall, where he journeys further north and takes on the identity of the Three-Eyed Raven. While Dark Sister’s current whereabouts remain unknown, its last known wielder is the greenseer who Bran Stark seeks out in Game of Thrones.
The Inverse Analysis — In many ways, House of the Dragon’s purpose is to reveal how House Targaryen crumbled from within. That means many of the Targaryen symbols of strength and power present in Season 1 will no longer exist by the time the HBO series ends.
But while Dark Sister’s whereabouts are unknown by the time Game of Thrones begins, its role in House Targaryen’s history doesn’t end with Daemon Targaryen. It will be interesting to see whether future seasons emphasize Dark Sister’s importance more than its debut does.
Even if they don’t, viewers should still expect to see the legendary sword be placed at the center of what will surely be one of House of the Dragon’s best set pieces.
House of the Dragon Season 1 is streaming on HBO Max.