House of the Dragon may be set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, but little Easter eggs will always find their way around in the fictional world of Westeros. The new House of the Dragon trailer shows one of these Easter eggs to be the infamous Valyrian steel dagger, which looks to be used to get revenge once again.
The Valyrian steel dagger has a rich history in the world of Game of Thrones, having first been used as an assassination attempt against Bran Stark after he found Jaime and Cersei Lannister being controversially intimate. Unbeknownst to many, the dagger belonged to Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger), who sent the catspaw assassin to further get power in the Vale and the North. The dagger indirectly started the War of the Five Kings, but also ended the Great War when Arya Stark killed the Night King with it.
Unlike the swords made of Valyrian steel, Littlefinger’s dagger never seemed special or attached to any prophecy in the book. The most noble houses had one Valyrian steel sword passed through generations (such as Jon Snow’s Longclaw, which originally was a part of the Mormont house), and it was rare for any other weapon to be made of the material. However, it seems the Valyrian steel dagger has a bigger story than Game of Thrones let on.
The first teaser trailer of House of the Dragon shows the Hand of the King’s daughter, Alicent Hightower, frantically carrying the dagger through a crowd. The second trailer gives more context to who is on the other side of this dagger: Rhaenyra Targaryen. For fans who know of their tumultuous relationship in George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, it comes as no surprise that Alicent has it out for Rhaenyra, who is expected to be the first queen regent of Westeros.
Seeing that Littlefinger’s dagger was used to start and end wars in the distant future, does this mean the dagger has a reputation of doing the same in the past? Littlefinger was always meticulous and smart about these tiny details, but it’s unlikely that this is the case. If the dagger was such an integral part of the Targaryen Civil War, also known as “Dance of the Dragons,” surely Maester Luwin or any others who examined the blade would’ve known the cursed history behind it.
Game of Thrones does, however, link the dagger to the Targaryens in the Season 7 premiere. When researching dragonglass, Sam Tarly flips to a page of a book that has an illustrated picture of the dagger on it. The page discusses how Aegon the Conquerer and his descending Targaryens would decorate their blades with dragonglass, which the dagger’s hilt is made out of. This could possibly mean that Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys, or even Rhaenyra herself inherited the dagger.
This could either mean the dagger is just a fun wink to pay homage to Game of Thrones (to try not to recreate the series entirely), or that it plays a much larger role in the hands of Alicent. The dagger is the silent killer of the original series, having both easily starting the entire conflict of the series and ending the deadliest enemy in such a small-scale fashion. As to where it fits in House of the Dragon, Alicent’s attempt against Rhaenyra’s life could push the princess to a deadly level, as everyone knows what happens when a Targaryen doesn’t get what they want.