TV

One Bright Spot in an Otherwise Hopeless HotD Toxic Abyss Is About to Be Ruined

Image credit: Legion-Media

Westeros is not exactly renowned for its portrayal of relationship goals.

It's fair to say most marriages are based on political manoeuvring rather than love – and the show has come in for criticism of the way in which females are often depicted as the weaker sex and used as pawns.

But amid this toxic abyss, the relationship between Corlys and Rhaenys is a beacon of possibility. Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon) and Eve Best (Rhaenys Targaryen) are a couple who share an equal footing in their marriage in a way that modern audiences can recognise.

But they are far from a twee representation of the 'perfect couple'.

When Viserys visits them to propose that Laenor and Rhaenyra marry, they have mixed views about what it will mean for their son. They know he is gay, and Rhaenys says that she's worried that being married to Rhaenyra means he will have a miserable life and fail to find happiness (although, to be fair, a quick look around would have shown her that being faithful is not really the done thing in this world!).

Corlys, on the other hand, views things differently. He sees value in a politically motivated marriage on this occasion and urges Rhaenys to rethink her outlook. Ultimately, they decide that the most important thing is putting their house on the throne.

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But this is not just a case of Corlys putting his foot down or getting his way because he's a man. It is the outcome of a reasoned debate about what is the best move. And their opinion is reached with due consideration for how Laenor will react.

Earlier in the series, during a conversation about who will succeed Viserys, Corlys puts forward the name of his wife. While she isn't named the king's heir – and Corlys eventually gives his backing to Daemon – he does at least demand that Rhaenys earns the respect of the council.

This kind of level-headed behaviour stands out as different from the norm. And it highlights many of the mistakes made by some of the more rash characters who act out of spite or without thinking through the consequences.

But, as we know, Rhaenys is set to die in the relatively near future, bringing to an end what is arguably the only sane relationship in the show – and certainly the strongest. So, let's enjoy this slice of what a genuine marriage should look like while we have the chance.

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