Major House of the Dragon spoilers ahead.
In House of the Dragon‘s latest episode, Viserys’s mission to marry off Rhaenyra has been cranked up to 11 with a literal parade of eligible men (and boys) queuing up in front of her in a bid to get her hand.
Naturally, Rhaenyra wasn’t having any of it, with her position as the future Queen of the realm doing nothing to make her rush to find a husband.
But among the line of male suitors was someone who will actually play a significant role in her future – and that’s the young knight who was mercilessly mocked as he made a play for affections.
Who is Samwell Blackwood?
Samwell Blackwood has the blood of the First Men in his veins and is the descendant of a line of kings that formerly ruled the Riverlands. The Blackwoods played a role in Rhaenyra’s ancestor – Aegon the Conqueror – eventually gaining power of Westeros in the first place.
However, he was significantly younger than Rhaenyra, and compared to his much older counterparts, stuck out like a sore thumb.
Knocked for saying he would vow to protect her (even though she has a literal dragon at her disposal) his proposal was somewhat easily dismissed, with Rhaenyra opting to find someone more her equal – in age as well as intelligence and stature.
While he was only on screen for a few minutes, he certainly left an impression, eventually stabbing one of his love rivals – a member of House Bracken – in a bitter argument as Rhaenyra walked away.
But then again, the Brackens and Blackwoods have a long-standing history of rivalry, so this may be less about the love of Rhaenyra and a little more about good old-fashioned masculine egos.
What is Samwell Blackwood’s role in Rhaenyra’s life?
While he may not have been able to woo the Princess, it seems the pair do have a bond that will come into play later in the Dance Of Dragons civil war.
The battle, which will eventually pitch Rhaenyra against her younger brother Aegon II, will see the noble houses divided in their loyalty. Samwell Blackwood pledges his allegiance to Rhaenyra as the rightful heir to the throne.
House Bracken in comparison devotes itself to Aegon’s side.
The older Samwell, should the show continue to follow the initial trajectory of the series laid out in the books, will see him continue to display his small-but-mighty abilities in battle, using cunning to target the Brackens, weakening them by targeting the Bracken campsites, raiding their villages and burning their crops.
He eventually loses his life in a fight against Ser Amos Bracken, who died shortly after by a ‘wayward arrow’ that may or may not have been shot by Samwell’s younger sister.
So while their potential match may have been nothing but a fleeting idea, it seems their familial bonds will live on for a least a couple more decades.