Helaena Targaryen is ridiculed by many, including her husband and brother Aegon, for her whimsical nature. But more than once, her muttered words turn out to be a true prophecy.
In episode 9, Helaena also delivers important words that are to serve as the underlying motif of the whole episode: “It seems to be our fate that we always desire what others have”. While embroidering a spider pattern, a possible allusion to the “spider spy networks” in the castle, she utters these words to her nanny.
Helaena is referring to the impending conflict, the internal Targaryen civil war between the Greens and the Blacks. After the death of her father, King Viserys I, Rhaenyra will long to ascend the throne herself. Something that her brother Aegon has already done, reluctantly but successfully.
However, Alicent had previously felt the same way. When Rhaenyra was still the first heir to Viserys, the queen wanted to see her own son, Aegon, on the throne. And so the game is repeated until the bitter end. Helaena has understood this, even if she is unable to free her family from this hopeless situation.
Fraternal jealousy among the green Targaryens
Helaena’s words that we always strive for what others have and we can’t get also fit in with her brother Aemond.
As he says himself in the episode, he sees himself as the more suitable candidate for the kingship. He rides the most powerful dragon in the world, is a skilled swordsman, tactician and historian. So he actually wants the throne for himself, but knows that this is impossible.
Another thing that Aemond covets, but is already his brother’s, is Helaena. Aemond has had a soft spot for her since childhood. He even wished he had been married to her. This desire for something unattainable now accompanies him into adulthood.
The dragon beast beneath the boards
During a conversation with her mother, Helaena also repeats the words from the last episode. “Beware of the beast beneath the boards”. But this time she says it forcefully, seemingly angry that her mother hasn’t understood her yet. However, this opens up a new way of interpreting this episode.
Disaster strikes at Aegon’s formal coronation ceremony. The old princess Rhaenys, escaped from her house arrest, bursts out of the bottom of the dragon pit on her dragon Meleys, the Red Queen. She is on the verge of incinerating the entire royal family, but stops and flees through the gates of the pit.
This fulfills another of Helaena’s prophecies, which she had previously tried so hard to warn her mother about. Rhaenys on her dragon lady is the beast that literally comes out of the ground and almost devours everyone. Good for the Greens that Helaena’s words of prophecy have at least turned out well for them.
Helaena’s prophecy about Aemond
In a brief scene in episode 5 of “House of the Dragon”, we see Helaena playing with a centipede of sorts and recounting various facts about it to her mother. Helaena seems somewhat dreamy, as if she is only physically present and talking to someone else about something completely different. The calm atmosphere is interrupted by Aemond, Alicent’s youngest son, bursting in. He complains about the teasing of the other boys in the dragon pit and the fact that he still doesn’t have his own dragon.
His mother reassures him and promises that one day he will have a dragon of his own. Without being noticed by the others, Helaena murmurs “he will close one eye”. Although this statement certainly refers to the insect that Helaena is examining, it is just as much about Aemond’s bleak future.
In the 7th episode of “House of the Dragon”, we finally see the outcome of Helaena’s prophecy about Aemond. Determined, Aemond tries to mount the dragon Vhagar, who is riderless after Laena’s death. With more luck than sense, the young Targaryen prince even manages to keep himself in the air and land the beast again.
However, when he arrives, he is met not only by Rhaenyra’s children, as in the books, but also by Daemon’s daughters Baela and Rhaena. A fierce fight breaks out between the children, with Aemond, the eldest of them all, injuring several of them. After Aemond calls Jacaerys a bastard, the latter pulls out a dagger and slits open his relative’s eye.
Helaena’s prophecy has come true. Aemond loses an eye but, as he himself correctly recognizes, gains a dragon. The ironic and tragic thing is that nobody knows about her abilities, probably not even she herself.
Divining words from Helaena on Driftmark
Helaena on Driftmark is also present at Laena Velaryon’s funeral service. Seemingly uninterested in wine or conversation, she plays with insects on her own, as in the previous episode. Once again, she mumbles things that are incomprehensible to others, but from which we can glean valuable information about the Targaryens’ future.
Helaena’s second prophecy is more mysterious and not as easy to decipher as the one about Aemond’s fate. “Hand at the loom, black as coal, green as fern. Dragons of flesh weave dragons of yarn.” Helaena murmurs incessantly as she plays with a spider. She is watched by her brothers Aegon and Aemond, who pay no attention to her words and dismiss her as peculiar and imbecile.
The hand on the loom could refer to the hand of King Otto Hohenturm. He sits at the “loom” of power and has a lot of influence over the king and therefore the kingdom. The dragons, black as coal and green as fern, are the two rivals Rhaenyra and Alicent, who have chosen the colors black and green for themselves. They literally became dragons made of yarn, as their respective supporters are named after the color of their clothes.
The Greens have now been openly voiced in the series. Alicent’s faction is named after her green wardrobe and the colors of her house. Rhaenyra chose for herself the traditional black of the Targaryens, which will represent her and her allies in the Dance of the Dragons. Helaena’s words illustrate the clear front that is now emerging, which will run right through the family and soon through the whole of Westeros.
Another interesting metaphorical image might be the spider moving on Helaena’s hand. It could symbolize Lary’s power, which is devious and operates in the dark. Like the webs of a spider, he seems to have a hand in everything and to know everything through his spies and agents. He is to have a major influence on the fate of the realm and rise to become the Master of Whisperers.