While Steffon Darklyn had a tweaked role in House of the Dragon, Daemon’s references to both him and Seasmoke foreshadow a more brutal event to come.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon season 1 and the book Fire & Blood.Ser Steffon Darklyn’s role might have changed in House of the Dragon from its Fire & Blood source material, but Daemon dropping his name and that of the dragon Seasmoke in the season finale foreshadows a major plot point to come. The status of Laenor Velaryon’s Seasmoke at the end of season 1 is uncertain after Laenor faked his own death and left the Seven Kingdoms. Assuming House of the Dragon follows Fire & Blood, Steffon will attempt to mount Seasmoke during the climactic event known as the Sowing, which will not end well.
Daemon’s namedrops hint that Steffon might have more of a central role in House of the Dragon season 2, especially if he participates in the Sowing. That event likely occurs next season and involves Prince Jacaerys Velaryon calling all “dragonseeds,“ Targaryen bastards and their descendants, to attempt to mount and tame the unclaimed dragons around Westeros in return for lands, titles, and wealth. Many of Rhaenyra’s household knights also attempt to tame dragons. Among them is Steffon, who is burned to death by Seasmoke for his effort, as Daemon’s references forewarn in season 1.
How House Of The Dragon Changed Steffon Darklyn’s Role
Steffon has a more prominent role in Fire & Blood than he does in House of the Dragon. Steffon is one of the older members of the Kingsguard, having been sworn in during the reign of Jaehaerys I and serving during Viserys’ tenure. When the Dance of the Dragons civil war begins after the death of Viserys, Steffon flees King’s Landing before Aegon Targaryen’s coronation and arrives at Dragonstone with his retinue as well as Viserys’ crown. He then serves as the Lord Commander of Rhaenyra’s Kingsguard before the events of the Sowing.
In the show, Steffon is seen in just three episodes, mostly as a background figure or announcing Rhaenyra’s arrival to Viserys. In the finale, he is present at Dragonstone when Ser Erryk Cargyll arrives with Viserys’ crown for Rhaenyra’s coronation. Erryk, disillusioned with the prospect of Aegon as king, brings the crown in the show’s finale. This change from the source material is arguably effective, however, creating the rift between Erryk and his twin Arryk as a symbol for the civil war to come.
Daemon’s Steffon & Seasmoke References Set Up An Even Bigger HOTD Story
Just because the increased prominence of Erryk and Arryk as parallel Kingsguard in the civil war makes the show more dramatically satisfying doesn’t mean that Steffon will play a similarly peripheral role in season 2. It will be interesting to see whether House of the Dragon follows Daemon’s forewarning and aligns with Fire & Blood, having Steffon killed by Seasmoke. It is possible, however, that Erryk’s increased role in the show might see him promoted to Rhaenyra’s head of the Kingsguard instead and potentially also inherit Steffon’s brutal death. Either way, Daemon’s references suggest the Sowing could be imminent, with its casualties beyond just Steffon or Erryk likely to have a major impact on House of the Dragon going forward.