The clouds of war are forming in HBO's House of the Dragon and sides are being taken to support either Rhaenyra or Aegon II. Fortunately for Rhaenyra, she has one of the greatest fighters in Westeros by her side in the form of her husband Daemon Targaryen. Audiences have already seen how powerful the knight is thanks to his war in the Stepstones and there will be more examples to come of his ferocity.

Daemon is one of the strongest fighters to appear in either Game of Thronesor House of the Dragon at the moment but in a trial by combat, the odds may not be in his favor. Trials by combat in the world of ice and fire require strength, skill, speed, and a little luck and there are a handful of characters from Game of Thrones that have those in spades and would give Daemon a run for his money in any lawful combat.

Barristan Selmy

Even in his later years, Barristan Selmy was considered one of the greatest swordsmen in the known world. When he was removed from the Kingsguard for being too old, he famously threatened that he could cut through the other six guards like carving a cake. In his younger year, Barristan was one of the most deadly fighters in the history of Westeros.

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He slew Maelys I Blackfyre during the War of the Ninepenny Kings and ended the Blackfyre rebellions. He was also not just a sword fighter, he could be as clever and scrappy as Daemon, he snuck into Duskendale to rescue an imprisoned Aerys I. His combination of skill and experience would make him a deadly opponent for Daemon.

Grey Worm

Torgo Nudho is the captain of Queen Daenaerys' Unsullied and was hand selected by his brethren to be their leader for his wisdom and fighting power. And Grey Worm proves many times over how formidable of a fighter he is with a spear and sword.

The Unsullied have been trained from childhood to fight and are one of the most powerful forces in Essos, to be their leader means one would have to be particularly skilled in battle. His primary fighting style with a spear and shield would be an unusual challenge for Daemon and could mean his lack of experience would get him killed.

Brienne Of Tarth

Daemon Targaryen will most likely never have fought a woman before, so like many who have fought Brienne of Tarth, he'll probably underestimate the warrior. But Brienne has proven many times over how formidable an opponent she can be, and it's not an unpopular opinon to say Brienne is one of the strongest fighters in Westeros.

She defeated Loras Tyrell in single combat, which is more or less like a trial by combat. Beat down the Hound in a bare-knuckle intense fight. And even defeated Jaime Lannister one on one. Whichever way Daemon decides to fight Brienne, she will have had experience with it.


The Thenns are a tribe of free folk from beyond the wall who are considered more technologically advanced than the other tribes. They have better armor and weapons, and their leader is treated more like a god than a man. And in Game of Thrones, they are also cannibals. Whoever their leader is would have to be a ferocious wilding. Styr is Magnar of the Thenns and lives up to the title.

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He is a massive, bald man who wields a humongous, double-sided ax that he uses to tear through the Night's Watch during the Battle of Castle Black. What he lacks in skill, he more than makes up for in strength and savagery. Anyone fighting him in a trial by combat would be rolling the dice as any swing of his ax could end the battle in an instant.

Oberyn Martell

The Red Viper of Dorne would be a great challenge for Daemon Targaryen. In the time periods House of the Dragon jumps around, Dorne remains unconquered, and so Prince Daemon would have had no experience fighting someone from the southern kingdom of Westeros.

Add that Oberyn is considered one of the greatest warriors in Westeros and has studied all over the world, and a trial by combat does not look good for Daemon. Oberyn already showed that he could best one of the strongest men in a trial by combat, he would have won if not for losing focus at the last second.

Arthur Dayne

Arthur Dayne, the sword of the morning, is often cited as one of the greatest warriors in the entire A Song of Ice and Fire world. He wields Dawn, a legendary sword made of meteorite of House Dayne. Unlike other ancestral swords, Dawn is only granted to family members who have proven their skill, meaning Arthur has already proven his worth before laying hands on the powerful weapon.

There is a case to be made that Ser Arthur Dayne would not lose to anyone in a trial by combat. He is renowned for defeating The Smiling Knight, an insane and talented swordsman, many years before the events of Game of Thrones. He nearly defeated Ned Stark and his five companions even though he and his guard were outnumbered two to one. The fight between him and Daemon would not even be close.

Khal Drogo

Before he was made comatose by blood magic, Khal Drogo was the greatest Dothraki Khal alive. Drogo's character can be summed up by the fact that before he even reached 30, Drogo was leading a Dothraki horde 40,000 strong, the largest in the world. And the only way to lead a khalasar is to fight your way to the top.

Drogo has never lost a fight, his braided hair is longer than any other Dothraki, indicating his success in battle. He even defeated a formidable blood rider in single combat with his bare hands. He tossed away his weapons and used his victims' own weapons against him. Daemon would have difficulty fighting such an experienced and confident foe.

Daario Naharis

Daario Naharis is the youngest leader of the Stormcrows mercenary army and has the sword skills to match. Daario grew up a slave and began life in the fighting at a very young age, where he learned how to battle every kind of opponent, including Westerosi knights.

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His confidence in battle would be particularly important against an opponent like Daemon and would mean the Targaryen would not easily rattle the sellsword as he does others. Daario also has experience fighting as a champion, he easily defeated a mounted champion of Meereen for Daenarys Targaryen.

Gregor Clegane

The Mountain That Rides is as formidable an opponent as any in the history A Song of Ice and Fire. Bronn puts it best to Tyrion when he says Clegane is freakishly strong and freakishly big. Maybe one time in ten, a skilled opponent could hope to beat him but make one mistake, and the fight is over.

A man as large as Gregor Clegane can wear armor so heavy and thick that even Valyrian steel swords would have trouble penetrating. Fighting Ser Gregor in a trial by combat is not so much fighting a man as it is fighting a monster, and even a skilled opponent like Daemon Targaryen would be at a great disadvantage.

Robert Baratheon

While the Robert Baratheon introduced in Game of Thrones may be a fat and lazy drunkard, the Robert that rebelled against the Targaryens was anything but. Ned Stark remembers him as one of the finest warriors he had ever seen, capable of wielding a hammer so heavy Ned could not even lift it.

Robert only lost one battle in the entirety of Robert's Rebellion and was constantly in the vanguard of his armies. And Daemon would be at particular risk when fighting him. Robert has a special hatred for Targaryen princes and has killed one in single combat before, Rhaegar Targaryen. It would be a good bet that he could do the same against another Targaryen prince.

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