HOTD Showrunner on the Catspaw Dagger and the new Targaryen Sigil

Alicent Catspaw

Let’s get it straight, Valyrian steel nerds: yes that is the storied Catspaw dagger in Alicent Hightower’s hand in the teaser.

There was some minor debate over the point raised among fans when a new House of the Dragon interview was released this week as part of EW’s splashy exclusive series to hype the new show. The dagger was first spotted in Game of Thrones during a season 1 assassination attempt on Bran, and used spectacularly by Arya Stark to end the Night King. It was exciting to see it resurface in connection with the new show, a small and bloody tie with the familiar.  But, the interview released on the 15th told us this was NOT the Catspaw dagger. Wait what?! I mean…look at it. And HOTD series co-creator Ryan Condal spoke of the two shows’ inevitable “shared imagery” in the interview. So what gives?

EW’s Nick Romano has updated the article now with a correction noting it was a misunderstanding. “Individuals on the set of the show in December had told EW this was not the same dagger, but after clarifying with the production, this was only true from a manufacturing standpoint. Story wise, it is the same Catspaw dagger.” The original prop was available apparently, but the showrunners felt it was a little too “fantasy,” according to EW, therefore it was “redesigned with the same silhouette and a shorter length.”

Mystery solved. Now onto the next -gate, whatever that may be!

Targaryen Sigil HOTD era

You may have noticed something a little different about the House Targaryen sigil for House of the Dragon. Or not, because heraldry may not be your thing. Hint: count the legs! This version of the Targaryen dragon has four legs, whereas the dragon sigil in the era of Daenerys typically displayed two. EW explores the differences and the shift toward the four-legged sigil in their latest interview with showrunner Condal.

“The truth of the matter is you think you’ve seen the Targaryen sigil a lot in the original Game of Thrones, but actually it’s not in Game of Thrones that much,” he tells EW. “You’ve seen it on books and Funko Pops and things like that. That was how far and high the Targaryen dynasty had fallen, that the sigil did not exist really anymore until Daenerys brought it back about. So we chose to go down a road that I think honored where Daenerys left us off versus where people think it all started. But I will say, stay tuned. Hopefully it will all make sense in due time.”

Both versions of the Targaryen sigil pop up throughout Game of Thrones but the two-legged sigil was established nearly at the onset as the “official one” for that TV era of Targs. I remember classic online fan complaining when a four-legged version of the sigil was spotted during pilot filming; this was quickly fixed in subsequent episodes to reassure us loyal nerds. In season 5 onward, the four-legged sigil returned periodically without fanfare, spotted during in major moments such as Dany’s crossing to Westeros and over the ruins of the Red Keep.

The cynical part of me notes that changing the Targaryen sigil officially means people have to buy entirely new merch to be accurate to the new show. But hey, four legs is actually true to a dragon, and two legs is really a wyvern, if we’re going to be geeky about it. Casting cynicism aside, it’s not a bad change! It looks balanced and makes sense that another era of Targaryens have their take on the sigil, based on Westeros history. Call it a fresh start.

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of


  1. Also, in the books it is pointed out that there are no references of the original sigil so they made it to resemble it, and Jorah agrees that it looks alike but not exactly the same.

  2. Although I am relatively luke warm about the show overall one nice thing I have noticed is that there are some subtle throwbacks to Game of Thrones like this. Just watching the new trailer which dropped today also perked my interest as for the first time it really felt like it could feel a bit like GOT.

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