In episode 3 of House of the Dragon, there isnt a lot of agreement on who should be the next ruler of Westeros. Many call for Aegon to be next in line (he is the firstborn son of King Viserys) while others insist the throne is still Rhaenyras (he is the actual firstborn)
The stag is not what he imagined, but it is, as one of the helpers warns, still a big guy, but the animal is not white. This moment, which is staged, underwhelming, and without the clear symbolism he so clearly seeks, provides no clarity about who the gods intend to show their favor to.
Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) is the one who spots the enormous white stag at a cliff in the morning. By design, she stares it down, prevents Ser Criston (Fabien Frankel) from killing it, and lets it go away. But the whole scene feels a bit mystical, drawing from the type of magic Game of Thrones used to employ to keep its high fantasy characters guessing about the future.
The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is unpredictable and randomly spread across the globe. No religion had a monopoly on magic, but none of them had a clear grasp on it. Changed faces, reanimation, and ghost demon babies all existed with the same ease as lightning or a vision from looking into a fire.
House of the Dragon is based on Fire & Blood, which is a fairly brief history of the events as told by three people who witnessed (or witnessed) them. While George R.R. Martin brought whole characters back to life in the A Song of Ice and Fire books that the show left dead, Fire & Blood reads more like a textbook, leaving out the more otherworldly aspects of Martin's world.
The stag hunt in episode 3, like the one we know of Aegon the Conquerors' dream from episode 1, is a step back toward a more mysterious world of Thrones. This time, the narrative may be one we know the end of, but the signs along the way are more confusing. For instance, the Iron Throne appears to those who may be worthy, and the white stag appears to those who may be. But is any of that the best measure for being a good ruler? Only the god