The conclusion of Game of Thrones left fans eager to learn more about the world of Westeros. Thanks to the recent release of the ‘House of the Dragon on HBO Max, the Targaryens are back on screens. The series tells the story of Westeros after it was conquered and unified by the dragon family. Targaryens peacefully ruled the continent for centuries until conflicts over the succession to the throne destroyed the family. The series is based on George R.R. Martin's novel ‘Fire and Blood.’
A prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon provides insight into the history of Westeros and its former rulers, starting 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. It follows the Targaryen reign over the Seven Kingdoms, leading up to their civil war, known as the Dance of Dragons. Fans had been anticipating the release for a long time, and it is no surprise that the first episode garnered millions of views.
We have seen only a few Targaryens, but there are many more to be found in the books. In this article, we’ll be showing prominent names from the Targaryen Family Tree and briefly introducing notable characters.
You might remember hearing about Aegon I Targaryen in the first season of Game of Thrones. Known also as Aegon the Conqueror, he displayed great military prowess in the invasion of Westeros. Aegon unified six of the Seven Kingdoms under his reign and maintained peace and harmony across the realm.
Wanting to keep the bloodline pure, he married both his sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya.
He was the son of Aegon I and the second Targaryen to rule over the Seven Kingdoms. Aenys married Alyssa of House Velaryon, a family of traders and ship masters and a strong ally of the Targaryens.
King Jaehaerys I
The first episode of the House of the Dragon introduced King Jaehaerys, also known as “The Old King.” Jaehaerys was the longest-ruling Targaryen and maintained a peaceful and prosperous reign. In line with the pure bloodline tradition, he married his sister Alysanne and had 14 children with her.
Out of all their children, only 9 made it to adulthood. Towards the end of his reign, Jaehaerys let the Great Council choose his successor. Rhaenys and Viserys were the strongest claimants.
Princess Rhaenys (played by Eve Best)
Rhaenys had a claim to the throne through her father, but the Council chose her cousin Viserys due to her being a woman. As she was passed over in the line of succession, the court jester named her the ‘Queen Who Never Was.’
She married Corlys Velaryon, Viserys' Master of Ships.
King Viserys I (played by Paddy Considine)
King Viseryes, known as the ” Young King,” was the fifth king to sit on the Iron Throne. He maintained his grandfather’s legacy of peace and prosperity.
Viserys got married to his cousin Aemma Arryn, and together they had one daughter, Rhaenyra. At the start of the House of the Dragon, Viserys is expecting a second child with Aemma, but both his wife and newborn son die shortly after labour.
Prince Daemon (played by Matt Smith)
Next is prince Daemon, the younger brother of King Viserys I and heir presumptive. His personality is rude and arrogant and he considered himself the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. Daemon often clashed with his brother over succession.
Regarding his personal life, Daemon was unhappy with his marriage and had a mistress named Mysaria.
Princess Rhaenyra (played by Milly Alcock & Emma D'Arcy)
Princess Rhaenyra was the only surviving child of king Viserys I and had a legitimate claim to sit on the Iron Throne. She was cheered as the“ Realm’s Delight” and was a gifted dragon rider. Being a woman, her right to the throne was challenged, which incited the Targaryen civil war.
The first episodes of the House of the Dragon followed young Rhaenyers, but we will get to see to see a grown-up Rhaenyra (played by Emma D'Arcy), as she plays a major role in the Dance of Dragons. The series begins a bit before her time, with the Great Council of King Jaehaerys I, and will progress towards the civil war.