Dreams did not make them kings; dragons did! The recently concluded first season of the fantasy TV series House of the Dragon garnered millions of views and critical acclaim worldwide. As a prequel to Game of Thrones, the events in HOTD happen 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, the “Mother of Dragons.” The Targaryens have been one of the most powerful and formidable houses in the fictional world created by George R.R. Martin.
However, you would not be the first to doubt who is related to whom in the Targaryen family. With all the murky political intricacies and incest, it is difficult to figure out the relationships between the silver-haired royals. For those who have yet to read the books by GRRM, the relationships among key characters in House of the Dragon could be pretty confusing. Let us figure out how the key characters of HOTD in the Targaryen family tree are related to each other. But before diving deeper into the topic, look at ExpressVPN’s Targaryen family tree infographic and use it as a visual aid to better grasp their relations.
The War for Succession
The officially recognized timeline of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros starts with Aegon, the Conqueror. House of the Dragon begins with a vote for succession to the grandson of Aegon, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, also known as the “Old King.” Under his peaceful reign of around 45 years, Jaehaerys I had only two children out of 14 to outlive him.
The succession vote pitted two of his successors, Viserys I Targaryen and Rhaenys Targaryen. Viserys was the son of Baelon Targaryen, the younger son of Jaehaerys, while Rhaenys was the daughter of Aemon Targaryen, the eldest son of Jaehaerys. Viserys is crowned as the successor by the approval of a great council of all the houses in Westeros. The plot of HOTD revolves around the families of Viserys and Rhaenys, and the best way to understand the Targaryen family tree in HOTD would be to start with them.
Viserys I Targaryen
Viserys Targaryen married Aemma Arryn, his cousin’s sister and they had only one child, princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. After Aemma’s death during childbirth, Viserys married Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Viserys had three children with Alicent Hightower in the show, while the books mention the fourth child, Daeron Targaryen. The three children of Viserys mentioned in the show are:
- Aegon II Targaryen
- Helaena Targaryen
- Aemond Targaryen
The “Queen that Never Was”, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, stands true to her name, owing to her influence on the politics of Westeros. Rhaenys married Corlys Velaryon, the Master of Ships of Viserys Targaryen. She had two children,
- Laena Velaryon
- Laenor Velaryon
The ‘Realm’s Delight,’ princess Rhaenyra married Laenor Velaryon to join the two great houses of Westeros and strengthen her claim to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra had three sons with Laenor (although many believe them to be the offspring of Ser Harwin Strong and end up keeping only their tongue!),
- Jacaerys Velaryon
- Lucerys Velaryon
- Joffrey Velaryon (Not the Joffrey you are thinking about now.)
The “Rogue Prince,” Daemon Targaryen, steals the show in HOTD with an unnerving aura built around the character. The younger brother of Viserys Targaryen was married to Rhea Royce, although the couple never consummated the marriage. Shortly after the apparent death of Lady Rhea in a freak accident, Daemon married Laena Velaryon.
Daemon had two twin girls with Laena – Baela and Rhaena Targaryen. However, Daemon had to remarry Rhaenyra Targaryen after the death of Laena during childbirth, upon Rhaenyra’s request. Daemon and Rhaenyra had two sons, Aegon III Targaryen and Viserys II Targaryen, as shown in HOTD.
What Lies Ahead for the Targaryens?
The anticipation for “The Dance of Dragons” or the Targaryen Civil War has been amplified by considerable margins after the season finale. How will silver-haired, dragon-riding royals fight off for their claim to the Iron Throne? The Targaryen family tree would get more complicated further in the timeline of GRRM’s universe. As of now, we can only wait to see what happens next in the second season of the House of the Dragon.