Targaryen Family Tree: House of the Dragon Relationships


Warning: This post contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.

Which blonde dragon-rider will rule the Seven Kingdoms? That is the question at the heart of House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel that tells the story of how a civil war—often called the Dance of the Dragons—pitted Targaryen against Targaryen nearly 200 years before the events of Thrones.

The rules of succession in Westeros are complicated and a bit fungible. One king may decide to pass over a female heir in favor of a man, while another may upend that tradition, just one generation later.

When House of the Dragon begins, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) has no male heir. And after his newborn baby boy dies in the first episode, his courtiers pressure him to name the person who will follow him on the Iron Throne: His nasty brother Daemon (Matt Smith) or his daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock at the beginning of the series, Emma D’Arcy later). Over his council’s objections he picks Rhaenyra, even though that means breaking the tradition of barring women from the Iron Throne.

But by the second episode another potential heir emerges. After the death of his wife during childbirth, Viserys remarries and has a son with Rhaenyra’s best friend, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey, then Olivia Cooke). In theory that baby could have a claim to the throne. To understand the drama, you need a handle on the family relationships. But all those blondes can blend together. The Targaryen family tree is admittedly complicated—though compact thanks to the family’s penchant for incest.

Read More: The Definitive Guide to the Game of Thrones Family Tree

Here is the family tree as it stands by the second episode of Season 1 of House of the Dragon. For the sake of clarity, we’ve only included the relevant children in terms of the line of succession.

Photo illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME; HBO

Daenys “the Dreamer” Targaryen

Daenys Targaryen, who came to be known as Daenys the Dreamer, had a vision that the city of Valyria—where all the dragonriders once resided—would be consumed in some apocalyptic event. Her father, Aenar, took this vision to heart and moved his entire family out of Valyria to Dragonstone. Daenys’ vision came to pass, and the Targaryens became the last remaining dragonriders in the world.

Read More: Why Targaryen Dreams Are So Important in House of the Dragon

Aegon “The Conqueror” Targaryen

Aegon Targaryen united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros with the help of his two sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya.

The Targaryens often intermarried to keep the bloodline pure, but that tradition could result in nasty consequences. As Cersei points out in Game of Thrones, when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. Some turn out monsters, others are good leaders. That was the case for Aegon’s two sons. Aenys Targaryen was a fine leader, but his brother Maegor “The Cruel” Targaryen murdered him.

Read More: How the Song of Ice and Fire Prophecy in House of the Dragon Changes the Story of the Mad King in Game of Thrones

Aenys Targaryen

Aenys was bequeathed a rather unfortunate name. (Though, in fairness, it’s pronounced “Ennis.”) But he overcame that to become a kind ruler until his brother killed him in cold blood. He married Alyssa Velaryon, a descendent of the one other Valyrian family that survived the downfall of that city—though crucially Velaryons are not dragonriders. Still, Velaryons became major players in the game of thrones fairly early on by allying themselves with the Targaryens.

Jaehaerys “The Old King” Targaryen

Maegor ruled for just six years before he died—his council found him impaled on his own Iron Throne. (Ouch!) Whether he was murdered or injured himself on the throne rumored to prick kings unworthy of sitting on it is up for debate.

Read More: Why It Matters When the King Is Cut by the Iron Throne on House of the Dragon

Aenys’ son Jaehaerys then inherited the throne. He married his sister Alyssane, which is not great for obvious reasons, but apparently the two were actually in love. They were both supposed to marry suitors outside the family but eloped together instead. Jaeherys’ rule was a golden age for Westeros. He built roads and sewage infrastructure—all the things a king does when he’s not busy burning people to a crisp with his dragons. Jaehaerys and Alyssane had 13 children together, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll just talk about the few who were vying for the throne.

Aemon Targaryen

Aemon was Jaehaerys’ first son to survive into adulthood. He married Jocelyn Baratheon, who was not a Targaryen (good!) but was his aunt (not so good!) But Aemon died before his father did, leaving behind a daughter, Rhaenys Targaryen. Aemon’s younger brother Baelon became the heir.

Baelon Targaryen

Baelon and his sister married and had two sons, Viserys and Daemon Targaryen. Baelon died of a “burst belly” (perhaps a burst appendix) before his father passed away. At this point Jaehaerys has no obvious heirs to the throne.

Rhaenys “The Queen Who Never Was” Targaryen

Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon in House of the Dragon

Ollie Upton—HBO

As the child of Jaehaerys’ eldest son Aemon, Rhaenys (Eve Best) theoretically should have been the first in line for the throne. But because Westeros is a sexist place, the lords balked at the idea of a woman ruling over them. Jaehaerys, wary of an uprising, called together a council to decide who should inherit the Iron Throne. The council picked Baelon’s eldest child, Viserys, over Rhaenys, who came to be known as “the queen who never was.”

Read More: Every Character Who Has Died on Game of Thrones

Viserys Targaryen

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Ollie Upton—HBO

Viserys marries his cousin Aemma (Sian Brooke), who gives birth to Rhaenyra Targaryen. Unfortunately, the couple is unable to sire a male heir. In the first episode of House of the Dragon, Aemma dies in childbirth after Viserys cruelly forces her to have a C-section against her consent. Their son, too, dies. Viserys is left with no obvious heir and eventually decides to name Rhaenyra as the next in line for the throne.

However, by the second episode of the show, Viserys has remarried Alicent Hightower, and together they produce a son, Aegon II Targaryen. Aegon II, merely by existing, is a threat to Rhaenyra’s rule.

Daemon Targaryen

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Ollie Upton/HBO

Daemon Targaryen, a storied if bloodthirsty warrior, not-so-secretly covets the Iron Throne. Viserys’ councilors fear that Deamon might take drastic action to usurp the throne from Viserys or even Rhaenyra. Daemon has been married off for strategic purposes but hates his wife. As of the beginning of the show, he looks to have very little hope in challenging Rhaenyra or Aegon II for a spot on the throne.

Corlys “The Sea Snake” Velaryon

Steve Toussaint in the Game of Thrones prequel House of Dragon


Known as the the Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) was a fabled sailor who marries Rhaenys Targaryen—a rare love match in Westeros’ history. Together, they have Laenor (Matthew Carver early in the show, John Macmillan later) and Laena Velaryon (Nova Foueillis-Mosé early, Savannah Steyn later). Corlys pressures Viserys into marrying Leana when she’s still a child, but Viserys chooses to wed Alicent Hightower instead. Still, the two Velaryon children will come to play important roles in the future of the show as key allies to various Targaryens.

Read More: Your Ultimate Guide to Binge-Watching Every Game of Thrones Episode

Alicent Hightower

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

Ollie Upton—HBO

Alicent is the daughter of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Hand to both King Jaehaerys and King Viserys. At the beginning of the show, she’s a woman of the court who largely keeps Rhaenyra Targaryen company. But Otto encourages Alicent to comfort King Viserys after his wife’s death and become invaluable to the ruler. Viserys eventually falls for Alicent Hightower, and they have Aegon II.

Read More: Who Is the Hightower Family on House of the Dragon?

Rhaenyra Targaryen

Milly Alcock in House of the Dragon

Ollie Upton—HBO

Viserys long ignores Rhaenyra, hoping that a male heir will essentially replace her. When he does finally name Rhaenyra as next in line for the throne, Rhaenyra faces skepticism from a kingdom that would prefer to see her half-brother as king than ever submit to a queen. Though she does not wish to marry, certain marriages could prove essential in shoring up support for her bid for the throne.

Aegon II Targaryen

Aegon II Targaryen arrives just in time to send the kingdom into further chaos as lords question why the Iron Throne would pass to Rhaenyra when the king finally has a son.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at [email protected].

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