‘House of the Dragon’: Meet the Targaryens at War in the ‘Game of Thrones Prequel

HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff titled House of the Dragon has all eyes turned to the Targaryen family as they fight to take over the Iron Throne. This time the action is set 200-300 years before the events we saw in Game of Thrones, so you won’t see any familiar faces, but you will hear some familiar names.

The Targaryens might have the most complicated lineage of any group of characters in George R.R. Martin’s world of dragons and dire wolves, so it can be challenging to keep track of who’s who. Here’s a closer look at the part of the Targaryen family tree House of the Dragon will include.

Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in a production still from the upcoming season of 'House of the Dragon'
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen | Ollie Upton/HBO

The Targaryens are at war in ‘House of the Dragon’

Fans are used to seeing all the families in Westeros fighting over the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones, but that’s not the case in House of the Dragon. This series will zone in on just the Targaryens and the infighting within their family. 

  • King Viserys I: Viserys I is the son of Baelon and Alyssa Targaryen. He was first married to Aemma Arryn, and together they had one daughter, Rhaenyra. They also had two sons, one before Rhaenyra and one after, but neither boy survived. Aemma died shortly after giving birth to her second son, and King Viserys I married Alicent Hightower.
  • Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen: Rhaenyra looks to be one of the main focuses of House of the Dragon and her quest for the throne. No one has ever just been handed the Iron Throne, which is certainly not the case for Rhaenyra. However, from the cast list on IMDb it looks as though we’ll see her grow up throughout the first season, so we aren’t sure how much of her story will be told in the first 10 episodes.
  • Prince Daemon Targaryen: Daemon Targaryen is Viserys I’s younger brother and is known for his fiery temper. He’s had his eyes on the throne for years and has often been at odds with his older brother. Daemon eventually takes Rhaenyra as his third wife and is on her side as she vies for the throne. According to A Wiki of Fire and Ice, the two get married without Viserys I’s knowledge, which probably ramps up the tension between the brothers.

Who is most likely to cause problems within the Targaryen family?

It wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones spinoff if it didn’t give audiences nerve-wracking anxiety. So, we’re optimistic there will be some key players in getting the battles going. 

  • Queen Alicent Hightower: King Viserys I’s second wife gave birth to three sons and one daughter. At first, Alicent got along well with Princess Rhaenyra. However, when Viserys I maintained that he still wanted Rhaenyra as his successor, those feelings grew sour.
  • Prince Aegon Targaryen: Aegon is the son of Alicent and Viserys I and the oldest of the couple’s children. As the eldest son, he and his mom believe he should be the heir to the throne and not Rhaenyra. Nobody settles anything with a simple family meeting in the Realm, so we know this leads to bloodshed.

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We don’t think we’ll see the events in ‘Dance of the Dragons’ right away

There have been questions about whether or not audiences will see the events in Martin’s novel Fire and Blood play out in House of the Dragon Season 1. The characters listed on the show’s IMDb doesn’t include Aegon as a character. Plus, they have various actors playing Rhaenyra at different stages in her life. This hints at the possibility that we’ll see the buildup of tension between Alicent and Rhaenyra as well as Viserys I and Daemon. 

House of Dragon will premiere sometime in 2022. It will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max.