If you’ve been a fan of the “Game of Thrones” world for any length of time, you are aware of how complicated the character webs and family trees can be. This is particularly true of the Targaryens, the bizarre, intermarried royal line of dragon riders whose history is covered in the prequel series “House of the Dragon.”
The Mad King, Jon Snow, or Daenerys will never appear in “House of the Dragon,” if you’re curious. The spinoff series “Game of Thrones” is based on George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire & Blood,” and it takes place centuries before the events that occur in “Game of Thrones.” Season one has mainly focused on the years leading up to it, full of messy marriages, deaths, and court intrigue, but it will eventually recount an era of civil war among the Targaryens over a disputed succession to the Iron Throne. After a significant time jump, episode six introduced a new Targaryen generation and increased the drama. Episodes eight and nine introduced viewers to four additional Targaryen children who will bear the consequences of their parents’ and grandparents’ deeds. In episode seven, uncle wedded niece, nephews fought their uncle, and cousins became stepsiblings.
We’re breaking down the most significant Targaryens to be aware of to make it easier for you to keep track of who’s who amid all the incestuous relationships. Keep this handy to help keep track of all the key participants, from the main characters like Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Viserys to a refresher on how the Targaryen dynasty fits into “Game of Thrones” centuries later.
Table Of Content
- 1 Aerys II Targaryen
- 2 Aegon and Viserys Targaryen, Children of Rhaenyra and Daemon
- 3 Aegon Targaryen
- 4 Aemond Targaryen
- 5 Baela Targaryen
- 6 Daemon Targaryen
- 7 Daenerys Targaryen
- 8 Daeron Targaryen
- 9 Helaena Targaryen
- 10 Jacaerys Velaryon
- 11 Joffrey Velaryon
- 12 Jon Snow
- 13 King Aegon and Queen Helaena’s Children
- 14 Lucerys Velaryon
- 15 Rhaegar Targaryen
- 16 Rhaena Targaryen
- 17 Rhaenyra Targaryen
- 18 Rhaenys Targaryen
- 19 Targaryen Family Tree
- 20 Targaryen Sigil
- 21 Viserys I Targaryen
- 22 Viserys Targaryen
Aerys II Targaryen
Aerys II Targaryen (after referred to as “The Mad King”) is seated on the Iron Throne several generations after the civil war, with his eldest son, Rhaegar, serving as his putative successor. His incestuous lineage (he is the son of siblings Jaehaerys and Shaera Targaryen, who themselves come from a long, incest-filled line), the continual loss of family (he witnessed the deaths of three sons), and being imprisoned for six months during the Defiance of Duskendale uprising are just a few of the reasons why he quickly starts to unravel mentally. His paranoia increased throughout, and he eventually lost control of his sanity. He was the 17th and last Targaryen to sit on the Iron Throne, and he was ultimately assassinated by Ser Jaime Lannister, a member of his own Kingsguard, during Robert’s Rebellion.
The Mad King, played by David Rintoul (shown above), makes a fleeting cameo appearance in “Game of Thrones” season six, episode six, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flashback.
Aegon and Viserys Targaryen, Children of Rhaenyra and Daemon
In the eighth episode of “House of the Dragon,” King Viserys gets to know his two new grandsons, Aegon and Viserys. A third child is also growing inside of Rhaenyra. The youngsters are still quite little even though they would eventually play important roles in the upcoming conflict. Aegon, the name of Rhaenyra’s son, is a tribute to Westeros’ first ruler, like his uncle Aegon. Aegon’s egg hatches into the dragon Stormcloud, and both boys had dragon eggs placed in their cradles. The egg of Viserys does not hatch. After the conflict, both lads will eventually rule over the Seven Kingdoms together, but there is a long journey ahead of them.
Rhaenyra gives birth to her third child with Daemon at the beginning of episode 10, going into labour early after learning that her father has passed away and that her half-brother has been crowned. Though it is never mentioned on the show, the baby’s name in the books is Visenya. They perform a funeral for the infant soon after her birth because she is stillborn.
The eldest child of King Viserys and Alicent Hightower is Prince Aegon (not to be confused with his younger cousin/nephew, Aegon, the son of Rhaenyra and Daemon). Viserys intends to make Rhaenyra, his daughter from his first marriage, his successor even after the birth of Aegon and his siblings. Despite the fact that viewers learned in “House of the Dragon” episode nine that Aegon had mostly accepted that his father didn’t want him to be king, this irritates Alicent and her faction at court. Aegon, who has a relationship with the dragon Sunfyre with golden scales, is also a dragonrider.
Before his half-sister Rhaenyra is even informed of her father’s passing, Alicent, her father, and their allies faction seizes control and crowns him Aegon II. The whole Targaryen clan and their friends throughout Westeros join sides in what develops into a devastating civil war because Rhaenyra is unwilling to give up her claim so lightly.
The second son and third child of Kings Viserys and Queen Alicent is Aemond Targaryen. When he was younger, his siblings and nephew tease him for not owning a dragon, which motivated him to claim Vhagar during Laena Velaryon’s burial.
Aemond harbours intense hatred for his older brother, whom he considers to be harsh and unworthy of being king. Even in episode nine, he claims that he would be a better king, and Aegon agrees. Additionally, he never misses an opportunity to mock his nephews Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey for allegedly being bastards rather than the sons of Ser Harwin Strong. But Aemond and his sister Helaena do appear to be close and protective of one another.
The twin sister of Rhaena Targaryen, Baela Targaryen is the child of Laena Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen. After their parents’ marriage, the sisters were born in Pentos. Moondancer, Baela’s dragon, has not yet been featured on the programme. As a juvenile dragon, Moondancer is not yet prepared to participate in the Dance of Dragons.
Jacaerys, Baela’s cousin and stepbrother, is her fiancé. She is raised as a ward of her grandparents, Princess Rhaenys and Lord Corlys, in Driftmark in “House of the Dragon,” following the death of her mother. The couple is highly committed to one another in “Fire & Blood,” and Baela doesn’t want to be apart from Jace throughout the conflict.
The late Prince Baelon Targaryen and his wife (and sister), Alyssa, had a son named Prince Daemon. King Viserys I is Daemon’s older sibling. His dragon, Caraxes, is a dragonrider like his brother. Over the course of his life, Daemon marries three times. Rhea Royce, his first wife, perishes tragically young in a riding accident. They have two children, Baela and Rhaena, from his second marriage to Laena Velaryon, who is descended from the Targaryen family through her mother, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen.
Daemon marries his niece Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen for the third and final time after Laena dies giving delivery. Daemon becomes one of Rhaenyra’s greatest allies in her fight to reclaim the Iron Throne, which she feels is legitimately hers and her line’s, and the couple have two boys and a daughter.
The youngest child of Aerys II, Daenerys, develops into a powerful queen contender in her own right from being a teenage pawn in her brother’s schemes. She starts working on her own plan to take over as queen in Westeros after her brother Viserys dies. After a brief marriage to Khal Drogo, which ends in his death, she miscarries the child they were supposed to have. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are the first dragons to hatch in many generations thanks to her.
She assembles an army of outcasts, liberated slaves, large and minor noble houses, and numerous more over the course of several years to support her claim to the Iron Throne. She eventually starts making her way through Westeros, where she encounters Jon Snow, who requests her assistance in taking down the Night King’s army. Without knowing they are connected, Dany and Jon fall in love. Daenerys’ hold on sanity begins to wane as the fights get more savage and the losses become more intensely personal. She does succeed in claiming the Iron Throne, but only after going insane and setting King’s Landing on fire. Just as she is about to take the throne, Jon murders her.
Three of Queen Alicent and King Viserys’s children, Aegon, Helaena, and Aemond, have been all that viewers have seen so far in “House of the Dragon.” Daeron, their third son and fourth kid, has not been mentioned. It wasn’t immediately obvious if he had been cut from the show because in the books, he is brought to Oldtown as a teenager to act as the cupbearer for his mother’s uncle. On October 11, Martin clarified that Daeron does indeed exist on the programme and is in Oldtown in a post on his blog. He wrote, “We simply did not have the time to work him in this season.
Daeron, like his siblings, is a dragonrider, and Tessarion serves as his mount. He is referred to as the nicest of the three boys in “Fire & Blood.” He also goes by the name Daeron the Daring and battles alongside his brother in the Dance of Dragons.
The daughter of King Viserys and Queen Alicent is Helaena Targaryen. She’s interestingly one of the few Targaryens with a distinctive name that isn’t at least a variation of another person’s name. She might have been named after Alicent’s mother, whose identity is unknown. There are hints throughout the show that Helaena is a dreamer who has the ability to see visions of the future, as well as being a dragonrider whose mount is Dreamfyre, yet viewers have yet to see her with her dragon on “House of the Dragon.”
Helaena had known for the majority of her life that she will marry her older brother Aegon II, despite a brief suggestion by her half-sister Princess Rhaenyra that she instead marry Helaena’s nephew Jacaerys, who is Rhaenyra’s eldest son. The series depicts Aegon as being uninterested in spending any time with his sister before they are married and even mocks her. In the books, the couple finally had three kids.
Despite having Ser Harwin Strong as his biological father, Jacaerys Velaryon is the eldest child of Princess Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon. Because Jacaerys is gay and he and Rhaenyra were unable to have children of their own, Laenor is aware that Jacaerys and his siblings are not his and accepts this. In “Fire and Blood,” Jacaerys and Daeron are roughly the same age.
Jace is engaged to Baela Targaryen, his cousin and stepsister. He formed a link with the dragon Vermax when it was a hatchling, and now he rides it. The first of Rhaenyra’s sons to recognise their real father, Jace laments his passing. If they ever gain the throne, Jace, his mother’s heir, would succeed her as monarch.
The eldest son of Rhaenyra and Laenor is Joffrey Velaryon. Similar to his brother, Ser Harwin Strong, who is assassinated by his own brother, Larys, not long after Joffrey’s birth, is revealed to be Joffrey’s real father in episode six of “House of the Dragon.” His father’s lover Joffrey, who was murdered by Ser Criston Cole at Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding feast, is the inspiration for Joffrey’s name. In “Fire & Blood,” Lord Corlys prevented Laenor from naming Jace and Luke after Joffrey, but with their third child, Laenor finally took advantage of the opportunity.
Like his brothers, Joffrey formed a kinship with a young dragon named Tyraxes. Rhaenyra bans Joffrey from fighting since the dragon is not yet big enough to engage in combat when the Dance of the Dragon starts.
Jon Snow is brought up believing he is Ned Stark’s son, born out of an affair with a lady named Wylla, and the last Targaryen to survive doesn’t even know he’s a Targaryen until very late in “Game of Thrones.” He actually holds the Iron Throne as Aegon Targaryen, the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna, Ned’s sister.
After years of service with the Night’s Watch, Jon finally receives recognition as King in the North. He meets up with his remaining Stark “siblings” and takes on the responsibility of communicating with Daenerys Targaryen in an effort to enlist her assistance in the fight against the Night King. He is surprised that one of her dragons, Rhaegal, allows him to ride him when he first meets them, and he later rides Rhaegal into battle.
Unaware that they are actually aunt and nephew, Jon and Dany fall in love. When the truth is revealed to them, Jon is more shocked by the fact of their biological relationship than Dany, who worries that Jon may seek to take the crown. In the end, Jon continues to be loyal to Dany even after seeing her burning of King’s Landing and feeling appalled. In an effort to save Westeros, he murders her, and as retribution for her demise, he goes back into exile with the Night’s Watch.
King Aegon and Queen Helaena’s Children
The twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, the oldest children of Aegon and Helaena, were initially introduced to viewers in episode eight. Jaehaerys has six fingers on his left hand and six toes on each foot in Martin’s book. In the books, they are six years old, but in “House of the Dragon,” they are only toddlers when their father is crowned. It’s unclear whether Maelor, Aegon and Helaena’s third child in the books, will also feature in the television series. Jaehaerys bonds with the dragon Shrykos in the book, whereas Jaehaera bonds with the dragon Morghul. A dragon egg has not yet hatched in Maelor.
The second child of Rhaenyra and Laenor, Lucerys Velaryon shares Ser Harwin Strong as his biological father. Rhaena Targaryen, his cousin and stepsister, is the love of his life. He formed a link with his dragon, Arrax, when it was still a hatchling, just like his brothers did with theirs. Arrax is much smaller than older dragons like Vhagar, but is still large enough to fly during the Dance of the Dragons. Luke, the Driftmark heir, will likely succeed his grandfather Lord Corlys Velaryon when he passes away.
The night Aemond claimed Vhagar, Luke and his brother Jace were to blame for Aemond losing an eye. Aegon is anointed king not long after Jace is ultimately killed by Aemond on Vhagar.
Aerys and his wife/sister Rhaella had three children together: Viserys and Daenerys, who are younger siblings, and Rhaegar, the oldest. He stands out as a knight rather than a dragonrider like his forefathers because dragons are long extinct or almost extinct.
Rhaegar marries Elia Martell and they have a son and a daughter together. Rhaegar causes more issues as he falls in love with Lyanna Stark, adding to his father’s problems as he spirals farther into tyranny and lunacy. When the Starks and the Baratheons think Rhaegar has kidnapped Lyanna, a civil war breaks out, and it culminates with the Targaryen dynasty being destroyed and both Aerys and Rhaegar being killed. Rhaegar and Lyanna actually had a romantic relationship, in actuality. After secretly marrying Lyanna, who passed away while giving birth to their son Aegon, Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia annulled. The last season of “Game of Thrones” reveals that Aegon was nurtured by the Starks in the same manner as Jon Snow.
Rhaena is the twin of Baela and the child of Laena and Daemon. Since her mother passed away, she has been residing with her father’s new family. She is engaged to her stepbrother and cousin Lucerys Velaryon, the next Lord of Driftmark after their grandpa Corlys. Rhaena does not currently have a dragon in the show, but she will ultimately hatch and form a relationship with the dragon Morning.
Laena, the mother of Baela and Rhaena, died giving birth to her kid. The two felt that they should have inherited their mother’s dragon Vhagar, and were indignant when Aemond took it. She and Prince Joffrey remain in the Vale of Arryn throughout the Dance of Dragons for their safety.
Viserys I’s planned heir is Princess Rhaenyra, the sole surviving child of Viserys I and his first wife, Queen Aemma. She has a link with the dragon Syrax and is a dragonrider as well. She lacks full-blooded siblings, but she has a large number of half-siblings as a result of her father’s second marriage, which sparks the American Civil War.
Before becoming a widow, Rhaenyra initially marries Ser Laenor Velaryon, with whom she had three kids (at least by name). Aegon, Viserys, and Visenya are the offspring of her second marriage to her uncle Prince Daemon Targaryen. Rhaenyra is not even informed of her father’s passing until after her half-brother Aegon ascends to the kingdom. As a result of the conflict between Rhaenyra and Aegon’s claims, civil war breaks out.
She and Daemon’s offspring are ultimately responsible for carrying on the Targaryen line.
She is the daughter of the late Prince Aemon Targaryen and his wife, Jocelyn Baratheon, and is regarded as the “Queen Who Never Was.” She was assumed to be her father’s heir as her father, Aemon, was Jaehaerys I’s son and heir. Rhaenys rides the “Red Queen” Meleys, a dragon, like other Targaryens do.
But when her father passed away before taking the kingdom, Jaehaerys had to decide between Rhaenys and Baelon, Aemon’s brother and Rhaenys’s uncle. Jaehaerys decided on the deceased Baelon. Jaehaerys made the decision to convene a Great Council so that everyone’s aspirations for the throne could be discussed. The two strongest arguments were made by Viserys, the son of Baelon, and Rhaenys. Viserys is overwhelmingly chosen by the lords because he is a male. She will always bear that insult with her husband Corlys Velaryon.
Daughter Laena, who weds Rhaenys’s cousin Daemon, and son Laenor, who weds Rhaenyra, are the children of Rhaenys and Corlys. If everything had gone according to plan, Laenor would have been the queen’s consort. Given that everyone in these marriages (apart from Corlys) is closely related, it is one of the instances where the Targaryen tree becomes most convoluted.
Targaryen Family Tree
The full Targaryen family tree, from Aegon the Conqueror all the way down to Jon Snow, is shown below as it appears in the books (the “Game of Thrones” TV version adds minor alterations). (NOTE: The tree does not include Targaryens who did not live to adulthood.)
HBO, Helen Sloan, Ollie Upton, and Ava Cruz provided the images for this description.
A family of dragonriders, the Targaryens’ insignia depicts a three-headed dragon spitting fire. The symbol is depicted above as a chrome-colored chandelier hanging over the royal family, despite the fact that the colours are red on black.
Viserys I Targaryen
Viserys I, the fifth ruler of the Targaryen dynasty, sits on the Iron Throne at the beginning of “House of the Dragon.” He is the son of Baelon Targaryen, the grandson of “the Conciliator,” Jaehaerys I, and an ancestor of Aegon I, the Conqueror, who conquered Westeros and established the Targaryen dynasty. Viserys, like other members of his family, is a dragonrider. In actuality, Viserys rides the same dragon that I did, Aegon, named Balerion. He doesn’t look for a replacement dragon until Balerion dies under Jaehaerys’ rule. Balerion’s skull is seen to viewers in the Red Keep during “House of the Dragon.”
During Viserys’s reign, there are many important uncertainties regarding his successor. Only one heir from his first marriage to Aemma Arryn, his daughter Rhaenyra, survives. He wants Rhaenyra to be his heir, but his marriages makes that more difficult. His eldest son, Aegon, is ultimately anointed King by the greens after his death in his second marriage to Alicent Hightower, which yields three sons and a girl in addition to him. His complex family is the root of the Targaryen family tree.
Viserys is the oldest Targaryen still alive following the death of his father, Aerys. He flees with Daenerys Targaryen to Braavos because he is her brother, where he makes plans to find a way to put their family back on the throne. He intends to use Khal Drogo, a Dothraki chieftain, to marry his teenage sister in order to gain their backing and military might.
However, Viserys’ deceit and haughtiness eventually backfire. The Dothraki grow impatient with Viserys as Dany becomes increasingly self-assured and popular. When he makes threats against Dany and her unborn child and demands his “crown,” Khal Drogo has him slain by pouring molten gold over his head.