“Game of Thrones” fans, it’s time to put your trust issues season 8 aside and return to Westeros for another emotionally draining adventure! The new HBO spin-off »Dragon Housepromises to have all the rich lore of the original series, plus an expansive CGI dragon budget.
As with any good high fantasy tale, your “House of the Dragon” experience will likely benefit from a little nerd homework. Here’s everything you need to know before watching to avoid common confusion like “Why are all these blondes so sad?” or “Wait, they’re Related?!”
(HBO and CNN share parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.)
“House of the Dragon” is a prequel series that focuses on the Targaryen dynasty; those of myth, madness, incest and purple shampoo. In the original ‘Game of Thrones’ show and ‘Song of Ice And Fire’ book series, the mighty House Targaryen has all but disappeared thanks to regicide and what appears to be a generational lack of family impulse control. of inbreeding. Daenerys Targaryen is one of the few left in the GoT era, and even she is prematurely sent to the Shadow Lands by her nephew-lover, Jon Snow. (The Targaryen family tree is very narrow, but complicated. The Targaryen Shillelagh family, if you will.)
Anyway, HoD is set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones”, when the Targaryens are in power and about to enter a very wicked and fiery war of succession known as ” Dragon Dance”.
Keep in mind that at the height of their power, the Targaryens were a dragon-riding terror, hence their house motto: “Fire and Blood”. Their scaled steeds brought the family from their original home of Valyria and helped them conquer all of Westeros. In the original GoT series, all of these dragons have been dead for quite some time. In HoD, they are (presumably) alive and well.
Since it’s right before the eventual fall of House Targaryen, there are a lot of Targs in play. Too many Targs, one might say. A few name tags would be nice.
- King Viserys I is the current King of Westeros. He’s actually a pretty cool guy. To give an idea of the period here, Viserys I is Daenerys’ great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. His children and loved ones are the ones fighting to inherit the power when he eventually lets go.
- Princess Rhaenyra is the daughter of Viserys by his first wife. Her father favors her as his successor, but there are several other suitors in play. It looks like most of the action will center around her. Think of her as Daenerys of this series. She wants to rule, she has the qualifications, but a bunch of guys keep getting in her way. His dragon’s name is Syrax.
- Prince Aegon II is Viserys’ eldest son and Rhaenyra’s half-brother. He is another possible successor and a very big part of the war to come.
- Demon Prince is Viserys’ brother and Rhaenyra’s uncle. He’s your typical Hamlet-y “always a prince, never a king” character. He’s a bit fussy and there’s a lot of sexual tension between him and Rhaenyra, which is, again, normal when it comes to this family.
- Alice’s High Tower is Viserys’ second wife and Rhaenyra’s stepmother. She is the mother of Aegon II and has plans to be the first reigning queen of Westeros, so she doesn’t get along with her stepdaughter. A mean mother-in-law? Innovative. At this point, just assume that everyone is corrupt and power hungry. (Very big Margaery Tyrell vibes from her too. RIP, queen.)
There are plenty more Targaryens and Targaryen-adjacent people to follow, but let’s keep the momentum going.
Another good thing to remember is that many people in Westeros believe the Targaryens have a genetic tendency towards madness. (Ser Barristan Selmy said it best: “Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath.) So even the good are, theoretically, at a disadvantage. mass murder minor.
The Iron Throne is definitely around, having been built by the first Targaryen king, Aegon. You’ll recall that many GoT characters spoke in awe of Aegon and his two sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya, who were the first generation of Targaryens to come to Westeros to (literally) set things off. They became the first ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms in Westeros. So at this point in the game when HoD takes place, the current political system has only seen Targaryen leaders.
The Red Keep was also made by Aegon, so it’s there too, as is the surrounding town of King’s Landing.
You will recognize a few houses! The Hightowers have representation, of course. There are a few Baratheons scattered around. The Lannisters at this point in Westeros history are only minor players, albeit very wealthy. We’ll learn about House Velaryon, another House of Valyrian descent that was occasionally mentioned in “Game of Thrones.” However, don’t expect to see any familiar faces from the original ‘Game of Thrones’ series.
Are your wheels fully greased for a new era of “Game of Thrones?” Are you absolutely sure? Great! Here is a sampling of real Targaryen names from the “Game of Thrones” universe.
No wonder they all went crazy. Luckily, only a small portion of these names will appear in “House of the Dragon”, but it’s dreaming of the good old days of GoT when the main character just went by “Jon”.