House Targaryen family tree in House of the Dragon explained
As is to be expected from the world of Game of Thrones, the Targaryen family tree gets a little bit complicated...
It's never a dull day in House Targaryen, and as we approach the finale of House of the Dragon, it's all to play for.
We know we'll have a second season to look forward to, but as for the state of the Targaryen family before we get there, that's anyone's guess.
But in the meantime, why not recap on who’s who in House of the Dragon and how Rhaenyra, her father King Viserys and others are related to their Game of Thrones descendent Daenerys.
Read on for everything you need to know about the House Targaryen family tree as it stands at the start of the House of the Dragon.
The Targaryen family tree in House of the Dragon explained
The House of the Dragon features numerous notable figures from House Targaryen and begins years prior to the events of the main series during the reign of the Old King himself, King Jaehaerys.
However, he was not the first monarch over multiple kingdoms of Westeros and nor the earliest Targaryen ruler to be mentioned in the series.
King Aegon "The Conquerer" Targaryen
Aegon the Conquerer was the first Targaryen monarch of Westeros as he conquered much of the continent and united it beneath the House of the Dragon.
House Targaryen had been based on the island of Dragonstone off the coast of Westeros for years but it was Aegon - after a dream which prophesied the arrival of The Prince Who Was Promised - who decided to conquer the continent for his family and unite it.
Alongside his sister-wives Visenya Targaryen and Rhaenys Targaryen, the trio would go on to conquer six of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Much of Aegon's reign was spent attempting to take the principality of Dorne but was unsuccessful and even led to the loss of Queen Rhaenys.
Eventually, an enigmatic letter from Prince Nymor Martell of Dorne persuaded King Aegon to agree to peace.
After this, King Aegon spent the remainder of his reign consolidating his rule and preparing his son Prince Aenys Targaryen to rule alongside his wife, Lady Alyssa Velaryon.
Following Aegon's death, he was succeeded by his weak son by Queen Rhaenys as King Aenys I Targaryen and then he was succeeded by Aegon's tyrannical son by Queen Visenya, King Maegor I Targaryen (Maegor the Cruel).
Both reigns ended in fire and blood until Aenys' fourth child and third son, Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, came to the throne and would prove the longest-reigning and most peaceful ruler of House Targaryen.
King Jaehaerys I Targaryen
At the start of House of the Dragon, we see that King Jaehaerys I Targaryen (Michael Carter) summons a council to settle the question of who will succeed him.
Jaehaerys was the longest-reigning Targaryen monarch and ruled for 55 years, becoming known as The Old King.
He was the grandson of King Aegon I Targaryen, aka Aegon the Conquerer, who came to rule over most of Westeros after he took control with his two sister-wives, Queen Visenya Targaryen and Queen Rhaenys Targaryen.
After Aegon's death, his son by Rhaenys became the monarch in the form of King Aenys I Targaryen.
After him, Aegon's son by Visenya, King Maegor Targaryen (aka Maegor the Cruel) became a tyrannical ruler after Aenys' death and even killed Aenys' eldest son, Aegon.
However, following Maegor's mysterious death, Aenys' son Jaehaerys claimed the throne after stoking rebellion against his tyrannical uncle.
King Jaehaerys was married to his sister-wife Queen Alysanne Targaryen, with whom he had two sons who lived to adulthood and also had multiple daughters.
Following the deaths of both of his sons, Prince Aemon and Prince Baelon, Jaehaerys decided to settle the question of succession – and avoid a civil war – between Aemon's daughter Princess Rhaenys and Baelon's eldest son Prince Viserys.
A Great Council was called and the lords of Westeros cast their vote, favouring the male choice of Viserys over Rhaenys or her own son, Ser Laenor Velaryon.
King Viserys I Targaryen
In House of the Dragon, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is a distant ancestor of Daenerys.
As the grandson of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Viserys was selected as one of the multiple claimants to the throne when Jaehaerys's sons died, leaving his grandchildren as claimants.
At a council to decide the succession, the lords of Westeros voted for Viserys to rule after his grandfather.
Viserys's father was Prince Baelon Targaryen, who had three children – Viserys, Daemon and Aegon, the latter of which died before he turned one year old.
In the series, Viserys has four children: Rhaenyra, Aegon, Helaena, and Aemond.
At the end of the eighth episode, King Viserys dies of natural causes in his chambers after being put to bed by his second wife, Alicent.
However, his final message - which had been intended for Rhaenyra - was instead said to Alicent, prompting her to seize the throne for their eldest son, Aegon.
Queen Aemma Arryn
Viserys ruled over the realm at a time of relative peace and prosperity and was married to Queen Aemma Arryn, who is played by Sian Brooke in the series.
At the start of the series, Viserys has only one legitimate child – a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
However, following the brutal death of Queen Aemma when she was subject to a caesarean section against her will, King Viserys is left to contemplate whether he should marry again to bring forth further potential heirs to the Iron Throne.
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Queen Alicent Hightower
Following the death of Queen Aemma Arryn, King Viserys I Targaryen is comforted by Lady Alicent Hightower at the urging of her father, Ser Otto Hightower the Hand of the King.
After this, and despite encouragement to wed Lady Laena Velaryon instead, King Viserys chose to marry Lady Alicent Hightower.
Having been brought up in the Red Keep, Lady Alicent was already close to the royal family and was particularly close to the King's daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Following the marriage, Queen Alicent gives birth to four children:
- Prince Aegon Targaryen
- Princess Helaena Targaryen
- Prince Aemond Targaryen
- Prince Daeron Targaryen
Over time, Alicent turns against her old friend Princess Rhaenyra due to a difference in moral attitudes and deception.
In the aftermath of Viserys' death, Alicent becomes convinced that she is the one to unite the Seven Kingdoms and seizes the Iron Throne for Aegon and has him crowned.
As of her son's ascension, Alicent is now Dowager Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Alicent is portrayed in her younger years by Emily Carey and by Olivia Cooke as an adult.
Queen Rhaenyra I Targaryen
Eventually, King Viserys comes to name Rhaenrya as his heir and makes the lords of Westeros swear to honour this pledge. Princess Rhaenyra is awarded the title of Princess of Dragonstone.
Despite being close to her uncle Prince Daemon, she replaces him in the line of succession.
Rhaenyra is a dragonrider and her mount is the dragon Syrax.
Following her marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon, Rhaenyra goes on to give birth to three sons:
- Prince Jacaerys Velaryon
- Prince Lucerys Velaryon
- Prince Joffrey Velaryon
After her husband Ser Laenor is apparently killed, Rhaenyra goes on to marry her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen.
Together, the pair have had two children by the time of episode 8 and Rhaenyra is pregnant with a third.
Their two children are:
- Prince Aegon Targaryen (the younger)
- Prince Viserys Targaryen
The eldest is named after Aegon the Conquerer but could be considered a slight on Alicent's eldest son, while the younger Viserys is named after Rhaenyra's father and Daemon's brother, King Viserys.
Following the death of Viserys, Rhaenyra's half-brother Aegon is installed as King by the Greens.
In the finale of the first season, Daemon crowns Rhaenyra with her father's crown and she becomes the disputed ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
While initially keen to avoid war, the death of her second son Lucerys sees her heart steeled and war follows.
Prince Jacaerys Velaryon
Prince Jacaerys Velaryon is the eldest son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and is second in line to the Iron Throne after his mother. He is nicknamed "Jace".
Jacaerys is a dragonrider and his mount is the dragon Vermax.
By the end of episode 8, Jacaerys is betrothed to his cousin-once-removed and step-sister, Lady Baela Targaryen.
Upon his mother's ascension to the role of Queen, Jacaerys becomes the disputed heir to the throne and carries the title Prince of Dragonstone.
In House of the Dragon, Leo Hart portrays a younger Prince Jacaerys, while Harry Collet portrays him as a young adult.
Prince Lucerys Velaryon
Prince Jacaerys' younger brother is Prince Lucerys Velaryon, nicknamed "Luke".
It is the wish of Lucerys' paternal grandfather Lord Corlys Velaryon that he eventually inherits Driftmark and the title of Lord of the Tides.
Lucerys is a dragonrider and his mount is the dragon Arrax.
By the end of episode 8, Lucerys is betrothed to his cousin-once-removed and step-sister, Lady Rhaena Targaryen.
In the finale of the first season, Lucerys is sent to Storm's End to treat with Lord Borros Baratheon on his mother's behalf but is rejected and then chased by his uncle Prince Aemond Targaryen who wishes to cut out Lucerys' eye in revenge for Lucerys having cut out one of his.
A confrontation between Arrax and Aemond's dragon Vhagar results in Lucerys' death.
In House of the Dragon, Harvey Sadler portrays a younger Prince Lucerys, while Elliot Grihault portrays him at an older age.
King Aegon II Targaryen
King Aegon II Targaryen is the son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower.
Following King Viserys' second marriage to Lady Alicent Hightower, the realm welcomes the first son of the monarch in the form of Prince Aegon.
The impact of the young boy's birth creates a conversation about whether Princess Rhaenyra should remain the heir to the Iron Throne.
Significantly, Prince Aegon is named after the conqueror himself, King Aegon I Targaryen.
Aegon is a dragonrider and his mount is the dragon Sunfyre.
Alicent later decides that Aegon should marry his own sister Princess Helaena, with the pair later having children together.
Following the death of King Viserys, the Greens install Aegon as the King on the Iron Throne and he is crowned in the Dragonpit of King's Landing.
Ty Tennant portrays Prince Aegon in adolescence before Tom Glynn-Carney portrays him as an adult.
Queen Helaena Targaryen
Queen Helaena Targaryen is the only daughter of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower.
Later in the first season, Helaena is married to her older brother Aegon.
The pair do not have a happy marriage as Aegon continues to pursue his own sexual appetites outside of their union.
The pair have three children together in the book Fire and Blood:
- Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen
- Princess Jaehaera Targaryen
- Prince Maelor Targaryen
So far, only the eldest two children have been shown in the series.
Following the death of her father, Aegon is crowned as King on the Iron Throne and Helaena becomes his Queen Consort.
The Princess is portrayed by Evie Allen as a young girl and by Phia Saban as an adult.
Prince Aemond Targaryen
Prince Aemond Targaryen is the second son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower.
In the seventh episode, Prince Aemond loses an eye in a fight with his Velaryon nephews after he roguishly mounted the dragon Vhagar and claimed it as his own.
In the finale of the first season, Aemond is unintentionally responsible for the death of his nephew Prince Lucerys Velaryon.
The Prince is portrayed in House of the Dragon by Leo Ashton as a young boy and by Ewan Mitchell as an adult.
Prince Daeron Targaryen
Prince Daeron Targaryen is the third and youngest son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower.
Despite not being introduced in the series thus far, author George R. R. Martin has confirmed that Daeron is alive and well in the series but is currently in Oldtown.
The character is absent from the first season due to timing issues.
However, showrunner Ryan Condal has teased a future for Daeron to Variety, noting: "He does exist. No worries, everybody. He’s the youngest son. He’s warded off at Oldtown to Hobert Hightower and soon to Ormond Hightower, who is Hobert’s nephew, who becomes Lord of Oldtown.
"Honestly, this stuff happened all the time in this world. It’s not our modern day where if you had a 6-year-old, you would FaceTime them every day and see how they’re doing and write letters.
"He’s there. That’s the fact. When he is relevant to be mentioned — and he will be — he will be mentioned."
Prince Consort Daemon Targaryen
Prince Consort Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is the second-born son of Prince Baelon Targaryen and as such is the grandson of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and the younger brother to King Viserys I Targaryen.
Due to King Viserys's lack of male children, Prince Daemon occupies the position as the heir to the Iron Throne, despite being considered the 'Rogue Prince'.
However, trouble arises as Prince Daemon's behaviour sees King Viserys favour his own daughter Princess Rhaenyra as heir instead.
Daemon commands the City Watch of King's Landing and instituted their famous gold cloaks as a uniform.
Due to their conflicting interests, Prince Daemon is in a fierce conflict with Viserys's Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).
At the start of the series, Daemon is in a loveless marriage to Lady Rhea Royce, who resides in the Vale of Arryn. The pair have no children. Daemon's lover was the prostitute Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno).
Later in the series, Daemon goes on to marry Lady Laena Velaryon and has two daughters. After Laena's death, Daemon marries Rhaenyra herself and the pair have two sons.
Following the death of King Viserys and the crowning of King Aegon II Targaryen, Daemon crowns his wife Rhaenyra as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and advocates war with the Greens.
Upon Rhaenyra's ascension, Daemon becomes her Prince Consort.
Daemon is a dragonrider and his mount is the dragon Caraxes.
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
Eve Best plays Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the daughter of the late Prince Aemon Targaryen, the eldest son of King Jaehaerys.
She is known as the Queen Who Never Was because her father, the rightful heir to the throne, died, followed by his brother King Baelon, leaving King Jaehaerys I Targaryen to appoint a new successor.
While many believed it should have been Princess Rhaenys and her children who were next in line, a council of lords chose to appoint her cousin, Viserys, as the next monarch instead.
Rhaenys is married to Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), Lord of the Driftmark and a naval commander also known as the Sea Snake, who is a central character in House of the Dragon.
Rhaenys has two children with Lord Corlys:
- Lady Laena Velaryon
- Ser Laenor Velaryon
The Princess is named after the most beloved queen of King Aegon, Queen Rhaenys.
A dragonrider, Rhaenys' mount is the dragon Meleys.
Following the death of her cousin Viserys, Rhaenys is briefly kept prisoner by the Hightowers and their supporters but is eventually freed by Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor).
Rhaenys later disrupts the coronation of King Aegon II Targaryen by bursting from the depths of the Dragonpit and riding Meleys to freedom.
In the finale of the first season, Rhaenys persuades her husband Lord Corlys to back Rhaenyra's claim to the Iron Throne and the pair join Rhaenyra's Black Council.
Rhaenys volunteers to patrol the Gullet with Meleys to watch out for enemy ships.
Lord Corlys Velaryon
Steve Toussaint portrays Lord Corlys Velaryon, dubbed 'The Sea Snake'.
Lord Corlys is the Lord of the Tides from his castle High Tide on Driftmark, the ancestral home of House Velaryon, who like House Targaryen are descended from Old Valyria.
He has served previously on the Small Council as Master of Ships to King Viserys and is always keen to advance his family and is resentful of how his wife Princess Rhaenys was passed over for the Iron Throne by the Great Council of Harrenhal.
Lord Corlys is the father of Lady Laena Velaryon and Ser Laenor Velaryon.
The first season ends with Corlys backing Rhaenyra's claim to the Iron Throne with his Velaryon navy and control of the shipping lanes through the Stepstones - which he now controls.
Ser Laenor Velaryon
Ser Laenor Velaryon is the son of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen.
The second child of the couple, Ser Laenor has an older sister in Lady Laena Velaryon.
As the heir of the Driftmark, its castle High Tide and the title Lord of the Tides, Ser Laenor is an ideal marriage match for Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Ser Laenor carries the blood of Old Valyria through both his Velaryon and Targaryen ancestry and he is also a dragonrider on his mount Seasmoke.
Aiding his father Lord Corlys and Prince Daemon during the war in the Stepstones, Ser Laenor's fighting prowess on Seasmoke helps turn the tide against the enemy: The Crabfeeder.
Ser Laenor is gay and is in a romantic relationship with the 'Knight of Kisses', Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod).
The Velaryon heir later goes on to become the husband of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and is in line to be the consort if she ascends to the Iron Throne.
However, various tragedies occur - including one twist involving Ser Laenor's lover Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan)
In House of the Dragon, Ser Laenor is portrayed by three actors: Matthew Carver as a child, Theo Nate as a young adult, and John Macmillan as an adult.
Lady Laena Velaryon
Lady Laena Velaryon is the daughter of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and the older sister of Ser Laenor Velaryon.
Despite once being considered as a potential bride for King Viserys, Laena went on to marry his younger brother, Prince Daemon.
As a result of this union, Laena went on to have two twin daughters:
- Lady Baela Targaryen
- Lady Rhaena Targaryen
A skilled dragonrider like her brother and mother, Laena rides the largest dragon in the Seven Kingdoms, Vhagar.
The character dies in the sixth episode after ordering Vhagar to burn her as she was set to die in childbirth.
In House of the Dragon, Laena is portrayed by Nova Foueillis-Mosé as a young girl, Savannah Steyn as a young adult, and Nanna Blondell as an adult.
Lady Baela Targaryen and Lady Rhaena Targaryen
Lady Baela Targaryen and Lady Rhaena Targaryen are the twin daughters of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Lady Laena Velaryon.
The two girls grew up with their parents in Pentos and carry the Valyrian blood of both House Targaryen and House Velaryon.
A dragonrider, Lady Baela possesses the dragon mount Moondancer.
Lady Rhaena had hoped to get her mother's dragon Vhagar but was supplanted by Prince Aemond.
By the end of the eighth episode, Baela and Rhaena are engaged to marry their cousins-once-removed and step-brothers Jacaerys and Lucerys, respectively.
Lady Baela Targaryen is portrayed as a young girl by Shani Smethhurst and by Bethany Antonia as an adult. At the same time, Eva Ossei Gerning plays Lady Rhaena Targaryen as a young girl and Phoebe Campbell as an adult.
King Aerys II Targaryen ("The Mad King")
The final undisputed monarch of the Seven Kingdoms from House Targaryen, King Aerys II Targaryen is widely known as the "Mad King" who was usurped by King Robert I Baratheon.
Aerys II is a direct descendant of King Viserys I Targaryen through his daughter Rhaenyra.
Through his marriage to sister-wife Queen Rhaella Targaryen, Aerys was the father of Queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her older brothers, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding) and Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd).
Aerys' insanity and tyrannical ways resulted in open rebellion from Houses Baratheon, Stark and Arryn, followed by further rebellions.
In the end, House Targaryen fell from power entirely and Aerys was killed by his own kingsguard knight Ser Jaime Lannister to prevent the monarch from destroying King's Landing with wildfyre.
In the aftermath, Robert Baratheon became the King of the Seven Kingdoms and married Cersei Lannister to unite him with the powerful House Lannister.
Queen Daenerys Targaryen
We don't currently have any expectations that Daenerys will make an appearance in House of the Dragon, especially with it being set almost 172 years before she was born.
But House of the Dragon will chart her ancestors, so we thought she was worth mentioning. Daenerys is Viserys's great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter, with her brother also sharing a name with their ancestor.
Her father was King Aerys II Targaryen, otherwise known as The Mad King, whose death at the hands of Ser Jaime Lannister marked the end of the Targaryen dynasty ruling on the Iron Throne.
Daenerys shares the name of one of King Jaehaerys's daughters, while her brother Viserys was named after King Viserys I and King Viserys II.
Jon Snow/Prince Aegon Targaryen
In the Game of Thrones television series, Jon Snow - who had thought himself to be the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark - was revealed to have Targaryen lineage.
Jon was shown to be the legitimate son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lady Lyanna Stark, who were revealed to have legitimately married and conceived him, naming him Aegon.
Of course, this would mean Jon had been named after Aegon the Conquerer and the subsequent four monarchs who bore the name.
However, the novels of A Song of Ice and Fire have yet to confirm the parentage of Jon Snow.
List of Targaryen monarchs in Westeros
Beware spoilers for the future of House of the Dragon as the following are Kings and Queens of the Seven Kingdoms.
- King Aegon I Targaryen
- King Aenys I Targaryen
- King Maegor I Targaryen
- King Jaehaerys I Targaryen
- King Viserys I Targaryen
- King Aegon II Targaryen
- Queen Rhaenyra I Targaryen (disputed)
- King Aegon III Targaryen
- King Daeron I Targaryen
- King Baelor I Targaryen
- King Viserys II Targaryen
- King Aegon IV Targaryen
- King Daeron II Targaryen
- King Aerys I Targaryen
- King Maekar I Targaryen
- King Aegon V Targaryen
- King Jaehaerys II Targaryen
- King Aerys II Targaryen
The inclusion of Rhaenyra is disputed by the official records but she does rule for a time from the Iron Throne.
The line of Targaryen monarchs ended with King Aerys II Targaryen as he and his eldest son Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen were killed and the Iron Throne was usurped by King Robert I Baratheon.
However, Aerys II's youngest children claimed the Iron Throne as King Viserys III Targaryen and later Queen Daenerys I Targaryen.
In the television series Game of Thrones, the Targaryen dynasty ends with Daenerys and her nephew, Rhaegar's youngest son Aegon, who was raised as Jon Snow.
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