Keeping Up With the Targaryens: Who’s Who in The House of the Dragon

In Game of Thrones, the Targaryen Dynasty were nearly extinct, much like their dragons. We only had one silver-haired khaleesi to keep track of for most of the series. House of the Dragon is a very different story. Set 200 years before Daenerys Stormborn set out to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms, the prequel series shows the Targaryen family at their zenith, with numerous dragons at their command and more silver hair than you’d see in all seven seasons of The Golden Girls.

The family also has a tendency toward marrying each other and giving all of their children very similar-sounding names, making it even harder to remember who is who. But keeping up with the intrigue, power plays, and interfamily drama requires doing exactly that.

Each member of House Targaryen has their own distinct personality, background, and agenda which determine their role in the overall saga. We’ll explain who all of the Targaryens are below, with the exception of very young children who are not yet significant pieces on the board.

Jahaerys I Targaryen, “The Old King”

house of the dragon jahaerys targaryen

Jahaerys is the first king we see on the show. He chooses to name his grandson, Viserys, as his heir rather than his granddaughter, Rhaenys, who is older. This decision sets in motion a lot of the political and personal drama the family experiences later on.

Status (end of season 1): Deceased

Viserys I Targaryen

house of the dragon viserys targaryen

After being chosen to succeed his grandfather, Jahaerys, Viserys ascends to the Iron Throne and rules over a long period of peace. He marries his cousin, Aemma, and they have one daughter, Rhaenyra. Years later, Aemma dies in childbirth, and their son dies with her. Viserys then marries Lady Alicent Hightower, his daughter’s best friend, and the couple have three children. He names his firstborn daughter, Rhaenyra, as his successor, but when he dies the High Council chooses his son, Aegon, instead, throwing the realm into turmoil.

Status (end of season 1): Deceased

Rhaenys Targaryen

house of the dragon rhaenys targaryen

After being denied the throne that should have been her birthright, Rhaenys married Corlys Velaryon, a member of another powerful silver-haired family hailing from Old Valyria and the wealthiest person in Westeros. They have two children, Laenor and Laena. Despite being known as The Queen Who Never Was, Rhaenys and her husband The Sea Snake hold a lot of power and influence in the Seven Kingdoms.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

Daemon Targaryen

house of the dragon daemon targaryen

Daemon is King Viserys’s younger brother, who might have inherited the throne at one time before Aegon was born and Rhaenyra was named as heir. He’s ambitious and frustrated with his position, which makes him something of a wild card. His unhappy, arranged first marriage ended in… suspicious circumstances, after which he married his second cousin, Laena Velaryon, daughter of Rhaenys and Corlys. They had two children together, Rhaena and Baela, but Laena died in childbirth with their third. Daemon then finally succeeded in marrying his niece Rhaenyra, as he had always planned.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

Rhaenyra Targaryen

house of the dragon rhaenyra targaryen

As the firstborn daughter of Viserys, Rhaenyra grew up an only child, with her place in the world uncertain due to her gender. Her Aunt Rhaenys had been denied the throne the generation before, and Rhaenyra’s parents sought to produce a male heir to ensure that the succession would skip her as well. But against the odds, her father named her his heir and stuck by her even after having two sons with his second wife, Alicent. Unfortunately, not everyone in the kingdom was on board with this.

Rhaenyra married her cousin Laenor Velaryon, son of Rhaenys and Corlys, and the two had an amicable but not physical relationship. Laenor was in fact not interested in women at all, which left Rhaenyra free to pursue love elsewhere with Harwin Strong, a powerful lord. This led to Rhaenyra producing three brown-haired children, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, making the situation fairly obvious to anyone with eyes. Rhaenyra later helps Laenor to fake his death and start a new life, freeing her to marry Daemon and strengthen her position in Westeros. She and Daemon have two children together, Aegon III and Viserys II.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

Aegon II Targaryen

house of the dragon aegon targaryen

Aegon is the son of Viserys and his second wife, Lady Alicent Hightower. Despite being much younger than his half-sister Rhaenyra, and despite Viserys having named Rhaenyra as his heir, the High Council chooses to put Aegon on the throne after Viserys’s death. Aegon’s hedonistic lifestyle gets him into some trouble, leaving his mother, Alicent, as the one effectively the one ruling the Seven Kingdoms. He is married off to his sister, Helaena, and they have three children, Jaehaerys, Jaehaera, and Maelor.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

Helaena Targaryen

house of the dragon helaena targaryen

Helaena is the second child of Viserys and Alicent, and there have been hints that she may have inherited some of the precognitive abilities of her Valyrian ancestors. She has little power or influence, however, and has been married off to her brother, Aegon, with whom she has three children.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

Aemond Targaryen

house of the dragon aemond targaryen

The youngest of Viserys and Alicent’s children is also the most intimidating as an adult, in part due to his eye patch. Aemond lost an eye as a child to Lucerys, one of Rhaenyra’s sons, which left him with a serious grudge against his cousins and aunt. Years later, he claimed Vhagar, a monstrously large dragon, when its rider Laena Velaryon died. He used Vhagar to chase Lucerys down on his much smaller dragon, but could not rein in the beast, resulting in Lucerys’s death.

Status (end of season 1): Alive

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I love deeply human stories in fantastical wrappings. Dragons, vampires, spaceships... it's all good - as long as the characters feel real and the story makes me think.

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