Targaryen Family Tree From 'Game of Thrones' and 'House of the Dragon'

Targaryen Family Tree: Everyone Who’s Appeared in ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Game of Thrones’
Targaryen Family Tree: Everyone Who’s Appeared in ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Game of Thrones’

It’s time to return to Westeros, because “House of the Dragon” is back!

More from Variety

Season 2 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel premiered on June 16, 2024, to 7.8 million viewers. That’s a bit below the 10 million people who tuned into the Season 1 premiere in 2022 — and a lot lower than the peak of “Game of Thrones,” which hit 19.3 million viewers for its 2019 finale.

But for fans of dragons, wartime drama and scheming, white-haired Targaryen masterminds, there is a lot to love in “House of the Dragon.” Season 1 ended just as the Dance of Dragons, the violent Targaryen civil war that pitted the dragon-riding family members against each other, was heating up. Season 2 picks up as more battles are waged and the death toll grows exponentially. Just like “Game of Thrones,” no major character is safe in “House of the Dragon.”

As fans of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world know, for the majority of its known history, Westeros was ruled over by the Targaryens, a dynasty of powerful dragon riders that conquered the Seven Kingdoms and sat on the Iron Throne for hundreds of years. They were known for their white hair, hot tempers and and protecting their bloodline by practicing incest. Their first king was Aegon the Conqueror, who united Westeros under Targaryen rule for the first time, and the modern era after his reign was known as “AC” for “After Conquest.”

Set 200 years before “Game of Thrones,” “House of the Dragon” follows the infamous Dance of the Dragons that resulted in the deaths of many of the Targaryens’ dragons. It was a result of the murky line of succession after King Viserys Targaryen died and his rightful heir was heavily disputed. Two factions fought the civil war: The blacks consisted of Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen along with their children and allies on Dragonstone; and the greens were led by King Aegon II Targaryen, his mother Queen Alicent Hightower and their High Council in King’s Landing.

The majority of the Targaryens died out before the events of “Game of Thrones,” and their lineage nearly ended after Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne during Robert’s Rebellion. For nearly all of “Game of Thrones,” Daenerys Targaryen plotted to take back the crown and grew an army in the neighboring continent of Essos. However, in the series finale, Daenerys was killed by Jon Snow, who was revealed to be a long-lost Targaryen in a twist that fans of the novels had long predicted. As it stands in current Westeros history, Jon is the only surviving Targaryen.

Below, Variety has listed a family tree of every Targaryen that has so far appeared in “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon.” There are no spoilers for what could happen in future seasons of “House of the Dragon,” though curious fans can read the novel “Fire & Blood” to find out.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Born: 34 AC
Died: 103 AC
Nickname: The Old King
Dragon: Vermithor
Family: Grandson of King Aegon the Conqueror; son of King Aenys; nephew of King Maegor; husband and brother of Queen Alysanne; grandfather of King Viserys
Played by: Michael Carter

Jaehaerys was the fourth Targaryen king of Westeros, and the longest-serving at 55 years on the Iron Throne. He’s the earliest monarch shown in “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon” history. In the opening scene of “House of the Dragon,” he chooses his grandson Viserys to succeed him over his granddaughter Rhaenys, a decision that would eventually lead to the Dance of Dragons.

Viserys I Targaryen

Viserys I Targaryen
Viserys I Targaryen

Born: 77 AC
Died: 129 AC
Nickname: Viserys the Peaceful
Dragon: Balerion
Family: Cousin and husband to Queen Aemma; husband to Queen Alicent; brother to Daemon; cousin to Rhaenys; father to Rhaenyra, Aegon II, Aemond, Helaena and Daeron
Played by: Paddy Considine

Viserys played a major role in “House of the Dragon” Season 1, where he ruled over Westeros as its fifth Targaryen king during a time of relative peace. However, the issue of choosing his heir would force his children to launch the Dance of Dragons civil war. Refusing to let his brother Daemon or his daughter Rhaenyra sit on the Iron Throne, Viserys was desperate for a male heir and remarried Alicent Hightower after the death of his first wife Aemma Arryn during childbirth. He later died of leprosy and the black High Council named his son, Aegon II, as king over Rhaenyra and her son Aegon III. On his deathbed, Viserys told Alicent about the Song of Ice and Fire and how “Aegon” would be the Westeros’ savior, but Alicent twisted his words and used it to put her son on the Iron Throne.

Rhaenys Targaryen

Rhaenys Targaryen
Rhaenys Targaryen

Born: 74 AC
Died: 129 AC
Nickname: The Queen Who Never Was
Dragon: Meleys
Family: Cousin to King Viserys; wife of Lord Corlys Velaryon; mother of Laena and Laenor Velaryon; aunt of Rhaenyra
Played by: Eve Best

Passed over twice by her grandfather King Jaehaerys to rule Westeros, first in favor of her uncle Baelon and then her cousin Viserys, Rhaenys came to be known as the Queen Who Never Was. She married Lord Corlys Velaryon, the wealthiest man in the realm and a powerful sea captain, and clung to some power but harbored resentment toward King Viserys. During the Dance of Dragons, she supported Rhaenyra in her claim for the Iron Throne. In Season 2 of “House of the Dragon,” she and Meleys were killed by Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar at the Battle of Rook’s Rest.

Daemon Targaryen

Daemon Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen

Born: 81 AC
Nickname: The Rogue Prince
Dragon: Caraxes
Family: Brother of King Viserys; husband of Laena Velaryon; father of Rhaena, Baela, Aegon III and Viserys II; uncle and husband to Rhaenyra
Played by: Matt Smith

Daemon was one of the strongest warriors in all of Westeros, deadly with his sword, Dark Sister, and incredibly unpredictable. As the younger brother to Viserys, he was passed over for the Iron Throne and embarked on a conquest of the Stepstones with the Velaryon fleet and his dragon. When he returned, he married his niece Rhaenyra and led their black council. Before Rhaenyra, he was first married to Rhea Royce, who mysteriously died after falling from her horse, and Laena Velaryon, who died in childbirth and with whom he shared daughters Rhaena and Baela. In addition to commanding King’s Landing’s City Watch, Daemon was also a fan of its brothels and took his lover Mysaria as his mistress of whispers. In Season 2 of “House of the Dragon,” he takes over the castle of Harrenhal for Rhaenyra’s greens.

Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra Targaryen

Born: 97 AC
Nickname: The Realm’s Delight; The Whore of Dragonstone; The Pretender; King Meagor With Teats
Dragon: Syrax
Family: Daughter of King Viserys and Queen Aemma; stepdaughter of Queen Alicent; wife of Laenor Velaryon; lover of Criston Cole and Harwin Strong; niece and wife to Daemon; half-sister to Aegon II, Aemond and Heleana; mother of Jacaerys, Lucerys, Joffrey, Aegon III and Viserys II
Played by: Emma D’Arcy and Milly Alcock (younger)

Even though Rhaenyra was the first-born child of Viserys, the king wanted a male heir, and soon the line of succession was muddied with the birth of Rhaenyra’s half-brother Aegon II. She led her black council against King Aegon II and Queen Alicent’s greens when Aegon was declared king after Viserys’ death. The true paternity of Rhaenyra’s three eldest children, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey, was disputed. She was married to Laenor Velaryon, who was rumored to be gay, but Harwin Strong was thought by many to be the father of her eldest children, who shared his dark hair and common-born features. She and Daemon later had two sons, Aegon III and Viserys II, and one stillborn daughter. She commands the black council from Dragonstone.

Aegon II Targaryen

Born: 107 AC
Nickname: Aegon the Elder; Aegon the Usurper
Dragon: Sunfyre
Family: Son of King Viserys and Queen Alicent; brother of Aemond, Helaena and Daeron; half-brother of Rhaenyra; uncle to Jacaerys and Lucerys; father of Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor
Played by: Tom Glynn-Carney and Ty Tennant (younger)

Aegon II became the sixth Targaryen king of Westeros after the death of his father, Viserys. Named for his great-great-great-grandfather Aegon the Conqueror, Aegon II was lazy as a teen and allegedly raped one of his mother’s chambermaids. He was later named heir to the Iron Throne over his half-sister Rhaenyra, and the two were vehemently opposed during the Dance of Dragons. He was married to his sister Helaena and had three children, Jaehaerys (who was killed by Blood and Cheese), Jaehaera and Maelor. During the Battle of Rook’s Rest, he was betrayed by his brother Aemond and severely burnt by his dragon Vhagar.

Aemond Targaryen

Born: 110 AC
Nickname: Aemond One-Eye; Aemond the Kinslayer
Dragon: Vhagar
Family: Son of King Viserys and Queen Alicent; brother of King Aegon II, Helaena and Daeron; half-brother of Rhaenyra; uncle to Jacaerys and Lucerys
Played by: Ewan Mitchell and Leo Ashton (younger)

Aemond was the younger and more vicious son of King Viserys and Queen Alicent compared to his brother Aegon II, who would go on to be king. As a teen, Aemond snuck away to claim Vhagar, one of the oldest and biggest dragons in Westeros, after the death of its rider, Laena Velaryon. He was caught by his nephews Jacaerys and Lucerys Velaryon and got into a fight with them, which resulted in Lucerys slashing Aemond’s eye. Aemond put a sapphire in the eye socket and wore an eye patch from then on. He got his revenge on Lucerys when the two were flying above Storm’s End and Vhagar killed Lucerys and his smaller dragon Arrax. During the battle of Rook’s Rest, he and Vhagar killed Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon Meleys. He also ambushed and severely burnt his brother Aegon II and became prince regent in his stead.

Helaena Targaryen

Born: 109 AC
Dragon: Dreamfyre
Family: Daughter of King Viserys and Queen Alicent; sister and wife to Aegon II; sister to Aemond and Daeron; mother of Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor
Played by: Phia Saban and Evie Allen (younger)

Helaena was the only daughter of Viserys and Alicent, and she often spoke in peculiar phrases that somehow foretold the future. She predicted that her brother Aemond would lose an eye, and she spoke of a “beast beneath the boards” before Rhaenys burst through the floor of Dragonstone on her dragon during Aegon’s coronation. She was married to her brother Aegon and had three children, Jaehaerys (who was killed by Blood and Cheese), Jaehaera and Maelor.

Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor Targaryen

Born: 123 AC and 127 AC
Died: 129 AC (Jaehaerys)
Family: Children of Aegon and Helaena

Twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera are seen briefly in Season 1 of “House of the Dragon,” and Maelor is their younger brother. In Season 2, Jaehaerys is killed in the premiere by Blood and Cheese, who were sent by Daemon out of revenge for the death of Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys.

Jacaerys Velaryon

Born: 114 AC
Nickname: Jace
Dragon: Vermax
Family: Son of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon or Harwin Strong; brother of Lucerys and Joffrey; nephew to King Aegon II and Aemond
Played by: Harry Collett and Leo Hart (younger)

Many in King’s Landing suspected that Jacaerys and his brothers were actually the sons of Rhaenyra’s knight Ser Harwin Strong, instead of her husband Laenor Velaryon. Aemond mocked them as “strong boys,” which led to the fight where Lucerys slashed Aemond’s eye with his sword. Jacaerys fought on the side of his mother’s black faction and was betrothed to his cousin, Baela. During the Dance of Dragons, Jace gathers allies on behalf of his mother.

Lucerys Velaryon

Born: 115 AC
Died: 129 AC
Nickname: Luke
Dragon: Arrax
Family: Son of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon or Harwin Strong; brother of Jacaerys and Joffrey; nephew to King Aegon II and Aemond
Played by: Elliot Grihault and Harvey Sadler (younger)

Lucerys was tasked with flying his dragon Arrax to Storm’s End to enlist Lord Borros Baratheon to Rhaenyra’s side of the Targaryen civil war. However, Aemond beat him there and offered to marry one of Borros’ daughters. Lucerys, already betrothed to his cousin Rhaena, couldn’t match Aemond’s offer, and the two battled high above Storm’s End on their dragons. Aemond’s dragon, the vicious Vhagar, made quick work of Lucerys and his smaller dragon Arrax, and both died.

Joffrey Velaryon

Born: 126 AC
Nickname: Joff
Family: Son of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon or Harwin Strong; brother of Jacaerys and Lucerys; nephew to King Aegon II and Aemond

Despite sharing a name with a certain despised, future king of Westeros, this Joffrey has no relation to Joffrey Baratheon from “Game of Thrones.” He’s the thirdborn son of Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon (or Harwin Strong, as many believe). He’s sent away to Essos during the Dance of Dragons.

Aegon III and Viserys II Targaryen

Aegon III and Viserys II Targaryen
Aegon III and Viserys II Targaryen

Born: 120 AC and 122 AC
Nicknames: Aegon the Younger
Family: Children of Rhaenyra and Daemon

Rhaenyra and Daemon’s children appear only briefly in Season 1 of “House of the Dragon,” but they will play larger roles in the future. They also had a stillborn daughter named Visenya, who was named after the powerful sister-wife of Aegon the Conqueror. Rhaenyra named her son Aegon in honor of the original Targaryen ruler, but also as a sleight to her half-brother King Aegon II. Her other son was named for King Viserys, her father and Daemon’s brother. The two were sent away to Essos during the Dance of Dragons.

Rhaena and Baela Targaryen

Born: 116 AC
Dragon: Moondancer (Baela)
Nickname: Dragon Twins
Family: Daughters of Daemon and Laena; cousins of Jacaerys, Lucerys, Joffrey, Aegon II, Aemond, Helaena and Daeron
Played by: Phoebe Campbell and Eva Ossei-Gerning (younger); Bethany Antonia and Shani Smethurst (younger)

Rhaena and Baela are the twin daughters of Daemon and his second wife Laena Velaryon. They are betrothed to their cousins, Jacaerys and Lucerys, in order to strengthen the bond between the Targaryens and Velaryons. Rhaenyra sends her children away to Essos for protection with Rhaena, while Baela remains in Westeros to help with the war.

Maester Aemon

Born: 198 AC
Died: 300 AC
Nickname: Aemon Targaryen
Family: Son of King Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne; brother of King Aegon V; great-great uncle of Daenerys; great-great-great uncle of Jon Snow
Played by: Peter Vaughan

Maester Aemon hid his true identity as a Targaryen after joining the Night’s Watch, and he grew so old that nearly everyone in Westeros forgot about his heritage. He refused to sit on the Iron Throne after his father, King Maekar I, died, so his younger brother Aegon V, aka Egg who traveled with the hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall in the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” novellas, became king. At Castle Black, Aemon mentored Jon Snow and was the tiebreaker to vote him as the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch before he died of old age.

Three-Eyed Raven

Born: Unknown
Died: 303 AC
Nickname: Brynden Rivers; Bloodraven
Family: Legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV and Melissa Blackwood
Played by: Max van Sydow and Struan Rodger (previously)

King Aegon IV was known for having many bastard children with different wives. On his deathbed, he legitimized all of his bastards, which led to the First Blackfyre Rebellion where his children all fought to be the true heir to the Iron Throne. Brynden was later sent to the Night’s Watch, where he was lost north of the Wall and presumed dead. There are theories that the greenseer Three-Eyed Raven that Bran Stark sees in his visions and meets beyond the Wall in “Game of Thrones” is actually Brynden under a new title. He trains Bran in the mystical art of greensight but is later killed by the Night King.

Aerys II Targaryen

Born: 244 AC
Died: 283 AC
Nickname: The Mad King; King Scab
Family: Son of King Jaehaerys II and Queen Shaera; Father of Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys; husband and brother of Queen Rhaella; grandfather of Jon Snow
Played by: David Rintoul

Despite playing a major role in “Game of Thrones,” Aerys the Mad King only appeared in a brief flashback to his chaotic reign over Westeros. Driven insane by generations of incest and paranoia, he developed an odd fascination with dragonfire, refused to cut his hair or fingernails and abused his sister-wife Rhaella. He appointed Tywin Lannister as his Hand of the King, though their friendship eventually soured, and named Tywin’s son Jaime as the youngest-ever knight to join the Kingsguard. Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark and their rebel allies joined forces to overthrow the Mad King during Robert’s Rebellion. Tywin betrayed Aerys and let the rebels into King’s Landing, where Jaime stabbed the Mad King in the back and earned the nickname the Kingslayer. The Targaryen dynasty ended with the rise of King Robert.

Rhaegar Targaryen

Born: 259 AC
Died: 283 AC
Nickname: Silver Dragon; Dragon Prince; Last Dragon
Family: Son of King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella; brother of Daenerys and Viserys; husband of Elia Martell and Lyanna Stark; father of Jon Snow
Played by: Wilf Scolding

Rhaegar was born at the end of the Targaryen dynasty. With no siblings old enough to wed, he instead married Elia Martell of Dorne. They had one daughter, Rhaenys, who later died in the Sack of King’s Landing during Robert’s Rebellion. Rhaegar kicked off Robert’s Rebellion by courting Lyanna Stark during a tourney at Harrenhal. The scandal angered Lyanna’s betrothed Robert Baratheon, who united with her brother Eddard Stark to rebel against the Targaryens. Many believed that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and raped her at the Tower of Joy in Dorne, where she died. However, the penultimate season of “Game of Thrones” revealed that Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love, secretly married and she gave birth to Aegon Targaryen, better known as Jon Snow. After Robert killed Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, Eddard was the only person who knew Jon’s true heritage and promised to raise him as his own bastard.

Viserys III Targaryen

Born: 276 AC
Died: 298 AC
Nickname: Beggar King
Family: Son of King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella; brother of Rhaegar and Daenerys; uncle of Jon Snow
Played by: Harry Lloyd

After the deaths of King Aerys II, Rhaella and Rhaegar during Robert’s Rebellion, Viserys and Daenerys were sent to Braavos for protection. The two wandered the Free Cities of Essos, and Viserys eventually brokered a deal for Daenerys to marry Khal Drogo of the Dothraki horselords. Angry, spiteful and desperate for a crown, Viserys soon made an enemy of Drogo, who killed him by pouring molten gold onto his head.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen

Born: 282 AC
Died: 305 AC
Nicknames: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons; Dany
Dragons: Viserion, Rhaegal, Drogon
Family: Daughter of King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella; sister of Rhaegar and Daenerys; wife of Khal Drogo; aunt and lover of Jon Snow
Played by: Emilia Clarke

After Viserys’ death, Daenerys slowly gathered powerful allies like Tyrion Lannister, Lord Varys and Jorah Mormont, an army of Dothraki, Unsullied, Greyjoy ships and her three dragon hatchlings to take back the Iron Throne. She eventually united with Jon Snow, the King in the North and, unknown to either of them at the time, her long-lost nephew, to take on Queen Cersei Lannister. In a fit of Targaryen madness after winning the Battle of King’s Landing, Daenerys orders Drogon to burn the city and its residents. Surrounded by ash, a shocked and heartbroken Jon stabbed Daenerys in the heart as Drogon melted the Iron Throne.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow
Jon Snow

Born: 283 AC
Nicknames: Aegon Targaryen; the White Wolf; the King in the North; the Prince That Was Promised
Family: Son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark; nephew and lover of Daenerys; bastard son of Eddard Stark; half-brother to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon Stark
Played by: Kit Harington

Believed to be the bastard son of Eddard Stark, Jon was actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, making him the true heir to the Iron Throne. Lyanna made Eddard promise to keep Jon’s parentage a secret to protect him. As an adult, Jon joined the Night’s Watch and was later named Lord Commander. He was murdered during a mutiny and resurrected by the Red Priestess Melisandre. Jon was proclaimed King in the North after taking back Winterfell from House Bolton, and he teamed up with Daenerys to defeat the Night King and his army of white walkers. After Daenerys burned down King’s Landing in her conquest for the Iron Throne, Jon betrayed his lover and killed her. At the end of “Game of Thrones,” Jon was exiled back to the Night’s Watch and led the freefolk north beyond the Wall.

Best of Variety