Aemon Targaryen: How Game of Thrones character connects to House of the Dragon

Maester Aemon Targaryen in Game of ThronesHBO

For House of the Dragons fans joining the dots between the show’s Targaryens and those who appear in Game of Thrones, let’s dig into the family tree behind Aemon Targaryen.

Game of Thrones begins with the focus on two Targaryens: Daenerys, the eventual Mother of Dragons, and her abusive brother, Viserys, who’s crowned with molten gold courtesy of Khal Drogo.

We only see a few other Targaryens throughout the show – some of whom we won’t spoil, for reasons we can’t describe without spoiling it – including Aemon Targaryen, known better as Maester Aemon.

Aemon is a bit of a forgotten Targaryen because, unlike his many ancestors, he wasn’t particularly mad or cruel. So, if you’re wondering how he connects from Game of Thrones back to House of the Dragon, here’s everything you need to know.

Potential spoilers for House of the Dragon to follow…

Who is Aemon Targaryen in Game of Thrones?

Aemon Targaryen, better known as Maester Aemon, was the last known Targaryen in Westeros prior to the arrival of Daenerys and her fleet. He was played by the late Peter Vaughan.

He wasn’t his father’s eldest son, so he decided to join the Order of Maesters at a young age, forfeiting all of his rights to inheritance when he took his vows – including relinquishing his surname.

Aemon Targaryen in Game of ThronesHBO
Aemon remained a brother of the Night’s Watch until his death.

When a chance to sit on the Iron Throne rolled around, many around him believed Aemon should have been king, but he refused, passing it onto his younger brother.

Soon becoming fed up with the political quarreling and attempts to use him as a pawn, Aemon joined the Night’s Watch, where he remained until his death at the age of 104. He was last seen in Game of Thrones Season 5, passing away shortly after Jon Snow became Lord Commander.

How Aemon Targaryen connects from Game of Thrones to House of the Dragon

While Aemon’s origins are rarely mentioned in Game of Thrones, it’s fairly simple to track his lineage back to House of the Dragon, which takes place 172 years before the death of the Mad King and the birth of Daenerys.

This is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, the source material for the prequel series, so you can expect a few spoilers ahead.

Firstly, let’s start with Aemon’s parents: Aemon is the third son of King Maekar I Targaryen and his wife Dyanna Dayne. He had five siblings: Daeron, Aerion, Daella, Aegon V, and Rhae.

Following the death of Aerion, Aemon was offered the Iron Throne, but he insisted the duty was passed on to Aegon V, who became known as The Unlikely.

Maekar was the son of King Daeron II, also known as the Good, and Myriah Martell. Daeron was the son of Aegon IV, also known as the Unworthy, and Naerys Targaryen; yes, they were brother and sister, and Aegon is considered the worst king to have ever sat on the throne, even more so than the Mad King. Aegon was the son of Viserys II Targaryen and Larra Rogare.

Rhaenyra and Daemon in House of the DragonHBO
Emma D’Arcy will play Rhaenyra in later episodes.

Now, to finally bring it back to House of the Dragon: Viserys II was the son of Rhaenyra and Daemon, currently played by Milly Alcock and Matt Smith in the show, respectively.

They may not be married right now, but they’re likely to secretly wed in the show’s future, as the Targaryen dynasty descends into the Dance of the Dragons.

Rhaenyra and Daemon had three children together: Viserys II, Aegon III, and Visenya. Aegon III sat on the Iron Throne first, becoming known as the Dragonbane, as the last known dragon in Westeros died under his reign.

You can find a full breakdown of every Targaryen ruler, from Aegon the Conqueror all the way to the Mad King, here.

House of the Dragon Episode 5 will be available to watch on September 18 in the US and September 19 in the UK.