For House of the Dragon fans trying to join the dots of the show’s Targaryens to those seen in Game of Thrones, here’s how Rhaegar Targaryen connects to the prequel series.
In House of the Dragon, we’re immersed the lore of the Targaryen dynasty and the cracks of King Viserys’ rule as the family barrels towards an all-out civil war.
In Game of Thrones, there’s only a few Targaryens: Daenerys is the main one, but there’s also Maester Aemon, another Viserys, and another Aegon we won’t explain just yet.
Fans should remember Rhaegar Targaryen, but how does he connect to House of the Dragon? Let’s break it down.
Spoilers for Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon to follow…
Who is Rhaegar Targaryen in Game of Thrones?
Rhaegar Targaryen was the firstborn son of King Aerys II Targaryen, better known as The Mad King, and his sister-wife, Queen Rhaella.
He was the older brother of Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen, and the husband of Elia Martell, with whom he shared two children, Rhaenys and Aegon.
Except, Aegon wasn’t Elia’s son. Robert’s Rebellion kicked off when Rhaegar seemingly kidnapped Lyanna Stark – but Lyanna actually loved Rhaegar, and they shared a son together: Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne.
In Season 7 of Game of Thrones, we learned this in a flashback through Bran’s Greensight, also marking a major revelation: Jon Snow, the apparent bastard son of Ned Stark, was actually Aegon.
How Rhaegar Targaryen connects from Game of Thrones to House of the Dragon
Rhaegar’s impact on Game of Thrones should have been immense, but as the show didn’t really do much with one of the biggest twists in its entire run, he’s been reduced to a footnote. Still, it’s easy to track his lineage through the history of the Targaryens back to House of the Dragon.
As noted above, Rhaegar is the son of Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella.
The Mad King was the son of Jaehaerys II Targaryen, the 16th Targaryen to sit on the throne, and his sister Shaera.
Jaehaerys was the son of Aegon V Targaryen and Queen Betha Blackwood. Aegon ascended to the throne after his brother Aemon – who we see as Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones – refused to be king. Aegon was the third son of King Maekar I Targaryen and his wife Dyanna Dayne.
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.
Finally, we arrive back at House of the Dragon: Viserys II was the son of Rhaenyra and Daemon, played by Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith respectively. In Episode 8, the uncle and niece got married in a traditional Valyrian ceremony – for once, a wedding in Westeros went to plan.
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 8 will be available to watch on October 9 in the US and October 10 in the UK.