The focus is on the interwoven family history game of Thrones was twisted and kinky enough to keep us entertained for years, but house of the dragon it could just get him out of his money.
Set almost 200 years before the beginning of game of Thrones and based on George RR Martins Fire & Blood, house of the dragon focuses on an era when House Targaryen, the ruling family of Westeros (which can trace their ancestry back to ancient Valyria), reigned at the helm. While the show likely won’t cover the entire book, which chronicles roughly 150 years of Targaryen history, the decades it’s likely to cover leading up to the Dance of the Dragons and the Targaryen Civil War itself (about a third of the book) are violent , gory and full of so many interconnections that it can be difficult to keep track of them all at first.
And quite literally long before Daenerys Targaryen attempts to conquer Westeros. through Fire & Blood, numerous characters are products of incest, partaking in incest and arranging incestuous marriages for their children. Many of these pairings are siblings, but you would also see uncles married to nieces, aunts married to nephews, and first cousins related; The latter is slightly more common among other noble families, such as Tyrion Lannister’s parents. But several generations into the practice of the Targaryen family, things get even more complex; For a character way down the line, his father is also his great-uncle.
A long and sanctioned Targaryen tradition
Even for a series centered around two major incestuous relationships – Cersei and Jaime Lannister (twin siblings) and Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (aunt and nephew respectively, the former whose parents were also siblings) –house of the dragon Has a lot of of incest in it. For House Targaryen, it’s a feature, not a bug. In the days before dragons died out, the Targaryen were dragon riders, and it took Targaryen blood to ride them without being burned alive trying; Dragon eggs were often placed in the cribs of Targaryen children.
As Archmaester Gyldayn, the universal author of Fire & Bloodwrote:
“It has always been a tradition among the Targaryens to marry kin to kin. Brother-to-sister marriage was considered ideal. Otherwise, a girl might marry an uncle, cousin, or nephew, and a boy might marry a cousin, aunt, or niece. This practice dates back to ancient Valyria, where it was common among many of the ancient families, particularly those who bred and rode dragons. The dragon’s blood must remain pure, the wisdom went.”
However, the rest of Westeros – both people who worshiped the Old Gods and those who subscribed to the Faith of the Seven – saw incest as a terrible sin. They accepted it for Aegon the Conqueror (who married his two sisters), but when it came to his sons and some of their descendants, they weren’t so tolerant; They were even less tolerant of polygamy, a step attempted by one of Aegon’s sons who became king. The details of this conflict are long and bloody, but for house of the dragon, all you need to know is that the faith – the most popular religion in the empire – adopted a policy in which its leaders affirmed that incest is still a egregious sin. But, wrote Gyldayn, “with this caveat: the Targaryens were different‘, and attributes these differences to the Targaryens’ Valyrian heritage, customs, appearance (e.g., white-blond/almost silver hair), and the fact that they rode dragons.
until we arrive house of the dragon‘s timeline, it’s more or less accepted practice for House Targaryen and the realm. Certain characters may not like who they are asked to marry, or rebel to instead marry a family member that others disapprove of, but the characters in house of the dragon are not killed only for committing incest (or, in Bran Stark’s case, being pushed out of a window for spotting him).
So who are we dealing with? While we avoid revealing character fates or the outcome of the upcoming war – if you really want to know, A Wiki of Ice and Fire can give you the answers – but here’s a little window on who you need to know and when applies, her dragon. Many of the characters introduced to us in advance, along with their descendants, are Dragon Riders.
Warning: The following family tree contains spoilers for Fire & Bloodwhose elements may or may not proceed exactly as shown in house of the dragon.
Who’s Who: Edition of House Targaryen
Viserys i Targaryen
dragons: Balerion the Black Terror (deceased)
Viserys (Paddy Considine) is the fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms. He rules in a time of peace and isn’t exactly interested in stirring the pot, which might as well set the stage for future conflicts. He was the last Targaryen to ride Balerion, the dragon Aegon the Conqueror rode when he conquered Westeros, and the last dragon to have lived before Valyria’s fall.
Visery’s rise to power is unusual. The previous king, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, sat on the Iron Throne for 55 years, and in AD 101 (after the Conquest) it was not immediately clear who would succeed him. All of Jaehaerys’ sons were dead – save for one son who was an Archmaester who had no interest in ruling the Seven Kingdoms and might have been kicked out of the show – so the question of succession went to the next generation. Jaehaerys held a meeting at Harrenhal attended by over 1,000 lords, known as the Great Council of AD 101, and allowed them to take charge of the matter. While several candidates were considered, only one pair really mattered: Viserys, the eldest son of Jaeharys’ son Baelon, was chosen. But the meeting appeared to set a precedent, in the eyes of some: a man’s claim always takes precedence over a woman’s, even if she and her relatives are descendants of an older son.
Daemon (Matt Smith) is Visery’s hot-tempered younger brother and heir to the Iron Throne. He holds various positions on the small council (including chief of the city watch) and has a wife in Rhea Royce, but he hates her. At these meetings he often comes into conflict with Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the Hand of the King, and he is a skilled fighter.
Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock as a child, Emma D’Arcy as an adult) is the daughter of Viserys and his first wife Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke). She serves as her father’s cupbearer, but finds herself in the unlikely position of becoming Viserys’ heir after Daemon says something insensitive.
Who’s Who: Edition of the House of Velaryon
Corlys (Steve Toussaint), also known as the Sea Serpent, is the head of one of the wealthiest houses in Westeros – and one with ties to Valyria. (When Targaryens cannot marry each other, they often turn to House Velaryon.) In his youth, Corlys made nine voyages to Essos, where he grew rich and traveled to the far reaches of the known world. During the Great Council, he supported his wife Rhaenys’ (Eve Best) claim to the Iron Throne (through her father Aemon, who was older than Baelon), but they passed Viserys.
He serves as captain of ships on the Viserys small council and is not a person to be trifled with.
After being ruled over Westeros in favor of her cousin during the Great Council, Rhaenys became known as “The Queen That Never Was”. She has never gotten over that dose of reality, something she tries to pass on to Rhaenyra if she is accepted as heir. Her two children with Corlys are Laena and Laenor Velaryon.
Who’s Who: Other Big Players in house of the dragon
Otto, like many of Viserys’ small council, has the best interests of the realm at heart for the most part. But how many of the king’s hands we witnessed further game of Throneshe also has his own agenda up his sleeve that he will have ready when the opportunity arises.
With her father by the hand of Viserys, Alicent (Emily Carey as a child, Olivia Cooke as an adult) is Rhaenyra’s childhood friend who listens to the king – and later forges a connection.
Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), also known as Lady Misery, is a former sex worker from the free city of Lys who becomes Daemon’s lover and confidante – and whose potential to influence events is great.
Ser Criston Cole
With family ties to Dorne – not yet part of the Seven Kingdoms – Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) quickly proves his worth in a tournament at King’s Landing by defeating the man believed to be the best knight and warrior in the Seven Kingdoms.
house of the dragon Premieres August 21st.
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/house-of-the-dragon-characters-targaryen-tree-incest/ A deep dive into the incestuous history of House Targaryen