"Half the Targaryens went mad, didn't they? What's the saying? 'Every time a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin.'"
Cersei Lannister to Tyrion Lannister[src]
House Targaryen banner

The banner of House Targaryen of Dragonstone, the former royal house of Westeros, now in exile.

House Targaryen of Dragonstone is a Great House of Westeros and was the ruling royal House of the Seven Kingdoms for three centuries since it conquered and unified the realm, before it was deposed during Robert's Rebellion and House Baratheon replaced it as the new royal House. The two surviving Targaryens fled into exile to the Free Cities of Essos across the Narrow Sea. Currently based on Dragonstone off of the eastern coast of Westeros, House Targaryen seeks to retake the Seven Kingdoms from House Lannister, who formally replaced House Baratheon as the royal House following the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor.

House Targaryen's sigil is a three-headed red dragon on a black background, and their house words are "Fire and Blood."



Once a noble family of the vast Valyrian Freehold, an empire spanning most of the eastern continent, the Targaryens were given control of the island of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea some centuries ago. After the obliteration of Valyria in the Doom, the Targaryens launched a devastating invasion of Westeros using three dragons to spearhead their attack. In a short period of time, six of the seven formerly independent kingdoms had surrendered to the Targaryen leader, King Aegon I, unifying the continent under his rule. The last hold-out, Dorne, joined the kingdom through a political and marriage alliance some two centuries later.[1]

During the increasingly erratic reign of King Aerys II, his son Rhaegar was said to have kidnapped Lyanna Stark of Winterfell for unknown reasons. When Lyanna's brother Brandon protested, Aerys responded by having both him and his father Rickard Stark arrested and executed. This sparked a massive uprising led by Eddard Stark, Robert Baratheon and Jon Arryn. At the end of this war, Aerys and Rhaegar were dead and the Targaryen power-base in Westeros destroyed. Aerys's youngest children, Viserys and Daenerys, were taken by Targaryen loyalists into exile in the Free Cities of the East. Unknown to most, however, Rhaegar had his marriage with Elia Martell annulled and remarried Lyanna, with whom he also had a son, Jon Snow. As Lyanna lay dying after giving birth to her son, she pleaded with her brother Eddard to keep her baby safe from Robert, who surely would want the baby dead due to his immense hatred for Rhaegar and promise to wipe out the Targaryen bloodline. She reveals her son's name is 'Aegon Targaryen'.[2] To protect his sister's son from Robert, Eddard takes his infant nephew back with him to Winterfell, names him 'Jon',[3] and claims him as his illegitimate son, raising Jon as his own child alongside his trueborn children.[1] The child would become Jon Snow and grows up with the maternal side of his family.

Generations of compound inbreeding have preserved in the Targaryen bloodline the classic Valyrian features of silver-white (platinum blonde) hair, and very fair, pale skin. Allegedly, this also preserved in their bloodline the ability to successfully bond with and ride dragons. They also seem to be somewhat more tolerant of extreme heat and high temperatures than other people, though they are by no means invulnerable to fire – or at least, not all of them. Unfortunately, some believe that this practice of inbreeding has also caused the trait of insanity to plague House Targaryen; though some members are known to be perfectly normal psychologically-speaking, other Targaryens throughout history have displayed bizarre, erratic and sometimes violent behavior, succumbing to the so-called 'Targaryen madness'.

Season 1

Viserys Targaryen arranges for the marriage of his sister Daenerys to the powerful dothraki Khal Drogo in exchange for a promise that Drogo will help him to reclaim his crown. Viserys treats Daenerys with contempt, strips her naked, and tells her that he would even let the horses have her if it meant that he could gain his crown.

The marriage was brokered by Illyrio Mopatis, a magister of Pentos. Illyrio gives Daenerys a trio of ancient dragon eggs as a gift.[4] Daenerys comes to love both Drogo and his people while Viserys is increasingly frustrated by Drogo's failure to deliver on his promise.[5] Daenerys becomes pregnant with Drogo's son, who she names Rhaego, and he is prophesied to be the "Stallion that mounts the world." Frustrated by the acceptance of Daenerys by the Dothraki, Viserys drunkenly threatens her unborn child and demands his crown. Drogo kills him by pouring molten gold over his head.[6]

Drogo then pledges to invade Westeros for Daenerys when she survives an assassination attempt.[7] He raids villages of the Lhazareen to enslave their inhabitants, intending to use them to barter passage across the Narrow Sea. He takes a superficial wound when he is challenged by Mago for apparently taking orders from a woman, namely Daenerys, who wants to spare the female slaves from being raped by the dothraki.[8] Concerned that the wound could fester and become infected, Daenerys turns to the captive Mirri Maz Duur to treat him. Duur's reputation as a "maegi" causes friction between Daenerys and Drogo's warriors. Duur deliberately infects this wound, causing Drogo's life to become endangered. Unaware of Duur's actions, Daenerys allows her to use blood magic to treat Drogo, using the blood of Drogo's horse. His bloodrider Qotho violently objects, injuring Daenerys and triggering premature labor.[9] Duur's spell leaves Drogo catatonic and Daenerys's son stillborn. His khalasar splinters leaving Daenerys with only dozens of riders remaining. After a tearful, loving farewell speech, Daenerys smothers Drogo with a cushion. She then has Duur burned alive on his funeral pyre, also placing her dragon eggs among the flames. Duur dies in agony in the fire, her screaming filling the night air. Daenerys then steps into the fire, but the next morning, it is revealed that she is unharmed and holding the dragon hatchlings in her hands.[10]

Season 2

Daenerys's advisor Ser Jorah Mormont warns that rival khals will target her and advises that she flee into the Red Waste.[11] Her crossing is harrowing and she loses the majority of her horses (namely her own, Drogo's first gift to her) and some of her people.[12]

Upon arriving in Qarth she is allowed into the city under the protection of the wealthy merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos.[13] Xaro makes a pragmatic marriage proposal, promising to fund Daenerys's return to Westeros in exchange for becoming her husband. Jorah counsels against entering Xaro's debt and reveals his own, unrequited, feelings for Daenerys.[14] Daenerys refuses Xaro's offer after finding her khalasar slaughtered and her dragons missing. After retrieving them, Daenerys locks Xaro in his own vault along with one of her handmaidens, who was sleeping with Xaro. With her dragons once more by her side, she and the remnants of her khalasar raid Xaro's wealthy home.

Season 3

Having seized as much of Xaro's wealth as she and the remnants of her khalasar could carry, Daenerys and her retainers flee Qarth by ship. Daenerys reluctantly takes Jorah's advice to make for Astapor, a city in Slaver's Bay known for its warrior-slaves. Jorah feels that using their wealth to purchase an army is her best course of action. Shortly after their arrival, Daenerys is nearly assassinated by one of the remaining Warlocks, but is rescued by Ser Barristan Selmy, who has tracked her down to pledge fealty to House Targaryen once again.

House Targaryen's fortunes take a dramatic turn when Daenerys double-crosses the Good Masters of Astapor, seizing their elite Unsullied and burning the slave-owning elite with the dragon she pretended to sell to him. Daenerys thus becomes the first Targaryen in generations to march at the head of her own conquering army.[15]

Daenerys turns her attention to Yunkai, where she manages to win over the Second Sons and liberate that city from the Wise Masters.[16][17]

Season 4

The now-sizable Targaryen army moves on the largest slaver city, Meereen. The city is taken with the aid of a slave revolt organized by the Unsullied, with its navy being commandeered by the Second Sons a few days later. Upon learning how poorly Astapor and Yunkai have fared since she left, Daenerys decides to remain in Meereen and rule as queen until the slaves are truly free and she has enough force to take all of Westeros.[18]

However, Daenerys finds she can no longer control her dragons - which are growing rapidly - and is forced to chain Viserion and Rhaegal in the catacombs after the dragons kill a young child while Drogon escapes, his whereabouts unknown. Daenerys also banishes Jorah after discovering he had spied on her for Westeros, which almost resulted in her being assassinated.

Season 5

Daenerys continues to try to control Meereen but faces major opposition from a clandestine organization calling themselves the Sons of the Harpy, who have recently begun assassinating lone Unsullied. Yunkai's return to the Targaryen fold is organized by Hizdahr zo Loraq, with a council of former slaveholders and freedmen ruling the city and all major decisions being submitted to Daenerys for approval. But Daenerys, reluctant to allow the Wise Masters to reopen the fighting pits, jeopardizes the deal.

Meanwhile, in Pentos, Varys works to convert a new asset to the Targaryen cause: the fugitive Tyrion Lannister.[19]

At the Wall, Aemon Targaryen, maester of Castle Black and the only other remaining Targaryen succumbs to his old age and dies.

In Slaver's Bay, Daenerys attempts to resolve the situation in Meereen by agreeing to marry Hizdahr and reopen the fighting pits. It is whilst she is attending a fight that she meets Jorah again, who has brought the captive Tyrion Lannister to her. Daenerys orders Jorah to leave, still having not forgiven him, but she allows Tyrion to live and takes him on as her advisor.

Whilst attending the games at Daznak's Pit, Daenerys is almost assassinated by a Son of the Harpy, but is saved by Jorah. Dozens of the Sons of the Harpy are revealed to be hiding in the stands and begin killing former slaves and masters alike, including Hizdahr. Daenerys is surrounded and believes she is going to die, but at the last moment, Drogon returns and attacks the Sons, saving Daenerys. When the Sons attempt to kill Drogon, Daenerys climbs onto his back and tells him to fly. Drogon takes off, carrying Daenerys away from Meereen into the Dothraki Sea and making her the first Targaryen dragon rider in centuries. However, she cannot yet fully command him, as Drogon refuses to fly Daenerys back to Meereen. Shortly after, she is surrounded by a Dothraki khalasar.

Season 6

Daenerys's advisors manage to restore order in Meereen, with Tyrion ruling in her absence, whilst Jorah and Daenerys's lover Daario Naharis search for their missing queen. Meanwhile, Daenerys has been captured and brought before Khal Moro, who expresses interest in bedding her. He is unintimidated by Daenerys's naming of her titles, until she reveals she is the widow of Khal Drogo. Moro immediately desists from his intentions to bed her, as it is forbidden to lay with a khal's widow. However, he refuses to take her back to Meereen, saying that, as a former khaleesi, Daenerys's place is with the dosh khaleen.

Moro escorts Daenerys to the temple of the dosh khaleen in Vaes Dothrak. There, the Head Priestess reveals that because Daenerys broke Dothraki law by not coming to the dosh khaleen immediately after Drogo's death, the khals are meeting to discuss what should be done with her. Jorah and Daario manage to track Daenerys down, but rather than attempt to escape Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys come up with her own plan and asks her would-be rescuers to assist her. When Daenerys is brought before the khalar vezhven, she boldly declares none of them are fit to lead the Dothraki. When Moro threatens to have Daenerys gang-raped and killed for her insolence, Daenerys overturns the braziers, starting a fire in the temple. The khals are unable to escape due to Daario and Jorah barring the doors and are all killed, whilst Daenerys, due to her Targaryen blood, is unharmed by the flames. The Dothraki run towards the burning temple and see Daenerys emerge, naked and unburnt, from the ruins. Awed, the Dothraki immediately show their allegiance to Daenerys by bowing before her, thus making Daenerys the leader of all the Dothraki present, including at least 100,000 Dothraki warriors. The next day, Daenerys heads back towards Meereen, accompanied by the Dothraki. Upon learning that Jorah has greyscale, Daenerys orders him to leave and find a cure, which he agrees to, once again leaving her service though this time on more amicable grounds. On her way to Meereen, Daenerys finds Drogon and rides him in front of the Dothraki. She tells them they all are her bloodriders and asks them to cross the Narrow Sea on ships and help her take the Seven Kingdoms. They all shout with support to her.

In Meereen, Tyrion, in an effort to gain more support for Daenerys, arranges for the Red Priestesses to preach about her merits in the city. The Priestesses are happy to oblige, as many believe she is 'the One who was promised', sent by the Lord of Light to end slavery. Varys leaves to return to Westeros and secure more allies for Daenerys.

Meereen is attacked by the navy of Astapor, Volantis and Yunkai, who are determined to reclaim Meereen and restart the slave trade. Just as the siege begins, Daenerys returns on Drogon. At Tyrion's urging, Daenerys meets with the Wise Masters to negotiate. However, she refuses their offer to surrender. Daenerys rides Drogon out to the bay, accompanied by Rhaegal and Viserion, and burns the Slavers' ships, whilst Daario leads her Dothraki warriors to subdue the Sons of the Harpy.

Following the defeat of the Slavers and the Sons, Daenerys is met by Theon and Yara Greyjoy, who have arrived to pledge their fleet of one hundred manned ships to the Targaryen cause, if Daenerys will help them deal with Euron Greyjoy and support their claim to the Iron Islands. Daenerys agrees to these terms, though requests that the ironborn cease their acts of piracy, thus gaining House Targaryen the support of House Greyjoy (at least under Yara, Theon and those loyal to them). Daenerys then orders that preparations for the invasion begin in earnest: the slaver ships are to be outfitted with Targaryen colors and figureheads, and her Dothraki are to be trained as sailors and shown how to safely transport their horses. Back in Westeros, Varys secures the assistance of Dorne – now led by Ellaria Sand and her Sand Snakes – and House Tyrell, both factions left largely untouched by the previous conflicts and eager for vengeance against the crimes of House Lannister. Daenerys, realizing that she needs to be romantically unattached to play the game of Westerosi politics, instructs Daario Naharis and his Second Sons to keep the peace in Meereen until the city decides on a permanent new method of government. Her affairs in order, Daenerys brings the renewed strength of House Targaryen to bear on the Narrow Sea.[20]

Meanwhile, Bran Stark has a vision of the death of his aunt Lyanna Stark, Eddard Stark's sister. He learns that his half-brother Jon Snow is actually his cousin, as Jon is the son of Lyanna and the last living child of Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon has recently been proclaimed King in the North after reclaiming Winterfell from House Bolton, but he, along with the majority of the world, remains unaware of his true parentage at this stage.

Season 7

Sailing past the allied region of Dorne and the contested Stormlands, Daenerys makes immediately for Dragonstone, her birthplace and the ancestral stronghold of House Targaryen. Finding the castle deserted, Daenerys explores. Ripping down some of Stannis Baratheon's heraldry, Daenerys proceeds directly to the Chamber of the Painted Table, where her ancestor once planned his Conquest, and declares her invasion begun.[21]

Though her invasion had just begun, Daenerys has already suffered several major setbacks. Her Ironborn fleet, under the command of Yara Greyjoy, was destroyed by her uncle, Euron Greyjoy. Euron takes Yara, Ellaria, and her daughter Tyene Sand hostage to King's Landing. The Unsullied capture Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister, but take heavy losses and end up stranded at the castle, as Euron Greyjoy arrives and destroys the ships they arrived on. Furthermore, Jaime Lannister leads an army to Highgarden, sacking the castle and knocking the Tyrells out of the war. Daenerys is left with her Dothraki and three dragons at her command.[22]

However, Daenerys gains a potential ally in Jon Snow, now King in the North; although frustrated by his refusal to bend the knee, she allows him to mine the deposit of dragonglass beneath Dragonstone to make weapons for the coming war against the White Walkers. Daenerys later leads the Dothraki in an ambush against the Lannister army at Highgarden, unleashing Drogon against them, and succeeds in defeating the army and cutting them off from King's Landing.[23]

In the Citadel, Gilly reads High Septon Maynard's diary. Gilly tells Samwell the High Septon issued an annulment for a Prince "Ragger" so that he could marry another woman in Dorne. This new marriage indicates that any children Rhaegar may have with this new wife (presumably Lyanna Stark) are his trueborn children and not bastards. The revelation could mean that Jon Snow is actually a trueborn Targaryen, which would put him before Daenerys in the line of succession since he would be Rhaegar's trueborn son while Daenerys is Rhaegar's younger sister and therefore, would inherit after all of Rhaegar's children. However, Samwell doesn't realize the significance of Gilly's discovery because he is too preoccupied with his perceived failures at the Citadel and has no idea he should be paying attention to details about Rhaegar.[24]

Following the Battle of the Goldroad, Daenerys offers the remaining Lannister-Tarly forces a choice; bend the knee to her and help her to rebuild Westeros, or be executed. Most of the soldiers choose to bend the knee, save for Lord Randyll Tarly and Dickon Tarly, who are swiftly immolated by Drogon on Daenerys's orders. Daenerys and her allies then broker a temporary truce with House Lannister in order to address the impending invasion of the White Walkers and their army of the dead. Jon Snow and Jorah (now cured of his greyscale) lead a party beyond the Wall to capture a wight and bring it back as proof of the White Walkers's existence.

When the group is overwhelmed by White Walkers and wights, resulting in several deaths, Daenerys personally heads beyond the Wall accompanied by all three of her dragons to rescue them. Although Daenerys is able to save the surviving members of the group and helps capture and transport a live wight, the Night's King mortally wounds Viserion with an ice spear, then reanimates his corpse as a wight.

At the Dragonpit in King's Landing, Daenerys, Tyrion and Jon present the captured wight to Cersei Lannister. Cersei accepts a truce with Targaryens if the North remains neutral after the dead are defeated. Jon answers that he cannot serve two queens and publicly declares his allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen, which causes Cersei to storm off. Tyrion manages to convince her otherwise, but they are seemingly unaware that Cersei has no intention to aid Targaryen-Stark alliance against the dead. Rather, she intends to let the allies fight the dead and then she will deal with the victor. This causes Jaime Lannister to abandon Cersei and join the Targaryens and Starks against the dead.

Daenerys decides to sail with Jon to Winterfell in order to show to the people of North that she hasn't come to conquer them, but save them. On the ship, Jon knocks on Daenerys's door and they both give in to their passion and make love. Unknown to both of them, Jon is actually Daenerys's nephew. Bran has learned Jon is the legitimate son of Daenerys's eldest brother Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, born Aegon Targaryen, and thus is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.



Aerion family tree
Aerion Targaryen
Aemon Targaryen Maesters-ShieldNight's-Watch-Main-Shield
Aegon V family tree
Aegon V Targaryen
Targaryen Queen
Duncan Targaryen
Aerys Targaryen template Image
Aerys II Targaryen
Rhaella tree
Rhaella Targaryen
Daeron Targaryen
Elia Martell House-Martell-Main-Shield
Rhaegar Targaryen
Lyanna tree
Lyanna Stark House-Stark-Main-Shield
Viserys tree
Viserys Targaryen
Daenerys tree
Daenerys Targaryen
Drogo tree
Rhaenys tree
Rhaenys Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen
Jon Snow family tree image
"Jon Snow"
(Aegon Targaryen)


Aegon's crown

The crown of Aegon the Conqueror.

Sworn to House Targaryen


  • {Irri}, a Dothraki handmaiden. Killed during the robbery of Daenerys's dragons.
  • {Doreah}, a Lysene handmaiden and former bedslave. Left to die inside Xaro Xhoan Daxos's vault after betraying Daenerys.
  • Jhiqui, a Dothraki handmaiden. Status unknown.
  • Kovarro, a Dothraki warrior and Bloodrider to Daenerys. Status unknown.
  • Aggo, a Dothraki warrior and Bloodrider to Daenerys. Missing in the Red Waste.
  • {Rakharo}, a Dothraki warrior and Bloodrider to Daenerys. Killed and beheaded by a rival khalasar.
  • Ser {Barristan Selmy}, exiled Lord Commander of King Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard, and a member of King Aerys Targaryen's former Kingsguard. After being unjustly dismissed from service by Robert's successor Joffrey and his mother Cersei, Barristan traveled halfway around the world to find Daenerys Targaryen and pledge his support to her as the rightful heir to the throne. Slain fighting the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen.
  • Missandei, translator, handmaiden, and aide-de-camp to Daenerys.
  • Daario Naharis, Daenerys's advisor and lover, and the commander of the Second Sons.
  • Grey Worm, the commander of the Unsullied.
  • {Mossador}, a former slave and advisor to the Queen. Executed for treason.
  • {Hizdahr zo Loraq}, a former slave master from the city of Meereen and one of Daenerys's advisors. Stabbed to death by the Sons of the Harpy during the Great Games in Daznak's Pit.
  • Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys's newly appointed Hand of the Queen and ruler of Meereen in Daenerys's stead.
  • Croft, member of the Second Sons and in service to Daenerys and participant in the battle of Yunkai and liberation of Meereen along with Asher Forrester and Beskha.
  • Malcolm Branfield, The last of the Branfield line, Targaryen loyalists who were killed or exiled following Robert's Rebellion, now in service to Daenerys after retrieving his nephew Asher Forrester.
  • Kinvara, a priestess of the R'hllor, she was recruited by Tyrion to preach about Daenerys Targaryen.
  • Ser Jorah Mormont, the exiled Lord of Bear Island, advisor and bodyguard to Khaleesi Daenerys. Expelled by Daenerys after she learned he had spied against her. Jorah fights in the fighting pits to prove his allegiance to Daenerys and does so by killing a Son Of the Harpy who tries to assassinate Daenerys. Daenerys later talks to Jorah after he helps her in taking control of the Dothraki where she commands him to cure himself of greyscale and return to her.

Clandestine Allies

Military strength


House Targaryen's military strength has fluctuated over the last few years under Daenerys Targaryen's leadership. Since the death of her husband, she has commanded a khalasar containing only a few dozen riders, less than half of whom are warriors, as well as a single trained knight, Jorah Mormont. During her time in the Red Waste and Qarth, her dragons were not large enough to provide any meaningful assistance.

By the time Daenerys reached Astapor in Slaver's Bay, her dragons had grown enough to provide limited air support in certain engagements, and she had gained the loyalty of an additional knight, Ser Barristan Selmy. It should be pointed out that although limited, the dragons at this time are capable of providing the only air support in the known world.

Following the Sack of Astapor, Daenerys gained an army of 8,000 fully trained Unsullied, elite warrior-eunuchs who fight in large, disciplined phalanx formations, as well as several hundred Unsullied-in-training who serve as auxiliaries.

Shortly after arriving at Yunkai, Daenerys is able to secure the affection of Daario Naharis, a lieutenant in the Second Sons. During a parley between Daenerys and the captains of the Second Sons, Daario points out that Daenerys's Unsullied are impressive infantry, but she still possesses no cavalry, siege weapons, or ships. Later that night, Daario slays the captains of the Second Sons, makes himself captain, and pledges the company to Daenerys. The Second Sons add 2,000 armored cavalry to the growing Targaryen army.

During Daenerys's rule of Meereen, the Unsullied and the Second Sons take light, but constant losses, most of them assassinated by the Sons of the Harpy. The greatest losses of this time were both of her knights: Daenerys banished Ser Jorah upon learning that he had once spied on her for Robert Baratheon, and Ser Barristan was killed by the Sons of the Harpy.

After burning the Dothraki khals in Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys emerges unburnt from the flames, and all the people in the city bow down to her. In perhaps her greatest turnaround yet, Daenerys secured the loyalty of the roughly 100,000 Dothraki assembled at the time, gaining at last the numbers – though not the means – to retake Westeros.

By this point, all three dragons had grown significantly larger, with Drogon, in particular, being larger than a carriage due to his continued freedom. He is now large enough for Daenerys to sit comfortably across his back, and has begun to obey her commands while riding. Should they be tamed and ridden, all three dragons are now large enough to coordinate aerial assaults should the need arise. During the Second Siege of Meereen, all three dragons were deployed to devastating effect, even though Drogon was the only one being ridden.

Upon breaking the Second Siege, Daenerys took possession of the remains of their armada, roughly 200 ships. Shortly after, she was visited by Theon and Yara Greyjoy, who offered their ships – the better part of the formidable Iron Fleet – to her in exchange for supporting Yara's claim to the Salt Throne, to which Daenerys agreed, on the condition that he Ironborn change their ways forever.


There are no official allies or vassals of House Targaryen left in Westeros. Varys is really a Targaryen loyalist and possesses a vast spy network, but by himself, he commands no military forces and cannot be considered a military asset. In any case, he eventually relocated to Meereen and began serving Daenerys openly, again mostly through coordinating his spy network.

King Robert Baratheon expressed fear that even after all these years, there are still a sizable number of noble Houses in Westeros who are either secret Targaryen loyalists, or who later developed some grievance with Robert's rule, and would flock to the Targaryen banner if they attempted to retake the Iron Throne in open war. It is not clear to what extent paranoia influenced his opinions, since Ser Jorah stressed to Dany that the number of Targaryen loyalists in Westeros is far lower than Viserys liked to believe. Viserys, at least, believed that because House Tyrell of the Reach and House Martell of Dorne fought on the Targaryen side during Robert's Rebellion, the prospects were good that they'd be willing to join his cause and rebel against Robert. Nonetheless, for much of Robert's reign, and most of the War of the Five Kings that followed, there was been no evidence that dissatisfied Houses would support a Targaryen return, and House Tyrell had become closely aligned with the Lannister-backed House Baratheon.

However, following the Assassination of Balon Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand's coup in Dorne and the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, the attitudes of several major factions changed dramatically. Fleeing their uncle's success at the Kingsmoot, Yara and Theon Greyjoy made for Meereen, where they agreed to provide transport for Daenerys's army and support at sea in exchange for Yara's accession to the Salt Throne, independent of the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys agreed, provided that the independent Ironborn give up all reaving, raping and pillaging, to which Yara reluctantly acquiesced. Meanwhile, Ellaria, in desperate need of allies, agreed to support Daenerys's invasion. At Varys's urging, she also reached out to Olenna Tyrell, who was out for revenge against Cersei Lannister. As a result, House Targaryen gained the support of the largely intact forces of The Reach, Dorne, and the Iron Islands. After the recent events of her invasion of Westeros, Daenerys' army had already taken several heavy blows. Yara's Ironborn fleet was destroyed by her uncle, Euron Greyjoy. The Sand Snakes, along with Yara, were captured by Euron, effectively knocking Dorne out of the war. Jaime Lannister then lead an army into the Reach to sack Highgarden, also knocking House Tyrell out of the war. The Unsullied took moderate casualties at the Siege of Casterly Rock and the same goes to the Dothraki at the Battle of the Goldroad. When Daenerys decided to rescue Jon Snow and his companions Beyond the Wall, the Night King managed to kill Viserion with an ice spear before reanimating him as a wight, leaving only Drogon and Rhaegal as her living dragons.

Image gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Targaryen family (they were not a formal House, as this was a Westerosi concept not found in the Freehold) moved from Valyria to Dragonstone, then the most far-flung outpost of the Valyrian Freehold, apparently in fear of a prophecy predicting the destruction of Valyria a century before it happened. Both before and after their relocation, the Targaryens were counted among the dragonlords, the forty or so powerful families who bred, raised and rode their own dragons and thus dominated Valyrian politics and culture. They were, however, never among the most powerful of those families. After the fall of Valyria, the Targaryens stayed on Dragonstone for a hundred years, apparently hoarding the strength of their dragons and debating whether to invade Westeros or to attempt to seize control of the Valyrian colony-states which later became known as the Free Cities. When the time came, the Targaryens ultimately assisted the Free Cities in asserting their continued independence and then proceeded to invade Westeros.

House Targaryen ruled Westeros for 283 years, during which time they survived substantial civil wars (including the Dance of Dragons and no fewer than five Blackfyre Rebellions), plague (the Great Spring Sickness), and an attempted foreign invasion (in the War of the Ninepenny Kings). They were brought down when the Mad King's insanity became too dangerous to be ignored.

The Targaryens adopted the religion and many of the customs of Westeros, but they clung to two old Valyrian customs in defiance of public disapproval: Targaryen princes and kings were allowed to have multiple wives, and Targaryens were allowed to marry brother to sister, something considered taboo elsewhere in Westeros. The former custom was apparently considered outdated in Valyria itself, but the latter was fairly common.

The generations of Targaryen inbreeding produced a distinctive set of physical features shared by all of their members during the House's three centuries of rule. This includes a generally pale appearance with silver-white (platinum blonde) hair and purple irises. While pale, they are not albinos, although their eyebrows are white. The actors playing Daenerys and Viserys are actually both dark-haired, so they had to wear wigs, although the production team decided not to dye their eyebrows to match. The TV series opted not to portray the Targaryens with purple eyes, partially due to the logistical difficulty of matching purple contact lenses for actors in every shot. The TV series originally filmed Viserys and Daenerys wearing violet contact lenses, but show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss quickly abandoned their use. As they explained in the Season 1 Blu-ray episode commentaries, "actors act with their eyes, and [the lenses] really hurt the emotion."[25]

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Targaryen" is pronounced "Tar-GAIR-ee-in".

See also


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House Targaryen
Lord: Queen Daenerys Targaryen Heir: None
Seat: Dragonstone Lands: Dragonstone
Title(s): Queen of Meereen · Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea · Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men (claimant) · Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant) · Protector of the Realm (claimant)
Ancestors:Aenar · Daenys · Aegon I, the Conqueror · Visenya · Rhaenys · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Rhaena · Aegon · Jaehaerys I, the Concilliator · Alysanne Targaryen · Viserys I · Rhaenys · Daemon · Aemma Arryn · Rhaenyra · Alicent Hightower · Aegon II, the Usurper · Helaena Targaryen · Aemond · Aegon III · Viserys II Targaryen · Jaehaera · Jaehaerys · Maelor · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Naerys · Aemon the Dragonknight · Daena the Defiant · Rhaena · Elaena · Daeron II, the Good · Daenerys of Sunspear · Myriah Martell · Daemon Blackfyre · Brynden Rivers · Aegor Rivers · Shiera Seastar · Baelor Breakspear · Aerys I · Aelinor · Rhaegel · Maekar I · Dyanna Dayne · Aerion Brightflame · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Duncan the Small · Daeron
Deceased members:Aerys II, the Mad · Rhaella Targaryen · Rhaegar Targaryen · Elia Martell · Rhaenys Targaryen · Aegon Targaryen · Viserys Targaryen · Drogo · Rhaego · Aemon Targaryen
Household:Ser Jorah Mormont · Tyrion Lannister · {Ser Barristan Selmy} · {Rakharo} · Kovarro · Aggo · {Irri} · {Doreah} · Jhiqui · Malakho · Missandei · Grey Worm · Daario Naharis · {Mossador}

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