As with any good high fantasy story, your “House of the Dragon” experience will benefit from a little stupid homework. Here’s everything you need to know before watching so you can avoid common confusion like “Why are all these white people so sad?” or “Wait, they’re related,
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“House of the Dragon” is a prequel series that focuses on the Targaryen dynasty; They are of myth, madness, incest and purple shampoo. In the original “Game of Thrones” show and in the “Song of Ice and Fire” book series, the mighty House Targaryen is dead, but thanks to Regicide and what seems to be a family lack of impulse control from generations of inbreeding. Daenerys Targaryen is one of the very few who live in GoT-times, and she is even sent to the Shadow Lands prematurely by her niece-boyfriend, Jon Snow. (The Targaryen family tree is very narrow, yet complex. The Targaryen family shillag, if you will.)
Anyway, HOD takes place 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones”, when the Targaryens are in full power and about to enter a very gruesome, furious war of succession known as the “Dance of Dragons”. known in.
Keep in mind that, during the peak of his power, Targaryen was a dragon-riding terror, hence his home motto: “Fire and Blood.” His scaled horses brought the family from their native home of Valeria and helped them conquer all of Westeros. In the original GoT series, all those dragons have been dead for a while. In HOD, they are (presumably) alive and well.
It’s a Full House (Targaryen)
Since it’s just before the final fall of House Targaryen, there’s a lot of Targary in the game. Too many targets, one might argue. Some name tags would be nice.
- King Viserys I The current king of Westeros. He is really a very nice boy. To give an idea of the time frame here, Viserys I is Daenerys’ great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. His children and loved ones are fighting for power when he finally kicks her.
- princess renera Is the daughter of Viserys’s first wife. His father prefers him as his successor, but there are many other contenders in the game. It appears that most of the action will be focused on that. Think of her as ‘Daenerys’ in this series. She wants to rule, she has abilities, but a bunch of friends are getting in her way. His dragon’s name is Cyrax.
- Prince Aegon II Viserys is the first born son and half-brother of Rainera. He is another potential successor and a very big part of the war to come.
- prince daemon He is the brother of Viserys and uncle of Renera. He’s your typical Hamlet-y “always a prince, never a king” kind of person. He’s a little rake and there’s a lot of sexual tension between him and Rainyra, which is again equal for this family.
- Alicent Hightower She is the second wife of Viserys and stepmother of Rainera. She is the mother of Aegon II and has designs to become the first Queen of Westeros, so she doesn’t get along with her stepdaughter. An evil stepmother? Groundbreaking. At this point, assume that everyone is corrupt and power hungry. (The much older Margaery Tyrell also vibrates with him. RIP, Queen.)
There are many more Targaryens and Targaryen-adjacent ones to keep track of, but let’s pace ourselves.
Another good thing to remember is that many people in Westeros believe that Targaryens have a genetic tendency toward insanity. (Ser Barristan Selmy said it best: “Each time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air and the world holds its breath.) So even the good guys are, theoretically, a tiny bit from mass murder. The inconvenience is gone.
A lot of Westeros will sound familiar to you
Iron Throne is definitely around, was built by the first Targaryen king, Aegon. You might remember that many GoT characters spoke wonderfully about Aegon and his two sister-wives, Renis and Vicenya, the first generation to come to Westeros (literally) to kick things off. They became the first ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms in Westeros. So at this point in the game, when HOD happens, the current political system has only seen Targaryen rulers.
the red keep Aegon was doing it too, so it’s there too, as is the city around King’s Landing.
You will recognize some houses! Of course, there is representation of Hightowers. Some Baratheons are scattered. At this point in Westeros history the Lannisters are just minor, if very rich players. We’ll learn more about House Valerian, another house of Valyrian descent that was sometimes mentioned in “Game of Thrones.” Don’t expect to see any familiar faces from the original “Game of Thrones” series, though.
And in the end, you’ll spend half your time keeping everyone’s names straight.
Are your wheels fully inflated for a new era of “Game of Thrones”? Are you sure of that? Great! Here’s a sampling of actual Targaryen names from the “Game of Thrones” universe.
No wonder they all went crazy. Fortunately, only a small fraction of these names will appear in “House of the Dragon,” but it makes for a long time for the good old GoT days when the main character went to “John.”