Rhaenyra Targaryen: How The House Of The Dragon Character Is Related To Daenerys

House of the Dragon’s Rhaenyra Targaryen is an ancestor of Daenerys and one of the early members of the ancient house, but how are they related?

Though they are many decades separated, Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon and Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones are closely related. The events of Game of Thrones begin almost 300 years after Aegon the Conquerer arrived in what would eventually be King’s Landing. House of the Dragon takes place only 100 years after Aegon’s invasion; it’s a time when the Targaryen bloodline is at its strongest and most prolific. In Game of Thrones, the royal family is all but a forgotten legend but in House of the Dragon, the Targaryens have a firm grip on Westeros with the only threats possible coming from the inside.

The Targaryen family tree has always been an incestuous and closely knit web of brothers marrying sisters and nieces marrying uncles, a safeguard against other families gaining access to dragons. As such, anyone with the Targaryen last name is inherently more closely related to their ancestors than other members of great houses. Rhaenyra and Daenerys’ relationship is even closer, considering their similar roles in their families and in Westeros. Both women are powerful leaders whose role as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is questioned and their pursuits of the crown are equally tragic. Daenerys and Rhaenyra Targaryen are related by both their stories and by blood.

Rhaenyra Targaryen Is Daenerys’ Sixth Great-Grandmother (& Jon Snow’s Seventh)

Emma D'Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen

Though Rhaenyra Targaryen herself is doomed, it’s her bloodline that continues the Targaryen royal line of kings and queens and makes her victorious over her half-brother Aegon III. Rhaenyra is Daenerys’ sixth great-grandmother and consequently Jon Snow’s seventh. The connection between Daenerys and Rhaenyra passes through all the major players in the history of Westeros. Aegon the Unworthy, who began a second Targaryen civil war after the Dance of the Dragons, Aegon “Egg” V from the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas, and the Mad King Aerys II are all famous and notorious shared relatives between the two queens.

Between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daenerys, the purity of the Targaryen bloodline became much more mixed than it had in the first 100 years of the dynasty’s time in Westeros. Rhaenyra’s ancestors consist almost entirely of Tagaryens and their close relative families, the Velaryons and Baratheons. By Daenerys’ time, Blackwoods, Martells, and Daynes have all entered the familial line, indicating Daenerys is not a copy of her fiery ancestor.

Rhaenyra Targaryen Died By Getting Eaten By A Dragon

Arrax and Vhagar in House of the Dragon

Towards the end of the civil war, Rhaenyra Targaryen and her son Aegon III fled to Dragonstone to avoid the fall of King’s Landing, but they were betrayed. Aegon II captured his half-sister and fed her alive to his dragon Sunfyre, a move that would put Aegon II on the throne briefly before his final overthrow. This continues a long tradition of Targaryen’s using their dragons to execute prisoners and cement their authority. Aegon the Conqueror uses Balerion to incinerate Harren the Black and his family, Vhagar kills Lucerys Velaryon, and Daenerys uses Drogon to execute multiple enemies in her fight for the Iron Throne.

An additional brutal aspect of Rhaenyra’s death is that Aegon III, a child, is forced to watch. This mirrors Missandei’s death hundreds of years later when Daenerys is helplessly forced to watch her closest friend’s execution at the hands of sworn enemy Cersei Lannister. Unlike Aegon III, who becomes brooding and melancholy for the rest of his reign, Daenerys’ shock at watching Missandei die results in her slipping further into the fiery madness that affects many in the Targaryen dynasty. Daenerys in Game of Thrones and Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon share many similarities that are in part a result of their shared lineage.

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