Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen standing in front of her dragon in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

We're Here To Explain The Complicated Targaryen Family Tree In 'House Of The Dragon'

Game of Thrones was a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, it's easily one of the most-watched and influential series of the 21st century. On the other — the series' conclusion had many fans up in arms.

It was so bad that many vowed to never again revisit the fabled lands of Westeros. That is until House of the Dragon premiered.

Now, it would appear that GoT fans are willing to risk being hurt all over again. So to help provide a bit of context, we're here to explain the complicated Targaryen family tree in House of the Dragon.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Unless you've been off-planet or in a coma for the past decade, you're well aware of the impact of 'Game Of Thrones'.

House Stark welcoming King Robert Baratheon to Winterfell in 'Game Of Thrones'.
HBO | HBO

Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and based on the books by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones captivated audiences across seven continents.

You may not be aware that the first episode of the much-anticipated prequel series, 'House Of The Dragon', has officially premiered.

Rhaenyra Targaryen in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

As the name suggests, House of the Dragon conveys the complicated history of House Targaryen — the rightful rulers and conquerors of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

However, the question in most people's minds is what era of Targaryens do we bear witness to in the series?

The sigil of House Targaryen belching flames.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

There are roughly 300 years between Aegon I's conquest of Westeros to the fall of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. If you're wondering where House of the Dragon falls on that timeline, you've come to the right place.

'House Of The Dragon' takes place roughly 200 years before the events of 'Game Of Thrones' — at the height of the Targaryen rule.

Rhaenyra Targaryen standing on the Iron Throne with her dragon behind her in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

In the years leading up to House of the Dragon, a brutal rebellion against the Targaryens took place — known as "The Faith Militant" uprising.

"The Faith Militant" were of the order of the Warrior's Sons and the Poor Fellows — and were the sworn enemies of King Maegor I.

King Maegor was better known as "Maegor the Cruel", one of the most violent and vicious Targaryens to ever sit upon the Iron Throne.

Prior to Maegor I's ascension, his brother Aenys was king.

T-Pain seated on the Iron Throne.
Giphy | Twitter

But after Aenys died under "suspicious circumstances", Maegor I was quick to make his own claim — defying the Laws of Inheritance that stipulated Aenys' eldest son, Prince Aegon, should now be king.

Maegor I's rule was bathed in blood, but his unquenchable thirst for carnage would eventually become his undoing.

Bellarion the Black Dread in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

Maegor I had a habit of murdering those closest to him, so as to avoid anyone threatening his rule. One morning, during his second campaign against "The Faith Militant," Maegor I was found dead on the Iron Throne, having died under "suspicious circumstances."

In the wake of Maegor I's death, the only remaining son of the previous king, Jaehaerys I, was crowned ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

It's at this point where House of the Dragon begins — with King Jaehaerys gathering his council in order to name the next heir apparent.

But due to the ensuing chaos of the previous generation, the line of succession is unclear.

Rhaenys Targaryen sipping her goblet in 'House Of The Dragon'.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

The two Targaryens with a legitimate claim to the throne are Jaehaerys' grandson, Viserys, and his granddaughter/grandniece, Rhaenys. However, since Westeros had never previously had a queen, the council crowns the prince, Viserys I.

Despite the council's decision, Rhaenys (nicknamed "The Queen that Never Was") is still a beloved member of the royal family.

Rhaenys Targaryen in a blue dress in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

As such, she commands a considerable amount of respect from the Heads of Houses — as do her children.

Viserys I, on the other hand, has no male heir — thus his brother Daemon is next in line for the Iron Throne.

Viserys I in court in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

Unfortunately, Daemon is widely despised by those in power and is by far the least popular choice to rule the Seven Kingdoms in the event of Viserys I's death.

As mentioned earlier, Rhaenys is still the most popular royal to rule.

Viserys I gripping his sword in 'House Of The Dragon'.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

Rhaenys was one of the few true Targaryen Dragonriders, and renowned for her great beauty. But because she is a woman, as is her oldest heir, Laena, Rhaenys is continuously passed over.

Viserys I, for all his faults, is a kind king who brings stability to the realm.

Rhaenyra and her father, Viserys I Targaryen in the Red Keep in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

Viserys I's weakness is his indecision, eventually forcing Rhaenyra, and his younger son, Aegon II, into battle against one another for the right to rule.

Rhaenyra is Viserys I's firstborn child, and the daughter of his first wife, Aemma.

Rhaenyra with her dragon in 'House Of The Dragon'.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

After Aemma dies tragically as a result of Viserys I's poor choices, the Targaryen king remarries Alicent Hightower — Rhaenyra's former friend, and a woman just a few years older than she.

Thus begins "The Dance of Dragons," with supporters for each heir dividing themselves into two camps.

Scene from 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

Rhaenyra's supporters are known as the "Blacks" whereas Aegon II's are called the "Greens." The "Greens" not only support Aegon II, but they also believe that a woman should not be able to sit on the Iron Throne.

When it comes to matters of the heart, Rhaenyra's love life is equally as complicated as her sordid family history.

Rhaenyra Targaryen in her chambers in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

At first, Rhaenyra is pressured to marry her brother, Aegon II, and unite the realm. However, she refuses due to the fact that she's in love with her uncle, Daemon.

Later, Viserys I comes up with the idea that Rhaenyra will marry Rhaenys' son, Laenor Velaryon.

Rhaenyra Targaryen saying "Dracarys."
Giphy | Game of Thrones

At first, Rhaneyra again refuses, but after her father threatens to disinherit her — she reluctantly agrees. The couple bear three sons, but the real father is believed to be Rhaenyra's lover/sworn sword, Harwin Strong.

Upon discovering the truth, Viserys I exiles Harwin Strong.

Viserys I sitting on his throne in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

As a way of getting even, Rhaenyra marries her uncle Daemon in secret, shortly after the untimely death of her own husband, Laenor Velaryon. She then relocates to Dragonstone, and as a result, she isn't at court when her father passes away.

Instead of sending word to Rhaenyra of Viserys I's death, Alicent prepares to anoint Aegon II as the king of Westeros.

Rhaenyra Targaryen crying in 'House Of The Dragon'.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

When Rhaenyra discovers this for herself, she's sent into a blind rage — the likes of which she never returns from.

Meanwhile, Daemon continues to pull strings like a master of puppets from the shadows.

Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen on the beach in 'House Of The Dragon'.
HBO | HBO

Daemon is beloved by everyone, except those who have the power to make him king. Therefore, he must move in a calculated and strategic manner in order to secure his legacy.

As far as Aegon II is concerned, there's a very good reason as to why Rhaenyra and Daemon don't want him to sit atop the Iron Throne.

Dragon face emerging from darkness in 'House Of The Dragon'.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

If you thought that Prince Joffrey was bad — just wait until you see Aegon II in action. He makes Joffrey seem like a tame kitten. Thus ends the complicated backstory of House of the Dragon.