May 23, 2021 0 By MrKofi

So… who are the Targaryens in game of thrones? At a point in time they were the undisputed power in Westeros. It was the Targaryens who unified the realm. It was house Targaryen that forged the iron throne and it was house Targaryen who decided who was Lord and who was not.

Who were the Targaryens? To put it simply, they were the greatest house in all of Westeros! They were also the least sane, and that’s saying a lot!

like their dragons the Targaryens answered to neither gods or men”

-Caitlin Stark


House Targaryen sigil

We cannot speak of the Targaryens without mentioning their dragons. One of the forty dragonlords of the Valyrian freehold, House Targaryen was one of the noble houses that vied for power in old Valyria. They resided in Valyria with their fellow dragon lords. It is said the dragon lords of Valyria controlled their dragons using binding spells and horns.

Through conquest they controlled an empire that spanned across most of Essos. They ruled the greatest civilization that ever was, then came the doom. A cataclysmic event that saw their empire wiped out along with all of the dragon lords. All of them, except the Targaryens.

Daenys the dreamer, the daughter of Aenar Targaryen foresaw the doom before it happened. Aenar moved his entire house from Valyria to their current home Dragonstone, thus escaping the doom that wiped out all the other dragon lords.

The Targeryen’s family tree

The Targaryens are descended from a long line of dragon lords. The earliest known been Aenar and his daughter Daenys. Aegon the conqueror proved to be one of the most if not the most notable Targaryen after the doom. He, aided by his two sister wives and half brother Orys Baratheon conquered six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Dorne the final kingdom would join them after it’s princess Myriah Martell married Dearon II of house Targaryen thus uniting both houses.

Aegon’s conquest

Aegon’s conquest was nothing short of legendary. An event that literally rewrote the politics of Westeros. In just a few short years, he made a ruin of the most formidable fortress Westeros had ever seen. Crushed the bourgeoning empire taking form under Harren the black, anihilated the Gardener kings, took the Vale and had the king of the North bend the knee. He also burnt Sunspear to the ground though it mattered little as he failed to keep the city.

In fact after he was through history would be divided into two. Before Conquest (BC) and After conquest (AC). A fact that demonstrates just how profound an impact his conquest had on the world!

Targaryen Rule

Targaryen rule was eventful to say the least. The Targaryen dynasty spawned some of the most vile and terrible kings the continent had ever seen. Maegor the cruel and Aerys the Mad just to name a few. That said, the dynasty also gave birth to some of the greatest kings the seven kingdoms will ever know. The likes of Jahearys and Viserys the first been a few.

Under them the kingdoms prospered, but there were also dark days. Wars and rebellions were never far off. Though there were periods of great peace. Times of turmoil were all too common.

The dance of the dragons

One of such conflicts was the dance of the dragons. A civil war between rival factions within the family that saw most of their dragons killed severely weakening the great house. It was a conflict so horrific, it almost tore the realm asunder.

Many notable Targaryens lost their lives in the conflict, many more were scarred for the rest of their days. It was a pure and unmitigated disaster. One that nearly brought down the great house. It all began when King Viserys I named his daughter Rhaenyra the heir to the iron throne. She was the only child to survive to adulthood from his first marriage.

When the queen Aemma Arryn died he married again, this time to Allicent Hightower who gave him four children:  AegonHelaenaAemond, and Daeron. Upon the King’s death Allicent arranged to have her son Aegon crowned king, since he was the first born male heir and from her perspective the rightful king.

As one would imagine Rhaenyra wouldn’t have it and thus started the civil war that would see the Targaryens lose most of their dragons in the fighting.

Blackfyre rebellions

Another series of conflicts that the Targaryens had to deal with were the Blackfyre rebellions. Once again a Targaryen king died without getting his matters of succession in order. This time it was Aegon the unworthy who upon his death legitimized all his bastard children, thus giving the eldest of these children Daemon Blackfyre a claim to the throne.

Once again the streets run red with blood and though the initial conflict ended in a Blackfyre defeat, it did not dissuade them from attempting again, and again. Though the Blackfyres inevitably falied to win the Iron throne, in the end they would prove to be a real challenge for the Targaryens, even today they live on through the Golden company.

Fall of house Targaryen

House Targaryen’s fall was rather unexpected. In the end it took the combined might of the Starks, the Arryns and their own cousins the Baratheon’s to bring down House Targaryen. Even then it was only because of the Targaryen’s sloppy handling of of the matter that they succumbed.

It all started when the Targaryen prince; Rheagar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark, daughter of the warden of the North. When her father and brother Lord Rickard and Brandon Stark presented the matter to the king and asked that Rhaegar be punished for his actions, the mad king as he was then known Aerys Targaryen had them burnt alive.

Lyanna was bethrown to Robert Baratheon who upon hearing this called his Banners, her younger brother Eddard Stark followed suit and not too long after the Arryns joined the conflict. In the end it would be the Lannisters who would sack Kings landing, Tywin Lannister seizing the opportunity to take vengeance on his old friend and aligning himself with the new royal house.

So who are the Targaryens in game of thrones? They were passion and madness, they were greatness and depravity.

The Targaryens were a true power and really did justice to their house words, for when they and their dragons did descend they left in their wake nothing but ashes, fire and blood!