We will try and explain the history of House Targaryen and see what makes them such an important house for the destiny of Westeros.
House Targaryen – the conquerors
House Targaryen used to be one of the most important families in the Old Valyria, located at the continent of Essos. At those ancient times, there were plenty of dragons, magic, and other cool things, but a mysterious event called the Doom of Valyria wiped out almost all the dragons, and the magic from the world.
So, with their kingdom ruined, the Targaryens invaded Westeros. Up until that point, Westeros still consisted of Seven Kingdoms, but when Aegon the Conqueror came to Westeros with his two sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya, and a few dragons, the Seven Kingdoms became one under the rule of these three Targaryens.
The rule of House Targaryen over Westeros lasted for almost 300 years, and of course, there have been many interesting events, and many interesting characters, but we won’t bother you with so many names now.
House Targaryen of Westeros
Since the House Targaryen came to Westeros with only three remaining dragons, the only choice they had was to breed them with each other. That, combined with raising them in a fairly (for the dragon size) small Dragonpit in King’s Landing, lead to the extinction of dragons. About half way through the rule of Targaryens, the dragons died out.
Now, even though the House Targaryen accepted the Faith of the Seven when they conquered the Westeros, they still kept some old customs from Valyria, like marrying each other. That helped them keep the line clean from the blood of the Westerosi, but it also made lots of the rulers crazy. The members of Targaryen family line don’t share silvery hair and violet eyes alone, they also shared this madness. In the series we do see the manifestation of Targaryen madness thanks to Viserys, Daenerys Targaryen’s brother, who was so crazy and arrogant that he had the courage to threaten Khal Drogo. We all saw how that ended.
The last Targaryen king of Westeros was Aerys II, the father of Daenerys, Viserys, and Rhaegar.
Here you can see the family tree of the last Targaryens
As we all know, Aerys II was also called the mad king, since he loved burning people alive and doing other crazy things. Now, without any spoilers this time, you can see how Robert Baratheon became a king of Westeros, and why Daenerys Targaryen is wandering around the world, believing the Iron Throne is hers, and that she will win it back with Fire and Blood.
Daenerys’s eldest brother Rhaegar fell in love with Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna. There are different sides to each story, and so is the case with this one, as well.
Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, Lyanna’s fiancé, claimed that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, and was the cause of her death. This side of the story made Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon start Robert’s Rebellion, and that ended up with the death of prince Rhaegar who was killed by Robert Baratheon in a battle. It also lead to the death of Rhaegar’s wife and children, killed by the Mountain Gregor Clegane who followed the orders of Sir Tywin Lannister. And Jaime Lannister, a member of Kingsguard, killed the king he was supposed to protect, Mad King Aerys II.
Are you keeping up? If not, read carefully the last passage again, so we can go on with the story.
Mad King’s wife, about the same time, died giving birth to Daenerys, so Daenerys was taken to the Free Cities, alongside her older brother Viserys, to escape the destiny of the rest of their family.
Now the other side of the story – people who were faithful to Targaryens believe that Lyanna fell in love with Rhaegar Targaryen, and wasn’t kidnapped, but escaped with him. She died during the Robert’s Rebellion, so we might never know the truth. From this side of the story, the rumours were born that she had a baby with Rhaegar, and that baby is actually Jon Snow.
We all know how Viserys died, and that makes Daenerys the only known heir of Targaryens. There is also Maester Aemon, but he was never interested in rule or politics, so he went to the Night’s Watch, and he keeps his identity a secret. There might be others, but who knows? We won’t tell.
So, the way Daenerys Targaryen sees things is – her brother fell in love with a girl, and it cost her entire family their lives. A guard that was supposed to protect her father killed her father instead. And she is doomed to wander around the world, trying to avoid the murderers sent by the rulers of Westeros (remember the poisoned wine in the Dothraki city from the Game of Thrones season 1?) She can’t live her life in peace, so the only choice left to her is to take what is hers – the Iron Throne.
Even though she often likes to say that she is a little girl, she seems to have more luck than brains, so she gives birth to three little dragons, and has many other adventures that you will see in the following seasons of Game of Thrones series.
With Robert Baratheon dead, wars raging, and the general chaos in Westeros, it seems Daenerys might have good chances to get what she set her mind to. We can’t wait to see if it will happen. What about you?
If you have not yet watched Game Of Thrones Season 1 or read A Game of Thrones – Book 1 of A Song Of Ice & Fire what are you waiting for?
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