How Is Rhaegar Targaryen Related to Daenerys Targaryen & Jon Snow?

One of the characters that are often forgotten in the history of Game of Thrones but actually had a huge part to play in the development of the plot is Rhaegar Targaryen, who was a key figure that led to Robert Baratheon’s rebellion and the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty. Of course, Rhaegar Targaryen also has deep ties with two of the other existing members of the Targaryen family after his death. So, how is Rhaegar related to Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow?

Rhaegar is the oldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen and his sister-wife, Queen Rhaella. This means that he is Daenerys’s older brother. Meanwhile, Rhaegar wed Lyanna Stark and had a secret son with her. This son turned out to be Jon Snow, who was actually the only remaining child of Rhaegar.

It was always Rhaegar’s relationship with Lyanna that led to the entire uprising of Westeros against the rule of the Mad King. While Aerys did some horrible things as the ruler of Westeros, Robert’s jealousy was what fueled the entire continent’s desire to rebel. In that regard, Rhaegar ultimately died but not before he was able to help shape the destiny of the Seven Kingdoms, especially with how he was related to Daenerys and Jon.

Who Is Rhaegar Targaryen?

One of the figures that remained a mystery throughout much of the earlier part of Game of Thrones was Rhaegar Targaryen, who was called The Last Dragon because of how he was commonly seen as the last true Targaryen who would have ruled Westeros had it not been for his death. Rhaegar was actually the eldest son of King Aerys II and his sister-wife, Queen Rhaella, as they ruled the Seven Kingdoms before the fall of the Targaryen dynasty.

As the eldest son of King Aerys, who was called the Mad King, Rhaegar was supposed to rule after his father and was the true and uncontested heir to the Iron Throne. Unlike his father, he was beloved by the common people because he spent a lot of time conversing with the smallfolk and developing his relationship with them. In many ways, he was the perfect Targaryen because of his extremely good looks and kindhearted nature.

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However, during a tournament held in honor of Viserys Targaryen’s birth, he rejected the offer to marry Cersei Lannister. Later on, he married Princess Elia of Dorne in what seemed like a political move to strengthen the ties between the crown and Dorne. Nevertheless, Rhaegar had eyes on Lyanna Stark, the sister of Eddard Stark.

In a tournament in Harrenhal, Rhaegar bested everyone and won the winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty. However, instead of giving it to his wife, Princess Elia, he gave it to Lyanna Stark. This was the action that ultimately led to Robert Baratheon’s rebellion because Lyanna had been promised to him. A year later, it was believed that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, although it was later revealed that they were actually in love with one another.

The kidnapping of Lyanna Stark was what led to the uprising of Robert Baratheon, who was infatuated with her. Robert was able to rally much of the entire continent to his side because a lot of the other houses of Westeros weren’t happy with the way the Mad King was running things in the Seven Kingdoms. In that regard, Rhaegar was the one who led the Targaryen forces against Robert’s rebellion.

Rhaegar finally met Robert in combat at a ford during the Battle of the Trident. They had a great duel with one another, as they needed to battle in single combat because of the fact that it was a personal war between the two. Even though Rhaegar was able to wound Robert, the massive Baratheon struck a blow using his Warhammer. The blow was so strong that it caved Rhaegar’s chest armor in and killed the Targaryen prince instantly.

How Is Rhaegar Targaryen Related To Daenerys Targaryen?

After Rhaegar Targaryen’s death, his younger brother, Viserys, became the heir to the Iron Throne. However, Robert eventually usurped the throne by right of conquest, and that meant that the Targaryens were ousted from their place as the royal family of Westeros.

Of course, Viserys was out in the east, where he stayed long after the rebellion ended. He was there with his sister, Daenerys Targaryen, who he fled with when they were still children. Considering that Daenerys is Viserys’s younger sister, she is also Rhaegar’s younger sister, as she was born to the same mother that was the queen of Aerys Targaryen.

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While the age gap between Rhaegar and Daenerys may have been wide, they are still siblings, albeit they never met one another because Rhaegar had died before Daenerys was born. In fact, Daenerys was conceived during Robert’s rebellion, but her mother was sent to Dragonstone with Viserys when the Baratheon forces were already marching on King’s Landing.

Daenerys was born nine months after the rebellion had ended. She never met her parents, as the only family member she ever met was Viserys. Nevertheless, Viserys didn’t treat her well and even blamed her for the fall of the Targaryen dynasty. According to Viserys, had Daenerys been born a lot sooner, she would have been wed to Rhaegar. That means that Rhaegar wouldn’t have looked at Lyanna Stark, as that was the event that sparked the entire rebellion.

How Is Rhaegar Targaryen Related To Jon Snow?

As mentioned, Rhaegar was said to have abducted Lyanna Stark and had taken her to the Tower of Joy in Dorne, where he kept her all for himself. However, as far as the Game of Thrones series was concerned, that wasn’t true.

In the series, it was shown that Rhaegar and Lyanna were actually in love. The books also explained that Lyanna wasn’t too sure of marrying Robert because she believed that he wouldn’t have stayed faithful and loyal to her during their marriage, considering that he was widely known for his infidelity. That was probably one of the reasons why Lyanna fell for Rhaegar.

Of course, because of their shared love for one another, Rhaegar and Lyanna secretly got married after the Targaryen prince’s marriage with Elia was annulled. This meant that Lyanna was the rightful wife by law. They spent a good time together in the Tower of Joy, where Lyanna got pregnant. She gave birth to a child that soon became the bastard son of Eddard Stark.

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In that regard, Rhaegar and Lyanna were Jon Snow’s true parents, as he was never Ned Stark’s bastard son. The series showed that Lyanna wanted Ned to take Jon (who she named Aegon) because she knew that the Baratheons would have killed the child the moment they learned that he was a Targaryen. As such, Ned kept Jon’s identity a secret his entire life, as he carried this until his death.

Considering that Rhaegar was the crown prince and that he was the heir to the Iron Throne, it only follows that his only surviving son had a claim to the throne as well. Jon Snow had more rights to the Iron Throne than even Daenerys Targaryen, the younger sister of Rhaegar Targaryen.

How Are Daenerys Targaryen And Jon Snow Related To Each Other?

Considering that Rhaegar is Jon Snow’s father and that Daenerys is Rhaegar’s younger sister, this means that Daenerys was always Jon’s aunt both by blood and by law, albeit being around a year older than his aunt. 

We all know that Jon and Daenerys had a love story in the series. Nevertheless, romance between two Targaryens was never taboo because the Targaryens have been marrying brothers and sisters for generations. In that regard, Jon and Daenerys would have probably been married to one another had the Targaryen dynasty not fallen.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.