We all know that House of the Dragon takes place nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and the time of Daenerys Targaryen. However, we do know that the Targaryen dynasty lasted for a very long time, as the Targaryens kept their bloodline pure enough by marrying their brothers and sisters or other people with Targaryen blood. In that regard, how is Rhaenyra related to Daenerys and the Mad King Aerys?
Rhaenyra is the distant ancestor of both Daenerys and her father, Aerys. This bloodline was established when Rhaenyra’s son, Viserys II, became king and went on to become the common ancestor of all of the Targaryens up to the time of not only Aerys and Daenerys but also Jon Snow.
It might be true that Rhaenyra will never be queen as far as the official records of the Seven Kingdoms are concerned. However, it was her bloodline that managed to survive the Dance of the Dragons, as the line of kings that followed her brother, Aegon II, all came from her. In that regard, let’s talk more about how Rhaenyra is related to Daenerys and Aerys.
How Is Rhaenyra Related To Daenerys And The Mad King?
When House of the Dragon was announced, it was never a secret that this series was going to be a prequel to Game of Thrones. But the thing is that this prequel takes place nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and is set before and during the Dance of the Dragons, which is the Targaryen civil war that nearly tore the Seven Kingdoms apart and led to the extinction of the dragons.
In that regard, we all know that the main characters in this series are those who come from House Targaryen, which is the royal family that was established more than a hundred years before the events of the storyline. It was when Aegon the Conqueror united the Seven Kingdoms under the Targaryen banner that he became king. And he needed to be king because he dreamt of a threat that would come from the north, as he realized that only a Targaryen would be able to unite the entire realm against this common foe.
We all know that this common threat was the Night King, who led the Army of the Dead. And Aegon the Conqueror’s dream did indeed come true when Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen) and Daenerys Targaryen fought together against the biggest threat the world has ever seen.
That means that Aegon was indeed correct when he said that the Targaryen kings that come from his line would be the ones to unite the entire continent of Westeros to fight this common threat. But the thing is that, during the time of King Viserys, his bloodline branched into two when he married Alicent Hightower after the death of his first wife. As such, we know that he has two branches of children, as Princess Rhaenyra, who was the one he named heir, fought against Aegon II for the right to sit on the Iron Throne during the Dance of the Dragons.
Of course, we all know that Aegon II was the one who emerged victorious between the two as he killed Rhaenyra. Even though Rhaenyra did indeed rule on the Iron Throne for half a year, Aegon II decreed that her rule was never official because it was challenged. As such, Rhaenyra never became queen. But the thing is that she is actually still related to the Targaryens in Game of Thrones, namely Daenerys and her father, the Mad King Aerys. So, how is Rhaenyra related to Daenerys and the Mad King?
Even though Rhaenyra never became queen in an official capacity, the Dance of the Dragons was not yet over after her death. That’s because the army of her Black faction still marched on King’s Landing after defeating all of the Green forces of King Aegon II. Fearing that the realm would never be united ever again under Aegon II’s rule, Lord Corlys Velaryon conspired with several others to poison the king.
After Aegon II briefly reigned as the king of the Seven Kingdoms, he was succeeded by King Aegon III, who was the only living Targaryen male heir at that time. Aegon III is the eldest son of Princess Rhaenyra with Prince Daemon. The two Targaryen branches were then united when Aegon III married Jaehaera, the daughter of King Aegon II to his first wife, Queen Helaena.
However, Aegon III’s line ended with his sons, Daeron and Baelor. Daeron died early because he wanted to etch his name in the history books by conquering Dorne. Meanwhile, Baelor became a septon and focused more on his religious life rather than his duties as a king. As such, neither Daeron nor Baelor left an heir.
Luckily, Viserys II, Rhaenyra’s second son, still lived. He succeeded to the Iron Throne after Baelor’s death. From then on, the line of kings was established from his rule, as all of the other Targaryen kings that ruled after him were his direct descendants and, by extension, Rhaenyra’s descendants as well.
That means that all of the eleven Targaryen Kings that ruled since Aegon III were direct descendants of Rhaenyra. As such, Daenerys is a direct descendant of Rhaenyra as well. And by extension, Jon Snow is also a direct descendant of Rhaenyra’s line.
Viserys And The Prince That Was Promised
Back in the eighth episode of House of the Dragon, we saw that King Viserys was mumbling on his death bed about the Song of Ice and Fire, which is the prophecy that Aegon the Conqueror foretold about the threat coming from the north. He thought that he was talking to Rhaenyra but was actually speaking to Alicent, as he told her that Aegon’s dream was real and that it was through her (Rhaenyra) line that the Prince that was Promised was going to come from.
In that regard, Viserys was indeed right when he said that the Prince that was Promised was going to come from Rhaenyra’s line, even though she never became queen. That’s because, as established, it was her sons that were able to continue the line of Targaryen kings after the Dance of the Dragons.
Of course, this line carried all the way to the time of not only Daenerys Targaryen but also Jon Snow, who was born Aegon Targaryen. Not even George RR Martin confirmed who the Prince that was Promised was, but we all know that both Daenerys and Jon were able to contribute to the eventual defeat of the Night King. As such, Viserys was correct in saying that the prophesized savior was going to come from Rhaenyra’s line, as both Daenerys and Jon are her direct descendants.