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House of the Dragon: How is Rhaenyra related to Daenerys? Targaryen family tree explained

Let's get you brushed up on the Targaryen family tree…

house of the dragon family tree© Photo: Sky
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
August 22, 2022
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Game of Thrones' hugely anticipated spinoff House of the Dragon has finally landed on our screens, and we couldn't be more excited.

MORE: House of the Dragon review: a return to Westeros fit for a king… or queen? 

Based on George R R Martin's book Fire & Blood, the series is set roughly 200 years before the events of the original series when the Targaryens were at the height of their power. But who is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and how is she related to Daenerys Targaryen? Find out here…

WATCH: Check out the House of the Dragon trailer here

While Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is our main heroine in the Game of Thrones prequel series, she isn't the only Targaryen we meet in the series. There is also her father, King Viserys, played by Paddy Considine and uncle Daemon, played by Matt Smith.

MORE: Game of Thrones recap: how the show ended ahead of House of the Dragon

MORE:How to watch House of the Dragon in the UK, US and abroad

Rhaenyra - who is the daughter of Viserys and his first wife, Aemma Arryn - is played by Australian actress Milly Alcock in the opening episode of the series and flashbacks, while Emma D'Arcy plays an aged-up version of the character for the rest of the series.

house of the dragon© Photo: Sky

Rhaenyra is Daenerys' ancestor

Rhaenyra's father is the fifth Targaryen ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, making him the great, great, great-grandson of Aegon the Conqueror, the first Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and inhabitant of the Iron Throne.

And although Rhaenyra and Daenerys bear a very strong resemblance, they are only distantly related. There are a dozen Targaryen rulers between King Viserys I and Aerys II (Daenerys' father, who later became known as the Mad King, meaning that Rhaenyra is Daenerys' great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother.

house of the dragon dany© Photo: Sky

Emilia Clarke played Daenerys in Game of Thrones

MORE: House of the Dragon: the characters in episode one explained

However, their relation to one another is a little bit more complicated due to the incestuous practice in the Targaryen house of marrying sister and brother to keep the bloodline pure. As a result, Rhaenyra and Daenerys are also first cousins seven times removed.

In the first episode of House of the Dragon, we see Rhaenyra is only named heir to the Iron Throne at the age of eight after her father struggles to conceive a male heir. As a result, she grows up assuming she will eventually be crowned Queen of Westeros - something that has never been done before.

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