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‘Game of Thrones’ prequel ‘House of the Dragon’: How House Targaryen managed to rule on Westeros for 300 years

Ahead of the second episode, let's take a look at how House Targaryen managed to maintain its hold on seven kingdoms
UPDATED AUG 25, 2022
A detailed glance at how House Targaryen managed to rule on Westeros for 300 years (A still from 'House of the Dragon'/HBO)
A detailed glance at how House Targaryen managed to rule on Westeros for 300 years (A still from 'House of the Dragon'/HBO)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: In the first episode of the multi-starrer historical war saga, ‘House of the Dragon’ viewers got a detailed introduction into the culturally rich world of traditional Westeros which was ruled by House Targaryen as seen in prequel. But how did the most powerful dynasty manage to maintain its hold on seven kingdoms which are an integral component of Westeros is something not many avid fans might know about.

The first episode aired on August 21, 2022, on both HBO and HBO Max. It managed to break the viewership records of many iconic shows just within the first week itself. The prequel focuses specifically on House Targaryen and how it ruled so peacefully in Westeros realm for three hundred years. Before this dynasty’s inevitable doom thanks to bloodied civil war, ‘Dance of the Dragons’ changed everything drastically. But how did the family had an unbreakable hold on Iron Throne is a burning question for fans. Before the premiere of the second episode this weekend, let us take a look at how House Targaryen ruled Westeros for 300 years.

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How did the House Targaryen managed to stay in power for almost three hundred years in Westeros

The Targaryen family initially resided in Essos. They ruled the Valyrian Freehold which was an empire that consisted of most of the continent. But in an interesting turn of events, when Daenys Targaryen had visions of the ‘Doom of Valyria,’ he ended up moving his family alongside the five dragons to Dragonstone, the westernmost outpost in Valyria.

The Doom of Valyria, unfortunately, happened ultimately leading to the collapse of the Freehold. After this catastrophically drastic event, only the House Targaryen got spared as the surviving Dragonriders left in the world. Nonetheless, Aegon Targaryen who was a distant descendant of Daenys ended up conquering all the six of the Seven Kingdoms within Westeros. He was the original founder that created the Targaryen dynasty of Westeros. He was the first in the entire family who built the Iron Throne that is going to be seen in prequel saga ‘House of the Dragon’. This aspect was already seen in iconic Game of Thrones as well. From that moment onwards, House Targaryen ruled Westeros peacefully for almost three hundred years until Robert's Rebellion which saw the Targaryen rule come to an end.

Reasons why the Targaryens remained in power

One of the main reasons the Targaryen’s remained in power for so long was because of their ownership of dragons. According to novelist George RR Martin’s fictionalized lore, dragons are the most powerful creatures in all of Westeros and Essos. Targaryen bond with them led to the family being seen as gods amongst men. Originally, it was the dragons that enabled Aegon the Conqueror to bend the other kingdoms to his will. Also, both Aegon’s and the Targaryen dragon’s descendants kept revolts and other quarrels in check for over a century.

But this all changed eventually in around 150 AC shortly after the ‘Dance of Dragons’. This was one of the nastiest and blood-filled Targaryen civil wars that saw the deaths of dozens of dragons owned by the family, the last dragon of Westeros died.

End of the House Targaryen dynasty in 283 AC because of Robert Baratheon’s rebellion

Even after the death of their dragons, House Targaryen managed to keep power for another 130 years. This was possible because of the strong claims that the family had over the Iron Throne for generations. However, their reign ended in 283 AC after Robert Baratheon from House Baratheon fought against the crown with emphasis on the current ruler on the throne, Aerys the Mad King. One of the main reasons the other Westeros Kingdoms chose this time to overthrow the Targaryens was because of the Mad King himself.

It is real that Aerys mind was broken. Due to that, he could barely keep his kingdom in check. Without the power of the dragons and a rational leader, the rebellion by Robert Baratheon was successful. This ultimately resulted at the end of the House Targaryen dynasty.

The second episode of the prequel saga titled 'The Rogue Prince' is going to premiere globally on August 28, Sunday at 9 pm ET on HBO and HBO Max.