This Targaryen household tree reveals Jon Snow’s mother and father — and units up HBO’s Home of the Dragon


Editor’s notice, August 19, 2022: This piece was first revealed in 2016 and up to date following the season seven finale of Sport of Thrones. Click on right here to examine how the Targaryen household tree pertains to HBO’s new prequel collection Home of the Dragon.

In Sport of Thrones’ season seven finale, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen lastly consummated their slow-burning ardour — regardless that the season six finale’s affirmation of the “R + L = J” equation surrounding Jon’s parentage renders their love an incestuous one between aunt and nephew.

The finale additionally revealed that Jon Snow’s actual identify is Aegon Targaryen — a twist that may have confused readers of the books Sport of Thrones is predicated on, since that’s additionally the identify of Jon’s long-dead half-brother. We all know this half-brother not less than existed within the present’s universe, as a result of Oberyn Martell famously fought the Mountain partly to avenge his demise and the demise of his sister. It’s not clear, nonetheless, if he was nonetheless named Aegon.

Confused? That’s comprehensible. To know why Lyanna Stark might need wished to call her son Aegon together with her dying breath, you may want a refresher course on the immense Targaryen dynasty — the household that dominated for 3 centuries over all of Westeros. And when you’re having hassle remembering what half the unique Aegon, Jon’s namesake, performed on this litany of names, you’re in luck: An enterprising fan artist has drawn your entire Home Targaryen household tree, and the outcomes are as academic as they’re attractive.

DeviantArtist consumer Maryon B.’s work is a attractive take on the difficult, once-mighty dynasty of the Targaryens that doubles as a useful reminder of simply the place Jon Snow suits into all of this (click on right here for the full-size model):

Maryon is a 28-year-old French freelance artist and online game developer at present dwelling in Helsinki. She’s additionally a die-hard Sport of Thrones fan, which could clarify why she’s illustrated your entire lineage of Home Targaryen (dwelling of 1 Daenerys, Mom of Dragons) from George R.R. Martin’s A Track of Ice and Hearth collection of novels — regardless that, as she says in her description of the mission on DeviantArt, “I DON’T EVEN LIKE HOUSE TARGARYEN WHY DID I DO THIS[?]”

“I really began the Tree out of spite as a result of all their descriptions (and fan representations) make them look the identical — stunning, silver-haired and purple eyes,” she instructed Vox through electronic mail in 2016, after first drawing the tree, “and it pissed off me to see them as elf-clones.”

Maryon’s frustration is comprehensible. The Targaryens are rather more than fairly blondes with massive pets, and their convoluted dynasty has huge repercussions for the current and way forward for Westeros.

The identify “Aegon” invokes the lads who united all of Westeros — till Jon Snow’s father inadvertently helped shatter the realm

Not proven on this image: Rhaegar’s different marriage to Lyanna Stark and the brand new Aegon (a.okay.a. Jon Snow).

As Sport of Thrones followers have heard again and again, the highly effective Targaryen household unified the Seven Kingdoms. That is primarily because of the first Aegon Targaryen, often called Aegon the Conqueror. A number of different Aegons adopted — together with the clever and kindly Aegon V, higher identified to guide followers as “Egg” from Martin’s Dunk and Egg prequel novellas.

However although Egg stabilized the nation and dominated over a harsh winter, the top of his reign wasn’t precisely a profession excessive level. And sadly for Westeros, Aegon V’s grandson was the “Mad King,” Aerys II, higher often called Daenerys’s deceased father.

Aerys’s son, Rhaegar Targaryen — Daenerys’s brother, the crown prince and inheritor to the throne, whom we now additionally know as Jon Snow’s father — fell in love with Lyanna Stark, Ned Stark’s sister, regardless that he was already married to Elia Martell. An additional complication: Lyanna was already engaged to Robert Baratheon.

Sport of Thrones season seven revealed essential new context to this backstory: We now know that Rhaegar secretly had his marriage to Elia annulled so he might marry Lyanna Stark someday earlier than his demise and the delivery of their son. However Robert believed (or wished to consider) that Rhaegar had kidnapped and raped Lyanna — and the ensuing battle culminated in a horrific finish to the peace between the households, because the Mad King burned Lyanna’s father, Rickard Stark, alive whereas her brother Brandon watched. This led to an rebellion that got here to be often called Robert’s Riot, by which the Baratheons joined Home Stark to struggle and finally overthrow the Targaryens.

It was throughout Robert’s Riot that Robert defeated Rhaegar in battle. After Rhaegar’s demise, Robert’s fearsome henchman Gregor Clegane murdered Rhaegar’s spouse — or, as we now know, his former spouse — Elia Martell, and Rhaegar’s two younger youngsters, Aegon and Rhaenys. The season seven finale revealed that shortly thereafter, Lyanna instructed Ned Stark that her baby, Rhaegar’s final remaining son, was additionally named Aegon.

Will Jon Snow fulfill the repute of the identify of Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon V? Given all of the violence and battle that led to his delivery, we are able to solely hope.

If you happen to assume this a part of the Targaryen legacy is complicated, wait til you see your entire lineage

The complete Targaryen household tree comprises greater than 100 characters and spans 16 generations of completely fictional historical past.

Right here’s a take a look at just one character from this broad tapestry: the second Rhaenys Targaryen. Recognized within the annals of Westeros historical past because the “queen who by no means was,” Rhaenys was a dragon rider whose declare to the throne was handed over in favor of her brother. She married Corlys Velaryon and died combating a battle on dragonback on the age of 52:

Rhaenys Targaryen
poly-m / DeviantArt

Rhaenys’s great-grandmother was Alyssa Velaryon, who joined the Targaryen dynasty by marrying Aenys I, a politically wily man who took the throne amid nice upheaval. That they had six youngsters earlier than Aenys was killed and Alyssa taken hostage by her husband’s half-brother Maegor. (And from there, issues get actually difficult.)

“Useless Targs, useless Targs all over the place.”
poly-m / DeviantArt

Additional down the household tree, there’s Home Blackfyre, an illegitimate home sanctioned by the lust-ridden King Aegon Targaryen IV, who’s usually thought-about the worst king ever. His determination to legitimize all the bastard youngsters he fathered together with his many mistresses — introduced from his deathbed — prompted 5 generations of battles for the throne often called the Blackfyre Rebellions.

Home Blackfyre
poly-m / DeviantArt

Maryon says she received into Martin’s Track of Ice and Hearth novels and associated writing throughout the lengthy hiatus between seasons two and three of Sport of Thrones. She began the Targaryen household tree mission kind of on accident after drawing Baelor Breakspear and Maekar, characters who determine prominently in Tales of Dunk and Egg, Martin’s aforementioned assortment of associated novellas set within the Track of Ice and Hearth universe. Naturally, the mission spiraled:

[I]t received me thinking about their ancestors, so I labored from there. At first I by no means thought I would do the entire bunch, however it’s once I realized that I used to be already midway by means of simply by making Maekar’s descendants that I gave in: “Whereas I am at it, may as effectively do the remainder…”

Maryon says the mission turned out to be “a really difficult creative train, to maintain on developing with facial selection all whereas sustaining the identical ‘silver hair-purple eyes’ options and a few genetic similarities.”

“I needed to discover inspiration and examine some actual folks’s faces so I discovered quite a bit since I began.”

Above all, a take a look at the complete household tree reveals how typically and the way strategically the Targaryens secured the way forward for their line by marrying into different highly effective households just like the Martells, the Baratheons, and the Velaryons, simply as many figures in real-world historical past have finished. And when Maryon was completed, she says she’d really turn into fonder of the Targaryens than she was when she started:

“[I]n the top it made me admire Home Targaryen rather more since now I share a private story with every one in every of them, and I might counsel anybody who likes Sport of Thrones to be interested by them as a result of they’ve a variety of tales to inform.”

You possibly can see these and lots of extra excerpts from the Targaryen household tree, in addition to different Sport of Thrones portraits, on Maryon’s DeviantArt web page. She’s acknowledged that she hopes to finally produce a print model of the complete household tree, however within the meantime she’s finished a couple of extra difficult Sport of Thrones initiatives, together with a set of Main Arcana tarot playing cards.

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