Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen standing and reading a book in House of the Dragon season 2

Let’s Talk About Where the Targaryen Drama Hour ‘House of the Dragon’ Falls on the Timeline of Westeros

House of the Dragon takes us into the drama of the Targaryen family, but fans of Game of Thrones might be confused about where the series falls in the fictional timeline.

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Westeros is a complicated place, and wondering which came first is completely reasonable! Especially given what we know about Daenerys. 200 years separate the shows, with House of the Dragon giving us a look at the Targaryens when they have power in Westeros—that is, before Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was even born. One of the things that we see in GOT is Daenerys’ brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) trying to bring back the Targaryen legacy—hilarious that ANOTHER Targaryen is named Viserys in House of the Dragon. The Targaryens really love the same 6 names. 

So House of the Dragon is a prequel to Game of Thrones, and the series gives us exciting and fun new ways of looking at Westeros. It is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, which is written as a history book that details the gruesome family war between the Targaryens that tore them apart. 

Unlike Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon has the unique ability to change the reality of the book and keep fans on their toes. Thrones had to follow the story pretty faithfully so fans didn’t get angry (and the series’ ending suffered noticeably from a lack of source material to adapt) but House of the Dragon is going off of a history book, which uses multiple perspectives and loses the nuance of a situation, and it’s so fun to see the difference from historical “fact” to what actually transpired with the family. 

It is sad knowing that this great family will eventually fall, and the dragons we know and love now are slowly dying out until the Targaryens don’t have them right at the start of Game of Thrones. For now, we get to see the fascinating fall of House Targaryen in the lead up to Game of Thrones. So yes, it is a prequel.  

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.