ENTERTAINMENT

How the House of the Dragon Targaryens are related to Jon Snow

Inside their complicated bloodline, from Viserys to Daenerys.
Loading the player...

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan you know Westeros is all about them bloodlines. 

Families that can trace their lineage back to old kings or the First Men are hailed within the realms and Targaryens are no different.

In House of the Dragon we follow the Targaryens roughly 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones. Because of this, there are plenty of characters in House of the Dragon that are directly related to characters in Game of Thrones.

The obvious one is the ‘Khaleesi’ Daenerys Targaryen but sometimes we forget Jon Snow was a secret Targaryen too. 

Warning: Spoilers Below

The Targaryen family tree

Artist Marion Bricaud, who you can find on Instagram, created this incredible Targaryen family tree back in 2016.

Taragryen family tree
The Targaryen family tree (Credit: Marion Bricaud) (Credit: Marion Bricaud)

Due to Marion releasing this six years ago, the one thing missing is Jon Snow. 

At that time it wasn’t confirmed who Jon’s parents were. The show (and the books) tried to tell us it was Ned Stark, but many fans were convinced of a theory called “R + L = J”. 

They believed Jon’s parents were actually Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (R) and Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark (L). The show confirmed this in the final season revealing Jon’s name to be Aegon Targareyn.

So, where does this put Jon in the grand scheme of Westrosi things? How is he related to House of the Dragon’s Rhaenyra Targaryen and all the other blonde psychopaths we’ve come to love?

Before we answer the above questions, here’s a final chance to look away if you don’t want House of the Dragon spoiled for you. 

The Targaryen family tree is complex
The Targaryen family tree is complex (Credit: HBO/BINGE) (Credit: HBO/BINGE)

How is Jon related to House of the Dragon?

Put simply, Jon is a direct descendant of Princess Rhaenyra and… her uncle Daemon Targareyn.

If you’ve watched House of the Dragon’s confronting fourth episode in season one, this might not be a surprise.

Rhaenyra and Daemon are Jon’s great-times-eight grandparents. If you follow Jon’s lineage on the paternal side you’ll eventually arrive at Viserys II which is Rhaenyra and Daemon’s second-born child.

How is Jon related to Rhaenyra?
How is Jon related to Rhaenyra? (Credit: HBO/BINGE) (Credit: HBO/BINGE)

As we outlined in our House of the Dragon cheat sheet, the Targaryens are not averse to interbreeding which makes the Targaryen family tree a complex web of married siblings and cousins. It’s their attempt to keep the bloodline ‘pure’ and to centralise power.

This has been demonstrated in the show when the Hand of the King Otto Hightower suggested marrying Rhaenyra off to her half-brother. And when King Viserys I almost married his cousin’s daughter.

It happened with the Targaryens in Game of Thrones too. When Jon found out Daenerys was his aunt it didn’t stop their budding romance.

We’ll have to keep watching to find out how it all shakes out in House of the Dragon but with the second season out now we might not see this aspect of their relationship develop for a while yet. Perhaps that’s for the best.

House of the Dragon airs on BINGE and Foxtel now.

You can also catch up on the original Game of Thrones series on BINGE. Stream them now, live and on demand with a 14-day free trial. START FREE TRIAL.

Related stories