House of the Dragon is based on the book Fire & Blood by George R. Martin and takes place 200 years before Game of Thrones. After the death of his son, King Viserys defies the norm and appoints his daughter Rhaenyra as his heir, and Rhaenyra later remarried twice. These are their husbands in the books.
Succession is important in ‘House of the Dragon’
Succession is an extremely important topic in House of the Dragon. At the beginning of the series, King Viserys’ wife, Aemma, is pregnant. He hopes that she will give him a male heir, but Aemma dies in childbirth and her son Baelon lives only one day. Afterward, Viserys appoints his daughter Rhaenyra as heir. Later King Viserys marries Alicent Hightower.
She gives birth to a son named Aegon, who poses a threat to Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne. The trailer for Episode 3 of House of the Dragon shows Viserys telling his daughter, “Sooner rather than later, you’re going to have your own child.” In another clip, Rhaenyra says to her father, “I don’t want to get married. ”
Who does Rhaenyra marry in books?
Unfortunately, as Viserys points out, Rhaenyra is bound by tradition and duty. In the George R. Martin books, he eventually marries Leanor Velaryon, son of Corlys Velaryon the “Sea Serpent” and Rhaenys Targaryen. Rhaenyra and Leanor have three children together, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey. However, it was rumored that these children were fathered by Rhaenyra’s shield, Ser Harwin “Breakbones” Strong.
According to ScreenRant, Theo Nate plays a teenage version of Leanor in House of the Dragon. John MacMillan later takes over his role. After Laenor’s death, Rhaenyra remarries and her second husband is even more controversial. Rhaenyra marries her uncle, Daemon Targaryen, after losing his first wife. According to Distractify, this is causing a huge scandal.
However, Viserys eventually accepts her marriage and the couple has two children together.
A gift befitting a dragon princess. pic.twitter.com/8kxRMOlXAM
— House of the Dragon (@HouseofDragon) August 22, 2022
Targaryen’s has a history of incestuous marriages
Game of Thrones fans are probably already familiar with the history of the Targaryens’ incestuous marriages. According to Popsugar, the practice arose out of a desire to keep bloodlines pure and preserve the Targaryens’ powerful dragon-riding abilities. However, the practice of incest in the House of Targaryen became less frequent over time. Popsugar notes that it was believed to cause “madness” within the family, such as that of King Aerys II. Aerys II’s parents, Jaehaerys and Shaera, nicknamed “Mad King”, were siblings.
House of the Dragon also draws heavily on real European history. Royal families used to intermarry because they believed royalty should marry someone of equal status, writes Popsugar. However, this affected much more common marriages between cousins. than closer relatives such as siblings and uncles. New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays on HBO Max.