Targaryen Family Tree: Who Are the Major Players in 'House of the Dragon'?

The House of the Dragon will welcome Game of Thrones fans back to Westeros, though not everything is the same.

Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) quest for the Iron Throne may well have been thwarted at the final hurdle, but now it is time for viewers to bask in the glory of her dragon-riding ancestors.

Here is everything you need to know about House of the Dragon, and who the major players are for the first of HBO's spin-offs.

Targaryen Family Tree: Who Are the Major Players in 'House of the Dragon'?

House of the Dragon
L-R: Paddy Considine, Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy as Viserys I, Prince Daemon, and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in "House of the Dragon," the three main characters of the new "Game of Thrones" spinoff rom HBO. Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon explores the beginnings of the bloody civil war that broke out between the Targaryen family, known as the Dance of the Dragons, which almost annihilated the dragon-wielding house.

There are five key players to take note of in the series: King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy), his brother Daemon (Matt Smith), his cousin Rhaenys (Eve Best) and her husband Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint).

Princess Rhaenys, known as the Queen Who Never Was, was the daughter of King Jaehaerys I's eldest son Aemon. Upon Aemon's death, the monarch chose to favor his second eldest son Baelon rather than let a woman sit upon the Iron Throne.

She married Corlys Velaryon, also known as the Sea Snake, and had two children, Laena and Laenor, the latter of whom went on to wed Rhaenyra. Laenor and Rhaenyra had three children together: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon.

Targaryen Lineage 01
Pictured: The Family Tree of the Targaryen family in George R. R. Martin's novels, as provided in his book "The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones." Courtesy of The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

Viserys I was Baelon's eldest son and so he came to be crowned king following King Jaehaerys I's death. Viserys I had Rhaenyra by his first wife, Aemma Arryn.

During his reign, King Viserys I decided not to favor his male next of kin, Daemon, but his daughter, Rhaenyra, to take the Iron Throne.

Following the death of his first wife, Viserys I went on to marry Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), with whom he had four children: Aegon, Helaena, Aemond and Daeron.

The decline of the Targaryen dynasty began upon King Viserys I's death when Rhaenyra's ascent to the throne was contested and the late monarch's eldest son Aegon took the crown instead—thus kickstarting the Dance of the Dragons.

Targaryen Lineage 02
Pictured: The Targaryen dynasty showing each of the Targaryen rulers of the Seven Kingdoms in George R. R. Martin's novels, as shown in his book "The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones." Courtesy of The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

What Is Rhaenyra Targaryen's Relation to Daenerys?

There are eight generations between Rhaenyra and Daenerys, but they are direct blood relatives, as is Daemon.

Following the death of her first husband Laenor, Rhaenyra married her uncle Daemon and had two children with him: Aegon III and Viserys II.

Daenerys is related to both Rhaenyra and Daemon through their second child, Viserys II, whose son Aegon IV took the throne. Later, Aegon IV's son Daeron II did the same. His son Maekar I became king later, then Aegon V, followed by Jaehaerys II, and finally Daenerys' father, Aerys II.

House of the Dragon premieres on Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

Update 08/23/22 02:38 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include images of the Targaryen dynasty from "The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones."

Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones." Daenerys is a direct relation to "House of the Dragon's" Rhaenyra and Daemon. HBO