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House of the Dragon: how are Targaryens related to dragons?

House Targaryen loves to tell its followers and subjects how they share the blood of the dragon, but how literal is this connection?

House of the Dragon: how are Targaryens related to dragons?

How are Targaryens related to the dragons? In the fantasy series Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, the Targaryens are always banging on about how they’re “dragons”. Most notably, Viserys constantly warns Dany how she doesn’t want to wake the dragon and talks about dragon blood constantly.

Now the Targaryens aren’t the only noble house from Westeros who compare themselves to an animal in the drama series. Many have taken beasts as their sigils, like the Stark dire wolf and the Lannister lion. Still, the other houses don’t claim to literally be their sigil in the same way the Targaryens do.

So are the Targaryens related to dragons? Is there a giant-scaley aunt hidden away in an extreme branch of the Targaryen family tree? Well, the Targaryens do have several magical powers that suggest there’s something unique about them, so maybe there’s something in it?

Are Targaryens related to dragons?

It’s never been confirmed in the TV series or books that the Targaryens are literally related to dragons. The Targaryens simply claim to have the blood of the dragon as they’re the last existing dragonlord house in the world.

So as far as we know, the Targaryen’s special powers — heat resistance and prophetic dreams — are a result of coming from Old Valyria, an incredibly magical kingdom. That said, there are hints and clues here and there that the Targaryens connection with dragons runs a little deeper.

In the books, Rhaenyra Targaryen gives birth to a scaled child with a tail that doesn’t live long, while the children of Maegor the Cruel were similarly misformed with wings and scales.

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Even Dany’s baby with Drogo is described like this, ” He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat.” Now it’s possible that the Targaryen children being malformed at birth is hateful propaganda.

We certainly never see any of these dragon children, although a production designer on the House of the Dragon TV series shared a picture on Instagram of Rhaenyra’s lost child, which was very dragon-like.

Some fans believe the Targaryens and other dragon lords used blood magic to bind the dragons to them, and this dark magic has infused them with some draconic DNA.

House of the Dragon: how are Targaryens related to dragons?

Like so many mysteries in George RR Martin’s fantasy world, the relation of the Targaryens to dragons has likely been left vague deliberately. Martin’s a big fan of never answering questions to keep his world full of magic and mystery.

If you love the Seven Kingdoms and want to know more about its future, we have an article all about the House of the Dragon season 2 release date. Or, if you want to learn more about the scaled beasts at the show’s heart, we have guides to Balerion the Black Dread, Meraxes, Seasmoke, and Vhagar.