Not long ago, George R.R. Martin published Fire & Blood, the first of two books detailing the history of the Targaryen dynasty. As anyone who’s watched Game of Thrones knows, the Targaryens have a pretty complicated family history, with Mad Kings and great uncles and conquerers all laying the groundwork for Daenerys to invade Westeros with her dragons in season 7. But when it comes to complexity, the show has nothing on Martin’s books.
This family tree traces the Targaryen lineage all the way from Aegon the Conqueror, who had children with both of his sisters, all the way down to Robert, Stannis and Renly Baratheon, all of whom are distantly related to the Targaryens through their grandmother Rhaelle. Rhaelle was the youngest child of King Aegon V Targaryen (known as “the Unlikely,” and one of the main characters from Martin’s Dunk and Egg novellas) and Betha Blackwood, whom he married for love before he sat the Iron Throne. Rhaelle married Ormund Baratheon, and they had Steffon Baratheon, who fathered the Baratheon brothers we know from the show. Meanwhile, another of King Aegon’s children, Jaehaerys II, became king and married his sister Shaera (ew). Then their kids, Aerys and Rhaella, married each other (ew again), and had Daenerys and Viserys.
So what does this mean? Stannis and Daenerys are second cousins. Would that they could have met! And also it means that the Targaryens could probably stand to lay off the incest. Daenerys at least tried to do that when she hooked up with Jon Snow, but she’s in for a rude awakening any minute now.