Meet the Targaryen children in House of the Dragon

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

Game of Thrones had a famously huge cast, and one with actors from lots of different age groups. You had young lead characters like Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, fully grown adults like the Lannister siblings, older favorites like Olenna Tyrell, and young kids like Sansa, Arya and Bran Stark.

Likewise, HBO’s follow-up series House of the Dragon — set over 100 years before the start of the original show — has a mix of characters of different ages. With HBO pulling back the curtain on the show and images leaking from the set, we thought we’d talk about some of the younger characters in the story.

As you can tell in the pics above, HBO has hired at least a couple different child actors to portray young Targaryens, although it’s hard at this point to tell how many. There are a rather a lot of young characters in this story, and I imagine some will get cut.

Let’s start by looking at the children of Alicent Hightower, who marries King Viserys I Targaryen after his first wife, Aemma Arryn, dies in childbirth. Viserys and Aemma have one daughter together before Aemma dies, Rheanyra Targaryen. She’s incredibly important to this story, but we’ll get to her in a bit.

The children of Alicent Hightower

  • Aegon II Targaryen: Aegon is the firstborn son of Alicent and King Viserys, and the man that Alicent wants to succeed his father on the Iron Throne. If only Rhaenrya agreed…Anyway, in his youth Aegon is sullen, gluttonous and promiscuous, not exactly the kind of guy you’d think would make an ideal king. But once for the war for the Iron Throne begins, he steps things up.
  • Helaena Targaryen: Pleasant and happy, Halaena was popular among the smallfolk. She and Aegon were eventually married, because that’s the kind of thing that happens in this weird family. They eventually have kids of their own, but it’s hard to tell where exactly House of the Dragon will start in the timeline. At the start of the story, at least, she could be played by a child actor, assuming they don’t age everyone up a bit.
  • Aemond Targaryen: Aemond is a fierce, hot-tempered warrior. At 10 years old, he loses an fighting with one of Rhaenyra’s kids and is thereafter known as Aemond One-Eye. He’s an intense character with a big role to play in the story, and whoever plays him as an adult will have a lot to work with.
  • Daeron Targaryen: The youngest of Alicent’s children by King Viserys is also the gentlest and most courteous of her sons. But as he eventually gets the name Daeron the Daring, you know he’s no slouch in battle.

Now that’s move on to the children of Rhaenyra Targaryen, who fights her half-brother Aegon II for the throne in the war that would come to be known as the Dance of the Dragons.

The children of Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra is married twice over the course of the story. First, she weds Laenor Velaryon, the son of the the powerful Corlys Velaryon, who becomes a powerful ally to Rhaenyra in her bid to take the throne.

Rhaenyra has three sons with Leanor…possibly. You see, George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood suggests that Leanor was gay, and that all three of their children are actually the sons of Rheanyra’s lover Harwin Strong, known as Breakbones. And there’s a very Game of Thrones-style proof at work here: although both Rhaenyra and Leanor have Targaryen-blonde hair, all three of their kids have brown hair.

So who are these kids? Let’s meet them:

  • Jacaerys “Jace” Velaryon: The firstborn son of Rhaenyra and…Leanor…Jace is a handsome, responsible, politically savvy person who looked out for his family.
  • Lucerys Velaryon: His older brother Jace, Lucerys is skilled at arms. He’s the one who takes out Aemond’s eye in a fight after Aemond mocks Lucerys and his brothers for being bastards. He’s five years old at the time, but I’m guessing the show may age him up a bit.
  • Joffrey Velaryon: The youngest of Rhaenyra’s three sons by…Leanor…Joffrey wants to be strong and brave like his big brothers, although that can get him into trouble.

As it happens, Leanor and Breakbones die the same year. After this, Rhaenyra gets remarried to her uncle (ew, I know) Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys. She has two children with him:

  • Aegon III Targaryen: When Rhaenyra names her son Aegon, it’s taken to be a slap in the face to Alicent Hightower, who already has a son named Aegon. And considering what bitter rivals those two were, it probably was meant as a slap. Anyway, Aegon has it really rough during the Dance of the Dragons. He sees a lot of stuff no kid should.
  • Viserys Targaryen: Aegon’s younger brother is clever and charming. He shows off his wits at a couple of points during the Dance of the Dragon, although he spends a lot of the fighting “off-screen,” so to speak.

And just to add a few more complications, Daemon Targaryen has children from his previous marriage to Laena Velaryon, the only daughter of Lord Corlys. Leana dies from complications from childbirth, after giving birth to a stillborn son with Daemon. But her twin daughters survive her:

  • Rhaena Targaryen: In their youth, Rhaena was inseparable from her twin sister, although they eventually grew to be different. Courteous and graceful, Rhaena was the more mild of the two.
  • Baela Velaryon: Baela was more wild than Rhaena, preferring hawking and riding to dancing and court games. She was known to keep her hair cropped short so it wouldn’t whip in her face while riding.

So as you can see, there are a lot of potential child characters in this story, and this isn’t a complete list.

Of course, a lot of these characters also grow up over the course of the series, and I can see the show skipping some years and just casting them with a young actor rather than a child actor from the start, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few were cut altogether. For the record, we haven’t heard the names of any actors cast in these roles — HBO has only officially revealed the adult cast — although again, based on the set pictures it looks like the network has found some.

This are just the characters I can see needing to be portrayed as a child, at least until a time jump ushers in a new cast. What do you think?

Next. All the dragons in House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel. dark

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