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When Does House Of The Dragon Take Place In The Game Of Thrones Timeline?

When HBO's "House of the Dragon" premieres on August 21, 2022, it will take fans back to the world of "Game of Thrones" for the first time since that series concluded in 2019. This time around, the story will focus on the dragon-riding Targaryen family, the ancestors of eventual queen of Westeros, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).

The events in "House of the Dragon" are covered in three ancillary books published under the "Game of Thrones" heading. As Martin explained on his blog, the show will be based on two anthologies he wrote with Gardner Dozois, "Dangerous Women" and "Rogues," as well as the novel "Fire and Blood."

"Dangerous Women" includes an account of the civil war known as the Dance of Dragons, while "Rogues" chronicles the life of Daemon Targaryen, a major character in the TV series. Meanwhile, "Fire and Blood," is the first in a two-part novel series that covers the entire Targaryen family history. The first half was published in 2018. "Fire and Blood" is also named after the slogan on the Targaryen family seal.

However, if you haven't read the source material, most of "House of the Dragon" should be new. Here's where "House of the Dragon" fits in the overall "Game of Thrones" timeline, as well as key background information on House Targaryen and its principal players.

When does House of the Dragon take place?

"House of the Dragon" is set about 200 years before the events of "Game of Thrones," and about 100 years after Aegon I Targaryen's conquest of Westeros–more on that below.

So, when "House of the Dragon" begins, the Targaryens have ruled Westeros for nearly a century. Their current leader is King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), another major character in the TV series. He's the one whom Daenery's brother (Harry Lloyd) is named for.

Viserys I is actually the grandson of the previous king, Jaehaerys, and his death will set up a succession crisis on "House of the Dragon." In short, Viserys' first wife was Lady Aemma Arryn. When Aemma died, their only living child was Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy). Viserys eventually remarried Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and had three sons. Despite the presence of male heirs, he named Rhaenerya his successor.

This decision will a rift between Rhaenyra and Alicent. Factions will form around them, with the Blacks supporting Rhaenyra and the Greens backing Alicent. That will kick off a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Without spoiling too much else, the plot of "House of the Dragon" will center on the conflict between Rhaenyra and Alicent (via a Wiki of Ice and Fire).

The Targaryens pre-Westeros

While "Game of Thrones" did explore the Targaryen's unique traits and history, it's a good idea to revisit those since they'll be a major element of "House of the Dragon."

The Targaryens are known for their violet eyes, silver hair, and tendency to have dreams of premonition. They also practice incestuous marriage. On "House of the Dragon," Rhanerya's current husband Daemon (Matt Smith) is also her uncle. His maneuverings to take power for himself will also be a major plot point. Finally, the Targaryens are characterized as prone to madness, a condition often tied to their inbreeding.

They were originally a noble family from the continent of Essos, during the days of the Empire of Valyria. They were just one of forty noble families who could tame and ride dragons, but their premonitory dreams gave them an advantage. About 200 years before "House of the Dragon," Aenar Targaryen's wife had a dream suggesting something terrible was about to happen. The family relocated to the island of Dragonstone, just before the Doom of Valyria wiped the empire out.

The Doom of Valyria was a mysterious catastrophe that wiped out the Valyrian Empire. During "Game of Thrones," Valyria is known for once producing an ultra-strong steel, whose recipe was lost after the Doom. Valyrian Steel swords were a precious commodity during "Game of Thrones," especially when it was discovered they can kill White Walkers.

Dragonstone became the ancestral seat of House Targaryen, as well as the staging point for the eventual conquest of Westeros. After the Targaryens took control of Westeros, the heir to House Targaryen occupied Dragonstone. Centuries later, Daenerys retook this castle during her own invasion of Westeros (via a Wiki of Ice and Fire).

Aegon I's Conquest of Westeros

After relocation to Dragonstone, the Targaryens spent the next hundred years fighting off foreign invaders, a time period known as the "Century of Blood." This ended when Aegon I Targaryen finally pursued his ambition to unite the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. After a bloody invasion, he succeeded in subduing all of them except Dorne.

Aegon I then began building the Red Keep. The city of King's Landing sprouted up around it and became the capital of Westeros and the seat of its government, which it still is by the time "Game of Thrones" takes place. Aegon also built the Iron Throne out of the swords of his enemies.

Aegon I was succeeded by three kings before Viserys I, who's the current king when "House of the Dragon" takes place. They are: Aenys I, who spent most of his reign putting down revolts; Maegor I, who was known for his cruelty; and Jaehaerys I, a wise king who ruled for 55 years.

Two hundred years after Viserys I, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) overthrew the mad king Aerys Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion, which took place shortly before the events of "Game of Thrones" (via a Wiki of Ice and Fire).

Clearly there's a lot of juicy material for "House of the Dragon" to build on. Hopefully that's enough for it to avoid the classic "prequel problem."