Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first episode of season 1 of House of the Dragon
A recent trailer for House of the Dragon declared that Targaryens would be “just like everyone else” without their dragons. That’s not entirely true. Some Targaryens wield another great power: Prophecy.
Based on the first episode, visions look like they will play an important role in the Game of Thrones prequel series. King Viserys I discusses several prophetic Targaryen dreams. He shares a dream about his son being born wearing the crown. Later, he reveals that Aegon the Conquerer—the Targaryen who united the Seven Kingdoms—had a vision of a threat from the North that would imperil the lives of everyone in Westeros.
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which Game of Thrones was based, place a great emphasis on prophecies. They generally portend ill tidings and rarely turn out as you would expect. In those books, Martin never confirmed that Aegon foresaw the threat of the White Walkers. But now it seems that vision is canon.
Viserys and Aegon are far from the first Targaryens to have visions of the future—and they won’t be the last. Here’s everything you need to know about Targaryen visions.
Daenys the Dreamer’s vision of the Doom of Valyria
The line of the Targaryens can be traced back to Daenys the Dreamer. Martin’s version of Cassandra, Daenys had dream that the powerful kingdom of Valyria where her family lived would meet a cataclysmic end. Though the other noble families mocked him for doing so, Daenys’ father Aenar Targaryen believed his daughter. He packed up his family and moved out of Valyria to the island that became Dragonstone.
Sure enough, 12 years later, the Doom of Valyria came to pass. Volcanoes erupted, and an earthquake swallowed up all the people and dragons of Valyria. The Targaryens became the only dragon riders left in the world.
As a result, the Targaryens take visions very seriously. During House of the Dragon, Viserys references Daenys’ dream and how it saved the Targaryen family.
Aegon the Conquerer’s vision of the White Walkers
Vladimir Furdik as Night King.
Courtesy of HBO
In a major break from what we know from Martin’s books, House of the Dragon reveals that Aegon the Conquerer decided to defeat the warring tribes of Westeros not because of his lust for power but because he had a vision of a threat from the North. Aegon determined that the Seven Kingdoms would need to be united to meet this power.
Towards the end of episode 1 of House of the Dragon, Viserys passes this family secret to his daughter Rhaenyra.
Obviously, we know from Game of Thrones that this vision comes to pass. The White Walkers arrive from the North and attack Westeros. It’s only through an alliance between two Targaryens—the Northerner Jon Snow and the banished Daenerys Targaryen—that the kingdom is able to gather enough men to beat the Night King back.
In Martin’s books, Aegon’s reasons for conquering Westeros are more mysterious. The author has hinted before that perhaps Aegon had a vision of the threat to come 300 years in the future. Now, it seems, that dream is canon.
Viserys’ vision of his son born wearing a crown
First, the king describes a dream to his wife Aemma in which their son is born wearing a crown.
“The dream was clearer than a memory. Our son was born wearing Aegon’s iron crown. And I heard the sound of thundering hooves, splintering shields, and ringing swords. And I placed our son upon the Iron Throne as the bells of Grand Sept tolled, and all the dragons roared as one.”
His wife does, indeed, bear a son. And perhaps the sounds of hooves and shields and swords refer to the tournament that’s ongoing when the queen goes into labor. But both mother and son die in childbirth.
Daenerys’ vision of the Iron Throne in the snow
In Season 2 of Game of Thrones, Daenerys enters the House of the Undying and sees two visions. One is a false unachievable world where she can be reunited with her dead husband and child. Another shows what she believes to be the future, the Iron Throne sitting in the open air with what looks to be snow falling upon it.
And, indeed, we do see that vision of the Iron Throne come to life in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. When Daenerys takes King’s Landing, she destroys the Red Keep. The Throne is left in the open air, with what we now know is the ash of the city Daenerys has burned falling upon it.
It turns out the prophecy also had a symbolic significance: The “snow” falling on the seat predicts threat of another Targaryen, Jon Snow, in who has the blood of the North within him. Jon, of course, kills Daenerys shortly after she sees the throne in real life.
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