Why Targaryen dreams are so important in 'House of the Dragon'

Attention: This post contains spoilers for the first episode of Season 1 of The house of the dragon

A recent trailer for The house of the dragon stated that the Targaryens would be “just like everyone else” without their dragons. This is not quite true. Some Targaryens wield another great power: Prophecy.

Based on the first episode, the visions look like they will play a major role in the Game of Thrones background story. King Viserys I discusses several Targaryen prophetic dreams. He shares a dream about his son being born with the crown. He later reveals that Aegon the Conqueror – a Targaryen who united the Seven Kingdoms – had a vision of a threat from the North that would endanger the lives of everyone in Westeros.

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George RR Martin A Song of Fire and Ice bookswhereby Game of Thrones is based on, place great emphasis on prophecies. They usually portend bad news and rarely turn out as you would expect. In these books, Martin never confirmed that Aegon foresaw the threat of the White Walkers. But now it looks like the 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.

Denys the Dreamer’s vision of the fall of Valyria

The Targaryen lineage can be traced back to Daenys the Dreamer. Martyn’s version of Cassandra, Daenys dreamed that the mighty kingdom of Valyria, where her family lived, would encounter cataclysm. Although the other noble families mocked him for this, Denys’ father, Aenar Targaryen, believed his daughter. He gathered his family and moved from Valyria to the island that became Dragonstone.

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Sure enough, 12 years later, the Doom of Valyria came true. Volcanoes erupted and an earthquake engulfed all the humans 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 The house of the dragonViserys refers to Denys’ dream and how he saved the Targaryen family.

Aegon the Conqueror’s vision of the White Walkers

Vladimir Furdik as the Night King.

Courtesy of HBO

In a big break from what we know from Martin’s books, The house of the dragon reveals that Aegon the Conqueror decided to defeat the warring tribes of Westeros not because of his lust for power, but because he had vision of a threat from the north. Aegon decided that the Seven Kingdoms must unite to meet this force.

Towards the end of episode 1 of The house of the dragonViserys passes this family secret on to his daughter Rhaenyra.

Obviously we know from Game of Thrones that this vision is coming true. The White Walkers arrive from the north and attack Westeros. Only through an alliance between two Targaryens – the northerner Jon Snow and the outcast Daenerys Targaryen – was the kingdom able to muster enough men to defeat the Night King.

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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 that would come 300 years into the future. Now, it seems, that dream is canon.

Viserys’ vision of his son born with a crown

First the king describes a dream to his wife Aema in which their son is born with a crown.

“The dream was clearer than a memory. Our son was born with Aegon’s iron crown. And I heard the sound of clattering hooves, cleaving shields and clanging swords. And I placed our son on the Iron Throne as the bells of the Grand Sept tolled and all the dragons roared as one.”

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His wife does give birth to a son. And perhaps the sounds of hooves, shields and swords refer to the tournament that goes on when the queen goes into labor. But both mother and son die at birth.

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 unattainable world where she can be reunited with her dead husband and child. Another shows what she believes to be the future, the Iron Throne, standing outdoors with something like snow falling on it.

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And we really see that vision of the Iron Throne come to life in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. When Daenerys takes over King’s Landing, she destroys the Red Keep. The throne is left out in the open, and what we now know is the ashes of the city that Daenerys burned fall on it.

It turns out that the prophecy also has a symbolic meaning: The “snow” falling on the seat foretells a threat from another Targaryen, Jon Snow, who has the blood of the North in him. Jon, of course, kills Daenerys shortly after she sees the throne in real life.

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Write to Eliana Docterman c [email protected].

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