Daenerys Targaryen

When Did Targaryen Incest Begin in Game of Thrones? Answered

A guide that explains why and when Targaryens started practicing incest in Game of Thrones.

In House of the Dragon, we get to witness the Targaryens at the height of their power, age of decadence and dragons still very much alive. Like any house in Game of Thrones, they too marry for political power, despite being the most powerful family around. Despite this, why on earth are they still practicing incest? When did Targaryen incest begin in Game of Thrones?

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When Did Targaryen Incest Begin in Game of Thrones?

Incest among House Targaryen has been commonplace in Game of Thrones since before Targaryens reached Westeros. Even before Aegon the Conqueror, Targaryens were marrying their siblings (and cousins) in Valyria. In House of the Dragon, King Viserys I and Queen Aemma are first cousins.

Why all the inbreeding? At its core, it’s to ensure the Targaryen bloodline stays pure, so there’s certainly an element of supremacy. More importantly, Targaryens are deeply connected to dragons, and the purity of their blood is an essential component to controlling them. By thinning that purity, they risk losing their power over the dragons.

Incest has led to many Targaryens going cuckoo and doing something heinous. For example, King Aerys II Targaryen—Daenerys’s father, the Mad King—was killed by Jaime Lannister because the king was ready to set the entire city on fire using wildfire instead of surrendering.

There you have it: why and when Targaryen incest began in Game of Thrones. It happens so often throughout history, people joke that the Gods will flip a coin to determine if a newborn Targaryen will go insane. If you’re interested in more Targaryen history, find out what House Blackfyre is all about or why Dark Sister is so important to House Targaryen.

Featured Image Source: HBO

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Brady Klinger-Meyers
Brady is a Freelance Writer at Twinfinite. Though he's been at the site for only a year, Brady has been covering video games, and the industry itself, for the past three years. He focuses on new releases, Diablo 4, Roblox, and every RPG he can get his hands on. When Brady isn't focused on gaming, he's toiling away on another short story.