The House of the Dragon timeline is considerably more expansive than the timeframe that transpired in Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon centers on the civil war within House Targaryen, which culminates in a series of fire and blood-soaked tragedies that was dubbed the Dance of the Dragons. At the root of the Targaryens’ enmity is the matter of who will succeed King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) and sit upon the Iron Throne as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. In defiance of patriarchal custom, Viserys named his only daughter, Rhaenrya Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), as his successor. But several factions within House Targaryen take issue with Rhaenyra ascending to the Iron Throne, including her former childhood friend, Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).
The calendar of Westeros in Game of Thrones and the House of the Dragon timeline is determined by the pivotal event of the continent’s history, the Conquest of Aegon Targaryen, who united the Seven Kingdoms. AC means After the Conquest and BC means Before the Conquest. The events of House of the Dragon take place about 100 years AC, and after the remarkably peaceful, nearly 60-year reign of Viserys’ predecessor, King Jaehaerys I. The Dance of the Dragons, and all the brutality and shaking-up of Westerosi society it causes, happens in 129-131 AC, and House of the Dragon will explore the nearly 3 decades leading up to the fiery end of these Targaryens. Here’s the full House of the Dragon timeline explained, and how long the show is expected to cover across the remaining seasons.
How Many Years House of the Dragon‘s Timeline Will Cover
George R.R. Martin stated that the House of the Dragon timeline will span about 28 years leading up to the start of the Dance of the Dragons in 129 AC. This tracks with House of the Dragon‘s premiere episode beginning in 101 AC during the Great Council that named Viserys as King Jaehaerys’ successor, and the final episode of season 1, which ends in 129 AC. The Old King dies in 103 AC and Viserys ascends the Iron Throne soon after.
House of the Dragon then jumps to the ninth year of King Viserys’ reign, circa 112 AC. At that point, Viserys’ beloved daughter and his named heir to the Iron Throne, Princess Rhaenyra, is about 15 years old (and played by Milly Alcock). By the end of the season, Rhaenyra (now played by Emma D’Arcy) is around 32 years old. The Dance of the Dragons itself lasts about 2 years, meaning the remaining seasons will cover this period in great detail.
How Long Before Game of Thrones‘ Timeline House of the Dragon Is Set
Game of Thrones begins in 298 AC, a few years before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) makes her bid to claim the Iron Throne. Therefore, Game of Thrones is set about 197 years after when House of the Dragon begins in 101 AC and 167 years after the end of the Dance of the Dragons in 131 AC. House of the Dragon also begins by establishing the 9th year of King Viserys’ reign, 112 AC, is 172 years before the death of Mad King Aerys and the birth of his daughter, Daenerys Targaryen.
Given that most Game of Thrones characters are mortals, don’t expect any familiar faces like Daenerys, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), or Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to appear or be referenced in the upcoming House of the Dragon timeline. That being said, the Targaryen’s prophetic visions (such as Aegon’s White Walker dream) have already established a link of sorts between House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones which may allow for a cameo in the form of a premonition or dream sequence. This is still incredibly unlikely though.
The Episode 5-6 Time Jump Explained
The question of what year is House of the Dragon set in became very tricky between the season 1 episodes 5 and 6, which saw a significant time jump. House of the Dragon season 1 covered such an expanse of time that multiple recastings happened between episodes, seeing younger and older Targaryens, Hightowers, and Velaryons. Despite season 1 featuring numerous time jumps, the biggest one occurred between episode 5, “We Light the Way,” and episode 6, “The Princess and the Queen.” For the first five episodes, audiences got to know Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra and Emily Carey as Queen Alicent Hightower. However, House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6 shoots audiences 10 years into the future, seeing Rhaenyra played by Emma D’Arcy and Alicent portrayed by Olivia Cooke.
The purpose of this time jump was to bring Rhaenyra and Alicent’s children into the mix, who played a monumental role in the upcoming Targaryen Civil War. House of the Dragon episode 5 ends with Rhaenyra’s wedding to Laenor Velaryon and Alicent Hightower’s quiet declaration of war. House of the Dragon episode 6 picks up with Rhaenyra birthing her third child, Joffrey, though it’s made clear that none of her children are biologically Laenor’s, but rather Ser Harwin Strong’s. This is one of the many catalysts behind Alicent’s son Aegon II contesting Rhaenyra’s claim for the throne on his mother’s behalf. The major House of the Dragon timeline jump also occurs to show how Rhaenyra and Alicent’s feud has passed down to their children.