The House of the Dragon timeline so far

3 weeks ago 54

House of the Dragon season 1 did a lot: It set the scene for a Targaryen civil war, followed the waning glory days of a peacetime king, fit in the story of a quick war before it got to the main event, and even traced the dissolution of several relationships (all while forging new ones). It jumped in time with calculated abandon, with a 10-year jump between episode 5 and 6. Given all that was packed into the first season, it would be easy to forget details here and there. Remember how important that green dress was to the shifting allegiances? Remember the Crabfeeder?!

It’s possible you’re saying, “Oh shit, I really don’t.” Fret not; that makes sense! House of the Dragon’s time jumps make George R.R. Martin’s “history” of Westeros from the book Fire & Blood come alive with equal significance. Knowing that every week, viewers would catapult ahead by a few months, or even years, meant episodes could just deliver the good stuff. Game of Thrones found epic scale in the map (which it often had to cut corners to fully chart); House of the Dragon finds that same scope in time. Plus, HBO anticipated this. It prepared an easy-to-digest recap video you can watch to remember the finer points of season 1 ahead of the second-season premiere (as you can see above).

But if you need a little more of a timeline about where — and, more importantly, when — all this is taking place, we’ve got a handy guide for you. With Rhaenyra (now Emma D’Arcy) and her story charting a few decades’ worth of Westeros history, it can be handy to remember how long all these players have been circling each other, or even just how much younger her brother/rival Aegon (now played by Tom Glynn-Carney) is than her.

Episode 1, ‘The Heirs of the Dragon’ cold open

Viserys straight-up chillin’ with a crown on his head and regal threads, watching a tournament off screen on House of the Dragon Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Martin documents time in his A Song of Ice and Fire texts using a B.C./A.D. equivalent called “AC,” an abbreviation for “After the Conquest.” In 1 AC, Aegon I Targaryen was crowned king after conquesting his way through Westeros.

House of the Dragon opens in 101 AC, 197 years before the events of Game of Thrones’ first season. We get one major scene in this time period: King Jaehaerys I Targaryen announcing that, after his son Baelon kicked the bucket, his new heir would not be the genealogical choice of his eldest grandchild, Princess Rhaenys, but his eldest grandson, Prince Viserys. What we don’t see is Jaehaerys die — in 103 AC, according to Fire & Blood — and pass the crown to Viserys.

Later in episode 1, aka most of ‘The Heirs of the Dragon’

It’s tough to say exactly when House of the Dragon gets going, but a title card explains that the show picks up nine years into King Viserys’ reign. Do the math, and we’re at around 112 AC.

This is when Rhaenyra loses her mother (and Viserys his wife and queen), and — mostly as a way to spurn Daemon — Viserys declares Rhaenyra his heir.

Episode 2, ‘The Rogue Prince’

The show’s first time jump leaps ahead by six months, as tensions with Daemon Targaryen — not to mention the factions in the Stepstones — begin to escalate. Daemon is squatting in Dragonstone with Mysaria, who he claims (read: lies) is carrying his heir as he makes a play for the throne. Rhaenyra sees through him and collects some dragon eggs he has. Also everyone is trying to marry their daughters to Viserys, but ultimately Otto Hightower succeeds in getting his daughter (and Rhaenyra’s best friend!) Alicent betrothed to him.

Episode 3, ‘Second of His Name’

Three years later — so, around 115 AC — shit is getting real in the Stepstones. Whatever talk of war there was back in episode 2 has exploded into true violence, with Prince Daemon wiping out the Crabfeeder with the help of Lord Corlys Velaryon. This is also when Alicent Hightower is quite pregnant with her and Viserys’ first kid, who we’ll eventually see as more of a worthy heir to the throne after the next time jump.

Episode 4, ‘King of the Narrow Sea’

Daemon Targaryen, greased, wearing a red shirt and grey robe, glaring at someone as he clutches his wine in House of the Dragon Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

The time jump in episode 4 is a bit murky, but we know that Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen has been urged to find a husband, and has spent at least a couple of months since Daemon’s triumph looking for someone worth her while. This is also when Daemon and Rhaenyra have a bit of a fling. Here, the show diverges from Martin’s Fire & Blood timeline, which saw Daemon pronouncing himself King of the Narrow Sea around 109 AC.

Episode 5, ‘We Light the Way’

House of the Dragon and its source material continue to split in episode 5. Most of Daemon’s exploits in Fire & Blood are taking place around 115 AC, but when we pick up with the troubled fella, likely around 114 AC on the show, he’s already staging his new-ish wife Lady Rhea Royce’s untimely death. We also see Rhaenyra’s wedding to Ser Laenor Velaryon, which has been slightly shifted up in time from when it occurs in the books. But Condal has lined it all up to make history more digestible for when the big jump happens...

Episode 6, ‘The Princess and the Queen’

The halfway point of House of the Dragon’s first season makes a 10-year time jump (confirmed when Laenor says, “And I have played my part here, faithfully... for 10 years”) to around 124 AC. As anyone who has flipped through Martin’s Fire & Blood will tell you: This is when shit gets ugly. And it’s already been pretty ugly. But at least we know when the ugly shit is happening.

Episode 7, ‘Driftmark’

Alicent, Viserys, Helaena, Corlys, Rhaenys, and Baela standing in a row and looking somber Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

This episode picks up more or less exactly where the last episode left off, given that it’s time for Laena Velaryon’s funeral. (She’s Corlys and Rhaenys’ daughter, and wife and mother to Aemond.) The family! is! fighting! Not as badly as they will be, of course, but after Aemond gets a dragon and loses an eye, the Targaryen family is tense to be sure. Viserys does his best to keep people from fighting, but Alicent and Rhaenyra are still smarting.

Episode 8, ‘The Lord of the Tides’

Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen wearing a gold mask, waving a dagger, and standing in front of the Iron Throne on House of the Dragon Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

The calm before the storm, “The Lord of the Tides” picks up six years after “Driftmark,” so around 130 AC. Both Rhaenyra’s and Alicent’s children are grown, and Viserys is near fully grown — in fact, this is the episode he dies. Unfortunately, his death comes mere moments after Alicent and Rhaenyra were about to bury the hatchet, and seconds after Alicent misunderstands Viserys’ last words, and mistakenly believes he called for Aegon to be king after all.

Episode 9, ‘The Green Council’

Alicent seated at the Small Council table with her hands folded on the table in front of her. To her right her father stands with his hands slightly clasped; on her left, Ser Criston stands at the ready Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

This takes place in the single day after the last episode, so there’s really not a time jump. But a lot happens here: The Hightowers, Criston Cole, et al. conspire to get Aegon on the throne before anyone outside the titular insurrectionist council knows what’s what. Rhaenys is taken prisoner but escapes, thanks to the help of a twin in the Kingsguard, and declines to burn Team Green alive with her dragon but does head out to Dragonstone to let Rhaenyra know what happened here.

Episode 10, ‘The Black Queen’

Rhaenyra stands in front of a roaring fire, looking directly at camera in House of the Dragon Image: HBO

Once again, House of the Dragon does away with the time jumps in favor of immediate reaction. While it’s been a bit of time since the events of “The Green Council” compared to the leap between the last episodes, “The Black Queen” picks up more or less directly after episode 9, with Teams Green and Black each trying to shore up support (and round up more dragons) around the Seven Kingdoms.

This leads to Aemond inadvertently killing Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys, and basically kicking off a full-blown war that will become the main event of the series — and brings us up to speed in season 2!

Continue reading