The Targaryens are one of the most important families in Game of Thrones. Obviously, there’s Daenerys Targaryen who is probably tied as the main character in the show and a strong contender to sit the Iron Throne. The history of House Targaryen and its members helped to shape Westeros and set the stage for the events of the show.
As prominent as Targaryens are in the show, they are explored to far greater detail in George R.R. Martin’s books. From changes to the Targaryen characters know, to those Targaryens the show never mentioned, there’s so much the much more to learn about the Targaryens. Here are some of the most interesting omissions.
10 Their Distinct Look
Despite their long reign as rulers of the land, the Targaryens are foreigners to Westeros – something their very distinct appearance immediately shows. The show maintains some of those stand-out features, especially the white hair, but many fans will note the difference in the eyes.
One of the tell-tale signs of a Targaryen according to the books are their purple eyes. It’s a feature most of them possess due to generations of inbreeding. Apparently, the purple eyes were meant to be included in the show, but the contact lenses Emilia Clarke had to wear too much of a distraction.
9 Daenerys' Marriage To Drogo
Though it was short-lived, Daenerys and Drogo romance remains one of the most popular relationships on the show. That’s surprising considering it began in a very disturbing way. Daenerys is also sold to Drogo in the books, but he does not force himself on her their first night together.
Both versions of the relationship are uncomfortable. In the show, it’s hard to root for them as a couple after what Drogo did. On the other hand, the book’s suggestion that young Daenerys is seduced by her captor doesn’t sit well either. Not exactly the grand romance some fans remember.
8 Lackluster Ancestors
The Targaryens might be the most powerful Westerosi family, but that doesn’t mean all Targaryens are as impressive as Daenerys. Like any family, there are those black sheep that embarrass the rest of the clan.
The show often mentions Aerys Targaryen aka The Mad King, but he was far from the only bad apple. Maegor the Cruel was probably the most vicious Targaryen king who eventually died after slitting his wrists on the Iron Throne. Aegon the Unworthy was an overweight, worthless and only interested in bedding women. Baelor the Blessed became a religious fanatic who fasted himself to death. Clearly, they can’t all be winners.
7 Creepy Viserys
Viserys Targaryen was one of the most pathetic characters in the whole show. As Daenerys’ older brother, he sought to reclaim the Iron Throne his family lost. But his constant whining and complaining meant no one would ever follow him.
As unlikable as he was on the show, Viserys had an extra layer of sleaze by trying to bed his sister which he saw as his right. This brother and sister relationship in the show was certainly inappropriate but at least it didn’t go this far. Incest is a common practice among Targaryens but that doesn’t make it any less gross.
6 Daenerys New Hairdo
The end of season one of Game of Thrones saw Daenerys walk into a burning funeral pyre and emerge unscathed and with three dragons. It remains one of the most important moments in both the show and the books.
Though a small change, it’s worth noting that in the books Daenerys isn’t complete unscathed by the fire as it does burn off all her hair. It’s a cool idea but one that might not translate as well on screen. It’s also likely Emilia Clarke wasn’t keen on going bald.
5 Blackfyre Rebellion
One of the most interesting aspects of Targaryen history is the civil war that nearly tore their house and Westeros apart. On his deathbed, Aegon the Unworthy legitimized all his bastard children making them contenders for the throne. What followed was a bloody rebellion that lasted for years and cemented people’s distrust in bastards.
The Blackfyre Rebellion is never brought up in the show which surprised book fans as there are many theories related to the Blackfyre. Just as there is speculation about which characters might be secret Targaryens, many fans think there are Blackfyre decedents hiding in plain sight, conspiring to take the throne.
4 Daenerys Prophecy
Prophecies have been a large part of the book series but the show doesn’t seem too interested in such things. The series has ignored several prophecies that fans have spent an endless amount of time pouring over to predict what happens next.
One of the most intriguing theories concerns Daenerys Targaryen and her journey. The prophecy comes from Quaithe, the masked shadowbinder Daenerys meets in Qarth. She tells Daenerys to be wary who she trusts, warning her that she’ll be betrayed by those close to her. While Quaithe appears in the show, the prophecy is left out. But it is possible, Daenerys could have a traitor in her midst.
3 Valyrian Steel Swords
Valyrian steel swords have quickly become the most precious objects in Westeros. Once simply coveted as rare and exceptional weapons, they have since been revealed to be one of the most effective ways to fight White Walkers.
Several Vayrian steel swords have appeared in the show, like Jon’s Longclaw, Brienne’s Oathkeeper and Sam Tarly’s Heartsbane. In the book, there are several swords unaccounted for, including two that belong to House Targaryen – Blackfyre and Dark Sister. Though they haven’t been mentioned in the show, it is possible they could pop up in the final season.
2 Another Aegon Targaryen?
In last season’s final episode, it’s finally that Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen. Obviously, there have been several individuals who have shared that name throughout Westerosi history, but one very significant Aegon has been left out of the show.
In the books, during Tyrion’s misadventures in Essos, he discovers that the Mad King’s son, Aegon, who was thought to have been killed during the Sack of King’s Landing. As the young Aegon begins plans to retake the throne, some fans speculate he may not be who he says he is and could just be another pretender to the throne.
Yet another famous Aegon has been largely left out of the show. Aegon V Targaryen was known as Aegon the Unlikely, a just and caring king who died in a mysterious fire that was said to have been caused by him trying to hatch dragon eggs.
Aegon became popular with fans thanks to the Dunk & Egg prequel stories. The tales follow young Aegon (called ‘Egg’) on his adventures as a squire for Ser Duncan the Tall, who would eventually become Lord Commander of Aegon’s Kingsguard. The only mention of him comes from Maester Aemon’s heartbreaking final line as he imagines seeing his brother and saying, “Egg, I dreamt I was old”.