Like many characters in Game of Thrones, the Targaryens are a bit of a mystery. Characters like Rhaegar Targaryen and Viserys Targaryen fascinate fans, despite the fact that they have both passed away at this point in the show. Rhaegar's passing happened before the events of the story, while Viserys met his demise during the first season of the show. The remaining Targaryens, such as Daenerys Targaryen, also fascinate fans. While it has been revealed that Jon Snow is also a Targaryen, anatomy-wise he takes after the Stark side of his family more. At least based on what we know of him so far. That might change in season eight, though.
Whether it's their appearance in the books of silver hair and purple eyes or the fact that Daenerys, in the books, is not immune to fire, the Targaryens' anatomy is very interesting. From the strain of insanity in the Targaryen blood to Rhaegar meeting his demise at the hand of Robert Baratheon, these facts about Targaryen anatomy are exciting for fans. Some fans might know all of these facts already, while others will learn them for the first time. Whichever type of fan you are, we hope you enjoy reading about the Targaryens. Besides their anatomy, they're fascinating characters. Very morally grey, but so is everyone else in Game of Thrones. There are some of them, like Aerys Targaryen— also known as the Mad King— who get as close as the world of Game of Thrones gets to evil. While others, like Daenerys Targaryen, are far better than that.
Here are the 25 Strangest Things About Targaryen Anatomy.
25 They Have Silver Hair In The Books
While the show has their hair more white-blonde, in the books, the Targaryens have silver hair. It's one of their distinguishing features. In both the books and the show, the Targaryens stand out from other characters. They have unusual hair. So much so that it often doesn't look natural. That fits with the Targaryens as their sigil is a three-headed dragon, which is far from natural even in the world of Game of Thrones. Dragons are already magical but the addition of two extra heads makes them stand out even more. So the Targaryens, especially those who are proud like Viserys Targaryen, probably don't mind standing out a bit.
24 They Have Purple Eyes In The Books
Yet another way that the Targaryens are different. Even in the world of Game of Thrones, purple eyes aren't common. This and their silver hair make the Targaryens stand out from other characters. We think their purple eyes would have been kind of cool to see in the show, but there were reasons they weren't. More on that later. We wonder where the Targaryens get their purple eyes from. Is it a common thing in Valyria, where the Targaryens are originally from? It certainly isn't common in Westeros.
23 The Actors Initially Wore Contacts, But Their Use Did Not Last Very Long
Well, at least they tried to match the appearance in the books. We wonder where they got purple contacts from. Those must be somewhat hard to find. And it would've looked so cool if they had stuck with it. Still, there are reasons that they didn't, we know. Still, the dedication of the producers and the actors is admirable. They really wanted to get it right, even if they ultimately didn't go that route in the show. Fans are likely grateful that they at least tried. As for why they didn't keep the contacts, well you'll find out soon.
22 The Contacts Kept Messing Up The Filming
We can only imagine how difficult it was to make sure the contact lenses were coming through in every shot. That must have been hard. As for the contacts affecting the actor's emotional performances, it makes sense. Actors use their eyes to convey emotions a lot, after all. So while the purple eyes would have been nice, and it would have matched the books, perhaps the show is better without them. It's better that the producers and actors are comfortable and that the actors can show their emotions through their eyes.
21 Daenerys Is Aged Up For The Show
In the books, she is thirteen when she marries Khal Drogo. In the show, she is two years older, so she is fifteen. Can you imagine being married at either of those ages? We can't. Of course, the world of Game of Thrones is different from the modern world in most places. But getting married at a young age was common in the time periods that Game of Thrones is based on. There was no concept of adolescence in those time periods. Children went from child to adult with no transition in between.
20 This Is Because The Show Has To Follow The UK's Decency Laws For Broadcasting
Since a lot of the show is filmed in Northern Ireland, Game of Thrones has to follow the UK's decency laws for broadcasting. This is the reason that Daenerys is aged up for the show. It makes sense. Who would want to see a thirteen year old character get married? Some thirteen year olds haven't even reached puberty yet. Although, a fifteen year old getting married isn't much better. Yet apparently it satisfied the UK's laws. And therefore the producers of the show will not get in trouble.
19 Daenerys' Mother, Rhaella, Passed Away Soon After Giving Birth To Her
Poor Daenerys. Her life might have been so different if her mother had survived. As it is, she was left to be raised by her brother Viserys and we all know how that turned out. Not very well. Then again, the events of the story most likely would have been completely different if Daenerys had a mother to take care of her. So perhaps things worked out for the best in a strange way. All the loss Daenerys suffered made her a stronger person in the end. Though we're sure she would have done fine without it.
18 Daenerys Was Born During A Storm, Giving Her The Name Daenerys Stormborn
That's right. It's not just a cool title to pay tribute to Daenerys' fierce nature. Daenerys was actually born during a horrific storm. Nevertheless, she seems to like the title and to draw strength from it. She often uses it as part of her long list of titles and we can't blame her. It does sound pretty cool. Daenerys Stormborn. Has a nice ring to it. And as we mentioned before, it does fit her personality. Daenerys is pretty fierce, though she has a good heart beneath it all. She definitely deserves such a cool-sounding name.
17 Daenerys' Child With Khal Drogo Was Stillborn And Deformed
The child is described as having leathery scaled skin, wings, and a stomach full of worms. That doesn't sound appealing. Sounds more like one of Daenerys' dragons than a human child. Fortunately, Khal Drogo was not around to see his child born that way. And Daenerys herself didn't witness her child being born or see him before his passing. She had to hear about her child's appearance from others. We're glad that she didn't see her child like this. Not only would it be upsetting for her, but the fans would not like it either. It would be too disgusting, even for Game of Thrones.
16 Daenerys, In The Books, Is Not Immune To Fire
The situation with her dragons was a one time thing. It was nothing short of a miracle and is viewed as one by Daenerys herself and other characters as well. Perhaps the show should have gone this route, as it would have made the birth of the dragons more unique. Though we're sure the show writers have their reasons for making Daenerys immune to fire of any kind. More on that later. Though in the books, she is not immune to fire at all. It still affects her as it would affect anyone. The only exception is the birth of her dragons.
15 In The Show, However, Daenerys Seems To Be Immune To Fire Of Any Kind
This is shown during season six when she burns the Khals in Vaes Dothrak. After that, she unites all of the Dothraki into one khalasar, following her. We have to admit, that scene was cool. So we're sure the show writers have good reasons for making her immune to fire. One possible explanation is that since she is the Mother of Dragons, it would be strange for fire to have a negative effect on her. Since she'd then have to worry about her children accidentally harming her. Another possible explanation is that they wanted Daenerys' words about Viserys, that "fire cannot harm a dragon" to be true. Therefore, they made her immune to fire of any kind.
14 In The Books, Daenerys' Hair Is Burned Away By Khal Drogo's Funeral Pyre
We can understand why this was changed for the show. Most likely, the writers did not want poor Emilia Clarke to have to be bald. Even though the hair does grow back eventually. We can also understand, though, why George R. R. Martin went this route in the books. If Daenerys is not immune to fire, then being under it for an extended period of time would have to have some kind of effect on her. It's just a shame that in the books, Daenerys had to lose her beautiful silver hair.
13 She Is Also Breastfeeding Her Newly Hatched Dragons
We can understand why this was left out of the show. Most likely it would have been hard to show on TV. Yet it would have been kind of cool. It would've given a whole new meaning to the name "Mother of Dragons." Not only would she have caused the dragons to be born, but she would have been the dragons only source of food for a while anyway. Yet we're sure the show writers have a good reason for leaving this little detail out. One possible explanation is that they couldn't get it past the censors. That would make sense. Another possible explanation is that the writers might have thought it wouldn't be realistic for dragons to want food made for a human baby. Though we would argue that most fans wouldn't have thought so.
12 There Is A Strain Of Insanity In The Targaryen Blood
Some examples of this are Daenerys' father, Aerys, also known as the Mad King and her brother Viserys. This habit also makes the Targaryen family tree quite complicated. Often, Targaryen kings would marry their own sisters to keep the bloodline pure. We are sure that such extreme measures were not necessary. Especially given the consequences. In reality, such relationships often result in sickly or otherwise not normal children. Though it is possible for a child to turn out alright, it's taking a big risk. There is a saying in the books and the show that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. The coin can land on either madness or greatness.
11 Rhaegar Was Eliminated By Robert Baratheon's War Hammer
It's hard to imagine the Robert shown in the show and the books being a match for Rhaegar Targaryen. But we have to remember that he was once a good warrior. And Rhaegar never liked fighting. Unlike Robert who, by the time he faced Rhaegar, had won many battles. We're sure that this scene would have looked impressive in the TV show, although it would have been sad given what we now know about Rhaegar. Still, Game of Thrones loves making its audience sad.
10 Viserys Looked At Daenerys As His Property
Apparently the Targaryen desire to marry your relations did not go away. Viserys looked at Daenerys, not as her own independent person, but as his property. He feels that he should have been able to marry her himself. And only offered her in marriage to Khal Drogo because he needed an army. Luckily for Daenerys, she grew into a strong, independent woman in spite of her brother. She eventually was able to stand up to him and did not interfere with his demise at the hands of Khal Drogo. You can't blame her, really. He was not the best brother.
9 Before His Demise, Viserys Threatened To Take Daenerys Back From Khal Drogo
This shows, again, how he viewed Daenerys as his property and not as a person with her own desires. Also it shows how insane Viserys was. He thought he could just take Daenerys back like that without Khal Drogo objecting. Especially since Khal Drogo hadn't actually gone back on his end of the bargain. He was still giving Viserys an army. He just wanted Viserys to wait a while. Though apparently that is too much to expect from Viserys. He's far too impatient to wait. And in the end, he ends up threatening Daenerys and her unborn child, causing him to meet his demise at the hands of Khal Drogo. We can't say he was missed by many fans.
8 Daenerys' Dragons Do Not Breathe Fire In The Books Until After Daenerys Goes To The House Of The Undying
This whole situation is different in the books. In the books, Daenerys' dragons are not stolen and Daenerys is not tricked into going to the House of the Undying. She goes there willingly. In the show, Daenerys is shown teaching her dragons to breathe fire long before she goes to the House of the Undying. This did not happen in the books. They also need to breathe fire to help Daenerys escape from the Warlocks. This also does not happen in the books, since Daenerys goes to the House of the Undying willingly in the books.
7 Targaryens Are Bonded To Their Dragons
In the show Game of Thrones, this is shown mostly through Daenerys Targaryen and her bond with her dragons. Especially Drogon, who she rides. Though she has a bond with all three of her dragons. (Well, two now.) In the books, this is also mostly shown through Daenerys, though there are also more mentions of historical Targaryens and their bonds with their dragons. We are sure many fans would love to see a prequel of the historical Targaryens and their dragons. That would be very interesting.
6 Dragons Would Never Have More Than One Rider At Once
Sounds like dragons are very loyal to their riders. That's good. Though we guess it depends on who the rider is. So far Daenerys seems to have avoided her family's inherited madness, but we're sure that throughout the centuries, there were some mad Targaryens riding dragons. And that's not good for anyone. Including the dragon. We're wondering how that works for Daenerys' dragons. Especially since one is now under the control of the Night King. Will they allow others to ride them? We guess they might but we'll have to wait until we've seen all of season eight to know for sure.
5 Targaryens Are Cremated After Their Passing, Rather Than Being Buried
We hope we won't have to see this on the show. Though you never know on Game of Thrones. We wonder if this has anything to do with the Targaryen connection to dragons. It definitely could have something to do with it. Though it could just be a personal preference that became a tradition among Targaryens. We may never know. Or we might find out during season eight. It could go either way. Regardless of which it is, this is yet another way that the Targaryens stand out among their peers in Westeros.
4 The Mad King, Aerys, Wasn't Always Mad
Yes, we know. Surprising. Especially since he is known more as the Mad King than he's known by his name. And he certainly earned that title. He wanted to sacrifice the entire population of King's Landing, giving Jaime Lannister a good reason to eliminate him. Though poor Jaime was not appreciated for this throughout most of Westeros. He was seen as a betrayer, even though he betrayed Aerys for understandable reasons. Aerys himself was too far gone at this point to even really notice the betrayal. Yet he wasn't always this way. So what happened? What changed?
3 Aerys Began To Sink Into Madness After Several Of His Children Were Lost
This almost makes us feel bad for Aerys. Though some fans might find it difficult to muster up any sympathy for the Mad King, we think this is an understandable reaction to losing children. That would make anyone upset. Though, of course, Aerys shouldn't have taken out his feelings on others, including the entire population of King's Landing. They didn't do anything, after all. And in a way, Aerys should have seen this coming. Marrying your relations does tend to have bad side effects. Though even some of Aerys' children turned out alright. Rhaegar and Daenerys do not seem to have suffered any bad side effects. Though all of that could change quickly this season as we get to know Daenerys more and perhaps see more of Rhaegar.
2 Dragons Can Live For Hundreds Of Years
Usually, people don't have to worry about their pets surviving longer than them. In the Targaryens' case, though, they definitely do. Dragons can live for hundreds of years, far longer than the average human lifespan. Between that and the loyalty that some dragons can show to their riders, we're thinking it might have occasionally been hard for the Targaryens throughout the years as they passed their dragons down to the next generation. Some dragons probably refused their new riders and that has to be hard. Especially for the Targaryens, who take great pride in being dragon riders.
1 Dragons Can Outlive Their Riders
We're also hoping we don't see this in season eight. Though you never know with Game of Thrones. This is a story where anything could happen to anyone. As is mentioned before, this must have caused trouble for the Targaryens throughout the years. Maybe it won't come up for Daenerys because she can't have children— or can she?— so therefore she has no one to pass her dragons on to in the event of her demise. Though we also wonder how she would handle it. And how her dragons would react, especially Drogon.
Do you know any other strange facts about Targaryen anatomy in Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments!