Important Things You Need to Know About House Targaryen

via HBO
Aside from thinking of fire and dragons, their name strikes fear in the hearts of several Westerosi. But many readers and viewers still ask: who are the Targaryens in Game of Thrones? What sets them apart from the other Houses? Keep reading to find out.

Where did the Targaryens come from?

The Targaryens were not always as wealthy and powerful as they came to be.

They were once members of the forty dragonlord families in Valyria, in the continent of Essos. They were settled in Dragonstone, an island in the Western most part of the Valyrian empire. For several years, the Targaryens were recognized as the Lords of Dragonstone and spent their days breeding dragons and managing local trade. This was their way of life until the ambitious Aegon the Conqueror decided to mount his dragons and claim Westeros for his own.

This is where their quest for power and greatness started.

As readers and viewers, we have witnessed how the Targaryen House have established themselves as a powerful and influential family. They are very important characters in the story, but how much do you really know about them?

Here’s a list of everything you need to know about the most important family in Westerosi history:

01. They looked different – silver hair and all.

Because of their Valyrian ancestry, the Targaryens are known to have hair colors that range from golden blonde to platinum blonde. Some of them even have silver hair. They also have very pale skin and eyes in different shades of purple or light blue. These physical traits are the reasons why they are considered to have exceptionally good looks compared to other human counterparts in Essos or Westeros.

02. They had superhuman traits.

There are two superhuman traits that a Targaryen heir is known to possess - the ability to resist fire and the ability to foresee events that are yet to take place. Because they don’t get burned, they are the perfect tamers and trainers of fire-breathing dragons.

03. They were faithful to their Valyrian customs.

Although Targaryens eventually became part of Westeros, they still practiced most of their old Valyrian customs. The noble family had incestuous marriages to keep their bloodlines pure. This prevented members of the House Targaryen from intermingling with other Westerosi nobility. However, this also caused them a few problems. Because of inbreeding, Targaryens were known to have a tendency for insanity. A good example would be the mad King Aerys II Targaryen who, nearing the end of his rule, locked himself up in the Red Keep and was very prone to bouts of anger, elated emotions, or sadness.

04. However, they changed their religion.

Back in the days when the Targaryens were part of the nobility of Valyria, they believed in the Valyrian Gods. But, once Westeros was conquered by Aegon I The Conqueror, House Targaryen adopted the Faith of the Seven, the belief system practiced by most of the people in Westeros.

05. When a Targaryen was born, they were given dragon eggs of their own.

It is tradition of their Targaryens to give new-borns their own set dragon eggs. The dragons that are born out of these eggs are the ones that will be bonded to the child for the rest of his life. This tradition was continued even after the death of the last dragon. For decades, no one was able to successfully hatch a dragon until Daenerys Targaryen. Her success gave her the title "Mother of Dragons" and marked the return of the fire-breathing creatures to the known world.

06. They are also the reason why dragons had a hard time populating.

While they were in Westeros, House Targaryen built a structure called the Dragonpit. This huge domed edifice was used as a stable of dragons that were bred and trained for battle. Sadly, this also marked a decline in terms of growth for the dragons. The Targaryens soon discovered that dragons didn’t grow well when they were raised and bred in captivity. The dragons that were hatched in Westeros were smaller. In fact, the last one that hatched was no bigger than a dog.

07. They always cremated their dead.

Also, part of the Targaryen customs was the way they treated deceased members. Cremation is traditionally the method to send off the remains of a Targaryen. The ashes were interred beneath the Red Keep.

Most mortals in the world of Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire can only dream about being part of the Targaryen blood line. Their close affinity to fire and blood coupled with the bond that they possess with dragons are what makes their bloodline unique. We can only expect great things from this noble House.