‘House Of The Dragon’: Is Incest Accepted In Westeros Since Targaryens Keep Marrying Each Other?

House of the Dragon
Daemon and Rhynaera
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House of the Dragon‘ has gradually become one of the most talked about shows of 2022. People were initially apprehensive about it since it’s a prequel to ‘Game of Thrones‘, a show ruined by its terrible finale. However, fans have been surprised by its direction, writing, and performances.

Based on parts of George R. R. Martin’s book ‘Fire & Blood’, the show chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen. They are often shown practicing incest openly. This begs the question if it’s accepted in Westeros or not. Well, let’s try and find out the answers.

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Read More: Who Killed Harwin Strong In George R.R. Martin’s Book? Was It Different From ‘House Of The Dragon’?

Is Incest Accepted In Westeros As Shown In ‘House Of The Dragon’?

Rhaenyra Targaryen with her family

In ‘House of the Dragon‘, just like its parent show, incest has been shown as something that’s normal. In one of the episodes, Daemon and Rhaenyra make out with each other, despite being blood relatives. The two get married in the seventh episode, just like so many Targaryens.

Aegon the Conqueror, the first king to sit on the Iron Throne was married to both of his sisters, Queens Visenya and Rhaenys. This custom of brothers and sisters marrying each other continued for generations.

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However, incest is not accepted in Westeros as the first marriage between Targaryen siblings after King Aegon I led to the first uprising against the monarchy. As per the faith of the old gods, incest is considered an abomination and a sin.

King Aenys’ third son, Jaehaerys was married to his younger sister, Alysanne. He promised to protect the Iron Throne and defend the Faith. In exchange, the Dragonriders convinced everyone in Westeros about their incest practice. This means that Faith’s rules forbidding incest remain intact, but the Targaryens are exempted from it.

Read More: How Did Laena Velaryon Die In The ‘Fire & Blood’ Book? Is It Different From ‘House Of The Dragon’?

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Why Do Targaryens Marry Their Brothers And Sisters?

The director of House of the Dragon reveals a deleted scene between Rhaenyra and Alicent
Rhaenyra and Alicent

The Targaryens have been practicing incest for generations. Members of the house, like their ancestors of the Valyrian Freehold, frequently married brother to sister to keep their bloodline pure.

This was also done to control the dragons and keep their Valyrian legacy. There were several instances when the Targaryens married other people, and their incest continued.

The madness that occurred in some of them, including the mad king, is attributed to generations of inbreeding.

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Daenerys and her brother Viserys Targaryen were a result of generational inbreeding. This preserved their distinct Valyrian features such as a white complexion and platinum blonde hair.