House of the Dragon will finally dive into the history between House Targaryen and House Baratheon, thus fixing an important, complex relationship that Game of Thrones avoided detailing. Even from the pilot episode, Game of Thrones established just how important each house’s history was to its current dynamics with the rest of the realm. While House Stark and House Targaryen’s history with one another was arguably the primary focus in Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon will be expanding far beyond these two historic families, which may even change how audiences perceive certain houses.
While Game of Thrones understandably had many families’ pasts to contend with, it was a shame that the first few seasons hardly dove into House Baratheon’s history as one of the greatest houses of the realm, particularly in terms of their connection to House Targaryen. The Baratheons played an integral role in the conquering of Westeros, as Orys Baratheon, the founder of the house, was rumored to be the bastard half-brother of Aegon the Conqueror and was even unofficially considered his first Hand of the King. For many generations thereafter, the Baratheons were fierce supporters of House Targaryen’s dynasty, with the two families arranging several political marriages.
While the majority of House Baratheon and House Targaryen’s family history was allied, Game of Thrones makes little to no mention of this aspect of their centuries-old relationship. Rather, Game of Thrones’ discussions of the Baratheon and Targaryen sentiments are focused on their hatred for one another after Robert’s Rebellion. Robert clearly hated the Targaryens, Stannis had a less emotionally-fueled dislike for the family, and such feelings were even seemingly passed onto Robert’s legal children. Game of Thrones never truly addressed the amicability between the two houses until season 8 when Daenerys legitimized Gendry as a Baratheon and named him Lord of Storm’s End, but even then, there was no reference to their shared history in conquering Westeros. House of the Dragon, on the other hand, will be showcasing the past relationship of the Targaryens and Baratheons in terms of how closely connected these two families truly were.
One of House of the Dragon’s most prominent characters will be Rhaenys Targaryen, the cousin of King Viserys I and daughter of Aemon Targaryen and Jocelyn Baratheon. Rhaenys’ status as the heir of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen was a point of contention between the old king and his wife, Alysanne, as she took issue with how their half-Baratheon granddaughter Rhaenys was passed over simply because she was a woman. As such, the heir to Jaehaerys became House of the Dragon’s King Viserys I Targaryen. This dynamic will also come into play with House of the Dragon’s character Boremund Baratheon, the uncle to Rhaenys Targaryen. Boremund was an outspoken supporter of Rhaenys’ claim to the throne after Jaehaerys’ death and later pledged his allegiance to Viserys, which made House of the Dragon’s Rhaenyra Targaryen believe his son, Borros, would join her cause upon Viserys’ death.
House Baratheon will thus play a significant role during the Targaryen Civil War, the Dance of the Dragons, in part because of the family’s long history of being close allies. This relationship between the Baratheons and Targaryens also gives much more important context to their animosity during Game of Thrones’ timeline, with the two families forgetting their history as they either wage war against one another or resolve their feuds. The Baratheons and Targaryens weren’t always the unforgiving enemies that Robert Baratheon led audiences to believe, so House of the Dragon will finally fix this Game of Thrones mistake by also depicting their previously long-standing alliance.