While we wait for season two of ‘HoTD’ let’s dive deeper into the franchise’s timeline, understand why everything happened the way it did.
“Game of Thrones,” the ultra-hit TV show that took the world by storm in 2011, came to a rather disappointing end in 2019. Fans were just not happy with its conclusion. So when HBO confirmed the release of a prequel series set nearly 200 years before the events of the OG series, everyone was skeptical. However, the release of the prequel on August 21, 2022, proved everyone wrong. “HoTD” was instantly a hit. It swiftly established its own unique identity separate from “GoT’s” legacy.
“HoTD” follows the House of Targaryen and its fall. It’s set in 101 AC (After Conquest), almost 170 years before the death of the Mad King Aerys, the event that caused the domino effect that set the stage for the storyline of “Game of Thrones.”
While we wait for season two of “HoTD,” let’s dive deeper into the franchise’s timeline, understand why everything happened the way it did, and where exactly “HoTD” fits in the greater timeline of Westeros.
BC and AC refer to before and after Aegon’s conquest
1. Arrival of the First Men in Westeros (12,000 BC)
Wars have to start somewhere, right? George R. R Martin’s conflict-ridden world started when humans first stepped into Westeros. You see, Westeros wasn’t always ruled by the Iron Throne. Before the existence of Starks, Targaryens, Lannisters, and Baratheons, the land was inhabited by the Children of the Forest. After the arrival of the First Men in Westeros in 12,000 BC, a long 2000-year war ensued between the two races, prompting the Children to create White Walkers. Ultimately, the children were no match for the ruthlessness of the Men and eventually gave up the mainland to flee to the forests.
2. The Long Night (8000 BC)
Despite the supposed defeat of the Children of the Forest at the hands of the First Men, they were still a formidable power. That changed when the White Walkers attacked. The Children and the Humans were compelled to ally themselves to fight the rampage of the White Walkers, and although they won the war, they lost themselves along the way. That was the last time the Children of the Forest were seen with any true power. It was also during this time the wall was erected in the North.
3. Doom of Valyria (100 BC)
Valyria was a city in the Essos (the continent to the east of Westeros) that was inhabited by men who could tame and ride dragons. Unfortunately for them though, their city was completely destroyed by the eruption of multiple volcanoes in an event that was immortalized as ‘The Doom of Valyria.’ The Valyrians fled to Dragonstone, a small island in Westeros.
4. Aegon Takes Over Westeros (0 AC)
Aegon, the Lord of House Targaryen at the time, with his two sister-wives and dragons, set out to conquer the West. Despite being outnumbered, the forces of the Westeros houses were no match for Targaryens and their dragons. Aegon eventually took over the Seven Kingdoms and united them under one Iron Throne. The Targaryen reign had just begun.
5. House of the Dragons (101 AC – 131 AC)
Aegon the First had his own set of family problems but for at least 200 years, the Targaryen rule on Westeros went uncontested. Aegon’s grandson Jaeherys gave the throne to his grandson Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). This marked the start of the great conflict between Viserys’ daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and son Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), which eventually led to the extinction of dragons and the downfall of Targaryens. It serves as the premise for the hit show “HoTD.”
6. Mad King (280 AC)
Years after the Dance of the Dragons, Targaryen kings came and left. However, the last Targaryen king to sit on the Iron Throne was King Aerys II Targaryen, most commonly known as the Mad King and Daenerys’s father. His rule was cruel. He liked to burn anyone who opposed him. This led to him being slain by Jamie Lannister and his throne being overtaken by Robert Baratheon, ultimately giving rise to the timeline of “Game of Thrones.”
7. Game of Thrones (298 AC)
Robert Baratheon’s reign was marked by instability, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the 9 ruling houses of Westeros. A conflict occurred between these houses as they battled for the right to claim the Iron Throne.