Can Targaryens See The Future In House Of The Dragon? Dragon Dreams Explained

In "Game of Thrones," Daenerys Targaryen was a marvel: as the Mother of Dragons and the last-known descendant of Westeros' conquerors, it's no wonder she commanded armies and ruled over cities. She was one-of-a-kind, with her distinctive silver hair and inability to be burned by fire. But on "House of the Dragon," Kings Landing is basically overrun with Targaryens. And don't even get me started on all the dragons. When the prequel series begins, the royal family is at the height of their power, ruling the seven kingdoms uncontested by anyone except each other. So what exactly is it that makes the Targaryens so special?

The world of Westeros certainly has a guess. In the series premiere, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) points out that their family is worshipped by commonfolk, who consider them "closer to Gods than to men." But she also argues that it has more to do with their dragons than with the Targaryens themselves.

She makes a solid point — their dragon prowess is quite literally how they came to forge the Iron Throne. But it goes a little deeper than just having the bravery to saddle up the fire-breathing beasts. Having descended from the Dragonriders of Old Valyria, the Targaryens are connected to their dragons in a way that no one else can mimic. And being able to ride dragons is just one of their bloodline perks: evidently, another perk is the Targaryen's ability to see the future.

Prophecies, visions, and dragon dreams, oh my

First thing's first — this isn't our first time encountering prophecies in the world of Westeros. "Game of Thrones" featured several characters who could peek into the future, including greenseers like Jojen Reed, Bran Stark, and The Three Eyed Raven. We also brushed up against a witch (who predicted the death of Cersei's children), the mysterious Quaithe (who gave Jorah some vague riddles about Daenerys future), and of course, there was Melisandre (whose hobbies include staring into the fire, birthing demons, and burning children).

Most notably is Daenerys' brief stroll through the House of the Undying, where she saw a vision of the charred remains of the Red Keep. Though we didn't know it at the time, that quiet scene foretold her inevitable fate to never actually sit the Iron Throne, despite being close enough to finally seize it. So yes, even in Westeros, fantasy fortune tellers are a dime a dozen, but for the Targaryens, it usually looks a little different.

What are dragon dreams?

The Targaryen's particular brand of premonitions have been dubbed dragon dreams. As the "blood of the dragon," some Targaryens possess the ability to see prophecies in their dreams. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) references this in the series premiere of "House of the Dragon," calling back to his ancestor, Daenys Targaryen, who had a dream about the destruction of Valyria. Trusting that vision, her father Lord Aenar Targaryen moved their entire family to Dragonstone, which would eventually become the ancestral seat of the Targaryens. When The Doom of Valyria came 12 years later, Daenys was proven right.

If you're wondering why Daenerys never got prophetic dreams of her own, then simply turn to the books. Though it's not included in the series, Daenerys gets plenty of vague glimpses at the future in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice." Before her wedding to Drogo, she sees visions of a black dragon saving her from her abusive brother, Viserys. Before she conquers Slavers Bay, she dreamt of defeating an army clad in ice. So obviously these dreams do come with an irritating drawback: they're vague and open to interpretation. A dragon doesn't actually arrive to save Dany from her brother; it's when her own inner dragon awakens that Viserys meets his downfall. And as for the army of ice, Dany assumes she will later defeat the armies of Westeros but more likely, the dream represents her battle against the Night King.

Did King Viserys have a dragon dream?

While "Game of Thrones" decided to ignore the Targaryen's prophetic tendencies, "House Of The Dragon" has clearly opted to embrace them. To be fair, it's a lot harder to ignore such a significant ability when there are many more Targaryens milling around. But it also makes for an ominous addition to the story. In the first episode alone, two different dreams are referenced. The first comes from King Viserys himself, who is quite literally distracted by his dreams of having a son. While Aemma (​​ Sian Brooke) awaits labor after a long and painful pregnancy, she tries to temper her husband's expectations — reminding him that they can't know the sex of the child until after it's born. But Viserys claims that he knows she'll give birth to a son because he saw it in a dream.

"The dream was clearer than a memory. Our son was born wearing Aegon's iron crown. And I heard the sound of thundering hooves, splintering shields, and ringing swords. And I placed our son upon the Iron Throne as the bells of the grand sept tolled. And all the dragons roared as one."

Here's the problem: not all Targaryen dreams are prophetic. Viserys, dude, sometimes they're just dreams.

Sadly, Viserys learns not to put so much stock in his nighttime fantasies by the end of the episode — and he learns that the hard way. While Aemma did in fact give birth to a son, the fact that he didn't live long enough to sit the Iron Throne really kills the joy. Maybe Viserys' dreams are never prophetic or maybe this was just a regular dream. Or maybe he was on to something after all.

Aegon's dream of conquest

Interpretation is everything. Just because things didn't go as Viserys assumed they would, doesn't mean his dream was insignificant. Splintering shields and ringing swords? Based on all the tension festering within this family, it's quite possible that all of this will come to pass in a way he didn't expect. Or maybe it already has.

King Viserys is also the one to share the second dragon dream of the episode, but this one is credited to Aegon the Conqueror. Thanks to a dream that the conqueror dubbed A Song of Fire And Ice, the Targaryens knew about the Long Night decades before the Others began their assault on the North. "Ambition alone is not what drove [Aegon] to conquest," Viserys tells Rhaenyra. "It was a dream."

"Just as Daenys foresaw the end of Valyria, Aegon foresaw the end of the world of men. It is to begin with a terrible winter, gusting out of the distant north. Aegon saw absolute darkness riding on those winds. And whatever dwells within will destroy the world of the living."

The weight of this prophecy was so powerful that it drove Aegon to conquer a kingdom. Passed down from one ruler to the next, it has continued to drive the Targeryens to rule Westeros — little do they know that this apocalyptic scenario is 200 years away from happening. While Aegon's prophecy won't be proven within their lifetime, we know his dream to be true. If anything, this is just proof that we should pay razor-sharp attention to any other prophecies that these Targaryens dream up.