Are you bored of playing all the family board games? Are you tired of having nothing to do but the same old past-times? I recommend watching Game of Thrones, or rather, GoT! You have probably heard of this world-famous top-grossing show on HBO that just recently concluded with its eighth and final season. Based on the award-winning series by George R. R. Martin, this show holds a special place in the list of most-viewed TV shows. It is an amalgamation of the highest order of suspense, drama, fantasy, and romance. In this article, you shall come across all the major players in the competition for the famed Iron Throne, and their positions in their own GoT family trees.
Complete List of Game of Thrones Family Tree
Some things to know before we get to the real plot: Before the timeline shown in the series, the House of Targaryen ruled over Westeros. Nearly 300 years after the beginning of the Targaryen regime, a great civil war, known commonly as ‘Robert’s Rebellion,’ took place. Angered by the rape and subsequent death of his lady love, Lord Robert Baratheon of Storm’s End, along with his supporters, planned to overthrow the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, and end his bloodline once and for all. In the end, Robert manages to defeat and kill Crown Prince Rhaegar, while a Knight of the Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister of Casterly Rock, turned on his King and stabbed him in the back, single-handedly saving the capital from the King’s plans of arson. Unfortunately, as he had been forced to break his oath, Jaime became known scornfully as the Kingslayer or the Oathbreaker. Robert became King of Westeros after the Rebellion. He killed all the remaining Targaryens, including Rhaegar’s young daughter and infant son, not knowing that Rhaegar’s younger brother, Viserys, and their pregnant mother had escaped the sword of the Usurper King. The former Queen gave birth to a baby girl during a storm, before passing away, leaving young Viserys to care for himself and his newborn sister. Robert later married, for a political alliance, Cersei Lannister, who was Jaime’s older twin sister and held dark secrets of her own. Now, let’s get to know about the four major families of GoT in detail:
House Stark Of Winterfell
The House words of House Stark are “Winter is Coming,” the words which are repeated throughout the book and has a hidden meaning. Their sigil, the Direwolf, represents the Starks. They believe in sticking together, like a pack, and that strength lies in unity.
Controversially, this is the leading family of GoT. Winterfell, the Northernmost Kingdom of Westeros’ 7 kingdoms, is where our story starts. Winterfell had been the home of the Starks since before the Targaryen rule. Now they are Lords; then they were Kings. The Kings of the North. Ever since a Stark ancestor bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror, the Starks became steadfast supporters of the Royals, despite their distance from all the action in the Southern capital, King’s Landing. That all changed during the Rebellion, when Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark joined Robert in taking down the Mad King, for it was his sister, Lyanna, who had been raped and killed by the Crown Prince. Ned was also angry at the fact that his older brother and father had been killed by the Mad King himself when they protested to Lyanna’s capture.
After the Rebellion, Ned returned to Winterfell and married (as per tradition) Catelyn Tully of Riverrun, who had been formally betrothed to his brother. Together, they had five children: Robb, the oldest and the heir; Sansa, the perfect young lady with dreams of being royalty; Arya, the not-so-perfect lady who longs to be a warrior; Bran, the boy who loves to have adventures high up on the rooftops; and Rickon, the toddler.
In addition, Theon Greyjoy, the former heir of the Iron Islands, was raised by Lord and Lady Stark as their ward after the defeat of his father during the Rebellion.
Another member of the house, though not officially, is Jon Snow, the famous illegitimate child of Ned Stark. Greatly skilled with a sword, Jon longs to prove himself and joins the Night’s Watch at the Wall to do just that. The constant curtness shown to him by Lady Stark is also a factor in this serious decision because once joined, it is not possible to leave the Watch.
Stark’s younger brother, Benjen, was also a ‘crow’ of the Night’s Watch, an order of trained soldiers tasked with protecting Westeros from what lies beyond the Northern Wall: uncivilized Wildlings and something else. Something a lot more dark and dangerous, that is waking up after a long sleep.
House Lannister of Casterly Rock
Perhaps one of the most influential families of Westeros, House Lannister has produced several top players in the Game of Thrones. They are the Wardens of the West, just as the Starks were the Wardens of the North. They, too, are descended from Kings. They are the Lords of Casterly Rock and a family that values wealth, cunning, and duty to family above most other qualities. A popular phrase in the 7 Kingdoms is “Rich as a Lannister,” originating from the fact that Lannisters are the wealthiest family in Westeros, who even give loans to other houses and the King. Lannisters always pay their debts, and their House words are “Hear Me Roar,” which is not hard because of Lannisters roar very loudly. As you might have guessed, their sigil is the noble lion on a scarlet background.
The Lord of the House, currently, is Lord Tywin Lannister. He single-handedly gained the respect and fear of every citizen in Westeros and pulled his family to a position of power and influence that is beyond even the King’s own House. A brilliant tactician and master manipulator, Tywin is one of the most gifted people in the Game. He seeks to put his family on the throne, which is one of the reasons he married his daughter to King Robert. Even before the Rebellion, Tywin had promised young Cersei to Prince Rhaegar, before he married Elia Martell of Dorne.
Tywin, by his late wife Joanna, fathered three children by the names of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. Although dismissed for being a girl, Cersei is much more like her father than anyone can know. She, too, desires her throne. After marrying Robert, she gave birth to 3 children of her own: Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella. She is the oldest of her siblings, though she and Jaime are twins. She used to be infatuated with Rhaegar, but she eventually gave that up when the Rebellion started, and Tywin aligned himself with the other side. She loves her children more than anything else and is almost obsessively attached to them. She despises her husband and doesn’t hesitate to express her disgust over his drinking habits and his regular visits to brothels. Cersei longs to be a Queen in her own right. A Regnant. She shares a rather unconventional relationship with her twin brother Jaime but hates her little brother Tyrion because of the fact that his birth caused Joanna’s death.
Jaime Lannister is right up there with Jon Snow in the list of master swordsmen. He was a Knight of the Mad King’s Kingsguard before he killed him, earning himself the demeaning title, ‘Kingslayer.’ After Robert’s coronation, Jaime was selected as one of his Kingsguard as well. Although his father disliked Jaime’s decision in this matter to give Casterly Rock up for a life of servitude to the King, Jaime could not be dissuaded. While he is known to make harsh and cruel decisions sometimes, Jaime does all he does for the people he loves. He has also been known to be selfless many times and is usually on his best behavior when he is away from his sister. He is a character that, throughout the series, has maintained a magnificent redemption arc and is one of the most interesting characters. Despite his father’s and sister’s scorn for his little brother, Jaime makes it a point to care for Tyrion, and the affection between the two brothers is clear.
That brings us to the youngest sibling, Tyrion Lannister. Not only did his birth cause Joanna to die, but Tyrion was also born a dwarf. Both these reasons caused his father to hate him, and her sorrow over her mother’s loss caused Cersei to dislike him as well. Although born a noble, Tyrion was never shown the respect owed to a Lord. He was constantly belittled and called names like ‘the Imp.’ An expert with words and an exceptional politician, Tyrion could have carried on his father’s legacy if Tywin had put away his bitterness for a while. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and Tyrion grew to hate his father as well. Tyrion’s advice to “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you” still resonates within Jon Snow’s and the fans’ minds.
House Baratheon of Storm’s End
Underrated in the Game Of Thrones Family Trees, House Baratheon is, in fact, very powerful. Their sigil is the crowned stag, and their words are “Ours is the Fury.” This house was founded three centuries ago, during the conquest, by Orys Baratheon, the bastard brother of Aegon the Conqueror, after the defeat of Argilac the Arrogant who was the last King of Storm’s End.
Currently, the members of the House are the three Baratheon brothers and their children.
First is King Robert Baratheon, who headed the Rebellion and killed Prince Rhaegar. He has three children by Cersei Lannister: Joffrey, the spoilt and cruel Crown Prince, Myrcella, the sweet and gentle princess, and Tommen, the youngest.
Robert has two younger brothers by the names of Stannis and Renly. Stannis Baratheon was named Lord of Dragonstone, while Renly rules the Stormlands.
House Targaryen of Dragonstone
Last but not the least in the Game Of Thrones Family Trees, is the ancient Valyrian House of Targaryen. Long ago, a few years before Doom of Old Valyria, a Targaryen Lady named Daenerys, commonly referred to as Daenerys the Dreamer, foresaw the destruction to come in a dream. Her lord’s father heeded her warning, and their family moved to the island lying to the south of Westeros, Dragonstone. Then, the Doom happened, and the Targaryens became the last Dragonlords, and one of the only two remaining families descended from Valyria, the other being House Velaryon of Driftmark. The Targaryens stayed the Lords of Dragonstone until Aegon’s Conquest, when King Aegon I Targaryen set about on his mission to conquer all of Westeros, earning him the title ‘Aegon the Conquerer.’ He is credited with being the first King of all the seven kingdoms and for creating the Iron Throne from the melted weapons of his enemies.
As obvious, the Targaryen sigil is the Three-Headed Dragon, representing Aegon and his two sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys. Their house words are the fearsome “Fire and Blood.”
After the Mad King’s death and Crown Prince Rhaegar’s defeat, Robert Baratheon executed all members of the Targaryen bloodline, including Rhaegar’s young daughter and infant son. However, Robert was unaware of the fact that two members managed to escape. They were none other than Rhaegar’s younger brother, Viserys, and the Mad King’s pregnant wife, Queen Rhaella Targaryen.
Daenerys Targaryen was born on the night of the greatest storm in recent history, in a grueling birth that took her mother’s life. Viserys and the baby Daenerys fled to Essos, where they lived with as low a profile as possible, to escape the Usurper King’s assassins. During this time, Viserys grew obsessed with taking back the Iron Throne and reigning over the 7 Kingdoms. He became convinced that his little sister was the way to achieve this, and married her off to a renowned warlord named Khal Drogo of the Dothraki in exchange for helping him secure the Crown. In the end, he got what he wanted, and Daenerys became the Khaleesi of that particular Dothraki clan. After several trials and tribulations, she, too, became a powerful player in the Game of Thrones. She was determined to not only claim her birthright but to break the cycle of Mad Kings, and fix her forefathers’ mistakes. Some Final Words I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you are now more knowledgeable about the vast and mysterious world of Game of Thrones. If you are interested in finding out how this Song of Ice and Fire ends, then I urge you to watch the show. It is available on several platforms, and it is a great way to spend time with your friends and significant others. Add this to your fun-play list along with various family games and family guy games.