House of the Dragon’s season 1 timeline can be a hard to keep straight. There are plenty of places on the internet to find detailed canon timelines for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, but House of the Dragon’s timeline takes a number of creative liberties that could leave uninitiated audience members or even those familiar with the original timeline feeling lost.
From the reign of King Jaehaerys to the start of the civil war that would become known as The Dance of the Dragons, House of the Dragon covers more ground in the first season than Game of Thrones had for its entire series run. With such a long span of time covered, many things inevitably happen offscreen and between episodes. While it is impossible to precisely pinpoint the time of these events, using the canon literary timeline along with context clues given in the episodes, this timeline gives the closest approximation possible for all events occurring both on and offscreen.
There are times when the canon literary timeline is, of course, not applicable to the show’s events. The showrunner’s choice to bring Alicent and Rhaenerya closer in age, for example, renders much of the specifics in the literary canon’s timeline moot. Even so, the time between events in the show largely aligns with the literary timeline, even if the dates of the events differ. Here’s a definitive timeline for all the major events from season 1 of the HBO series House of the Dragon, with all events for each year in approximate order of occurrence.
The year 101 AC – AC representing the number of years since the beginning of Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros – is the first seen on the show, making its way into the prologue scene portraying King Jaehaerys’ Great Council. The show greatly streamlines this scene from the source material, electing to not mention any other claimants for Jaehaerys’ heir other than Viserys and Rhaenys. In the source material, it was not Rhaenys, but her son Laenor Velaryon who was put forth as Viserys’ greatest challenge to the throne. The show most likely elected on focusing on Rhaenys rather than Laenor to build up her character and draw stronger parallels between her and Rhaenyra.
Years 103 to 111 AC are not portrayed on the show. The exact dates of some of these events are impossible to know definitively, but adjusting from the literary timeline, these dates are the most logical. (Note: There were no significant recorded events in 102 AC).
112 AC marks the beginning of the show proper. By this time, Viserys is in the ninth year of his reign and his daughter, Rhaenyra, is 15 years old as is Otto Hightower’s daughter, Alicent. While the first three events listed below occur before the time that the episode occurs, the rest of the events all occur within just a few days of each other during the episode.
Episode 2 of House of the Dragon largely occurs in the year 113 AC. Because House of the Dragon only states that the second episode occurs six months after the events of the first it is difficult to determine if all of these events strictly fall within 113 or if some occur in the tail end of 112 AC. This is complicated further when Rhanenyra’s age is explicitly stated to still be 15. However, the war in the Stepstones and Viserys’ marriage to Alicent happen the following year in the literary timeline from Baelon’s death, so they have been placed in 113 for the show’s timeline. Meanwhile, Prince Aegon, born in 107 AC in the literary timeline, is born some seven years later in House of the Dragon in 114.
116 AC covers the events of season 1, episode 3. Major events include the war with the Stepstones coming to an end with the death of early season villain, Crabfeeder, at the hands of Daemon Targaryen and a great hunt to honor Aegon’s second name day. Princes Helaena is not yet born in episode 3, however, literary canon places her and Aegon two years apart in age, making 116 her logical birth year.
The House of the Dragon timeline gets very tricky in episodes 4 and 5, which occur in 117 AC, a very busy year for HoTD. The amount of time between episodes 3 and 4 is unclear, but based on the proximity of the ending of the war of the Stepstones to Daemon’s return and the conception of Aemond Targaryen, born one year after his sister Helaena, is shown, epsiode 4 likely takes place early in 117. A number of clues suggest that episode 5 takes place shortly after the conclusion of episode 4. Daemon appears to have just arrived in the Vale and Otto Hightower still has not left King’s Landing despite being removed from his position the episode prior.
There are multiple differences in continuity between the literary and show timeline, including the death of Rhea Royce, who is killed some years earlier while the war in the Stepstones is still ongoing in the books’ timeline. Here Daemon is already back from the war, making his hand in her demise far more explicit. Another major change comes in the wedding festivities for Rhaenyra and Laenor’s marriage. The show heavily condenses what are several days’ worth of events in the books into one very messy dinner feast. It’s never fully explained what reason was given to excuse Criston Cole’s savage beating of Joffrey Lonmouth, but the most likely explanation is that Cole’s actions were excused because Joffrey drew a knife in the presence of the princess.
While it is not portrayed on the show, based on age differences in the literary timeline, it can be inferred that Rhaenyra gives birth to her first child, Jacaerys Velaryon, this year and her second, Lucaerys, two years later in 226. The boys, like their younger brother Joffrey to follow, suspiciously favor the looks of the Commander of the City Watch, Harwin Strong, rather than their father.
227 AC covers the events of House of the Dragon episode 6. Following a large time jump since episode 5, Rhaenyra is first seen giving birth to her third child, Joffrey. It is clear very quickly that Joffrey is not truly the son of Rhaenyra’s husband, Laenor, but rather Harwin Strong. Other major events in 227 include the suicide of Daemon’s wife, Laena Velaryon, and the deaths of Harwin and Lyonel Strong at Harrenhal, both killed in a fire set by agents of their kin, Larys Strong. Larys had his father and brother killed with the objective of returning Otto Hightower to his position of Hand of the King and strengthening Alicent’s power at court.
House of the Dragon releases new episodes Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.
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