Historical events

‘House of the Dragon’ is based on real historical events

Dragon House is one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2022. It takes place 200 years before the game of thrones series set in the same world and explores the history of the Targaryen family. Although Westeros, where the show takes place, is a high-fantasy setting, the events taking place there were inspired by real historical events.


Creation of the “House of the Dragon”

The world of Westeros was created by author George RR Martin, in his Song of Ice and Fire series of books. He also wrote Fire & Blood, a separate novel from the main series, in 2018. This book details the world hundreds of years before the main series and serves as the basis for House of the Dragon. The television series begins with family disputes over the succession of royal lineage in an era known as the “Dance of the Dragons”.

Advertisement still from season 1, episode 1 of Dragon House on HBO. (Photo credit: michaella92/HBO/MovieStillsDB)

The two main contenders for the throne are Viserys, played by Paddy Considine, and Rhaenys, played by Emma D’Arcy, both grandchildren of the reigning King Jaehaerys. Viserys is chosen as the next heir as the Kingdom has never had a female ruler before. At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Martin went into detail about the real-world events that inspired his spinoff book and TV series, and the similarities are clear.

The anarchy

According to Martin, it was inspired by “The Anarchy”, a civil war in England and Normandy that took place between 1138 and 1153. The conflict was sparked by King Henry I of England naming his daughter Mathilde as his heiress after the death of his son. the Channel. He asked the lords of the country to swear loyalty to him, which they conveniently forgot when Henry died.

Color film still of Matt Smith wearing armor and helmet, carrying a spear.

Advertisement still from season 1, episode 1 of Dragon House on HBO, with Matt Smith playing Daemon Targaryen. (Photo credit: yassi/HBO/MovieStillsDB)

“They said oh, that doesn’t apply, because here comes his cousin Stephen who crosses the Channel quickly and steals the treasure, and gets himself crowned king, and you’ve entered a period called The Anarchy where Maud, or Matilda as she was known, and Stephen fought [for] a decade, two decades, whatever – it got awful and bloody,” Martin explained. Succession issues, and possible civil war, are very similar to succession issues in House of the Dragon.

‘Game of Thrones’ was also inspired by the story

This series is not the first that Martin has created with historical inspiration. He also said that game of thrones was inspired by the English War of the Roses. As with The Anarchy, it was a conflict created over issues of succession. The Lancaster and York families felt they deserved the crown of England. The result was a complicated 32-year conflict that ended in victory for House Tudor.

Black and white drawing of horses and knights in a battle.

The Battle of Towton during the Wars of the Roses, 1461. (Photo credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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The actual events of the war served as the basis for the series’ major conflicts, particularly between the Lannisters and the Starks, and the War of the Five Kings. There are also other characters in the series who can be linked to historical figures, such as Daenerys Targaryen and Henry Tudor, and Ned Stark and Richard of York.