With Episode 2, House of the Dragon officially got opening credits, and wow did they bring back memories.
Using the same theme music and visual style as Game of Thrones, the credits take us on a journey through Targaryen family history, with LOTS of symbolism thrown in. Let’s take a deep dive into them…
First up, we don’t get a good look at the overall structure that’s being “built” until towards the end of the credits, but when we do, we can see it’s a model of Old Valyria that looks a lot like the one Viserys has in his room.
Running throughout the structure are bloodlines that turn out to be connections on the Targaryen family tree. We follow them through the line of succession, pausing at cogs that contain the symbols of different Targaryens, most notably the rulers.
The blood is interesting on a number of levels. In addition to forming a family tree, the use of blood reflects the importance of blood ties to the Targaryen family (*cough* all that incest), and the way blood is a central part of their magic — their words, after all, are “Fire and Blood.”
Okay, now onto the symbols we see throughout. The first one we see represents Aegon the Conquerer — that’s his crown in front of a depiction of the Doom of Valyria.
We saw Tyrion and Ser Jorah pass through the still-smoking ruins of the city in Season 5 of Game of Thrones.
Back to the House of the Dragon credits. The blood spills from Aegon’s symbol and branches off to two other cogs, which likely represent his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys (not to be confused with Rhaenys Velaryon, Corlys’ wife in House of the Dragon).
We follow the blood that runs through what appears to be the symbol of Rhaenys, Aegon’s younger sister — this is the bloodline that the “current” Targaryens we see in House of the Dragon are descended from.
It leads down to a crown symbol that appears to represent Aenys I, the son of Aegon and Rhaenys, who inherited the Iron Throne upon Aegon’s death.
From Aenys, the blood flows to and connects two symbols, which seem to represent Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, Aenys’s children with his wife Alyssa Velaryon, who married and became king and queen*.
As a reminder, Jaehaerys I was the Old King we saw at the beginning of the first episode of House of the Dragon.
Jaehaerys and his sister-wife, Alysanne, had A LOT of kids between them — 13, to be exact, although only nine reached adulthood — which is represented in the House of the Dragon credits by their joined blood branching off into many different directions.
We follow two branches, which turn out to be connected to cogs that seem to represent Baelon and Alyssa Targaryen, two of Jaehaerys and Alysanne’s children who married each other.
Their bloodlines join and then branch off into two, which are Viserys I and Daemon.
Yes, we’ve reached the characters we know and love (or hate, depending on your perspective) in House of the Dragon.
We then closely follow one of these streams, which turns out, of course, to connect to Viserys’ crown symbol.
It’s not shown clearly in the credits, but if you’re wondering how Rhaenys Velaryon fits into all of this, she is the daughter of Aemon Targaryen (one of Jaehaerys’ sons) and Jocelyn Baratheon, who in turn, was the daughter of Alyssa Velaryon (Jaehaerys’ mother) with her second husband, Rogar Baratheon, who she married after the death of her first husband Aenys I.
Back to Viserys’s bloodline, and we can see it branches out from his cog in two directions — depicting his marriage to Aemma Arryn, but also foreshadowing his connection with Alicent and his child(ren) with her.
But in these credits, we follow his bloodline with Aemma, whose cog fills with blood, seemingly indicating her death.
Viserys and Aemma’s bloodline flows down to a symbol that clearly represents Rhaenyra.
The cog contains the same design that appears on the Valyrian steel necklace Daemon gave Rhaenyra in Episode 1.
The blood then shoots off in two separate directions from Rhaenyra (non-book readers, time to start speculating!), but we don’t follow it at this point.
Instead, we see a fresco that appears to depict the Dance of the Dragons — you can see the sigils of many of the noble houses of Westeros below two dragons that seem to be fighting.
This is when we then move to the shot of the Valyria model from above, with the Targaryen blood running all through it before spilling down into the three-headed dragon that is the sigil of House Targaryen.
There are other bloodlines and cogs that can be seen in the background throughout the credits, and I can take some educated guesses on who they might be, but at this stage, it’s probably best to avoid spoilers and leave them in the background — there’s a good chance, like Game of Thrones, the credits will evolve and highlight different points of interest to match the story as it progresses.
What did you think of the new House of the Dragon opening credits?