What Happened During the Ten-Year Time Jump?

What Happened During the Ten-Year Time Jump?

Given the incredibly complex world that George R.R. Martin has created for his Song of Ice and Fire saga, it stands to reason that adapting his novel for the screen would necessitate playing around with time. The events in Game of Thrones represented one of the most tumultuous times in the history of Westeros, and as such, the story took place over only a handful of years — six or seven, by some estimations.

House of the Dragon, which promises to tell the story of House Targaryen’s downfall, has already covered more time than its predecessor. Prior to the events of the show, the Targaryens had already been in power for over a century, which means that dismantling the family’s long-standing claim to the throne will take longer than the brief and bloody successional scraps that characterize GOT.


Between House of the Dragon episode five, “We Light the Way,” and episode 6, “The Princess and the Queen,” ten years had elapsed. During that period, tensions have only continued to grow in Westeros, and House Targaryen seems more unstable than it has ever been. It’s highly unlikely that another decade (or even a year) will pass before some kind of conflict rocks the Kingdom.

Here’s what happened between recent episodes of House of the Dragon.

Princess Rhaenyra Gave Birth to Several Potential Heirs

Princess Rhaenyra was reluctant to marry at all and was particularly disinterested in marrying Laenor Valeryon. Nevertheless, their union went forward, and ten years later, Rhaneyra gave birth to three children, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey. However, it is a poorly kept secret throughout the Kingdom that the true father of the boys is Ser Harwin Strong.

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Queen Alicent Hightower also had more children during the time jump. Her oldest, Aegon, would be next in line for the throne if it weren’t for the fact that King Viserys had already appointed Princess Rhaenyra as his heir. Alicent and Rhaneyra’s relationship has continued to sour over the years. It seems increasingly likely that the Queen will support her son’s ascension, which would inevitably lead to internal conflict in the Kingdom.

Daemon Has Remarried and Established Himself as a Powerful Ruler Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

After having his proposed marriage to Princess Rhaneyra rejected and secretly traveling across Westeros to assassinate his wife, Lady Rhea Royce, Prince Dameon was remarried to Laena Velaryon, and they have two daughters. During “The Princess and the Queen,” Laena struggles will give birth to the couple’s first son, but the infant dies during her complicated childbirth. Overcome with grief, Laena commits suicide by having her dragon burn her.

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Despite his wife’s untimely death, Daemon is unlikely to even miss a step of his constant march toward power. A powerful Pentosi leader offers Daemon a lordship if he once again travels to the Stepstones to fight the Triarchy. They have re-established themselves in the years since Daemon’s victory against the Crabfeeder.

The Health of King Viserys I Continues to Decline Paddy Considine as King Viserys I in House of the Dragon

Throughout House of the Dragon, King Viserys has been increasingly enfeebled by an unknown disease. At the end of “We Light the Way,” King Viserys I collapses to the ground, and it seems as if the issue of his succession will become an issue sooner than audiences expected. However, the King is still alive after the time jump, though he seems barely able to walk under his own power, and his skin has taken on a sickly gray pallor.

The death of a King or Queen always brings about a time of uncertainty in Westeros. Fans of the franchise recall the power vacuum that emerged after the death of Robert Baratheon and the scores of royals who died over the course of Game of Thrones. The issue of King Viserys’s succession is still a sensitive subject in the Kingdom, and it’s difficult to imagine that he will be able to fight off his disease for much longer, which means that an ascension struggle is just around the corner.

A lot of time has already passed in House of the Dragon. Prior to the recent decennial time skip, the show jumped forward three years between “The Rogue Prince” and “Second of His Name.” The series promises to tell the story of House Targaryen’s downfall, so there will likely be even more time travel in future installments. However, it seems like the rest of season one will take place in around the same era that is established in “The Princess and the Queen.” The history of Westeros, though it is often defined by epic battles and the deaths of important figures, is long and storied and can only be accurately portrayed as commencing over long periods of time.