Complete House of the Dragon Season 1 Timeline, Explained Year by Year
House of the Dragon season 1 covers a lot of time. And it's easy to get lost amid the time jumps, changing actors, and key events that happen off-screen between episodes.
And while there is a literary canon you can refer to, it's fair to say the show's producers have played fast and loose with some aspects of it.
So, we've put together a complete House of the Dragon season 1 timeline to help you make sense of the series chronology.
Year 101 AC (After Aegon's Conquest)
The prologue to the whole season is set in the year 101 AC – that is 101 years since the start of Aegon Targaryen's conquest of Westeros.
The first scene sees King Jaehaerys' Great Council in which more than 1000 lords of Westeros gather to elect the next heir to the throne. This scene is trimmed down significantly from its literary version and features Rhaenys as the most likely challenger to Viserys.
Viserys is selected by the lords and proclaimed rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
101 AC is also the year that Prince Baelon Targaryen the only surviving son of King Jaehaerys' dies.
Following the death of Baelon, who had been the Hand of the King, Otto Hightower is named as his successor.
103 AC – 111 AC
Nothing significant took place in 102 AC, and the nine-year period between 103 AC – 111 AC is not portrayed on the show. This means that some of the events that occurred cannot be accurately dated.
However, what we do know is that 103 AC saw the death of King Jaehaerys at the age of 69 and the crowning of King Viserys I.
Viserys' brother, Prince Daemon is initially named Master of the Coin, but later has his role changed and becomes Master of the Laws.
Princess Rhaenyra, daughter of King Viserys I, bonds with the dragon Syrax, and Otto Hightower's wife passes away, but it's not made clear how this happens. Neither is that fact deemed relevant.
This is where season 1 really kicks off. Viserys is now in the ninth year of his reign. Princess Rhaenyra is 15 years old by this time, as is Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower.
Prior to the start of the episode, Viserys announces his wife, Aemma Arynn, is pregnant. Confident the baby will be a boy; he proclaims a tournament in honor of his future heir. The tournament sees Criston Cole make a name for himself by defeating Daemon Targaryen.
Prince Baelon Targaryen is subsequently born, but sadly his mother dies in childbirth. A short while later, the new prince dies, and Daemon once again becomes heir to the throne after being displaced for just a few hours.
Meanwhile, Daemon moves on to be Lord Commander of the City Watch.
And Viserys declares that Princess Rhaenyra will be the heir to the throne – the first Targaryen female to be given that honor.
Elsewhere, the Triarchy of the Free Cities of Myr, Lys, and Volantis is established and starts the process of ridding the Stepstones of pirates.
Most of episode 2 is played out in 113 AC. But as all we know is that this episode takes place six months after the events of the previous episode, it's hard to know whether some of the events took place in 113 AC or 114 AC
This confusion is compounded by the fact that we are told Rhaenyra is still 15. The princess makes Criston Cole her personal protector.
But the war in the Stepstones and Viserys' marriage to Alicent definitely takes place in 113 AC. We know this as they occur one year after the birth and death of Prince Baelon.
Pirate Craghas Drahar (Crabfeeder) forms a Triarchy colony on the Stepstones and commences plundering merchant ships.
And Daemon, who has by now given himself the title "The Prince of Dragonstone" and seized Dragonstone, joins forces with Corlys Velaryon to declare war on Crabfeeder. The Crown remains officially neutral.
Ser Ryam Redwyne, Lord Commander of the King's Guard dies and is replaced by Harold Westerling.
And Prince Aegon II, son of Alicent, is born.
Episode 3 takes place in 116 AC.
This year sees Daemon Targaryen kill Crabfeeder as the war in the Stepstones is brought to an end – but only after the Crown officially takes up arms against the pirates.
Aegon is turning 2 years old by this time, and a great hunt is held in honor of his second name day. Interestingly, literary canon states that he and Princess Helaena are two years apart in age, but she has not yet been when the episode draws to a close – even though we can assume her year of birth should be 116 AC.
This is an incident-packed year in the history of Westeros and spans two episodes – 4 and 5.
But we can surmise that it takes place early on as Alicent gives birth to Prince Aemond who we know is born a year after Helaena.
At the start of episode 5, Daemon has just arrived in the Vale, to where he has been exiled following allegations he slept with his niece. Daemon is also suspected of killing Rhea Royce in what is officially described as an accident while hunting.
And Otto is still in King's Landing even though he was relieved of his duties as Hand of the King in episode 4 and replaced by Lyonel Strong. So, we can safely assume that episode 5 takes place hot on the heels of episode 4.
This year sees the marriage of Rhaenyra and Laenor, and a pretty raucous celebration feast that lasts for days in the books but just one night in the TV show.
The feast sees Demon attend against the wishes of King Viserys who banished him from the event, and Queen Alicent sporting a bright green dress. This is the color traditionally associated with war in House Hightower.
Here we see what some view as a bit of a plot hole. When the wedding feast gets out of hand, Criston Cole beats Joffrey Lonmouth to death. Quite why he does this, and how he gets away with it, is not really addressed in the series. We can only guess that it's because Joffrey drew his knife in the presence of the princess. In the book, this attack takes place at a later date as part of a tournament, providing Criston with the 'get out of jail free card' that the killing took place in battle.
After the chaos of the wedding celebrations, the ceremony eventually takes place in secret.
Criston is later seduced by Rhaenyra. And the princess is witness to yet more violence as Willem Blackwood beats Jerrel Brackenin in a duel.
Again, these years do not feature in the series but do see some key events occur.
Rhaenyra gives birth to two children during this period, Jacaerys and Lucaerys. Both boys, along with younger brother Joffrey who will be born later in the series, bear a strong resemblance to Harwin Strong who is now Commander of the City Watch.
After a substantial time jump from episode 5, Rhaenyra's third child, Joffrey, is born and it is soon obvious he is the son of Harwin Strong.
Harwin is later dismissed from his position after assaulting Criston Cole.
Harwin is later killed alongside his father, Lyonel Strong, in the family home in Harrenhal – killed at the hands of Larys Strong who wants to see Otto Hightower reinstated as Hand of the King to strengthen Alicent's hand.
The suicide of Laena Velaryon, wife of Daemon, who begs her own dragon to kill her rather than face the death of her baby, is another significant death in this year.
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon leave King's Landing with their family and head for Dragonstone.