Fire and Blood: The (Spoiler-Free) Game of Thrones Family Tree

By Andrew Koch

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The complicated Game of Thrones family tree only adds more and more twists and turns as the series goes on.
This Game of Thrones family tree shows the four most important houses at the show’s beginning: Stark, Targaryen, Lannister and Baratheon. Grey text indicates a person who died before the events of the first episode.

Winter is coming. But the complicated web of families in the popular series “Game of Thrones” can be confusing for those who haven’t kept up with the goings-on in Westeros. Here are the most prominent houses in the Game of Thrones family tree. (No spoilers!)

Some quick background: Several years before the series begins, Robert Baratheon and his allies (including his old friend, Eddard “Ned” Stark) seized the Iron Throne from Aerys “The Mad King” Targaryen. In the first episode, Robert and his family visit the Starks at their home in Winterfell.

The Starks of Winterfell

Arguably the most important family in the series, the Starks have lived in the North of Westeros for generations. Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark and his wife Catelyn (née Tully) have five children:


  • Robb, a sullen, dutiful teenager
  • Sansa, a naïve preteen
  • Arya, a tomboy
  • Bran, an adventurous boy
  • Rickon, a toddler

Along with these five, Ned and Catelyn also raised Theon Greyjoy. Several years before the series, Theon’s father raided and plundered villages in the North. Robert and Ned’s forces beat him back to the sea, and Ned took Theon as his ward as a form of tribute.

The children of Ned and Catelyn Stark are among the most important characters in the Game of Thrones family tree.
The Stark family tree includes many of the series’ most important characters, such as Ned Stark, Jon Snow and Arya Stark.

The couple also raised another boy, Jon. Given the surname “Snow,” Jon is Ned’s illegitimate son. Though many have pressed him, Ned has never commented on the identity of Jon’s mother, nor on the affair that led to Jon’s birth. Not even Catelyn knows any details, and she resents Jon because of Ned’s infidelity.

The show and book series mostly focus on Ned Stark and his children. But Ned’s siblings and father also played an important role in setting up the series. Years before the first episode, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen allegedly kidnapped Ned’s sister, Lyanna. Ned’s father (Rickard) and brother (Brandon) rushed to the king’s court to demand her release, only to be murdered by Aerys “The Mad King” Targaryen. The incident sparked Robert’s Rebellion, and Lyanna died under mysterious circumstances soon after.


Ned also has a younger brother named Benjen. Benjen became a brother of the Night’s Watch, an order of soldiers sworn to protect Westeros’ northern border.

The Lannisters of Casterly Rock

Tywin Lannister heads the wealthy House Lannister. A powerful family ruling the western part of the country, the Lannisters hold considerable influence in King Robert’s court. Tywin has three children:

  • Jaime, a fabled knight (best known for killing “The Mad King”) and member of the king’s personal guard
  • Cersei, Robert Baratheon’s cunning wife
  • Tyrion, a snarky, boozing intellectual
Tywin and his three children often serve as antagonists to the Starks. The Stark-Lannister rivalry is an important part of the series.
House Lannister, with its motto “Hear me roar,” does whatever it takes to survive.

Jaime and Cersei are twins, and rumors abound about their close relationship to each other. Tywin’s wife, Joanna, died while giving birth to Tyrion—and Tywin loathes Tyrion as a result.

The Baratheons of Storm’s End

King Robert Baratheon has ruled Westeros since he and Ned Stark overthrew “The Mad King,” Aerys Targaryen, roughly 15 years before the series’ beginning. After the conflict, Robert married Cersei Lannister. Together, they have three children: the arrogant and cruel Joffrey, the kind Myrcella and the infant Tommen.

The Baratheon line of the Game of Thrones family tree harbors dangerous secrets.
Robert Baratheon sits on the Iron Throne as king of Westeros. But is his claim to the throne as secure as it seems?

But something seems odd. Generations of Baratheons have had jet-black hair, but Robert’s children with Cersei are all blond. The first episode’s final scene raises questions about the children’s true parentage.

Robert also has two brothers: Renly and Stannis. Since Robert’s Rebellion, stern Stannis has dwelled offshore, while the fun-loving Renly serves as a member of Robert’s court.

The Targaryens of Dragonstone

Far across the sea, siblings Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen struggle to survive. Children of the dethroned Aerys and his sister-wife, Rhaella, they were forced to flee as young children. Viserys schemes to raise an army and take back the Iron Throne. In exchange for military support, Viserys forces Daenerys to marry Drogo, a powerful khal (chief).

You'll find many empty branches in the once-powerful Targaryen family tree.
Fan-favorite Daenerys Targaryen and her brother, Viserys, are the only living members of their house.

All of Viserys and Daenerys’ family members were killed following their father’s forced abdication. Their eldest brother, Rhaegar, was heir apparent to the Iron Throne when he allegedly kidnapped Lyanna Stark. As stated above, the incident sparked Robert’s Rebellion, which in turn led to the family’s demise.

The Targaryen Family Tree: How is Daenerys Related to House of the Dragon?

In 2022, HBO released a new series that profiles a previous era of Targaryen rule. Set four generations after the Targaryen dynasty first conquered Westeros (and some 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones), House of the Dragon features King Viserys I, his daughter Rhaenyra, and his younger brother Daemon.

How are the characters in House of the Dragon related to Daenerys? Viserys I is Daenerys’ seventh-great-grandfather. Rhaenyra is her sixth-great-grandmother, and Daemon is her sixth-great-grand-uncle. (The Targaryens famously intermarry cousins and even siblings, so Daenerys is likely related to those characters in other ways as well.)

Hungry for more? Fans of the original book series, titled A Song of Ice and Fire, can look to the back of each book to find descendancy charts that will help you keep all these characters straight.

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