What’s going on with the very blonde Targaryen hair?
If nothing else, HBO game of thrones spin off house of dragons seems to have passed sell sunset as the blondest show currently on television. The series could very well have stolen the name of Bob Dylan’s album blonde on blonde if all the inter-twhead drama of its early episodes is any indication of what’s to come.
But there was something a little distracting (if not disturbing) about so many people with the same basic hairstyle (some of which seemed to be the result of questionable wig work) trotting around. Some of the actors are clearly better suited to pull off this particular nuance than others. Matt Smith, who did quite a handsome Dr. Who, is made almost Habsburg by his all-blonde makeover (although, given that the Habsburgs were an incest-happy royal bloodline, that makes some sense).
We assume that was bound to happen when you’re telling a story about the first generations of House Targaryen, but it also feels like the kind of style choice a production would never make if it weren’t encumbered by the pre-existing lore of George RR Martin. Still, we had a few questions: for example, are we doomed to 5 or 6 more seasons with an increasing number of random blondes? Is it even possible for a Targaryen to be brown? Does bleach exist in Westeros? We’ve decided to take a hair-focused bath back into Obtained mythos, which ended up serving as a helpful reminder to casual fans about things we may have overlooked.
It all started with Daenerys (and Emilia Clarke)
Daenerys Targaryen was very obviously introduced as a major character early in the series, one who viewers are led to believe could very well be the “chosen one” of the story. Similar to Harry Potter and his scar or, frankly, Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s own dirty blonde hair, it only made sense to give her a distinctive physical trait shared only by her family to set her apart.
In the books, the Targaryens are actually described as having lilac eyes with hair so blond it was actually silver. The producers of the TV series felt that an actual silver blonde wig didn’t translate well to screen and made actress Emilia Clarke look a little washed out. So instead, they chose a very light blonde hair shade that particularly suited her. Now half the House of Dragons cast have to walk around in Emilia’s flattering shade. Those purple eyes were also removed for similar reasons.
But why are all Targaryens blonde in the real story?
Remember how we said a close look at Targaryen hair might bring back some memories you’ve forgotten game of thrones? Well, here we are.
The Targaryen family is not originally from Westeros. Ethnically, they originate from the Valyrian peninsula of Essos. All Valyrians were said to be strikingly beautiful, with hair colors ranging from silver to gold and eyes ranging from deep lavender to blue. At one time there were several families with dragons and they came to conquer most of the known world. Then there was the mysterious “Doom”, where the homeland was wiped out and the only family to survive with dragons were the Targaryens. With their last three dragons, they decided to conquer Westeros for a nice change of scenery. And that’s why the characteristics of the Targaryens are so distinct from the rest of Westeros.
Do any other families have that blond hair and Valyrian blood?
Yes! While neither House Velaryon nor House Celtigar retained their dragons, they came to Westeros with the Targaryens as vassal houses and (at least, by the time of Dragon House) retained their Valyrian traits. Characters from both houses appeared in the original A song of fire and ice books, but none of them made it into the TV series (although one is briefly mentioned). So Lord Corlys Velaryon, lord of the tides and husband of Princess “Queen Who Never Was” Rhaenys, is the first Velaryon we meet in the HBO version of events. There’s no Celtigar in the early episodes and we may not encounter any in the first season, but it’s possible that members of this House will appear if we get future seasons.
So if someone is blond, does that mean they have Valyrian blood?
Obviously, Dany wasn’t the only blonde in the original series, and there were fan theories that any character with lighter locks, like Brienne of Tarth or members of the Lannister family, could turn out. to be secret Targaryens. In reality though, the Strawberry Blonde Lannisters are very proud of their Andal lineage (the Andals being one of the three main ethnic groups that inhabited Westeros before the Targayren invasion), while Brienne’s family are also descended from Andals. who intermarried with the First Men. So it turns out that non-Targaryen blonde hair is rare but not uncommon.
Are there brown Targaryans?
Yeah. You remember all about Jon Snow’s true identity, right?
Genetically, Martin treats Targaryen hair as a regressive trait (much like non-magical blonde hair). So if a Targaryen marries (or mates) outside of the Valyrian bloodline, it’s likely that the offspring will sport the other family’s color. That’s why Jon is more like the Stark family.
Martin’s larger fictional world also includes married child Targaryens who did not have the distinctive features of the family. While the family was known for their incestuous ways, there were times in their history when they were more open to marriage with other families. (Some fans believe Martin only did this to set precedent for Jon’s features.)
However, if Prince Daemon’s brothel hijinks are any indication, while Targaryens tend to marry officially in Valyrian blood, they’re not above having affairs outside of marriage. So there could be a number of half-Targaryans walking around with darker locks. The line of the decidedly non-blonde King Robert Baratheon, for example, would have extended from the secret half-brother of a Targaryen king.
It should also be noted that it is possible for Valyrians, whose genetic makeup includes non-Valyrian blood, to remain pale and blond.
Why do they all have half ponies?
We guess that was just the style. Martin’s books place no sacred or traditional emphasis on the family maintaining longer hair and braids, and indeed he has occasionally mentioned the short-haired Targaryens.
Why do it all Dragon House The Targaryens have blond eyebrows, while Daenerys and her brother have darker ones?
Perhaps the biggest stylistic difference between Daenerys’ looks and those of Generation Targaryen in the spin-off are the eyebrows. Dany and her late brother Viserys had this kind of Agyness Deyn look, where their striking blonde hair is offset by darker eyebrows. Elder Viserys, Daemon, Rhaenyra and others, meanwhile, have blonder eyebrows.
It could be a simple stylistic choice made by two separate production teams, but there could also be an in-world rationale.
While the TV show suggests that the Targaryens almost always married within the family (hence Dany’s father’s mental illness), Martin’s books later clarified that the Targaryens would mingle a little more in the future generations. While Dany’s parents were siblings, her grandmother was established as Betha Blackwood, a black-haired non-Valyrian woman from the Riverlands. So it’s possible that Dany’s darker eyebrows are an expression of her mixed lineage.
That being said, some of these HOT the cast members might look better if their makeup artist was allowed to use a tube of Benefit Gimme Brow once in a while.