Has it occurred to you that in House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, everything is in relation to Aegon the Conqueror? In medieval history, there was a near equivalent with William the Conqueror. So where would the timeline of Westeros be if we used the real-world dates of medieval England? Well, let’s look at the Norman Conquest. This began in 1066 and ended in 1071. Since the shows don’t go into too much detail about how their conquest is calculated we will use 1066 and 1071 to give us a rough range of when to start our real-world House of the Dragon timeline. In this post, we check the timeline of Westeros in the House of the Dragon versus the timeline of medieval England. Also, we will attempt to use the dates of the canon in the show, according to Gamesradar, instead of the books if possible.
Episode 1 Flashbacks:
Let’s start with episode 1 of House of the Dragon, specifically the flashback scenes. They focus on the events surrounding 101 AC. At this point in the Westerosi timeline, there are issues with the inheritance of the throne due to the death of Prince Baelor. A council is formed to determine who will inherit next.
The date of 101 years after conquest in Westeros equates to around 1167 to 1172 in English history. This would be right in the middle of a War between England, which was under the rule of Normandy, and France. The war spilled out of tensions between Henry II and Louis VII over Henry’s growing power in Europe. This war would give King Henry II of England the desire to fix issues with inheritances. It would be compounded by the Revolt of 1173, which involved his sons against his rule. This decision regarding inheritances would cause issues later on.
As House of the Dragon continues with the rule of Viserys I, we see issues with the Stepstones and between the royal brothers regarding inheritances. For example, Viserys I disinherits his brother and declares his daughter as heir. This issue between brothers and their inheritances mimics the issues that would later crop up between Richard the Lionheart and his brother John. After becoming heir in chief, Richard was supposed to give up Aquitaine to his brother for John’s inheritance. However, Richard refuses to give it up for his brother. Richard became the chief heir after his older brother, Henry the Young King, dies but still refuses to relinquish land to his brother. Around this time Richard also faces a revolt, which he puts down in a cruel manner.
As the tensions increase between the characters of the House of the Dragon, we edge towards 116-120 AC in the Westerosi timeline. In medieval England, we would have seen increasing tensions between Richard the Lionheart and his brothers. There was a tense reconciliation between them in 1184, but tensions would restart with the death of Geoffrey. John was the favorite of Henry II, while Richard was begrudgingly accepted.
Later issues with the French would encourage Richard to restart fighting against his father. While the Third Crusade would pause Richard’s ambitions, there were rumors that Henry was considering disinheriting Richard before Henry’s death. They did not end on good terms. In addition, the 116-120 AC timeline converts to around 1182-1191. This would be around the time that Richard would mostly spend on Crusade. Richard spent little time governing the kingdom from inside of England.
There is about a 6-year gap between episode 7 and 8, between 124 AC and 130 AC. The book timeline states that around 126 AC, Rhaenyra gets estranged from court, while the Triarchy allies with Dorne. Converting to the medieval timeline, this was about the time that Richard was captured for ransom, shortly after the end of the Third Crusade in 1192, and then freed in 1194.
House of the Dragon and Medieval England Wrap-Up
With this timeline, we can see how the Westerosi timeline of the House of the Dragon lines up with medieval England under the assumption that the After Conquest dating occurs around the same time as the Norman Conquest in England. The familial tensions and issues regarding inheritances in the show lines up interestingly with the lives of Henry II and his sons, including Richard the Lionheart. Are you a fan of House of the Dragon? Which is your favorite episode?