House of the Dragon: Why the Targaryens Sent Their Heirs to Live at Dragonstone?

Image credit: Legion-Media

The explanation for this peculiar tradition seems to lie in our world and not in Westeros.

George R. R. Martin has always infused his books with a sense of realism, creating believable storylines and understandable traditions for his characters.

His fantasy epic Game of Thrones is no exception — despite all the fantastical elements, realism does shine through in the book, as the customs of Westeros strongly resemble those of the real Middle Ages. Knowing this, fans have wondered why the Targaryens send their heirs to live in the Castle of Dragonstone, and if there is any historical explanation for that.

Unsurprisingly, there is. Ever since House of the Dragon aired on HBO last year, viewers have been interested in the mysterious castle located on an island not too far from King's Landing.

The importance of this stronghold to the silver-haired aristocrats is hard to downplay: it was the original seat of House Targaryen in the Seven Kingdoms, and even after they moved to the capital, sending their future kings to rule at Dragonstone was certainly an important tradition.

A few fans were quick to point out that sending young princes to another city to rule was quite common in many real-life kingdoms of the past.

This way, future kings learned to rule the people on their own while away from their parents and guardians. Martin may have borrowed this tradition from the history of England, where all future kings carried the title of Prince of Wales because they were sent to rule there in their youth.

People also noted that Dragonstone may have such an important role in the upbringing of the Targaryen princes because it is located close to the Iron Throne.

Some fans have even figured out that the island of Dragonstone is somewhere around 400 miles from the capital, which is three days' journey by ship. However, as we all know very well, the Targaryen princes travel on dragons — so Dragonstone could be about five hours' flight away.

House of the Dragon fans are already familiar with Dragonstone, as it was the setting for a major showdown in episode two of the first season — and the castle will undoubtedly play a huge role in the bloody events to come.