Why Do Targaryens Have White Hair? Three years have passed since the last episode of Game of Thrones, and now we’re finally going back to Westeros for the spin-off, House of the Dragon.
The series takes place at the height of the Targaryen dynasty. So far, we’ve met a lot of Targaryen family members, all of whom can be recognized by their silvery white hair.
But the fact that every member of the dragon-riding family has white hair has made people wonder why.
Why Do Targaryens Have White Hair?
All Targaryens have white hair because they have all been related to each other for many generations.
The Targaryens mostly married people from their own family because they wanted to keep their bloodline and genes pure. This led to more children with the characteristic white hair.
The Targaryen family has a long history of brothers marrying sisters and cousins marrying cousins. This became especially common after Aegon the Conqueror married his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys, who were called his sister-wives.
Even in House of the Dragon, it’s clear that the Targaryens like to marry close relatives, since King Viserys’s wife, Aemma Arryn, is his own cousin and their grandfather, Jaehaerys Targaryen, is the same person for both of them.
The Targaryen Signature Hair Color Returns In House Of The Dragon
At the beginning of Game of Thrones, only Daenerys and her brother Viserys were known to be alive from the Taragaryen clan.
Other Targaryens showed up in flashbacks here and there throughout the series. The Mad King, Aerys II, and Rhaegar, Daenerys’ older brother, all had the same white hair.
Now that the Targaryens are back in full force in the House of the Dragon prequel, there are a lot of white wigs on display. Rhaenyra, Daemon, King Viserys, Rhaenys, Jaehaerys, and Viserys’s cousin Aemma Arryn all have the same white hair.
Did Any Targaryens Have Dark Hair?
In the Song of Ice and Fire books, there are a few Targaryens who don’t have the white hair that is usually associated with them.
These are the children of Targaryens who married outside the Targaryen family. Rhaenys, the Queen who Never Was, has black hair because her mother was a Baratheon, but her hair is still white in House of the Dragon.
Baelor Breakspear had dark hair because his mother was Myriah Martell of Dorne. Prince Duncan the Small also didn’t have the white-haired gene because his mother, Betha Blackwood, gave him dark hair.
Jon Snow is also shown to be a Targaryen in the Game of Thrones books and TV shows. His parents are Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, but his black hair comes from his Stark mother.
Because lighter hair tends to be a recessive color, Targaryens with darker-haired parents tend to keep the dominant darker hair. This is why Targaryens who marry outside the family lose their white hair.
This is also a point of contention between the Lannisters and the Baratheons in Game of Thrones. Ned Stark was suspicious of Joffrey Baratheon’s golden blond hair, which is a Lannister trait, because all of the Baratheons’ children have had black hair.