House Of The Dragon: Nepali Historical Events That Align With It

House of the Dragon is the hottest new TV series to hit the market. The Game of Thrones prequel has been a massive success with audiences, and some even believe that the series makes up for the unexpected disappointment of the original series’ ending. 

The creator of the original Game of Thrones books, George RR Martin, took inspiration from real instances in medieval history to write his tales. As the timeless adage goes, art imitates life. But real life repeats itself often, and sometimes, life imitates art. So, here are 5 instances from Nepal’s history that resemble incidents within the Game of Thrones universe. 

Prince Daemon

Played by Matt Smith in House of the Dragon, Prince Daemon, or the Rogue Prince, is the brother of King Viserys Targaryen. In the series, he keeps a mistress at his family’s castle named Mysaria, a former sex worker, brothel owner, and a master of spies. Since Prince Daemon is first in line to the throne at the beginning of the show, this action is considered quite scandalous. 

In much the same way, the legendary Jung Bahadur Rana, too, fell in love with a British escort named Laura Bell during his visit to the country. He is said to have spent the equivalent of £33.9 million on gifts for her. Much like Mysaria, Bell was also a highly capable and powerful figure of the time, courted by many men of high station. 

The Dance of the Dragons

The new Game of Thrones prequel is based on a completed tale by George RR Martin called Dance of the Dragons. It details the annihilation of the once-prosperous Targaryen House due to a civil war. 

Nepal’s ancient history is defined by political instability, with no Shah king except Gyanendra living a significant lifespan. However, extreme betrayals and assassinations within the royal family are few and far between. Nevertheless, the lifespan of King Rana Bahadur Shah, the grandson of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, was littered with conspiracies started by himself. 

Blinded by love, King Rana Bahadur declared that his son would succeed him from his third wife, Kantavati. When Kantavati became sick of an incurable disease, he quickly renounced his throne so their son, Girvan Yuddha, would be crowned king under his own supervision. When Queen Kantavati died soon after, King Rana Bahadur’s intentions flipped like a coin, and he sought to regain monarchy. The move placed him in opposition with King Girvan Yuddha and the regent mother, Raj Rajeshwari, who was his own first wife.

The Red Wedding

Prithvi Narayan Shah’s victory over Kathmandu Valley is considered one of the crucial points in the unification campaign, as it was the most prosperous and powerful city-state within the scope of his campaign. He understood the military might of Nepal Mandal quite well after two prior defeats with Kirtipur. So, he sought to conquer Kathmandu by using tricks. 

He decided to invade the city when it was at its weakest, leading a sneak attack on the night of Indra Jatra. The move was a great success, and he quickly won a victory over the Mallas. 

This incident from Nepali history is reminiscent of the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones, when King Robb Stark and his army were slaughtered in one fell swoop by Lord Walder Frey after the entire Stark army became too drunk to fight. 

The Lannister Dynasty

The Rana Dynasty is a major period in Nepal’s history, lasting 104 years and stretching from medieval to modern. They ruled over the Nepali populace with an iron fist, passing on the ruling power from one generation to another in military and ministerial titles. All the while, the Shah kings were held up as figureheads to the people. 

This oblique rule is reminiscent of the royal family of the Baratheons through much of Game of Thrones. Upon the death of King Robert Baratheon, he was succeeded by his son Joffrey Baratheon — only that Joffrey wasn’t exactly his son, and thus not a Baratheon. He was the illegitimate child of Queen Cersei Lannister and her own brother Jaime Lannister, making him a Lannister through and through. A Lannister ruled over the Seven Kingdoms in one way or the other through most of the series, with the Baratheon name only used as a sort of formality — much as the case was with the Rana rule. 

Danaerys burns down Westeros

Perhaps the most interesting parallel between Nepali history and the fictional Game of Thrones world must be the real-life enactment of the much-hated ending to the original series. Quite like how the heroine queen of the series, Danaerys Targaryan, burned down all of Westeros, a Shah king also tried to burn down his capital city at one point. 

This king was the maverick King Rana Bahadur, the grandson of Prithvi Narayan Shah. His love for his third wife, Kantavati, was so great that he was fully willing to break tradition and name her son the heir apparent. When she became sick, he did everything in his power to make her better — but remedies at the time were limited to the work of vaidyas and astrologers, who suggested that she must make penance with the gods. 

When Kantavati died, even after doing all the pujas recommended by the astrologers, Rana Bahadur went through a period of insanity where he had them all punished and went around Kathmandu burning as many temples as he could find.