(Note: This post contains some spoilers for “Game of Thrones” through the season 7 premiere.)
In the Season 7 premiere Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally made it to Westeros after a long path to raise an army and consolidate her power. But she hasn’t gone to the continent proper yet — insteadm she be landed in a place that’s a big part of her family’s history: the island known as Dragonstone.
Dragonstone was the Targaryen ancestral home for hundreds of years. It’s located off the eastern coast of Westeros near the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, the stretch of water that feeds into Blackwater Bay and forms a nautical approach to King’s Landing.
The island is where the family first came when they left Valyria and the eastern continent of Essos, and when the Doom took Valyria, it left the Targaryens with the last surviving dragons in the world.
The Targaryens would later take their dragons and conquer and unite the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. King Aegon I would later found the capital of the new kingdom in the place where his army first reached the mainland — King’s Landing.
But the Targareyn ancestral home was always Dragonstone, and that’s where baby Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen were living when Robert’s Rebellion swept through Westeros and their father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, and brother, Prince Rhaegar, were killed.
Loyalists were able to sneak Daenerys and Viserys across the Narrow Sea to Essos, largely because Robert Baratheon’s forces were unable to take Dragonstone immediately.
After Robert became king, the Baratheon family took over Dragonstone and it was held by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). He continued to live there into the War of the Five Kings during the show, using Dragonstone as his base of operations for much of the war. Stannis was defeated at Winterfell by the Bolton army, and killed soon after, essentially leaving Dragonstone vacant.
Other than its long history with the Targaryens and the Baratheons, there’s one other element that makes Dragonstone notable. Sam Tarly discovers in the season 7 premiere that the volcanic island contains large quantities of Dragonglass, otherwise known as obsidian — one of only two substances known to be able to kill the White Walkers.
With the White Walker threat looming and Daenerys preparing to retake the Iron Throne, Dragonstone is going to be a place of major importance in Season 7.