The Wars of the Roses were fought between the different factions of Edward III's descendants. The following list outlines the genealogy supporting male heirs ascendant to the throne during the conflict, and the roles of their cousins. However to mobilise arms and wealth, significant major protagonists were the Neville (The Kingmaker), Beaufort and Percy families. A less powerful but determining role was also played by members of the Stafford and Woodville families.
The Wars of the Roses were a civil war over the throne of the Kingdom of England fought among the descendants of King Edward III through his five surviving adult sons. Each branch of the family had competing claims through seniority, legitimacy, and/or the sex of their ancestors.
The eldest son of Edward III predeceased his father and never became king. Edward's only surviving child was Richard II who ascended to the throne but produced no heirs. Richard II designated as his heir presumptive his cousin Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, senior heir of the female line, the grandson of Lionel of Antwerp, but this succession never took place as Richard II was eventually deposed and succeeded by another of Richard's cousins, Henry Bolingbroke (who ascended as Henry IV), who was senior heir of the male line.
Lionel also predeceased his father. Lionel's only child, Philippa, married into the powerful Mortimer family, which as noted above had exerted enormous influence during the reigns of Edward II and Edward III. Philippa's son Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March was the designated heir of Richard II (but predeceased him, leaving his young son Edmund as heir presumptive). Anne Mortimer, Edmund's eldest sister, Lionel of Antwerp's great-granddaughter, married Richard, Earl of Cambridge of the House of York, merging the Lionel/Mortimer line into the York line.
John of Gaunt's legitimized heirs were the Beauforts, his descendants through his mistress (later, his wife) Katherine Swynford. A daughter of the house, Gaunt's great-granddaughter Margaret Beaufort, married into the House of Tudor, producing a single child who would become Henry VII. While the Beaufort offspring had been legitimized after Gaunt's eventual marriage to Swynford, this was on the condition that they be barred from ascending the throne. Undeterred by this, upon the failure of the primary Lancastrian line, the Tudors claimed precedence to the Yorks and eventually succeeded them, after the last Yorkist King Richard III was killed in battle with Henry.
The Dukes of Beaufort are his direct male line descendants and thus the lone surviving male line descendants of the House of Plantagenet.
Thus, the senior Plantagenet line was ended with the death of Richard II, but not before the execution of Thomas of Woodstock for treason. The heirs presumptive through Lionel of Antwerp were passed over in favour of the powerful Henry IV, descendant of Edward III through John of Gaunt. These Lancaster kings initially survived the treason of their Edmund of Langley (York) cousins but eventually were deposed by the merged Lionel/Edmund line in the person of Edward IV. Internecine killing among the Yorks left Richard III as king, supported and then betrayed by his cousin Buckingham, the descendant of Thomas of Woodstock. Finally, the Yorks were dislodged by the remaining Lancastrian candidate, Henry VII of the House of Tudor, another descendant of John of Gaunt, who married the eldest daughter of Yorkist King Edward IV.