A wild Game of Thrones idea concerning the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, is supported by the revelation of Aegon the Conqueror’s dream in “House of the Dragon.” Even if it was predicted that “House of the Dragon” would share certain connections with Game of Thrones, it was maybe not anticipated that it would have such an immediate and noticeable impact on its parent program. Aegon’s dream of the White Walkers was revealed at the end of “House of the Dragon” season 1, episode 1, and it served to alter and reframe much of what was previously understood about House Targaryen’s history.
Since both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen were truly Targaryens alive when the White Walkers eventually arrived, and each played their part in conquering them, a large portion of that is inescapably how it transforms their narrative (though neither sat the Iron Throne). Aegon’s dream and the Prince That Was Promised prophecy both seem to center on the idea of a hero who would lead the living to victory over the dead, and it particularly emphasizes Jon’s Targaryen pedigree in a way Game of Thrones never completely did. But it goes beyond simply Jon and Dany; for instance, Rhaegar was preoccupied with prophesy, which makes more sense in light of this information. But what about his father, Aerys II, also known as the Mad King?
One of the craziest ideas to emerge from Game of Thrones was that Bran Stark was the one who ultimately drove the Mad King insane. When Bran was preparing to become the new Three-Eyed Raven, he had a vision in which the Mad King said, “Burn them all.” According to the hypothesis, Bran attempted to warn the Mad King about the White Walkers by messing with time, as he did with Hodor, but it didn’t exactly succeed. The White Walkers were suddenly visible to the Mad King, who was shouting, “destroy them all.” It was a fringe Game of Thrones hypothesis for a number of reasons, including how significantly it alters the plot and the greater lack of supporting evidence, but the revelation of Aegon’s dream in “House of the Dragon“ oddly lends credence to it. Did the Mad King actually know about the White Walkers if the prophecy was passed down from King to an heir?
Did the Mad King of Game of Thrones know about the White Walkers?
If Aerys was aware of the White Walkers, that would give an intriguing new dimension to the Mad King’s scheme to destroy King’s Landing. It doesn’t strictly support the argument that Bran is to blame for the Mad King, but it adds more threads to the theory than there were before. It is undeniable that the Mad King was a terrible ruler who carried out numerous heinous acts during his rule, and that this was motivated by the allegedly inherent Targaryen family madness (the Gods flip a coin, etc.) as well as his own growing paranoia and cruelty. However, whether this was made worse by his knowledge of the White Walkers and the burden that comes with it is currently unknown but at least a possibility to be considered.
There is a chance, albeit a tiny one, that Rhaegar, who had a strong belief in the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised, acquired that information through Aerys. The “House of the Dragon,” if Viserys’ son Aegon ever learns the truth, may also disclose that Aegon the Conqueror’s dream was lost following the Dance of the Dragons and that neither of its claimants to the Iron Throne passed it on. That might be the better choice because it would let Rhaegar learn about the prophecy in a different way and avoid too many historical revisions to the Targaryen family.
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