White Walker Twist in “House of the Dragon” Has One Major Targaryen Issue

By revealing that Aegon Targaryen had a dream about the White Walkers conquering Westeros, “House of The Dragon” retcons Game of Thrones in its first episode, which in turn raises more Targaryen issues. The story mostly centers on Daenerys Targaryen’s abducted family and is set 172 years before her birth. Because only Daenerys remained for most of the main series, the Targaryens were largely unknown, which is why King Viserys I’s revelation about Aegon’s dream, “The Song of Ice and Fire,” was so important to the overall plot of the series. Viserys’ remarks raise a strange point, though.

When King Viserys I identifies Rhaenyra as his heir to the Iron Throne in the first episode of House of the Dragon,” he initially tells his daughter that the Targaryens have a secret that is only revealed from king to heir. This sets up the conflict of the season. Aegon foresaw a conflict that would terrorize Westeros and endanger humanity, accompanied with a protracted winter. He was referring to the White Walkers and the Night King, which were Aegon’s main reasons for bringing the Seven Kingdoms together. Viserys’ remark suggests that the White Walkers pose a considerably greater threat than they did in Game of Thrones, but how did each Targaryen become aware of the impending danger?

The prophecy from Aegon’s dream is handed down the line of Targaryen rulers, King Viserys expressly told Rhaenyra. The issue is that, given what is known about the Targaryen dynasty up to that time, it is improbable that this information was smoothly passed along, especially given the Targaryens’ propensity for intermarriage. From his grandfather, Jaehaerys, who succeeded Maegor, Viserys ascended to the throne. Provided that they were on opposing sides of the familial civil war for the throne, Maegor would not have given Jaehaerys the information. Not to add that Maegor’s unidentified cause of death made Jaehaerys the unquestioned ruler. Therefore, unless Maegor gave it to Jaehaerys before his death, the latter would have most likely heard it from another source before relaying it to Viserys, although that hasn’t been shown in the series yet.

Does Aegon’s revelation in “House of the Dragon” match Targaryen history?

What is known about Aegon the Conqueror differs from “House of the Dragon.” In the novels, his motivation for taking over Westeros was entirely avaricious. Given that George R.R. Martin has not yet finished writing his novel, it is unknown if Aegon was aware of the White Walkers described in the books. The inclusion of Aegon’s dream was Martin’s suggestion, according to showrunner Ryan Condal, maybe a clue that it will eventually be featured in the books. The fact that a Targaryen was not in power when the White Walkers or The Others were vanquished continues to be an issue. Aegon’s prophecy appeared to be incorrect in some ways when Arya Stark defeated the Night King with the same dagger that Viserys used to defeat him in episode 1, but from a certain perspective, Aegon’s dream makes sense because Jon Snow was at the forefront of the war and is a part Targaryen himself.

“House of the Dragon” did well to leave some unanswered questions and to build up some intriguing narrative aspects for the future, such as Aegon’s dream. The prophecy itself will linger throughout “House of the Dragon’s” run and undoubtedly until Martin’s upcoming books are published and offer the closure readers are looking for regarding his interpretation of Game of Thrones’ conclusion. Beyond that, though, the series’ revelation on Aegon unlocked a bag of worms that raises even more unresolved issues.

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