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The House of the Dragon: Understand the prophecy that caused the Targaryen war

The House of the Dragon: Understand the prophecy that caused the Targaryen war

OH! The importance of knowing the story to catch the references. This is basically what the third episode of House of Dragon on Sunday (30) indicated.

In a conversation between Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke) to try to avoid the impending war, the heir to the Iron Throne, as well as the audience, discover what must be the main reason for the entire conflict, and surprisingly: everything would be based on a misunderstanding, as the Dowager Queen had not correctly interpreted the last words of King Viserys I (Rhaenyra’s father).

Image: Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy in House of the Dragon (2022)/HBO (via IMDB)

What happened in the third episode of House of the Dragon?

The Dowager Queen, Alicent Hightower, tells Rhaenyra Targaryen, eldest daughter of King Viserys I, and her stepdaughter, what her father actually said before he died: he stammers a prophecy given by Aegon the Conqueror (forerunner of the Targaryen family). After learning her father’s last words, the princess is then certain that he has kept, on his deathbed, his choice that she should be the heir to the throne.

The problem is that all Alicent learns from his last words is about “Aegon,” a prince who must unite the empire. The words are directed at Rhaenyra, but Alicent realizes they are for her son, Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney).

He died soon after, with the Dowager Queen believing that the King had chosen Aegon II as heir to the Iron Throne, sparking a conflict with Rhaenyra, to whom Viserys had already publicly promised the succession.

It is worth noting that, the same night this happens – in the first season – Rhaenyra was talking to her father about the prophecy of Aegon the Conqueror. Given the situation of the king, very ill due to leprosy, he ends up confusing Alicent with Rhaenyra and continues the conversation with his wife, who does not understand what he is talking about (or only understands what she wants, in this case, something about ‘Aegon’).

Image: HBO (via IMDB)

Up until then, Alicent did not know Aegon’s story, having only once heard Viserys mention that he had dreamed of a son who would wear the Conqueror’s crown – this happens while he was still trying, once married to his first wife, to have a son. In short, she only knows Viserys’ dream and not that of King Aegon I (the famous prophetic dream), and her misinterpretation would not be illogical: this too would be avoided if there were not several characters named Aegon in the history of Westeros, which also confuses the audience.

Also in the third episode of the second season, Rhaenyra tries to explain what her father meant, believing that Alicent will renounce the so-called Dance of the Dragons, but the current queen simply ignores the new information.

Image: HBO (via IMDB)

What is the prophecy of Aegon the Conqueror?

The so-called prophecy in A Song of Ice and Fire, which Aegon I made centuries before the events of House of the Dragon, says that a threat would come to the North, just as in Game of Thrones, which predicts the arrival of the White Walkers – but that Westeros will be saved by the “Prince or Princess That Was Promised.”

From my blood will come the promised prince, and from him will come a song of ice and fire.

Prophecy of King Aegon Targaryen I.

The story goes that in the Targaryen family it has been passed down from generation to generation that King Aegon I had a prophetic dream of a winter that would devastate the world of Men and that, to survive such a calamity, a Targaryen must rule the Seven Kingdoms. According to Aegon I, the Prince That Was Promised would come from his line to fight the darkness.

The prophecy was imprinted on his Valyrian steel bladed dagger and was passed on only to the heirs to the throne (the famous dagger that takes center stage in GoT).

This is the question of millions. According to GoT, he must be the reincarnation of Azor Ahai, a legendary hero who lived about eight thousand years before Aegon the Conqueror. He would have exterminated the White Walkers by a similar catastrophic event (the Long Night) by wielding his flaming sword against the creatures.

Throughout George R.R. Martin’s story, different characters have inclinations to bear this title, at different times. In addition to Rhaenyra, for example, there is also Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) – who later discovers the Targaryen origins. Stannis Baratheon also remains on the list for a while, until he is defeated in battle.

Image: HBO

Despite the two characters’ leading roles against the Night King (the First of the White Walkers), however, it is Arya Stark who uses Aegon I’s Valyrian steel dagger to eliminate the White Walkers, keeping the prophecy in doubt. She would be an indirect candidate for the title.

As fans know, House of the Dragon is based on the two-volume work Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin. The book is a derivative produced specifically to showcase the history of the Targaryens, meaning it is not part of the A Song of Ice and Fire box set, which currently has five books (with two more in the works).

The misunderstanding surrounding Aegon’s prophecy in the House of the Dragon series does not exist in Fire & Blood. The involvement of the prophecy is believed to be merely a way to connect the spin-off series’ plot with the original story universe – recently, the appearance of Daenerys’ three rare dragon eggs has also tangled the spin-off production with Game of Thrones .

House of the Dragon, in fact, changed many details from the books, ostensibly to make the characters more ‘lovable’ (the famous hero’s journey) and interesting for TV.

It is also worth noting that in the book Fire & Blood the references to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire are vague (since their events are the “future”).

Both the book and the series have already laid out the basics of the origin of the Dance of Dragons: a struggle for power and resistance by members of the kingdom to having a woman in charge.

It is also important to say that even if the misunderstanding (in the case of the series) had not occurred, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) would have found a way to incite and manipulate Alicent against Rhaenyra, as he has always been the strategic mind behind the queen. Supporters against a woman as heir to the throne would also continue to advise Alicent to crown her son Aegon for the good of the people.

Another difference from the books is that they do not establish an explicit connection between the stories of Azor Ahai, mentioned in GoT, and the prophecies of the Prince That Was Promised.

The potential loose ends, of course, arise both because of the changes for the TV adaptation, and because George R.R. Martin is still writing the books that will provide the basis and outcome of the stories.

For those who don’t know, the GoT canon is quite large, with its first work published in the 90s. There are also parallel stories (complementary material) about characters and periods: this is the case of the three editions of Dunk and. Egg (The Knight of the Seven Kingdomsin Brazil), which tells the story of Duncan and his squire Aegon V Targaryen, son and successor of King Maekar I, and father of the famous Mad King (Aerys II Targaryen) — as I said, yes, there are many ‘Aegons’.

There are also the short stories The Princess and the Queen, The Prince of Westeros, and The Children of the Dragon, as well as the book of short stories The World of Ice and Fire. The material contributed to the book Fire & Blood.

The post House of the Dragon: Understanding the Prophecy That Caused the Targaryen War first appeared on Olhar Digital.

Source: Olhar Digital

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