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Things Only Hardcore House Of The Dragon Fans Know About Aegon II Targaryen

Contains potential spoilers for future seasons of "House of the Dragon."

Season 1 of "House of the Dragon" adapts the prelude to the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons from George R.R. Martin's novel "Fire and Blood." Spearheading opposing factions within the family are Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), the eldest child and named heir of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), and the king's firstborn son, Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney).

Aegon is more of a pawn than a player during Season 1 of "House of the Dragon." However, the young king will eventually make a bigger impact as he battles his half-sister for the Iron Throne of Westeros. Aiding Aegon is the Green Council, which is composed of his mother, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), the second wife of King Viserys, as well as Aegon's roguish brother Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) and the devious Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Opposing Aegon's usurpation are Rhaenyra and the Blacks, who include Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Rhaenya's uncle-slash-husband, Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), and Corlys Velaryon the Sea Snake (Steve Toussaint).

The second King Aegon Targaryen of Westeros causes calamity during his brief reign on the Iron Throne. Here are the most important facts fans of "House of the Dragon" will need to know about the usurper king's tumultuous reign.

Aegon is born in 106 AC

Aegon II Targaryen is born in 106 AC. He is the first child of King Viserys Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. As the king's firstborn son, many people in Westeros (most notably House Hightower) believe Aegon is Viserys' true heir and should succeed his father on the Iron Throne. However, Viserys remains steadfast that Rhaenyra, his oldest and only child with his first wife Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke), will inherit the crown after her father, becoming the first sovereign queen of Westeros.

From birth, Aegon is pitted against Rhaenyra. The siblings are estranged in "Fire and Blood," while in Season 1 of "House of the Dragon," Aegon and Rhaenyra never speak to each other directly. "The Princess and the Queen" shows teenage Aegon (Ty Tennant) to be fairly ambivalent to Rhaenyra's heirship, something that devolves over the next few episodes as Queen Alicent and the rest of the Green Council plot for Aegon to usurp Rhaenyra following Viserys' death in "The Lord of the Tides."

Aegon ascends the Iron Throne in "The Green Council," and is crowned in the Dragonpit at Alicent's behest. Season 2 of "House of the Dragon" will feature Aegon in Westeros' ultimate seat of power as he battles his half-sister for control of the kingdoms.

There are two Aegon Targaryens in House of the Dragon

Aegon II, son of Viserys and Alicent, isn't the only Aegon Targaryen in "House of the Dragon." Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen also have a son called Aegon. The couple introduces a dying Viserys to their sons — Aegon and his younger brother Viserys, both infants — during "The Lord of the Tides." To limit confusion, Aegon II is dubbed Aegon the Elder by the people of Westeros while Rhaenyra and Daemon's son is known as Aegon the Younger.

Naming their son Aegon is a deliberate power move on Rhaenyra and Daemon's behalf. Aegon the Conqueror, who initially conquered Westeros with his sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys — alongside an array of powerful dragons, of course — is regarded as the pinnacle of Targaryen excellence. To be named in the conqueror's honor is a guarantee of greatness. In the books, Rhaenyra naming her Aegon is seen as a slight against Alicent and the rest of the Greens which further divides the separate branches of the Targaryen family tree.

Aegon the Younger plays an important role in the Dance of the Dragons — but more on that later.

He is the sixth king of the Targaryen dynasty

Aegon the Elder is the sixth king to sit on the Iron Throne of Westeros, succeeding his father King Viserys I. Viserys inherited his crown from King Jaehaerys (Michael Carter) in "The Heirs of the Dragon" when a Great Council was held at Harrenhal to determine the matter of succession. Of the potential heirs, a decision was narrowed down to Viserys, the eldest male, and Rhaenys Targaryen, Jaehaerys' eldest grandchild. Viserys was chosen, leading to Rhaenys being nicknamed the Queen Who Never Was afterward.

The patriarchal institution of Westeros pushes King Viserys to father a male heir. Though Viserys and Aemma conceive multiple times, the queen suffers many miscarriages and stillbirths in Viserys' pursuit of a male heir. "The Heirs of the Dragon" sees Aemma perish in childbirth after Viserys gives the go-ahead for the maesters to perform a medieval caesarean to save their baby son, Baelon. However, Baelon dies shortly after, leaving Viserys without a male heir once more. Viserys finally gets the male heir he wanted for so long when Alicent gives birth to Aegon, though the king stands by his decision to name Rhaenyra as his successor over the years to come.

Aegon becomes a dragonrider before the age of 13

Throughout the Targaryen civil war, Aegon rides the dragon Sunfyre. Like his older sister Rhaenyra, Aegon takes to the skies on dragonback for the first time as a child, at some point before he turned 13. Aegon and Rhaenyra share a few other traits when it comes to dragon riding. As well as becoming dragon-riders at a young age, both Targaryens fly similar-looking dragons with golden-colored scales.

Rhaenyra's dragon Syrax is nicknamed the "Golden Beast" by Ser Harrold Westerling (Graham McTavish) in Episode 1 of "House of the Dragon," while Aegon's dragon Sunfyre is dubbed "Sunfyre the Golden" for its decorative gold coloring. Sunfyre and Syrax never face each other directly during the Dance of the Dragons. However, Sunfyre still sees plenty of action when Aegon deploys his dragon at Rook's Rest and Dragonstone.

It is unknown exactly when Sunfyre's egg hatched or if the egg was placed in Aegon's cradle as a baby per Targaryen tradition. Considering the dragon hatched on Dragonstone, it's unlikely Sunfyre was a cradle dragon, meaning Aegon must have claimed Sunfyre similarly to how his siblings, Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Helaena (Phia Saban), claimed their dragons, Vhagar and Dreamfyre. If so, this means the only one of Alicent's children to bond with a dragon at birth is Daeron, who flies the dragon Tessarion and remains off-screen at Oldtown throughout Season 1.

Aegon changes his banners in honor of his dragon

Rhaenyra and Aegon use different banners rather than the official three-headed dragon emblem of House Targaryen during the Dance of Dragons. Rhaenyra's banners display the black and red Targaryen sigil spliced with the banners of House Velaryon and House Arryn in honor of her Velaryon allies and her late mother, respectively.

Aegon's banners feature the three-headed dragon sigil of House Targaryen. However, the dragon is gold instead of the traditional Targaryen crimson in homage to the king's dragon Sunfyre. The golden dragon emblem becomes the symbol of Aegon's campaign for the Iron Throne and is displayed proudly by the Greens as they battle the Blacks for dominion of the kingdoms.

Sunfyre can be seen briefly during the Season 1 episode "Driftmark" when the Targaryen family gathers at Driftmark for Laena Velaryon's (Nanna Blondell) funeral. The dragon is one of many gathered around the castle and can be glimpsed again later in the episode when Rhaenyra watches Vhagar and Aemond leave Driftmark for King's Landing along with Dreamfyre and Helaena as well as Sunfyre and Aegon.

None of his legitimate children live to reach adulthood

The Dance of the Dragons decimates House Targaryen. In Season 1's final episode, "The Black Queen," Aemond accidentally kills Rhaenyra's son Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) after chasing the young prince on dragonback above Storm's End. Though viewers learn that Lucerys' murder wasn't intentional, with Vhagar disobeying Aemond and attacking Lucerys' dragon, Arrax, of her own accord (a divergence from the books), the damage is done. The tension between the Blacks and Greens erupts, and the Dance of the Dragons begins.

Lucerys' death has dire consequences for the Greens. To avenge Lucerys, Daemon Targaryen sends two assassins called Blood and Cheese to kill Aegon's young son and heir, Jaehaerys. This traumatizes Aegon's sister-wife Helaena, who is forced to watch her child die, eliminating her as a dragon rider for the rest of the war.

Tragedy strikes again when Aegon and Helaena's youngest son, Maelor, is killed by a mob at Bitterbridge while traveling to Oldtown, the seat of House Hightower. Maelor's death sends Helaena over the edge, and the queen dies after throwing herself from the Red Keep soon after. Helaena and Aegon are outlived by their only daughter Jaehaera, who marries Rhaenyra's son Aegon the Younger. Unfortunately, Jaehaera dies two years after her wedding, having seemingly jumped from the Red Keep to her death like her mother. Jaehaera's death ends Aegon's legitimate line — though the king leaves behind plenty of bastard children in King's Landing.

Aegon fires Otto Hightower to name Ser Criston Cole his Hand of the King

Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) plays a prominent part in Aegon's coronation in "Fire and Blood." The Kingsguard knight — and Rhaenyra Targaryen's former lover — pledges his allegiance to Aegon and convinces the reluctant prince to usurp his sister after King Viserys' death. Because of this, Ser Criston is nicknamed Criston the Kingmaker. The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard is later elevated to Hand of the King by Aegon after Aegon becomes frustrated with Otto Hightower, his grandfather and long-serving Hand to King Viserys.

Aegon's coronation occurs similarly in "House of the Dragon" with some small but significant changes from the source material. Criston Cole and Aemond Targaryen pursue Aegon in "The Green Council" as the prince attempts to hide from his family with the help of Mysaria the White Worm (Sonoya Mizuno). Though Aegon pleads with Aemond to let him flee King's Landing, Ser Criston is resolute: Aegon must be crowned.

The knight takes Aegon to Queen Alicent. Aegon is crowned in the Dragonpit with Ser Criston and the rest of the Greens behind him. As his mother's sworn shield and Rhaenyra's scorned lover, Criston Cole becomes a key player in the Green Council, spearheading the civil war among the members of House Targaryen.

Aegon is badly burned by Meleys

Aegon has a tense confrontation with Meleys, Rhaenys Targaryen's dragon, during his coronation in the Dragonpit during Episode 9. Rhaenys uses Meleys — also known as the Red Queen– to send a powerful message to Queen Alicent and the rest of the Greens but flies away to Dragonstone before anyone is incinerated by dragonfire.

Aegon has no such luck at Rook's Rest, however. "Fire and Blood" details a devastating battle between Meleys and Sunfyre that has irreversible consequences for both the golden dragon and its rider. Criston Cole lures Rhaenys and Meleys into a trap at Rook's Rest, where the Red Queen is ambushed by Sunfyre and Vhagar. Meleys and Rhaenys both perish, but not before badly wounding Sunfyre and burning Aegon, scarring the king for the remainder of his life.

Vhagar's immense presence wins the battle, but Aegon is never the same. The badly burned king is forced to sit out the war while he recovers, eventually becoming dependent on the milk of the poppy that he uses to ease his pain. Sunfyre is also scarred from the fight, and the dragon's half-torn wing never fully heals.

He feeds Rhaenyra to Sunfyre after battling Baela and Moondancer

After facing Rhaenys at Rook's Rest, Aegon battles Rhaenys' granddaughter, Baela Targaryen (Bethany Antonia), above Dragonstone towards the end of the war. While Rhaenyra is preoccupied with the fall of King's Landing, a recuperated Aegon reunites with Sunfyre at Dragonstone. Seeing the Greens invade her home, Baela runs to her dragon, Moondancer, and meets Aegon in the air.

Although Moondancer is barely large enough to ride, Baela refuses to flee from Aegon and instead faces him in aerial combat, as fearless as her grandmother. Moondancer has a few advantages which Baela utilizes. The dragon is small, quick, and nimble, while Sunfyre is still sluggish and wounded from Rook's Rest. Sunfyre eventually blinds Moondancer with fire, but not before the smaller dragon crashes into its larger foe, sending both hurtling to the ground.

Aegon jumps from his saddle and shatters both legs. Baela remains with Moondancer and miraculously survives the impact, although she is badly burned in the process. Sunfyre devours Moondancer on the ground, but the golden dragon's injuries take a toll. Sunfyre eventually dies — but not before Aegon exacts revenge against Rhaenyra by feeding his sister to his dying dragon.

Aegon is poisoned after killing Rhaenyra

Despite defeating Rhaenyra and feeding her to Sunfyre, Aegon's triumph is short-lived. The Velaryon fleet blockades Blackwater Bay, preventing Aegon from returning to King's Landing. Aegon uses the captive Baela Targaryen as leverage and brokers an alliance with Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), finally returning to King's Landing to clean up the mess left behind after the city broke into riots following the destruction of the Dragonpit.

Aegon's residency in King's Landing is brief. Rhaenyra's supporters from the north and the Riverlands continue to fight for their fallen queen, aiming to rescue her son Aegon the Younger from the king's clutches and place him on the Iron Throne as Rhaenyra's heir. At the brink of defeat, Aegon is poisoned to death, with the culprit remaining unknown.

In the "Game of Thrones" universe, poison is said to be a woman's weapon. There are many theories for who poisoned Aegon, but one suggests that it could be Alicent Hightower, the king's own mother, who poisons her son after Aegon brutally kills Rhaenyra, Alicent's former friend, by feeding her to Sunfyre. Seeing the monster her son devolves into could be the final straw for Alicent, who once conspired to place him on the Iron Throne instead of Rhaenyra.

Rhaenyra's son succeeds him on the Iron Throne

Following the death of King Aegon II Targaryen, Rhaenyra and Daemon's son, Aegon the Younger, is named heir to the Iron Throne. Aegon's succession is aided by none other than the Starks of Winterfell. Season 1 of "House of the Dragon" concludes with Jacaerys Velaryon (Harry Collett) flying north on his dragon, Vermax, to forge an alliance with Lord Cregan Stark. Jaecaerys and Cregan become friends, with Cregan spearheading Rhaenyra's campaign long after Jacaerys' death.

In an era labeled the Hour of the Wolf by maesters, Cregan Stark and his army of Northmen and Riverlords help secure King's Landing for Aegon III and establish the young prince as the future King of Westeros. The younger Aegon is traumatized from war, however, having lost most of his family throughout the Dance. Rhaenyra's death, in particular, has a lasting impact, as the young prince is forced to watch his mother be devoured by a dragon. Aegon's resulting hatred of dragons earns him the nickname Aegon the Dragonsbane, and the last Targaryen dragon dies during his reign.

Aegon erases Rhaenyra's reign from recorded history

As a final insult to his half-sister, Aegon II nullifies Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen's half-year rule from the Iron Throne and denounces her reign in Westeros' recorded history. The bitter king demands that Rhaenyra's official title be remembered as princess instead of queen, thus erasing the reign of Westeros' sole sovereign queen.

The maesters of "A Song of Ice and Fire" abide by Aegon's decree nearly two hundred years later: Rhaenyra is remembered as a princess and usurper instead of an official Targaryen monarch. "Game of Thrones" sees Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) following Rhaenyra's footsteps to become the reigning Queen of Westeros in Season 6, while Rhaenyra's descendant, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), also vies to become the sovereign queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Despite Aegon's erasure of Rhaenyra's reign, it is Rhaenyra's lineage that survives the Dance and leads to the last scions of House Targaryen — Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) — featured in "Game of Thrones." Aegon's line ends with the death of his daughter, Jaehaera, while Rhaenyra's son continues the Targaryen line with his second wife, Daenaera Velaryon.