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House Of The Dragon Seems To Have Finally Answered A Major Game Of Thrones Question

It's no secret that "Game of Thrones” Season 8 received an astounding amount of backlash from fans and critics alike, but the most baffling element of the entire season might still be the fact that the series finale left so many questions unanswered. One of the most obvious examples of this is the mysterious backstory of the White Walkers, a group of demonic ice creatures who invade Westeros from the far north with an army of the undead. They might have extinguished life across the entire continent, were it not for the Battle of Winterfell.

The threat of the White Walkers ends with the death of the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) at the hands of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). Afterwards, the series protagonists set their sights on King's Landing and the threat of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), and the White Walkers are barely even mentioned. As such, we never receive any concrete answers about who the White Walkers really are, or what their purpose is.

One of the most mysterious things about the White Walkers is their strange connection to the dragon-riding Targaryen family. Both factions are integral to the ancient prophecy involving Azor Ahai, often known as "the prince that was promised." Now, it seems possible that we might actually gain some concrete information about this relationship, as HBO's "House of the Dragon" has already answered a major question "Game of Thrones" left in its wake regarding both the Targaryens and the White Walkers.

We finally understand why Aegon I conquered Westeros

One major mystery at the heart of "Game of Thrones" (and the "Song of Ice and Fire" books as well) is the origin of Aegon the Conqueror's invasion of Westeros. George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood" reports that Aegon only invaded the continent after being insulted by the Storm King Argilac Durrandon, and that his abrupt and inexplicable call to arms was precipitated by his own belief that the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros ought to be united into one nation.

However, Episode 1 of "House of the Dragon," "The Heirs of the Dragon," reveals that this is actually false, and finally gives fans a definitive answer for why Aegon decided to conquer Westeros in the first place. King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) tells his heir Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) that Aegon the Conqueror had a prophetic dream of the White Walker invasion. This awful vision inspired him to invade Westeros as a way to save mankind from destruction.

"Tis to begin with a terrible winter, gusting out of the distant north" Viserys says, standing beside the skull of Aegon's dragon, Balerion. "Aegon saw absolute darkness riding on those winds, and whatever dwells within will destroy the world of the living."

This reveal changes everything we thought we knew about the Targaryen dynasty

Viserys goes on to say that Aegon called his dream "The Song of Ice and Fire," and that the only way for mankind to survive this wintry threat is with a Targaryen on the Iron Throne. This revelation changes everything we thought we knew about the history of House Targaryen, as well as their relationship to the mysterious White Walkers. "House of the Dragon" reveals that the Targaryen dynasty was established out of a need to protect men from extinction, not out of Aegon the Conqueror's desire for control and plunder. 

This reveal also establishes that the fates of the White Walkers and the Targaryens have been intertwined for centuries, which gives us a more concrete understanding of why the Targaryen lineage is wrapped up in the legend of Azor Ahai, a legendary hero prophesied to save the world. Furthermore, "The Heirs of the Dragon" makes it clear that this secret has been passed down through each Targaryen generation, from one ruler to the next. Considering the fact that this information appears to have been lost by the time the events of "Game of Thrones" come around, it will be interesting to see what becomes of this particular plot point as "House of the Dragon" continues.

No matter what happens, it's remarkable that "House of the Dragon" has already managed to clear up one of the many mysteries left unresolved by "Game of Thrones." No doubt fans will be hoping to get more information about the White Walker-Targaryen connection as the series continues.