ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

Cast your mind way back to Season 2 of Game Of Thrones. In the final episode, 'Valar Morghulis,' Daenerys Targaryen enters the mystical House of the Undying, where she has a vision of her dead husband Khal Drogo, and hears some cryptic words from Pyat Pree. It's a fantastic scene — and also one which may offer several clues about the ultimate fate of the Targaryens in both book and show.

For the uninitiated, the Three Heads Of The Dragon theory speculates that, in order to take back Westeros, Daenerys will need to ride with two allies, both of whom will bond with one of Dany's three dragons. This reflects how each member of the House Targaryen was bonded with a dragon during the days of Targaryen rule, long before the dragons ultimately died out and Robert's Rebellion wiped most of the family out.

Interpreting Rhaegar's Prophecy

The theory is rooted in Chapter 48 of 'A Clash Of Kings,' which was adapted by the show as the House of the Undying scene. In the book, Daenerys sees a vision of her elder brother, Rhaegar, with his wife, Elia, and son, Aegon. The passage in question:

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads."

Rhaegar then whips out his harp, as is customary after spinning prophecy-riddles about heirs and dragons. The three heads comment, on the surface, is merely a reference to the distinctive sigil of the House Targaryen...

The sigil of the House Targaryen. [Credit:]
The sigil of the House Targaryen. [Credit:]

But it can also be read as foreshadowing the circumstances in which Daenerys will ultimately reclaim Westeros.

After Season 6 confirmed at last that Jon Snow was not Ned Stark's bastard, but in fact the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, the blue flower which grows from the ice during Dany's vision in the book takes on real significance as an indicator that Jon is the second of the three heads (blue winter roses having previously been mentioned as Lyanna Stark's favourite flower).

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We already know Season 7 is building toward a meeting between Jon and Dany, and ultimately their shared blood makes a union a likelier prospect than a situation in which both parties are divided — especially as Jon, in contrast with Daenerys, has shown no particular desire to rule Westeros.

'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

Jon, therefore, is the second head of the prophecy, and that's the simple part of the theory covered. More open to debate is the identity of the third rider.

Aegon v Tyrion: Who's The Third Head?

In the books, Kevan Lannister mentions that the body of Aegon Targaryen, son of Rhaegar, was never identified ("Tywin said that it was Prince Aegon and we took him at his word"). In 'A Dance With Dragons,' Tyrion discovers a boy of the right age, living under the identity of Young Griff, who claims to be Aegon Targaryen.

On Kevan's deathbed, Varys reveals to him that the boy Aegon has been raised for the day when he will take the throne, but he never explicitly confirms that Aegon is a legitimate Targaryen as opposed to an imposter. Many believe that the boy is an imposter, an idea supported by Quaithe describing him as "the mummer's dragon" (Varys was a mummer in childhood) and a threat to Daenerys.

One for Tyrion? 'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
One for Tyrion? 'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

While that makes for a highly interesting and contentious saga in the books, the show has never touched on it, instead streamlining events by naming Tyrion the Queen's Hand in the Season 6 finale. The scene in which he interacts with the chained dragons feels like major foreshadowing of the fact that Tyrion himself will be the third head of the dragon, which is entirely feasible given that lore does not dictate that the three riders must possess Targaryen blood.

Even so, the possibility remains that Tyrion is descended from a Targaryen (strap in, we're entering tinfoil territory here). The popular A+J=T theory imagines that Tyrion was the product of an affair between Tywin's wife Joanna Lannister and the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. In the Season 4 finale, just before Tyrion kills his father, Tywin tells him "You are no son of mine" (see the clip below). A simple expression of contempt, or closer to the truth than either party might have realized?

Explaining why Tyrion is one of the three heads becomes more difficult if he isn't actually part of the Targ bloodline, even if another "secret Targaryen" reveal feels a little over-the-top having now learned the truth about Jon. Another point which is more or less apropos of nothing, but interesting nonetheless: If Tyrion is the third head, the point-of-view characters from the first book in the series are all either Targaryens or Starks — or, to think of it another way, fire and ice.

Essentially, while the book gives mixed signals on the role to be played by Aegon (if he even is Aegon) in the climax Martin is building even-more slowly toward, all the evidence in the show seems to point to Tyrion and Jon riding alongside Dany when the day comes for the dragons to take back Westeros.

They are the three heads of the dragon.

Do you believe Tyrion and Jon are the three heads of the dragon?

'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game Of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]


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