Warning: Some spoilers For Game Of Thrones, series and novels.
By far the biggest event in Game Of Thrones' jam-packed season-finale, "The Dragon And The Wolf," was the reveal of Jon Snow's true heritage. He is the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, making him the true heir to the Iron Throne ahead of Daenerys. His true name is Aegon Targaryen.
Of course, keen-eared fans will know that he is not the first Aegon. While only a few are touched on in the show, the wider history of the novels, short stories, and companion books tell us much more about the multiple Aegon Targaryens in Westerosi history. Let's take a look at the most significant figures to share Jon Snow's new name.
1. Aegon I, 'Aegon The Conqueror'
Of the many King Aegons of the past, Aegon I — also known as Aegon The Conqueror — has been the one most commonly mentioned on the Game Of Thrones TV series. He is usually referenced in comparison with his descendant, Daenerys Targaryen. Aegon, with the support of his two sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys, traveled to Westeros on the backs of their three dragons, conquering each of the Seven Kingdoms and merging them into one realm. He melted down the swords of his enemies to forge the Iron Throne, becoming the first king to sit upon it. Despite this, Aegon I became a relatively well-loved king. His dragon, Balerion, known as the Black Dread, was the largest of all the Targaryen Dragons. Far outliving Aegon I, he died at the age of 200.
Jon's Father, Prince Rhaegar, was known to be obsessed with the "Prince Who Was Promised" and "Three Heads of the Dragon" prophecies, the three heads reflecting the early reign of Aegon I, Visenya, and Rhaenys. This likely explains why Aegon was chosen as Jon's name.
2. Aegon II, 'Aegon The Usurper'
The crowning of the second King Aegon, known as "Aegon The Elder" or "Aegon The Usurper," was the catalyst for the great Civil War known as the Dance Of Dragons. Aegon's Father, King Viserys I, had named the daughter of his first marriage, Princess Rhaenyra, heir to the throne ahead of her younger half-brother, Prince Aegon. Those who disliked the idea of a female heir hid the death of Viserys for seven days, giving them time to secretly crown Aegon II as the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
Unwilling to give up her claim, Rhaenyra gathered her own followers and went to war against her brother. The war raged for years, but Aegon II was ultimately victorious, ending the war by feeding Rhaenyra to his dragon while her son, known as Aegon the Younger, was forced to watch. Soon after the war, Aegon II was found dead, having been poisoned. As all Aegon II's male heirs had been killed during the war, the Iron Throne passed to Aegon The Younger, Rhaenyra's son, rendering the whole "Dance Of Dragons" conflict tragically pointless.
Neither Aegon II or Rhaenyra are remembered fondly by history, as their war caused terrible strife for the realm.
3. Aegon III, 'Aegon The Dragonbane'
Aegon III, first known as "Aegon The Unlucky," and later "Aegon The Dragonbane," was crowned King of The Seven Kingdoms by the remaining supporters of his mother, Rhaenyra, after the death of his uncle, Aegon II. Inheriting the throne at just 11 years old, the kingdom was run by a council of regents for the early years of Aegon's reign.
One of the most significant events to occur during the reign of Aegon III was the death of the last dragon, known to be a small sickly creature with stunted legs and withered wings. Many suspected Aegon III, who suffered from a terrible fear of dragons after watching his mother burned and devoured by one, to be responsible for the death. This earned him the title of Dragonbane. He did summon mages from Essos to hatch the last dragon's eggs, but the attempt proved fruitless.
While the constant melancholy that surrounded Aegon III kept him from being a truly loved King, he was appreciated for his work in healing the rifts caused by the Civil War.
4. Aegon IV, 'Aegon The Unworthy'
The reigns of Aegon III's sons both ended in them dying without heirs, leading Prince Viserys to be crowned the next King, later followed by his son, Aegon IV. Aegon IV was well known for instantly indulging every whim that took him with very little thought for the consequences. He was cruel to his wife, and flaunted his many mistresses in court. Driven by jealousy, he openly disliked and disrespected his younger brother, the beloved War Hero Prince Aemon The Dragonknight, even after Aemon gave his own life to save Aegon IV from an assassination attempt.
After Aegon's son and heir, Prince Daeron, disagreed with him over political matters, Aegon IV spread rumors that Daeron was not his true-born son, but a bastard fathered by Prince Aemon. Many believed that Aegon wished to set Daeron aside in favor of Daemon Blackfyre, the eldest of his many bastard children. He gifted Daemon with the Targaryen family sword, Blackfyre, which was traditionally supposed to pass to the King's heir. On his deathbed, Aegon IV legitimized all his bastard children. This ultimately resulted in Daemon Blackfyre's attempt to usurp the throne from his half-brother, Daeron II, in the first of the four Blackfyre Rebellions.
While Aegon IV's indulgence in excesses was initially thought to be harmless, he is now remembered as one of the worst Targaryen Kings, dubbed "Aegon The Unworthy" soon after his death.
5. Aegon V, 'Aegon The Unlikely'
When King Maekar I was killed during the Peake Uprising, panic ensued, as his two eldest sons had already died in battle, and his third, Aemon, had become a Maester. His fourth son, Aegon, known to many as Egg, was initially rejected by the council due to his childhood spent among the peasants, training to be a knight. The council approached Aemon to rescind his Maester's vows and take the throne, but Aemon refused, instead convincing the council to crown Aegon.
As the fourth son of a King who had also been a fourth son, Aegon V was quickly dubbed "Aegon the Unlikely." His youth among the peasants led Aegon V to sympathize with their struggles, prompting him to introduce reforms that would make life easier for them. As these reforms stripped some powers from the Lords of Westeros, many opposed them. Aegon V came to believe that he needed the help of dragons to continue enforcing the unpopular reforms. The king, his son Prince Duncan and friend Ser Duncan the Tall were killed in a fire while trying to hatch Dragon eggs, an event that became known as the Tragedy Of Summerhall.
Aegon V was the topic of conversation between his brother, Maester Aemon, and Jon Snow in one episode of Game Of Thrones. It lead to one of the series' most memorable quotes.
"Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Kill the boy, and let the man be born." — Maester Aemon.
6. Aegon (Almost VI)
The boy who could have become Aegon VI was the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. As Rhaegar's eldest son, he was second in line to inherit the Iron Throne. Sadly, little Aegon was killed during the Sack of King's Landing when he was just over a year old, his head smashed beyond recognition by the Mountain.
In George R.R. Martin's fifth novel, A Dance Of Dragons, a boy appears claiming to be Aegon, apparently swapped with a substitute baby and smuggled out of King's Landing by Varys. Whether he is legitimate or an impostor has not yet been revealed.
What kind of Aegon do you think Jon Snow will prove to be?