“Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
As always, I want to inform everyone reading my article that I have a tendency to make difficult articles containing a lot of confusing characters, SPOILERS and trivia. If you have not been at least roughly following the Game of Thrones series, this article might be a little hard to follow. I have linked an equally interesting article here.
I've also edited it a bit after seeing some mistakes my commenters pointed out (Thanks for that btw). I'd also like to mention that parts of this theory are incomplete or certain situation might have gone differently. Don't forget to tell me about it in the comments.
A Little Background
Almost everyone loves Maester Aemon from the Night's Watch. He's the old wise mentor all of the wild rabble need from the old, vulnerable and blind old man.
However, late in the first season we find out that Aemon hasn't always been a man of humble apparel. He turns out to have been the heir to the Iron Throne under his father Maekar Tagaryen. His little brother was none other than Aegon. When Aemon was offered the Iron Throne as heir, he refused, giving his little brother Aegon the crown.
However, me and my friend have tried to speculate whether Aemon's decision not to become King of Westeros is one that has proved a terrible and destructive one.
The Targaryen Kings
To find some more answers we need to dig deep into George R.R. Martin's works. Aemon was originally not Maekar's oldest son. That title goes to Daeron Targaryen, who was the original heir. However he was considered very reckless and often got very drunk. He died young from pox. The same goes for his little brother, the second son Aerion.
Aemon's desire from the start was to become a Maester, so he studied at the citadel. At one point he had even served Daeron in his keep. When both of his brothers had died, he was already a Maester, and he refused to break his vows, thereby also refusing the crown. This is one of the most important moments in Westeros history.
As Aemon refused the Iron Throne it passed to his younger brother Aegon Targaryen. Many years later, the crown would pass to Aegon's grandson, Aerys II, who we know by another name: The Mad King. He was the one who committed cruel crimes and enjoyed the suffering of others.
"What about Aerys Targaryen? What did the Mad King say when you stabbed him in the back? I never asked. Did he call you a traitor? Did he plead for a reprieve?"
- How does this tie in with Aemon? If Aemon had accepted the throne, Aerys wouldn't have come to power and done serious harm to the people and the Targaryen name.
"He said the same thing he'd been saying for hours... "Burn them all."
- Jaime Lannister
The Mad King and Robert's Rebellion
As the Mad King Aerys became more and more sadistic, the people grew more and more hateful and intolerant. Aerys had three children named Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys. The last of the three we all know all too well. Before I get to Dany I'd like to zoom in on especially Rhaegar, as he also plays an important role in this story.
Prince Rhaegar, son of Aerys and the heir to the Iron Throne, then did something terrible. He kidnapped Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned Stark. He was said to have raped her, and murdered her. Robert Baratheon, who had been engaged to Lyanna teamed up with Ned to go get her back. However, the rescue mission turned into a full out war. Thing is, the people hated Aerys, so Robert received full support from the public, making things easier for him.
Robert ended up as King as soon as he had killed Rhaegar, and Jaime Lannister had killed Aerys. This situation was tough though, as the country had just been through the reign of the Mad King and a war. All of a sudden they had a new King too.
- How does this tie back to Aemon? If Aemon had been king, Rhaegar wouldn't have been in power, and Robert wouldn't have ended up as King, and the country would have still been ruled by Targaryens in relative peace.
The Game of Thrones
Continuing into the period we see in the books and series is the Game of Thrones; The constant switch in power and rulers, with many rivals and contesters for the Iron Throne.
After Robert Baratheon dies in Season 1, it leaves Renley Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon and Jeoffrey Baratheon fighting for the crown. Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, Daenerys is trying to regain the throne for her family.
- If Aemon had accepted the crown the Targaryen dynasty would have been continued, the Baratheons wouldn't have gotten into power, and Westeros would still have been mostly peaceful.
As soon as I watched this series I immediately thought it was all caused by Cersei and Jaime's incest, but after digging a little deeper this is the theory I've come up with.
What do you think? Is Aemon's decision the cause of all this? Did this begin before this or after?
Want to see another theory about the Game of Thrones? I've linked a video here.