The Case for Aegon Targaryen

Jon Snow Dragonpit

Listen up nerds, Jon Snow’s true name is Aegon Targaryen. Wipe off your glasses, tighten your suspenders, hit your inhaler,  and get over it.

The mystery has finally been revealed in Game of Thrones: Jon Snow is neither a Jon nor a Snow. His name is Aegon Targaryen and fans are up in arms across the fandom about this. However, I contend that Jon’s true name is a great choice and makes sense when you consider the context and clues from A Song of Ice and Fire and GoT hinting towards this.

There are a few main complaints about why Aegon is a bad name for Jon. Right at the top of the list, and widely lampooned is Rhaegar copying George Foreman, in that Rhaegar already had a son named Aegon. This Aegon was born to first wife, Elia Martell, and makes Rhaegar a mad prince naming all his sons the same.

Let’s examine the naming choice here. Rhaegar was not with Lyanna Stark when Jon with born, nor even alive. Jon was born after the sack of King’s Landing and as Ned Stark says in the show at the Tower of Joy:

“The mad king is dead, and Rhaegar lies beneath the ground”

The same as Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower not being at the Trident, Rhaegar was not there for Jon’s birth. While Rhaegar may have left his preferences for what his child would be named, it was ultimately Lyanna’s decision to name their child as she lay dying on the blood-stained bed.

There is also the question of what name Rhaegar would’ve even left for his child. It’s a detail often glossed over in the show, but Rhaegar had a pattern in mind for his children. His first child was a daughter he named Rhaenys. His second child, a son he named Aegon. If you follow this pattern, it’s very likely he did not expect a son from Lyanna, but rather a daughter. Why? Because he was naming his children after the original three heads of the dragon of Aegon the Conqueror. The show referenced them here in a scene between Arya and Tywin at Harrenhal,

Aegon the Conqueror married his two sisters Rhaenys and Visenya, and they were not just his wives but equal partners in his conquest. They rode their own dragons, conquered kingdoms and accepted fealty on Aegon’s behalf, and burned the armies in the Field of Fire. Rhaegar maintains that the dragon must have three heads, so he must have three children. We see this in the House of the Undying visions shown to Dany:

“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.

“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.” He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way. – A Clash of Kings, Daenerys IV

Rhaegar had decided the three dragons would mirror Aegon and his sisters and began naming them appropriately. Given that pattern, it seems very likely that Rhaegar left only one name with Lyanna. Visenya, the third head of the dragon for the daughter he was certain was coming. He was dead wrong. It was thus left to Lyanna, dying from childbirth with no prepared name for her surprise son, to come up with a name.

707 - Dorne - Rhaegar, Lyanna 1

It’s important to point out that Rhaegar was often wrong in his predictions of the future, yet still acted decisively on them. Early on in his life (I covered this in my Rhaegar primer), Maester Aemon says that Rhaegar thought he would be the Prince that Was Promised and set out to make himself a warrior. However, he became convinced it would be his children instead and began these naming conventions. Rhaegar also incorrectly believed that Elia Martell would have his three children, leading to him pursuing Lyanna Stark. Right up to his last days he was wrong, as he also told Jaime Lannister that he would be returning from the Trident.

Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime’s shoulder. “When this battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.”

Those were the last words Rhaegar Targaryen ever spoke to him. Outside the gates an army had assembled, whilst another descended on the Trident. So the Prince of Dragonstone mounted up and donned his tall black helm, and rode forth to his doom. – A Feast for Crows, Jaime I

It’s perfectly in character that this failed prophet would make the bold move of not leaving a name for a boy. Also, by the time Jon was born, it’s possible that the news of Rhaegar and his family’s deaths would’ve reached Lyanna and, in her grief, she decided to name her own son after Elia’s, making a touching tribute to an innocent infant brutally murdered by the monstrous knight, Gregor Clegane.

GOT505_102414_HS_DSC_1025

Also, there are multiple book passages that support the idea that Jon is actually named Aegon and not the other popular possibilities like Jaeherys, Daemon, or Aemon (my personal favorite). The most explicit hint comes from Maester Aemon:

A man grown with sons of his own, yet in some ways still a boy. Egg had an innocence to him, a sweetness we all loved. Kill the boy within you, I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” The old man felt Jon’s face. “You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” – A Dance with Dragons, Jon II

And there’s the House of the Undying vision earlier, where Rhaegar says:

Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother’s hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. “Aegon,” he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. “What better name for a king?”

“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked. – A Clash of Kings, Daenerys IV

Rhaegar intended for his male heir to be named Aegon and become king. He may have told Lyanna the same thing while they were together. She may have remembered that, after hearing of the deaths of Elia and her children, and along with empathy, decided that if her son should one day take the Iron Throne he should have the name of a king as well.

In support of the name Aegon is also the relationship between show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and author George R.R. Martin. There’s a story Dan and Dave love to tell about how they landed the show rights from George. From an interview with Variety, D.B. Weiss says,

We had become instantly and genuinely obsessed with his books to the point where we knew lots and lots about the minutia of them — and then he asked us the question about Jon Snow’s parentage. Maybe if we had gotten it wrong, he would have let us do it anyway.

They had to correctly say that Lyanna was Jon’s mother. This means that, for George, the true identity of Jon is a vital point that the entire story hinges on. It’s hard to believe that Dan and Dave would go off the reservation on such a pivotal piece of Jon’s identity due to its importance.

Robb Jon Snow

There’s also the famous story that originated in Entertainment Weekly, that to help the show runners finish the series, George gave them three twists to work towards, as a narrative.

  1. Stannis burns his daughter Shireen Baratheon
  2.  Hodor comes from Wylis (Walder in the books) saying his future last words “Hold the door” over and over.
  3. The third is unknown- it could very well be Jon’s true name.

The reveal would count as a twist, as in the books it has been hinted as heavily that Jon’s name is Aemon versus Aegon. In a particularly revealing memory, Jon as a boy shouted out that he was Aemon the Dragonknight in a sparring match with Robb.

Every morning they had trained together, since they were big enough to walk; Snow and Stark, spinning and slashing about the wards of Winterfell, shouting and laughing, sometimes crying when there was no one else to see. They were not little boys when they fought, but knights and mighty heroes. “I’m Prince Aemon the Dragonknight,” Jon would call out, and Robb would shout back, “Well, I’m Florian the Fool.” Or Robb would say, “I’m the Young Dragon,” and Jon would reply, “I’m Ser Ryam Redwyne.”

I go into extensive analysis of this revealing memory in two posts detailing how Robb and Jon’s journeys mirror those of the heroes they named themselves. In Jon’s case, the important name for our purposes is that he calls himself Aemon the Dragonknight. This seems like an intentional hint by our author leading towards the conclusion that it may be Jon’s true name.

Additionally in support of Aemon as his name is the very close relationship between Rhaegar and Maester Aemon. As I discuss in my Reddit post Aemon the Blind: Prince Rhaegar, they wrote letters back and forth throughout their lives trying to solve the mystery of the prophecy, and eventually save the world together.

However, with the clues toward Jon being named Aemon, there are problems with them. While in this memory Jon names himself Aemon the Dragonknight, in A Game of Thrones/Jon IX he contradicts that:

But he had not left the Wall for that; he had left because he was after all his father’s son, and Robb’s brother. The gift of a sword, even a sword as fine as Longclaw, did not make him a Mormont. Nor was he Aemon Targaryen.

In addition, the show has scrubbed nearly all mention of the relationship between Maester Aemon and Prince Rhaegar from the narrative. If that relationship was meant to influence Rhaegar’s naming of his child, it should’ve been portrayed in even some small way in the adaptation. The complete lack of the relationship is a glaring sign against the name Aemon. Also as discussed above, the evidence points away from Rhaegar being involved in the naming of Jon anyway. Lyanna Stark has no connection with anyone named Aemon. She may have never even known of Maester Aemon’s closeness with Rhaegar as the maester never mentions her at all.

Jon Crypts Winterfell

Aegon is a strong name in the lore, the name of the Conqueror and as traditional for the Targaryens as the name Brandon is for the Starks. Rhaegar says from beyond the grave that it is a fine name for a king, and Maester Aemon’s advice for Jon in centered around his own brother King Aegon V. It may not be the most popular name fans have speculated on in the fandom but it is one that works well in the narrative when you consider Jon’s parents, the context, and the role he seems to be poised for. As an added bonus, many speculate that hidden in the tomb of Lyanna Stark there may be some items meant for Jon as proof of his parentage. Rhaegar’s harp, Lyanna’s maiden’s cloak or wedding gown, a dragon egg…

But imagine if instead, waiting in his mother’s tomb for him to tell him his true name, is the lost crown of Aegon the Conqueror that was last seen conveniently in Dorne. A name and a crown fit for a king.

Come at me nerds, tell me how you are rationalizing your wrongness. Don’t @ me.

213 responses

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    1. JoeMagician is the biggest nerd of all, let it be known.

      I was initially “whatever” on Aegon as a name, but have grown to appreciate the symmetry of it. I never really bought into Aemon or Jaehaerys as a possibility, despite their popularity because the show didn’t set them up at all that way (cutting Jae entirely). And I think D&D are probably using the name GRRM told them, though I know some are holding out hope that the name will be different in the book.

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    2. D&D said that the third big twist that GRRM told them about is from the very end of the story, so I don’t think that’s Jon’s name. It’d be something in the final season, if not the finale.

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    3. Joe, thanks for writing this. I made a similar point in my finale dialogue with Petra, but this is much more elaborate, with all the proof anyone would ever need. I’m going to send this to anyone who complains about “D&D’s horrible writing”… though, of course, this probably comes from GRRM.

      My first reaction to “Aegon” was puzzlement and denial. I never had a name preference for Jon, but even then Aegon seemed wrong, for all the obvious reasons… until I actually thought about it for a minute. It may be telling, and not in a flattering way, that we all assumed Rhaegar was the one to name Jon, and some kept thinking that even when the show demonstrated otherwise.

      Sue the Fury,

      Couldn’t agree more. For “Jaehaerys” to mean anything to the audience, Jaehaerys I would’ve had to be mentioned more than once in passing by Sam, and Jaehaerys II would’ve to actually EXIST, since he was cut from the show’s continuity in the very first season, in order to make Aemon a generation closer to Daenerys (and Jon.) Sure, “Aemon” could’ve worked better than “Jaehaerys,” but “Aegon” is much more significant than either of those — it’s historically, symbolically, emotionally (to Lyanna), and even prophetically significant.

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    4. Yeah this.I totally believed it since I read the leaks last year.I don’t even know why the uproar?It fits.Why would they even change it?Why not Aemon if George said so?It’s just that when something contradicts people’s perceptions they want to debunk it in every way.And to me George is one if those people that would totally appreciate the irony of having a fake Aegon pretending to be real and a real Aegon hiding in plain sight lol.

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    5. I for one, believe the third twist D&D have mentioned is something to do with Melisandre…. They’ve been hinting @ something with her ever since her scene w/ Arya in season 3 where they said they will meet again… Combine that w/ her meeting with Varys where she said they will both die.

      Its the biggest prophecies we’ve seen on the show that haven’t been in the books, so I think they are hinting at something big.. which Mel will be a part of.

      Just my tin foil

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    6. Rhaegar was so obsessed with the prophecies that he wanted the ”three headed dragon” children. And he thought that they’ll come from the same bloodline again. That’s why Aegon and Rhaenys from Elia. But Elia became weak and she can’t gave birth to ”Visenya”. So Rhaegar wanted to start from the beginning with Lyanna. And he realises this ”ice & fire = Stark & Targaryen” thing. Jon’s name is Aegon 100% in the books too. Rhaegar wanted Rhaenys and Visenya from Lyanna too. But he died.

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    7. Good article lots of good info

      I love the scene In the Queens Mercy when Daenerys told Jon about centuries of peace and prosperity started with her ancestor Aegon Targaryen and Lord/King Torrhen Stark.

      That will be an epic scene when Jon and Daenerys find out Jon’s true name is Aegon Targaryen and his parents are Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

      Daenerys will just as shocked as Jon

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    8. Leading up to the name reveal was Sir Davos trying to refer to Jon’s title at Dragonstone as “King Jon, no, that doesn’t sound right, King Snow, no that’s not right either” (paraphrasing) the jist of which is Jon’s future kingly name will be forthcoming.

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    9. Sue the Fury:
      JoeMagician is the biggest nerd of all, let it be known.

      I was initially “whatever” on Aegon as a name, but have grown to appreciate the symmetry of it. I never really bought into Aemon or Jaehaerys as a possibility, despite their popularity because the show didn’t set them up at all that way (cutting Jae entirely). And I think D&D are probably using the name GRRM told them, though I know some are holding out hope that the name will be different in the book.

      If is known I am the nerd that was promised born from staying inside and reading too much.

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    10. r-hard:
      Rhaegar was so obsessed with the prophecies that he wanted the ”three headed dragon” children. And he thought that they’ll come from the same bloodline again. That’s why Aegon and Rhaenys from Elia. But Elia became weak and she can’t gave birth to ”Visenya”. So Rhaegar wanted to start from the beginning with Lyanna. And he realises this ”ice & fire = Stark & Targaryen” thing. Jon’s name is Aegon 100% in the books too. Rhaegar wanted Rhaenys and Visenya from Lyanna too. But he died.

      Exactly, his consistent inability to be correct makes it completely plausible that Lyanna came up with the name when she was surprised by a boy with Rhaegar dead and gone.

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    11. My personal name power rankings for what I thought Jon’s name would be were:

      1. Aemon
      2. Aegon
      3. Daemon
      4. Viserys (male version of Visenya)
      5. Jaeherys, Daeron

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    12. Luka Nieto,

      My preference would be that the show made this more explicit. I’m not a huge fan that you need to reference the books so heavily for it to make sense. That’s a bad crutch for the show to lean on. Not everyone has a podcast full of asoiaf experts to help them make sense of it.

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    13. The show has changed character names before, like Asha becoming Yara. Robin Arryn is never referred to as “Robert”, though that is his real name. It’s possible they didn’t want Jon to have a Targaryen name the show had already used.

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    14. I think I’m more interested in why GRRM decided to write a character representing that tired trope (“hidden ‘rightful’ heir” – Arthur/Sigurd/Aragorn…) into ASOIAF at all. I can’t believe that the liberal, leftist, and, after all, American, GRRM would want to end his story with the suggestion that the seat of power needs the ‘rightful’ ruler on it (as Tolkien did in LOTR). That sort of maudlin sentimentalism, not to mention the conservative tinge of it, doesn’t fit him or his writing at all.

      So, why did he put Jon into the story? Is it to deconstruct this trope? To bring it down? I’d love some discussion on this – of course, above all, I’d love to be able to ask GRRM about it, but it has to be bad form to ask him about things the show has already revealed that the books have not.

      On a separate note, a couple of days ago, I realised that GRRM and I share a birthday. It’s next week, by the way – we’re both Virgos.

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    15. FictionIsntReal,

      They changed them because “Asha” and “Osha” sound the same when spoken aloud in a lot of accents and it would’ve been confusing. And Robert and Robert-Robin were both on the show in the first season, it also probably would’ve been confusing.

      Jon is a very different situation. I doubt he’ll be called by his real name on the show regularly, so they wouldn’t change it for those particular reasons.

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    16. Joemagician:
      Luka Nieto,

      My preference would be that the show made this more explicit. I’m not a huge fan that you need to reference the books so heavily for it to make sense. That’s a bad crutch for the show to lean on. Not everyone has a podcast full of asoiaf experts to help them make sense of it.

      Except casual show watchers don’t need to explain Aegon’s name at all; they just know the historical significance of the name, and that may be enough. No need to explain the chronology exactly or Rhaegar’s prophetic obsessions, really; his first Aegon was mentioned exactly once.

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    17. Five Aegons had ruled the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. There would have been a sixth, but the Usurper’s dogs had murdered her brother’s son when he was still a babe at the breast. If he had lived, I might have married him. Aegon would have been closer to my age than Viserys. (Daenerys I, ADWD)

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    18. Joemagician,

      Yes! I definitely thought his true name would be Aemon but I’m also not completely surprised that it’s Aegon and I also think it will be book canon. I also liked the parallels between Jon and Daeron as both were brought to positions of leadership when they were/are still quite young. Also from ADwD:

      “When Jon had been a boy at Winterfell, his hero had been the Young Dragon, the boy king who had conquered Dorne at the age of fourteen. Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror. Now he was a man grown and the Wall was his, yet all he had were doubts. He could not even seem to conquer those.”

      The other parallel is that there was an assassination attempt on Daeron and Jon’s POV ends in ADwD with an attempt on his own life. I also wonder if Rhaegar actually read “Aegon” within the prophecies or scrolls he read that would prompt him to name is second son Aegon. I also think back to Kinvara’s speech in season 6 “Shall I tell you the name the voice spoke?” I always wondered if the voice Varys heard said a specific name.

      .. as for that final twist… my tinfoil theory is that Dany is actually half Targaryen.

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    19. FictionIsntReal,

      They already used the name Aegon as it was mention in the show when the BWB placed the Hound on trial for killing Aegon and Rhaenys. The Hound said he wasn’t responsible for their deaths.

      In show, they already mentioned an Aegon.

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    20. mau,
      There are hundreds of tropes. Why this one?

      Once again, the idea of a ‘rightful’ ruler is a conservative one (‘conservative’ in the sense of ‘a hierarchy exists, some people are inherently better than others’), and GRRM isn’t a conservative, he’s an egalitarian liberal (‘all people are equal’). *That’s* what’s not gelling for me, not the use of ‘a’ trope by and of itself.

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    21. Yaga,

      The majority of people that use their brain in this world are not 100% conservative or 100% liberal on everything. It depends on the issue.

      The notion that people are either 100% liberal or 100% conservative is a trope in and of itself.

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    22. Sue the Fury,

      I also thought D&D said the third twist/wow moment was intended for the final season (but, well, that could indeed have been before they decided upon 8 seasons). In any case, for me Shireen’s burning and certainly Hodor’s name appear as a more meaningful moment than Jon’s official name Aegon/Aemon/whatever. So I’m certainly hoping for something more impactful, like Dany’s third betrayal, Cersei’s end or something else.

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    23. Yaga,

      Its possible Jon doesn’t sit the thrown because he is the “rightful king.”

      He ends up sitting it because he earns it through his actions, choices, lots of luck and skillful courtship. He is almost close to becoming King or at least King consort in his own right even without his bloodline.

      Which is one reason I don’t like the secret parentage idea, the guy is so close to becoming King he just has to propose. What is the point of the whole reveal if he is practically getting to the same place?

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    24. His name is Jon Snow, the White Wolf, Warden of the North, 999th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Victor of the Battle of the Bastards, Leader of the Miracle at Hardhome, the King who Loved, and True-Raised Son of Eddard Stark.

      His name is not Aegon, or Aemon, or Daeron, or Fartron or any other Targaryen name.

      Jon is a Snow, raised among Starks. The Blood of the First Men flows through his veins from his Lady Mother.

      The real subverting of the trope will be when he walks away from the name.

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    25. Mr Derp,
      It can’t be a ‘trope’. This word has a meaning – a pattern in literature, an archetype. Perhaps you meant ‘stereotype’, ‘cliche’, ‘banality’, ‘truism’, ‘bromide’ or some such, I’m not sitting in your mind, so I don’t know… but certainly, not a trope.

      House Monty,
      Yes, that’s my point! What’s the point of this ‘rightful heir’ bit to Jon’s character? He could be an ‘everyman’, an *actual* Ned Stark’s bastard if he needed that bit of initial boost. But he’s not… and why?

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    26. Yaga:
      I think I’m more interested in why GRRM decided to write a character representing that tired trope (“hidden ‘rightful’ heir” – Arthur/Sigurd/Aragorn…) into ASOIAF at all. I can’t believe that the liberal, leftist, and, after all, American, GRRM would want to end his story with the suggestion that the seat of power needs the ‘rightful’ ruler on it (as Tolkien did in LOTR). That sort of maudlin sentimentalism, not to mention the conservative tinge of it, doesn’t fit him or his writing at all.

      So, why did he put Jon into the story? Is it to deconstruct this trope? To bring it down? I’d love some discussion on this – of course, above all, I’d love to be able to ask GRRM about it, but it has to be bad form to ask him about things the show has already revealed that the books have not.

      On a separate note, a couple of days ago, I realised that GRRM and I share a birthday. It’s next week, by the way – we’re both Virgos.

      I absolutely believe GRRM included this “trope” specifically in order to destroy it! This whole story has been about destroying the accepted ways of doing things. Girls and women, in both good and bad ways, take control of their lives and become powerful: Arya, Daenerys, Sansa, Brienne, Cersei. Bastards become respected leaders chosen by those they lead. Dwarfs and “craven” highborn sons despised by their fathers become trusted advisors and learned men and attain important and powerful positions. The lowest regarded of the commoners, the Freefolk, also become important and powerful, trusted by the KitN and his lords.
      I believe we will see the destruction of the Iron Throne and perhaps the destruction of patriarchal monarchy rule by primogeniture altogether.

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    27. ginny,

      I agree. Thats why I think what makes the most sense is either him defering to Daenerys or them co-ruling.

      The one problem with no monarchy is that it almost feels to idealistic. The transition from monarchy to democracy was a centuries transition in our world that was caught up with all sorts of other broader socio-economic factors. I could see a step in this direction, perhaps a parliament, but just getting rid of the monarchy all together feels truly radical.

      But who knows. Maybe Tyrion’s comments in s7e6 were foreshadowing for an actual radical change and Dany and Jon choose not to have their kid inherit their crown.

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    28. I definitely made fun of the Brothers Aegon and will continue to do so, most likely. It’s just unprecedented to my knowledge, except for Newhart’s hilarious, “I’m Larry. This is my brother Darryl. This is my other brother Darryl.” And so I’ll keep quipping, “I’m Rhaenys. This is my brother Aegon. This is my other brother Aegon.”

      One fan argued about all of the Walder Freys, but even those are cousins, and uncles and nephews, and fathers and sons, and so on. There aren’t any brothers to each other both named Walder Frey.

      And yet, when all of the dust settles, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. And I certainly never considered the possibility that this name wasn’t straight from GRRM. Of course, it is! D&D are going off-book on many small things but not something this meaningful.

      Rhaegar had decided the three dragons would mirror Aegon and his sisters and began naming them appropriately. Given that pattern, it seems very likely that Rhaegar left only one name with Lyanna. Visenya, the third head of the dragon for the daughter he was certain was coming.

      Surely Rhaegar was smart enough to realize, after marrying Lyanna, that the song of ice and fire would come from his marriage to ice (Lyanna) and not Elia. So I think Lyanna was following Rhaegar’s wishes with the name Aegon, wishes he’d have expressed before Aegon and Rhaenys were killed. The explanation that r-hard (and perhaps others) gives about Rhaegar fervently believing TPTWP needed to be Aegon is the thing that makes the most sense to me.

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    29. Sue the Fury: They changed them because “Asha” and “Osha” sound the same when spoken aloud in a lot of accents and it would’ve been confusing.

      No more confusing than Yara and Arya.
      And Asha/Yara and Osha had entirely separate storylines, so it seems an odd decision to me.

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    30. In the books there are still Targaryen loyalists. I guess, on the show we will never see them? It’s a little unclear in the books who they all are or if they will have any influence.
      A curious situation now, since the North may become Targ loyalists!

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    31. Luka Nieto:
      It may be telling, and not in a flattering way, that we all assumed Rhaegar was the one to name Jon, and some kept thinking that even when the show demonstrated otherwise.

      The name “Jon” seems to be one that would come from Lyanna, but once I realized that he had a secret Targaryen first name, as well, I would have thought that name would more likely come from a Targaryen. Knowing about all of the deaths, if the name only came from Lyanna, I would think she’d choose the name of the only Targaryen she knew and loved, Rhaegar. As a woman, I can say that if my husband had had a first wife, there would be no way in hell I’d name my children after her or any of her children without being asked to do so.

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    32. lmao some stay doing the most as usual

      “It was ultimately Lyanna’s decision to name their child as she lay dying on the blood-stained bed.”

      Exactly. But don’t expect certain segments of the GoT fandom to get it lol. Mention Jon’s parentage to them and they go nuts. There are still people out there who think Lyanna and Rhaegar aren’t his parents because muh cliches and muh tropes, or that he’s not the heir to the IT in spite of the amount of king imagery in his chapters. GRRM isn’t as edgy and subversive as they like to think.

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    33. Grandmaester Flash,

      Asha/Yara and Osha aren’t important characters in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not as important as Jon and Arya, whose names get mentioned in like every episode. So to change Asha into Yara isn’t a big deal. But to change Jon’s name just for shits and giggles is not something that can be done, especially when it’s in connection to the biggest mystery of the series, the one that secured D&D the rights to adapt the story. Most of the viewers know the names of like 5 to 10 characters at most, so yes Asha and Osha would be confusing. This is the same fandom that thinks Dany’s real name is Khalessi and gives it to their kids.

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    34. This was a fun, geeky read. Personally, I’m not getting that hung up on Jon’s name being the same as another son of Rhaegar’s. It’s a little weird but it just doesn’t bother me much. I appreciate that others can come up with theories that have it make sense to them, though.

      If Jon does in fact play a role in ushering in some kind of new era of governance in Westeros – such as a somewhat more democratic way of deciding rulers – then I think his name, Aegon, will have symbolic significance. The new Aegon decides to abandon or fundamentally change the system formed by his namesake. I think the writers probably perceived that significance and merely shrugged at the logistical problems of Rhaegar giving two of his sons the same name. If they have to weigh the symbolic advantages of the name Aegon against the logistical advantages of giving him a less meaningful name like Jaenerhys I think they will go with the symbolic advantage every time.

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    35. Yaga,

      Yes, you’re right that the term does have meaning, which I used correctly.

      A trope can be defined as either a figure of speech or cliche, so yes, I used the term correctly. No one needs to be in my head to make that connection.

      Either way, my point still stands, which you sidestepped by trying to use semantics.

      Just because you see George RR Martin as a liberal doesn’t mean that everything he does has to also be liberal.

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    36. I think a fun twist would be that Dany is TPTWP and/or Azor Ahai reborn after all.

      On the surface, it looks like the story is leading to that because she’s the only living Targ and she hatched dragons and set herself on fire without getting burned and all that.

      But the readers learn quickly to look beneath the surface. Then they figure out or learn of R+L=J. After that, it’s really easy to make the assumption that because Jon is the secret Targ heir and the one who is tasked with leading the battle against the dead, he must be AAR. But maybe that is too obvious too?

      It would actually be much more of a twist if AAR actually was Dany. Now, I’m not saying that I 100% believe this is true. I will say that it would entertain me greatly if it was. Just imagine if Jon was the new Nissa Nissa and Dany had to sacrifice him to save the world. The fandom would completely lose their shit over it!

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    37. Excellent article! Although I knew there were arguments for several of them, I have to admit that I’ve been as guilty as a number of book readers in a preference for a name other than Aegon – mine being for Aemon. And I do think there are a number of hints that go that way.

      In fact, the quote about Jon not being Aemon Targaryen was one of the reasons I believed that was the name he had been given at birth!

      But he had not left the Wall for that; he had left because he was after all his father’s son, and Robb’s brother. The gift of a sword, even a sword as fine as Longclaw, did not make him a Mormont. Nor was he Aemon Targaryen. Three times the old man had chosen, and three times he had chosen honor, but that was him. Even now, Jon could not decide whether the maester had stayed because he was weak and craven, or because he was strong and true. Yet he understood what the old man had meant, about the pain of choosing; he understood that all too well. (Jon IX in A Game of Thrones)

      Three times as a brother of the Night’s Watch, Jon is forced to choose between honor and desire. And three times Jon ultimately chooses honor:

      – When he returns to Castle Black and recommits himself to the Night’s Watch after running off to join Robb’s army. He declares himself Mormont’s man.

      – When he leaves Ygritte to return to Castle Black. He breaks his vows, but he does return to the Night’s Watch in spite of his love for her.

      – When he rejects Stannis’s offer of Winterfell and legitimacy in favor of remaining with the Night’s Watch.

      By the time he is stabbed, Jon has ultimately chosen honor three times.

      I love the Kill the Boy passage – in the show, Aemon doesn’t mention giving the same advice to his brother before going north to the Wall. I wonder now if this was done to avoid any hints that Aegon was the name Lyanna gave her son? I was also really annoyed this season that nobody seemed to mention Maester Aemon – will we get some sort of reference to his death scene and to Egg when Bran carries out his plan for he and Sam to tell Jon the truth?

      In any case, the books (plus the world book and Dunk and Egg) give us a tremendous number of parallels between Jon Snow and Aegon V Targaryen. In fact, I could probably write several thousand words about that but I’ll try to be as brief as possible!

      One of the key parallels is the fact that they are both very unlikely candidates for kingship. Aegon V was born the fourth son of a fourth son and was seemingly destined to only fall down the line of succession. Rhaegar’s second son was raised the Bastard of Winterfell following the exile of House Targaryen from the Iron Throne. Neither seem, given their circumstances, likely rulers – indeed, Aegon V’s nickname is Aegon the Unlikely. Rhaegar’s son could be given a similar moniker.

      And both of them have extensive experience of dealing with those who live far from the gilded Red Keep. Aegon V traveled throughout Westeros as squire to a hedge knight, and Jon Snow served with beggars and thieves in the Night’s Watch as well as treating with wildlings.

      I won’t go into anymore detail because – as I said above – it’ll only turn into thousands of words. These two hidden dragons are incredibly interesting characters, and the man we have come to know as Jon Snow has far more in common with his great-great-grandfather than he realizes.

      Aegon does make a lot of sense – that name is to House Targaryen what the name Brandon is to House Stark. And if Lyanna wished to emphasize her son’s Targaryen heritage (particularly given her son had her look rather than Rhaegar’s) what better way to do it that give him the Targaryen name?

      Rhaegar may very well have left Lyanna with the name Visenya. But if he also told her that he expected a son of his named Aegon to be the Prince that was Promised, it makes a lot of sense for her to choose that name if she knew the fate of Elia and her children.

      As much as I liked the name Aemon for Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son, I have made my peace with Aegon. It isn’t a name without supporting hints and foreshadowing, but it is one I do not believe we will see him use. He will always see Ned Stark as his father, and Ned named him Jon.

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    38. weirwoodtreehugger,

      I like the Dragons being Lightbringer which i guess would make Dany Azor Ahai but Jon would still have a meaningful role riding Rhaegal and the Nissa Nissa was actually Drogo/ rhaego or whatever the death was that paid for the dragons.

      Although if white walkers can survive a blast from a dragon in addition to putting out dragon flame that theory does not work.

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    39. I really hope it turns out that the first baby Aegon wasn’t Rhaegar’s kid.
      It would explain why Rhaegar dissed Elia at Harrenhall, and also the annulment.

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    40. Kath6152,

      That would actually be pretty interesting in the sense that it would completely change what everyone “knows” about why Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia.

      I like it!

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    41. Yaga,

      Yaga, that’s what i am also thinking about. To me, the most powerful dialogue in the whole series was between Stannis and Ser Davos when Stannis asked “what is the life of one bastard boy against an entire kingdom?” and Davis said “Everything”. I was very intrigued by that answer and i think that this message ist also important to the writers. Power ist power (as Cersei put it) but, in the end, no one ist superior and -even more important- no one should be left behind ..

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    42. Interesting read. But are we sure that Rhaegar still regarded his children from Elia (named after two of the original three conquerors) as his legitimate children? If yes, why didn’t he place some Kingsguards at KL to protect them? The fact that he had Kingsguards at the ToJ, suggests to me that Rhaegar was confident that a future King, a boy, was coming when Lyanna gave birth. Perhaps he simply wanted to wipe the slate clean with his previous marriage/children, and start fresh with his interpretation of the prophecy. So, erase the older Aegon child, start with a new Aegon, and then produce two other daughters with Lyanna.
      On her deathbed, Lyanna’s primary focus would be to make sure her baby would be safe. So why give him a Targ name? Why not a solid Northern name, so that it would be quite anonymous? In my opinion, Rhaegar had instructed her to name the child Aegon.

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    43. His real name is Jon Snow. That name confirms the reality of who he is. Yes, he has a legal name of “Aegon Targaryen”. He also has the legal name “Jon Stark” from when Robb legitimized him. But he remains always “Jon Snow”.

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    44. weirwoodtreehugger,

      If Dany is Azor Ahai, her dragons are Lightbringer, who were born many years ago. What would she achieve by killing Jon now lol.
      I thought this last season made it fairly clear that both Jon and Dany are connected to the prophecy. So like it or not, Jon’s role in this story is not to be the sacrificial lamb. The show has gone out of it’s way to hint at a future confrontation between Jon and the NK, Beric telling Jon that the way to end the war is killing the NK and then the Staredown 2.0. Yet people keep expecting him to die before the White Walkers are defeated, inspite of all the set up to the contrary.

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    45. ghost of winterfell,

      Lightbringer was forged three times.

      The first time, it was tempered in water and it broke. OK, ice and snow are basically frozen water, so Viserion was tempered in water and broke (he was killed)

      The second time, it was tempered in the heart of a lion, but it still broke. OK, we’ve got three lions still running around — Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion. What if Rhaegal is killed by Cersei?

      The third time, it was tempered in the heart of Azor Ahai’s beloved. So, Drogon will have to kill Jon?

      And then Dany will be Azor Ahai.

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    46. Dark Sister,

      I am also intrigued by the possibility Dany may not be exactly who she thinks she is.

      HelloThere,

      Mel and the Red Priests definitely still have a role to play. Now with Jon’s name reveal we can speculate on a connection to the name Varys heard as well. In the books Varys constructs his ideal Prince, grooming him from childhood, and calls him Aegon. Was that choice related to the name the sorceror used? Seems likely now, since there isn’t much time left for other names to become relevant to Varys’s storyline. As for Mel, we still need to learn why her extreme age matters in the slightest, and her shadow baby abilities seem odd if the only purpose of that was to kill off Renly.

      Yaga,

      An interesting point on “rightful” rulers and I tend to agree. I think personally that it is telling that the story tells of a PRINCE who was promissed and not a KING. I don’t think this is a “Aegon wins and rules happily ever after” story.

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    47. WorfWWorfington,

      Good Lightbringer analysis, really interesting. With Jaime and Tyrion – and the Walkers – heading to Winterfell, maybe Rhaegal isn’t safe.

      No matter his true name, I will always think of him as Jon Snow.

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    48. “In King’s Landing, Queen Alicent grew most wroth when she learned the babe had been named Aegon, taking it for a slight against her own Aegon … which it most certainly was. (Hereafter, we will refer to Queen Alicent’s son as Aegon the Elder and Princess Rhaenyra’s son as Aegon the Younger).” (“The Rogue Prince” – GRRM)

      Because multiple characters with the same name can co-exist in the same story. Shocking, I know.

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    49. The name could be significant or it could not be.

      If not, then Dan and Dave may have chosen to give Jon the name Aegon because it’s more familiar to the TV audience and they haven’t included Young Griff in the show.

      I mean, has the show ever actually named Rhaegar and Ellia’s children? If not, then there’s no harm in calling Jon, Aegon and everyone unfamiliar with the books is non the wiser.

      We’ll know if Jon finds out his given name is something else if and when George actually reveals it to us.

      I suspect that regardless, he will end up wanting to be called Jon regardless.

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    50. Hodor Targaryen: I always assumed that the name “Jon” came from Ned, that he named his “bastard” after Jon Arryn, his mentor.

      Naming a bastard after Jon Arryn would have been deemed an insult. Indeed, this is part of why the idea that Jon’s true name is Aegon is a very old one (at least among the “Lyannites”: the Dayneites obviously didn’t by the premises!). There had always been the question: “Why would Ned insult Jon Arryn by naming a bastard after Arryn?” After all, given that Jon Arryn seems to have been more of a father to Ned than Ned’s biological father was, Ned really should have saved the name for second or third legitimate son.

      However, if Jon’s true name was Aegon, then “Jon” was a reasonably close approximation. Ned was a stickler for the truth: and the less “false” the lie was, the more comfortable he would have been. There still would have been the issue of Jon Arryn taking offense: but that seems to have not become a problem.

      Rhaegar himself obviously would have chosen a different name: but Rhaegar had been dead for weeks. Even if he had offered ideas on the name before he died, then it was still down to Lyanna to name him: and as should be abundantly obvious by now to both book readers and show watchers, Lyanna did what she thought was best, not what men told her was best. Lyanna would have heard that Aegon Try 1 was dead (and even if it turns out that he’s still alive in the books, then it does not much matter: Lyanna never read the books), and if she thought that it was important for Rhaegar to have a son named Aegon, then Aegon his name would have been.

      One does wonder how Ned explained to Jon Arryn why Ned’s mentor was the namesake of a bastard: but no doubt Ned dissembled with something like “it was his mother’s wish.” Ned was not a very good liar, but he was pretty good at spinning the truth in misleading ways!

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    51. House Monty,

      Yes, I think there will have to be some intermediary steps to any kind of continent-wide democracy. Not sure what it would be. Well, I guess we could look to our own planet’s history for clues! That would point to some bloody common-people-uprising revolutions, though.

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    52. I’ve always believed that Jon’s true name was “Baelor,” which was why Ned whispered this name right before he lost his head in K-L.

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    53. ghost of winterfell: If Dany is Azor Ahai, her dragons are Lightbringer, who were born many years ago.

      That does not necessarily follow! After all, in some versions of the Azor Ahai story, he had a dog as a companion. (Hence the “Azor Ahai was a warg!” conjectures, because only wargs can have dogs….) Lightbringer probably was not the dog!

      (And if Drogon is Lightbringer, then it was Khal Drogo who played the part of Nissa Nissa: after all, it was sacrificing him that led to Drogon’s birth. Er, hatching. Effin’ reptiles….)

      What the Lightbringer story probably represents is the recipe for Valyrian steel. Moreover, I would not expect the current go of history to replicate the fairy tales derived from the past too closely: if nothing else, then nothing on the show has set up or even foreshadowed this.

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    54. Wimsey,

      To add to what you are saying, the name Jon Snow is also likely GRRM’s own version of John Doe. He’s hinting that the name is really a placeholder for Jon’s true name, which Ned knows is too dangerous to reveal.

      “You can call him Lord Snow,” Pyp said as he came up to join them. “You don’t want to know what his mother calls him.” – AGOT, Jon IV.

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    55. Flayed Potatoes:
      Grandmaester Flash,

      Asha/Yara and Osha aren’t important characters in the grand scheme of things.Certainly not as important as Jon and Arya, whose names get mentioned in like every episode. So to change Asha into Yara isn’t a big deal. But to change Jon’s name just for shits and giggles is not something that can be done, especially when it’s in connection to the biggest mystery of the series, the one that secured D&D the rights to adapt the story. Most of the viewers know the names of like 5 to 10 characters at most, so yes Asha and Osha would be confusing. This is the same fandom that thinks Dany’s real name is Khalessi and gives it to their kids.

      LOL, that is so true about “Khaleesi”! I only started watching during season 4, and I binged until I caught up. My work friend had already been watching from the beginning, but she’s a busy mom with no time to obsess like me. So I kept talking to her about Daenerys, and she kept asking who I was talking about? I said, Daenerys, married to Khal Drogo, now has the dragons? It was her favorite character, and she didn’t know her real name!

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    56. WorfWWorfington,

      The story is also the story of the forging, on that we agree. But IMO Lightbringer is still a sword, not a dragon. Of course, we shall see.

      Ice was used to kill Ned and then it “shattered”. Widow’s Wail or Oathkeeper (probably WW) will kill a Lannister and then also be reforged (shattered). So either Jaime or Tyrion will die mid-way through season 8 by a Lannister sword. That is the Lion tempering.

      The final sword, made of a melted and reforged Lannister sword will then need a “tempering”. IMO that final tempering is the Nissa Nissa moment, which echoes the creation of the Night King (dragonglass shard in the heart).

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    57. ginny: Well, I guess we could look to our own planet’s history for clues!

      Westeros has yet to have something like Magna Carta. That set the stage for England moving towards democracy, which in turn helped catalyze things slowly elsewhere in Europe. So, Westeros is still centuries away from anything we would deem “democracy.”

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    58. Flayed Potatoes: To add to what you are saying, the name Jon Snow is also likely GRRM’s own version of John Doe. He’s hinting that the name is really a placeholder for Jon’s true name, which Ned knows is too dangerous to reveal.

      True! That probably was too good to pass up. And, of course, as others noted years ago: Jon is such a common name that GRRM might not have made the connection to Jon Arryn immediately himself. But, of course, the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a Catholic has no bearing on whether Sherlock Holmes might have been, right? 😀

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    59. Grandmaester Flash: No more confusing than Yara and Arya.
      And Asha/Yara and Osha had entirely separate storylines, so it seems an odd decision to me.

      Arya and Yara sound very different. Asha & Osha differ by only one vowel, and because sounds for the same vowels overlap among different accents (it’s one of the primary things that distinguishes accents, after all), it would have been very hard for audiences to distinguish.

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    60. ginny,

      That’s the case with so many casual fans! My unsullied/casual friends call her dragon mom lol. But they all know names like: Arya, Ned, Jon Snow and so on. The simple names are always easier to remember and pronounce. One thing I find funny is that they always call Jon by his full name like most of the other characters on the show do, so never just ‘Jon’. They also do this with Han Solo in SW.

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    61. House Monty,
      WorfWWorfington,

      I also like the idea of the dragons being a “flaming sword.” In ADwD Xaro straight up refers to Dany’s dragons as “flaming swords.” :

      “When your dragons were small they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world.”

      Given, that GRRM likes to hint at prophecy within dialogues, I don’t want to completely discount the fact that the dragons could very well be the flaming sword. I feel like their very existence also ties into other prophecies such as the Dothraki’s “stallion who mounts the world.”

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    62. Ginevra: Surely Rhaegar was smart enough to realize, after marrying Lyanna, that the song of ice and fire would come from his marriage to ice (Lyanna) and not Elia. So I think Lyanna was following Rhaegar’s wishes with the name Aegon, wishes he’d have expressed before Aegon and Rhaenys were killed.

      We don’t have any reason to think that. For one thing, we have no idea what the prophecy said in the first place! Rhaegar needed a third: and he sought out a new wife to get that third Targaryen. We don’t know that the name “Aegon” was important to this. Indeed, given that Rhaegar at one time thought that he might be the “one” of the prophecy, we have evidence that there was no particular name attached to it.

      My bet is that Lyanna did this entirely on her own. Even if Rhaegar had expressed other ideas, then she would have done what she thought was appropriate. After all, if she were the sort to do what men told her to do, then, well, Rhaegar would have had to find yet another woman!

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    63. I learned today reading about Henry I, the son of William the Conquerer, that his daughter Matilda was named after his wife Matilda of Scotland. But he also had many bastards, including three daughters who all three were named Matilda FitzRoy (the surname given amongst Normans for bastards of kings). Matilda, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, and Matilda of Scotland — must have been very confusing around the dinner table.

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    64. Wimsey,

      True. It’s like being called John Smith or something 😛

      Jon Snow is such a simple and generic name that it really stands out when you look at the books and see the names of other nobles like Cersei, Jaeherys (still can’t spell it), Catelyn, Viserys, Tyrion and so on. You can’t help but think there’s something off there, especially in a genre like fantasy, where the names tend to be more elegant or strange (can’t find the right words for it, but I think you know what I mean).

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    65. Wimsey,

      Henry VIII named a bastard of his “Henry,” presumably after himself or his father or because it was a significant name in his family line. So I’m not sure it’s that insulting to name bastards after people, in real-world history or in Westeros. Besides Ned seemingly naming Jon Snow after his friend and mentor, Walder Frey also names one of his bastards after himself.

      I feel like your assumption that it’s sort of impolite in Westeros to name a bastard after someone you like/care about is a perfectly fair one, given the dislike for bastards, especially in the south. But I don’t think Ned naming Jon Snow “Jon” really fits with that logic. Your theory to reconcile this is kind of a head-scratcher: Ned wanted to name his nephew in such a way as to cast off suspicion that the nephew was a secret Targaryen (obviously keeping the name Aegon would have been unwise). But because the kid is a legitimate Targaryen, Ned can’t possibly bring himself to name him something generic like Edric, so he feels compelled to name him (and not his next legitimate son) after Jon Arryn. Therefore, naming his “bastard” after a friend is a clue that the bastard really isn’t a bastard!

      Sorry, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I mean, if we accept that Ned was trying to convince everyone that his nephew was actually his bastard, why break a social more in naming him? I think it is far more likely that naming bastards after others is not such a social sin as you suggest, or at least, not in the North. Or maybe there is a hierarchy of acceptability when it comes to naming bastards after others (don’t name them after kings or relatives, but friends are okay). Again, the example of Henry VIII naming his bastard son Henry Fitzroy suggests that this social rule didn’t exist even in our world, so unless you know of an excerpt from the books that indicates that this would be an insult, then I don’t think this counts as a clue towards R+L=J (not that there needed to be more).

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    66. Flayed Potatoes:
      spacechampion,

      To add to the historical topic, the Ptolemaic dynasty is also made up of a ton of kings named Ptolemy and a bunch of queens named Cleopatra lol. Oh and just like the Targs, they loved inbreeding too. Their family tree is absolutely hilarious and puts Rhaegar to shame https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/Ptolemaic_dynasty.GIF

      Holy crap.
      I can’t even begin to try to understand that family tree. :O

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    67. spacechampion:
      I learned today reading about Henry I, the son of William the Conquerer, that his daughter Matilda was named after his wife Matilda of Scotland.But he also had many bastards, including three daughters who all three were named Matilda FitzRoy (the surname given amongst Normans for bastards of kings).Matilda, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, and Matilda of Scotland — must have been very confusing around the dinner table.

      You just quickly and succinctly removed all possible minor hang-ups I may have had over Jon being named Aegon. I don’t know how common it is throughout history, but that there is at least one real-world example of a father using the same name for multiple kids, so it’s not just an oversight on the writers’ part (necessarily). I wonder if it happens elsewhere in history. It seems like English monarchs, at least, went to the same well of names over and over again, especially for expected heirs.

      (Also suggests that naming bastards after people may not be so insulting to the namesakes, which comforts me given my pretty tedious debate with Wimsey about how strange/not-strange it is for Jon Snow to be named after Jon Arryn).

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    68. Dark Sister,

      I am pretty sure that if Lightbringer were going to turn out to be a dragon, we would’t have characters wandering around with flaming swords. Beric and Thoros need to have some sort of point.

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    69. awol,

      Could be. The Dragons being Lightbringer feels so much more structurally and themstically satisfying to me since the others and the dragons were the bookends to the first book and are the great weapons of ice and fire. And we know now that the others are indeed a weapon created by the COTF.

      Also Drogon is about 5000% awesomer than any flaming sword could be.

      But who knows you could be right.

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    70. Yaga,

      Perhaps we are watching different shows.
      The whole appeal of GOT, is that is in many ways the very opposite of the liberal, wealthy, democratic world that those who can watch the show inhabit. Even with the cataclysmic changes that it is going trough, it won’t become very liberal, whoever ends on top (well I guess the most egalitarian version would be the Night King’s winning, with almost everyone equally dead and the leaders not enjoying even central heating). After all now with the wall fallen and Dragons around everyone will believe in magic, and as the very liberal Maesters have shown, magic isn’t very conducive to liberalism.
      A literary work that is historical in character and takes pains to draw in detail religions, family trees and local traditions is structurally conservative. It deals with conservative ideas, institutions and symbols, even when some of them are actually undermined. That happened a lot in history, such as king William I “the conqueror” being an actual bastard (his enemies of course called him “William the Bastard”), and queens Mary I and Elizabeth I being both regarded as bastards by respectively Protestants and Catholics (as their father’s marriages to their mothers were deemed void) – as well as illegitimate by the very fact they were women reigning alone, something England hadn’t seen before. So there may be some more or less “liberal” elements within the story but as long as family, heraldry, prophecy etc. are there, it will remain a quite conservative place.

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    71. Joemagician: If is known I am the nerd that was promised born from staying inside and reading too much

      You are among good company, JoeMagician. I imagine there are throngs of book nerds here, young and old, chastised by worried parents for reading “too much.” So, every scene of the gorgeous Citadel Library, and Sam touring among all those wonderful books gave you heart palpitations, too?

      I am not as dedicated to these book details as many of you are here, but I seem to devour book detail whenever it happens, so this thread has been a magnet to me. For my part, though, Jon having been named Aegon wasn’t a problem to me. I guess it’s the same to most viewers, more of an “Oh, ok,” attitude. But reading the various points of view as to why or why not Aegon has been a hoot. Carry on.

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    72. Regarding Jon’s real name, I have no dog in that fight. It’s all good to me. What interests me more is the forthcoming fallout this reveal will bring.

      Hell, call him Dickon–just let the man have some peace when this is done. 🙂

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    73. Erica: What interests me more is the forthcoming fallout this reveal will bring.
      Hell, call him Dickon–just let the man have some peace when this is done. 🙂

      agree

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    74. Brilliant article, thank you so! Anyway, I think that if Lyanna’s purpose was to protect her son, she would have never asked Ned to call him Aegon, such a meaningful Targaryen name.

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    75. Regardless of Jon’s real name, I can’t imagine anyone addressing him by it….certainly not the people who know him best. How long did it take for him to come to terms with his status as a bastard? Yeah, we’ll see the “you’re a Stark and you’re a Targaryen” thrown back him, but I can’t see him upending his whole identity as he currently knows it just for the sake of having legitimacy.

      Maybe what I’m saying is too simplistic.

      I know they’ll be conflict with the Northern lords, with Dany, but the worst will come from within. I’m not happy for him; I’m sad for him, sad for what this is going to do to him. Maybe that’s part of the bittersweet…

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    76. Erica,

      I think once he processes it he will be happy.

      I think in s1e2 he specifically asked is my mother out there? Does she know about me? Does she care?

      Knowing he had a mother that loved and cared about him will make him happy.

      Same thing for Daenerys. Once she processes it knowing she is not alone and she has family will make her happy.

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    77. The third twist/wow moment was Viserion being killed and turned into a white walker/wight. If most of the online fandom wasn’t spoilt by leaks, our mouths would be hanging over like most of the audience who never goes online.

      Aegon makes sense. There is fake one, but the real one is standing in front of everyone.

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    78. House Monty,

      “Erica,

      I think once he processes it he will be happy.

      I think in s1e2 he specifically asked is my mother out there? Does she know about me? Does she care?

      Knowing he had a mother that loved and cared about him will make him happy.

      Same thing for Daenerys. Once she processes it knowing she is not alone and she has family will make her happy.”

      Cont. the very first desire Dany ever expresses is a desire for home which i think means family.

      This news once fully processed will be the realization of part of their character arcs that were established in the first two episodes of the show.

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    79. House Monty:

      I think once he processes it he will be happy.

      I think in s1e2 he specifically asked is my mother out there? Does she know about me? Does she care?

      Knowing he had a mother that loved and cared about him will make him happy.

      I hope you’re right. I trust he’ll come to terms with what Ned did for him (I believe he’ll be angry at first, but that’s hardly a stretch to imagine) and he was loved/wanted which I hope he comes to realize, too. It’s just that Jon’s path has never been easy and this is just going to gut him…at least initially. I just want the guy to get a break, simpleton that I am. 🙂

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    80. Day called it when they met. Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen will be the next leader of the Seven Kingdoms and he will be the great leader the Aegon Targaryen she mentioned had been. Great article. I enjoy how clear you make your points.

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    81. Erica It’s just that Jon’s path has never been easy and this is just going to gut him…at least initially. I just want the guy to get a break, simpleton that I am.

      Jon is in love with Dany and she loves him in return. I call that a huge break. After he and Dany process the truth, they will both have family (each other and that child who is being telegraphed) as well as their love.

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    82. SimoneS,

      Agreed. The guy had boat sex with the Dragon Queen and she is in love with him. Jon caught the biggest break anyone could catch in that world. He is doing alright.

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    83. Hodor Targaryen: Your theory to reconcile this is kind of a head-scratcher: Ned wanted to name his nephew in such a way as to cast off suspicion that the nephew was a secret Targaryen (obviously keeping the name Aegon would have been unwise). But because the kid is a legitimate Targaryen

      Jon is simply the “gon” from Aegon, pronounced somewhat differently. Also, I cannot claim this as “my theory”: this is an old conjecture that goes way back. I have zero memory of who came up with it, and I suspect that many people came up with it independently. I do remember (or think that I remember) that it dovetailed from the endless “Who is Jon’s mother” arguments and the question of why Ned would “honor” the prickly Jon Arryn by naming a bastard for him when Ned could and should have waited to name a true-born son for his mentor. Basically, the “Because Jon’s mother is Lyanna and she named him Aegon, which Ned morphed to Jon in an attempt to not 100% lie about his name” was offered as an answer (causing some of us to nod our Internet heads sagely but others to scream “Ashara is Jon’s mother and Ned must have blamed Jon for the fact that he (Ned) had to marry that shrew Catelyn instead of his true love and mother of his favorite child, the Goddess Ashara!!!” I am, of course, toning down the hyperbole, but you get the point. 😉

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    84. I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, but the article above makes clear parallels between Aegon the Conqueror and the newly-revealed Aegon Targaryen; and there are already many parallels, some overt, between Arya and Visenya, the “Dark Sisters”.

      I haven’t seen many parallels drawn between Sansa and Rhaenys, but if those exist then … where might George be going with this?

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    85. Erica: I trust he’ll come to terms with what Ned did for him (I believe he’ll be angry at first, but that’s hardly a stretch to imagine) and he was loved/wanted which I hope he comes to realize, too.

      At some point, Jon is going to see what Ned did and realize that, sometimes, one little boy’s life is worth more than one grown man’s honor. Somehow, someway, Ned’s example that what you think of yourself is more important than what the world thinks of you is going to hugely inform Jon on what choice to make regarding the White Walkers.

      And as the Moment told the Doctor, Jon’s punishment will be to live.

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    86. Son_of_Feanor: I’ve always believed that Jon’s true name was “Baelor,” which was why Ned whispered this name right before he lost his head in K-L.</blockquote

      Doubtful. He said it to get Yorren to turn to the statue of Baelor to see Arya climbing down from her perch. It was said for Yorren to protect her.

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    87. spacechampion:
      I learned today reading about Henry I, the son of William the Conquerer, that his daughter Matilda was named after his wife Matilda of Scotland.But he also had many bastards, including three daughters who all three were named Matilda FitzRoy (the surname given amongst Normans for bastards of kings).Matilda, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, Matilda FitzRoy, and Matilda of Scotland — must have been very confusing around the dinner table.

      Reading Sharon Kay Penman’s book When Christ and his Saints Slept bares that out; she did her best to give some of them different names but in the end you just had to remember who was who! Oh and then there were all the Thomases during Henry the VIII time…

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    88. Fascinating article and discussion. There was much I was not aware of in regards to the prophecy and the name.

      Speaking of the book if I may – i was gifted with a copy of the illustrated 20th anniversary edition of Games of Thrones. Its an absolute work of art, and am enjoying rereading it.

      Oh and the Arya Tywin scene upthread was so wonderful, and made me wonder if Tywin actually did know who Arya was. I’d like it if he did.

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    89. House Monty:
      Erica,

      I was optimistic until i read this. I had noticed this during the year but seeing it laid out like that kinda sucked

      http://screenrant.com/game-of-thrones-foreshadow-predict-daenerys-death/

      I ignore all the wacky hypotheses floating around. Until I see it on the screen, I don’t believe that either Jon or Dany are dying. More likely they are having that kid and ruling the Seven Kingdoms.

      ash:
      Oh and the Arya Tywin scene upthread was so wonderful, and made me wonder if Tywin actually did know who Arya was.I’d like it if he did.

      No way Tywin knew who Arya was. If he did, he would have seized and captured her. Tywin wasn’t half as smart as the show tried to make it him out to be. If he was, he would have known that his oldest children were shtupping each other and passing off their children as Robert’s.

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    90. WorfWWorfington,

      LMAO no. Azor Ahai failed to forge Lightbringer the first 2 times when he tempered it in water and through a lion. He only succeeded when he plunged it into Nissa Nissa’s heart. Dany was successful in forging her Lightbringer long back. So no reason for her to kill Jon sorry not sorry.

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    91. Wimsey,

      I agree. I don’t think any current character is going to be a Nissa Nissa, the original AA story was a legend and not meant to be taken so literally. Besides, if this was going to be a factor, the show would have set it up in some way. There has not been a single mention of Nissa Nissa or even Azor Ahai for that matter (it is the ptwp that Mel keeps referring to).

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    92. SimoneS: Tywin wasn’t half as smart as the show tried to make it him out to be. If he was, he would have known that his oldest children were shtupping each other and passing off their children as Robert’s.

      If he was, Olenna wouldn’t have still been in possession of all that gold! I think the writers knew there would be a load of comments about why Tywin didn’t take it when the Lannister mines ran dry, and they attempted to head that off by having Olenna say something to the effect that she’d find out when she saw him again, assuming they would end up in the same place. Apparently that worked; I didn’t see any further comment about it from fans.

      But I did love any scene with Arya and Tywin. And I agree, he didn’t realize it was Arya. In order to realize who it was would have required him to pay attention to Ned’s children, who they were and what they looked like. I doubt that in the few times he might have been around either girl, he would bother to look at their faces long enough to remember them. He didn’t even pay enough real attention to his own children, as you said.

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    93. Bufferzone:
      I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, but the article above makes clear parallels between Aegon the Conqueror and the newly-revealed Aegon Targaryen; and there are already many parallels, some overt, between Arya and Visenya, the “Dark Sisters”.

      I haven’t seen many parallels drawn between Sansa and Rhaenys, but if those exist then … where might George be going with this?

      The easiest comparison is their relative temperaments. While Visneya and Arya are no nonsense, martial, and hardened fighters, Rhaenys and Sansa are more feminine as we know the term. Rhaenys and Sansa were far less focused on battle and fighting to put it bluntly. They love music, poetry, songs of heroes and maidens while Arya and Visenya are more likely to idolize great warrior women like Nymeria of the Rhoynar.

      You can tell a lot about Rhaenys and Visenya from how they used their dragons. Visenya saw hers as a tool for warfare and combat, a weapon against the enemies of their family closer to a warhorse. Rhaenys loved flying with her dragon most of all and rode hers constantly enjoying the experience and being among the clouds. Visenya rode to war, Rhaenys for pleasure. Neither pairing are exact parallels for each other, but these are easy points of comparison to make.

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    94. ginny,
      Hey, thank you! Good to see at least one person has similar thoughts to mine. 😀

      mau,
      But feudalism has been broken down in the course of the narrative. The ASOIAF narrative has leftist/liberal/egalitarian leanings.

      Mr Derp,
      OK, but in his writing? He has to be conscious of the kind of narrative he’s reinforcing via his writing – he’s smart enough for this. And the ASOIAF narrative in general *has* leftist/liberal/egalitarian leanings. It starts from feudalism, yes, but then *breaks it down*.

      Phario Forel,
      But ASOIAF is not a historical work. It’s fantasy. So, it can do things a historical work cannot – for instance, have characters express ahistorical thoughts. And it’s been doing these things! For several seasons now, “cripples, bastards and other broken things” – women, eunuchs, commoners, outsiders in general – have been rising into power. It hasn’t happened in the books yet, but that’s probably only because they have not gotten to that point *yet*. So, the whole narrative, so far, *has* been leftist/liberal/egalitarian leaning. That’s why the inclusion of this “rightful heir” trope has been so puzzling and interesting to me. It very strongly feels to me that the only way its inclusion makes sense if it’s there to be, in the end, discarded and broken.

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    95. House Monty,

      I get that, but on the other hand, the Night’s King can’t be killed by dragon fire or any other fire as we have seen, and he needs to be killed. So the weapon in question needs to be something that can kill him. Dragons, as they are currently in the story anyway, can’t do that.

      I think you will get your satisfaction regarding the thematic symmetry. The creation of the Night King bears a very striking resemblance to the story of Nissa Nissa. So my guess is that the weapon counterpart is not a dragon but Dany herself who has a Nissa Nissa moment.

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    96. Marika,

      Ah, so do you think it could be that Lyanna wanted Ned to advocate for Aegon Targaryen as heir to the throne and the reason Ned has bad dreams and sorrow is because he never tried, instead keeping him as lowly bastard all those years?

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    97. ghost of winterfell:
      Wimsey,

      I agree. I don’t think any current character is going to be a Nissa Nissa, the original AA story was a legend and not meant to be taken so literally. Besides, if this was going to be a factor, the show would have set it up in some way.There has not been a single mention of Nissa Nissa or even Azor Ahai for that matter (it is the ptwp that Mel keeps referring to).

      This is a strange perspective to me because this story pretty clearly shows the past repeating itself in modified form on pretty much every level.

      I agree that the myth is not literal and the way it plays out will surprise us, but it WILL play out.

      We watched the creation of the Night King. He took a dragonglass shard in the heart, pinning him to a weirwood.

      Nissa Nissa in the myth is willingly sacrificed by sword in the heart.

      Dany we have heard called “bride of fire” on several occasions, particularly by people who are involved in fire magic. And fire magic still has a major role to play.

      Now that the Night King has an ice dragon the situation looks extremely grim for the living. Dany is just the type, particularly once she learns she is not in fact the rightful Targaryen heir, to willingly weaponize herself, marrying fire, to take on the threat.

      The myth makes it seem like Nissa Nissa is a passive element of a story all about Azor Ahai. I think it will be quite different. But we will IMO see a Nissa Nissa moment because the parallel to the creation of the Night King is simply too strong to be accidental.

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    98. ygritte,

      Well I’m not completely convinced that the voice said “Aegon” but perhaps something more open to interpretation that would cause Red Priests and Priestesses to follow Dany in the East, and at least in the books, Varys being a fAegon loyalist. I don’t even think Varys knew the voice in the fire said a name. He was just so traumatized that he heard a voice at all. I was thinking the voice could have said “Targaryen.” But I’m not sure if the show will re-visit the conversation Varys and Tyrion had with Kinvara so perhaps it will be left unanswered.

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    99. Phario Forel:

      I totally agree with your view, though I would generally avoid using modern political terms to describe the time and context in which the show takes place. It fairly resembles a medieval society – the technology and social structure etc.
      So, that said, whether it is Dany’s birthright or anyone else with a birthright to the throne, it falls within the social structure that Mr Martin created and makes sense within that context. Anything outside this context as Yaga suggests, wouldn’t.
      The most ‘liberal’ thing that could happen in the end and would be a wheel breaker in the context of a medieval society if you will, , would be the Lords of Westeros exclaiming someone as a King or Queen, choosing for instance between the available people with a birthright to the throne.
      But even that, would fall outside the structure of the time this takes place. We should all bear in mind that any term of democracy in the form we know it today, would be an alien concept and couldn’t be established.
      Lastly, it’s important to remember we must tinfoil within the structures of society and relevant possibilites, and not massage into that our own concepts of what a society should be. So, it is possible to have a dragon, but it’s not possible to have democracy established. It’s possible to have a bastard on the throne, just as long as they have royal blood to have a claim to the throne.

      I would also like to point out, that as in Lord of the Rings so in Game of thrones, Aragorn and Jon Snow, do not take the throne because its solely their birthright: the writers make sure that those heroes earn that position, going through hardships, dangers, facing death and self sacrifice, to establish that they deserve it. Which is why all hail the King when Aragorn is crowned: he earned it in the hearts of those people (and in the heart of the viewer/reader), because he was ready to give his life for them, to sacrifice everything that was valuable to him in order to save them.
      Which is what Jon has done and is currently doing. And to my view Jon being the King would be a natural outcome for the narrative, within the structure of that society which was created.

      I’m not a book reader, but this article was excellent, with much info I didn’t know: thank you Joe! 🙂

      The name Aegon was fine by me – though I’m an Unsullied, I have done my wikia reading so I knew a thing or two about the background. It was up to Lyanna to decide, and I believe she chose wisely and meaningfully. I also like that Ned chose a name totally unconnected and common to name Jon, because that shows that to an extend not only did he want to keep his promise, but also to give the kid a totally ‘clean’ start of his Targ lineage, to raise him like a Stark.
      I believe that growing up as Stark bastard, far from any discussions of birthrights, magical powers and courtiers, going through all that humiliation, going to the Wall and learning how to put first the dictates of humanity and of the many, instead of his own ego, to honour his word, to step up when its needed and raise to the occasion, made him the trully deserving hero he’s become. 🙂

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    100. Dark Sister,

      I really thought they’d reintroduce Kinvara in S7 to tease us a little more on that aspect of the story. What he heard must be of some import to the story as they brought in that scene in S6 after having earlier Varys convo with (was it Tyrion?) and showed man in the box. But Varys hasn’t had much role to play lately, cant think of any aside from cryptic Mel conversation.

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    101. awol,

      If Dany is Nissa Nissa I think I will vomit and consider my investment in this show and serious a spectacular waste of time (on a practical level it is a waste but so far an emotionally rewarding one). Seriously the series is going to end by turning its main female character into an instrument by which the main male character gets the weapon he needs in order to realize his destiny as a hero? That sounds horrible. Right up there with her dying in child birth as an atrocious ending.

      Regarding the dragons, it’s not clear yet that they can’t kill the Night King. All we have seen are white walkers extinguish fire that is already lit but have no sustained force behind them. If a dragon or multiple are blowing fire directly at one it feels like that would be a tad more difficult to extinguish but who knows.

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    102. I think that he was named Aegon by Rhaegar intentionally. He believed that his heir is prince that was promised, he tought that it will be Elia’s son, but then he tought about ice and fire part of the prophecy and believed that it must be a son born from ice, from Lyanna, this is why he named him Aegon. And council he wanted to assembly was meant to make Lyanna’s son his heir, leaving out Elia’s Aegon.

      Another important factor is the case of Young Griff who I believe will shortly rule as Aegon VI and Jon will rule as Aegon VII. Number seven is important not only in books’ lore but as well as in history, because Aegon VII resembles Henry VII and if you look at the history of Henry VII and his father Edmund Tudor you will see that Jon Snow was based on them.

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    103. House Monty:

      If Dany is Nissa Nissa I think I will vomit and consider my investment in this show and serious a spectacular waste of time (on a practical level it is a waste but so far an emotionally rewarding one). Seriously the series is going to end by turning its main female character into an instrument by which the main male character gets the weapon he needs in order to realize his destiny as a hero? That sounds horrible. Right up there with her dying in child birth as an atrocious ending.

      I think this is where Melisandre comes in. She said she has to return to Westeros to die so that makes me think of “sacrifice.” I can’t see her death coming at the hands of say, Arya, just because of some old beef Arya may have regarding Gendry. That would be ridiculous, even by S7 Arya standards.

      Her sacrifice will solely be for the benefit to the war with the dead. I think she’ll play the Nissa Nissa role (it just won’t be referred to that on the show) and it may not come by way of sword through the heart, although that seems likely. It could come from the necklace she wears (glamour, I think?)

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    104. Erica,

      Mel can be Nissa Nissa. That I am ok with since she is not the main female character who we have been following since the begging and so clearly on a hero’s quest herself.

      Although, wasn’t Azor Ahai’s love for Nissa Nissa a key part of that story? How would that play into things if Mel is Nissa Nissa?

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    105. House Monty:

      Mel can be Nissa Nissa. That I am ok with since she is not the main female character who we have been following since the begging and so clearly on a hero’s quest herself.

      Although, wasn’t Azor Ahai’s love for Nissa Nissa a key part of that story? How would that play into things if Mel is Nissa Nissa?

      You’re right; but since it’s not mentioned on the show, I think it frees up D&D to take a little license here with the material.

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    106. SimoneS: No way Tywin knew who Arya was. If he did, he would have seized and captured her. Tywin wasn’t half as smart as the show tried to make it him out to be. If he was, he would have known that his oldest children were shtupping each other and passing off their children as Robert’s.

      That was not unintelligent: that was inattentive. Moreover, it’s not like Tywin spent a lot of time around his kids. When he did, he probably spent all of it expounding on his Darwinistic worldview and interrogating them on how they would react to different sociopolitical scenarios.

      (As a real world comparison, it’s not different from the professor who fails to notice that two of his/her grad students are sleeping together!)

      awol: But we will IMO see a Nissa Nissa moment because the parallel to the creation of the Night King is simply too strong to be accidental.

      The show really should have set that up by now. Quite frankly, I view that as too “fantasy”: and despite the fantasy trappings, this really is a character drama.

      awol: I get that, but on the other hand, the Night’s King can’t be killed by dragon fire or any other fire as we have seen, and he needs to be killed.

      Ah, again: this looks like a fantasy, but it’s not. No, the Night King really does not need to be killed. What the story really demands is that the Night King be understood. Why did he turn on the Children? Why did he go away eons ago? Why is he back? What does he want?

      These stories always hinge on damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-do-not scenarios. Unless this is going to degenerate into a standard fantasy tale, then it’s not going to be about pushing the Night’s King into Mt. Doom!

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    107. House Monty:
      awol,

      If Dany is Nissa Nissa I think I will vomit and consider my investment in this show and serious a spectacular waste of time (on a practical level it is a waste but so far an emotionally rewarding one). Seriously the series is going to end by turning its main female character into an instrument by which the main male character gets the weapon he needs in order to realize his destiny as a hero? That sounds horrible. Right up there with her dying in child birth as an atrocious ending.

      Regarding the dragons, it’s not clear yet that they can’t kill the Night King. All we have seen are white walkers extinguish fire that is already lit but have no sustained force behind them. If a dragon or multiple are blowing fire directly at one it feels like that would be a tad more difficult to extinguish but who knows.

      You misunderstand me.

      I said, the way it plays out will surprise us. The way the myth is constructed is supposed to make us THINK that Nissa Nissa is a passive instrument for a male hero.

      But the Night King is not a passive instrument is he?

      I specifically said, the moment echoes the creation of the Night King, which implies that anyone in such a role as Nissa Nissa would be the farthest possible thing from a passive instrument for male heroism.

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    108. House Monty: Although, wasn’t Azor Ahai’s love for Nissa Nissa a key part of that story? How would that play into things if Mel is Nissa Nissa?

      We actually know very little about the story. It seems that in some versions (e.g., the Lone Hero version), the Nissa Nissa character does not even figure that prominently, or possibly even at all. One constant theme of the story (both on screen and on page) is that fairy tales are 99 parts embellishment for every 1 part history. IF we learn more about Nissa Nissa, then: 1) it will be in the books only; and, 2) we’ll learn that her circumstances were very different than portrayed in the fairy tale, even if the final outcome was the same.

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    109. Erica,

      Again, that is too Lord of the Rings. The ending has to hinge on the main protagonists (Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, perhaps Arya & Bran) doing things that they really do not want to do because the alternatives are worse.

      Again, I think that we need to look at what Ned and Rhaegar did long ago as foreshadowings for what is going to happen in the end: public shame in exchange for private honor. That past, rather than the undeveloped Azor Ahai story, is the key to the present.

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    110. Wimsey,

      But the NK DOES need to be killed. As we saw, it is the only way to defeat the army of the dead because if he falls, they all do.

      I am all for him being understood as well, but it is not like anyone is going to be negotiating with him to change his mind. That seems like even more ridiculous a notion than changing Cersei’s mind.

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    111. Wimsey: We actually know very little about the story.It seems that in some versions (e.g., the Lone Hero version), the Nissa Nissa character does not even figure that prominently, or possibly even at all.One constant theme of the story (both on screen and on page) is that fairy tales are 99 parts embellishment for every 1 part history.IF we learn more about Nissa Nissa, then: 1) it will be in the books only; and, 2) we’ll learn that her circumstances were very different than portrayed in the fairy tale, even if the final outcome was the same.

      They also tend to get distorted by a sexist lens, erasing the female role.

      The objection to the notion that Dany might be NN seems rooted in the conviction that NN is passive.

      But THAT to me is where the distortion of the myth lies. NN is not passive. NN, after the key moment, is something terrifying but seemingly necessary. Truly the bride of fire.

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    112. Wimsey,

      I have heard GRRM talk a lot about his bittersweat ending and he frequently compares it to LOTR’s bittersweat ending – the quest is successful but at great cost, some of the heros struggle to re-integrate back into society and the scouring of the shire is an example of how defeating the great evil is never the end.

      Given that comparison he makes, why do you think this is not setting up for a LOTR style ending?

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    113. Wimsey,

      > No, the Night King really does not need to be killed. What the story really demands is that the Night King be understood. Why did he turn on the Children? Why did he go away eons ago? Why is he back? What does he want?

      I would really prefer the story to be that way, but D&D commented somewhere that the way to look at the Night King was he is “like death”. Of course, they are maybe misleading the fans (hopefully) but also Beric was talking to Jon in 7.6 the way they talk to us in the commentaries.

      Has there been enough setup for the Night King to be someone that can be negotiated with? All we know is that he got a dragonglass dagger in the heart, as did Benjen, and how he creates the other Walkers. In addition, the pyre of Drogo was preshadowed in the first episode, and the Dothraki horses in 3.1. Don’t we need more backstory that has to be introduced before it turns out they can negotiate with him? All that is setup is that by killing the leader, the others will disappear. I hope that Bran will go in the past and find out more, but it would be very late in the story.

      As I mentioned somewhere else, at this point the Orcs in LOTR (books) showed more character by their discussions than the WW/NK in GoT.

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    114. House Monty:
      awol,

      If Dany is Nissa Nissa I think I will vomit and consider my investment in this show and serious a spectacular waste of time (on a practical level it is a waste but so far an emotionally rewarding one). Seriously the series is going to end by turning its main female character into an instrument by which the main male character gets the weapon he needs in order to realize his destiny as a hero? .

      .

      It’s exactly how I feel about Jon being Dany’s Nissa Nissa. Irrespective of gender, if the only purpose of one of the 2 main characters of the story is to be an instrument for the other one to turn out to be “the hero”, it would be a horrible ending for me enough to destroy the whole series, because it would more or less end up negating their growth and their arc completely. That’s why I just hate the thought of any of the main characters being turned into Nissa Nissa.

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    115. Wimsey:

      Again, that is too Lord of the Rings. The ending has to hinge on the main protagonists (Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, perhaps Arya & Bran) doing things that they really do not want to do because the alternatives are worse.

      Again, I think that we need to look at what Ned and Rhaegar did long ago as foreshadowings for what is going to happen in the end: public shame in exchange for private honor.That past, rather than the undeveloped Azor Ahai story, is the key to the present.

      I agree wholeheartedly that the end hinges on the main protagonists and that she is not one of them. Perhaps it seems as if I’m trying to shoehorn Melisandre in there somehow because she said she needed to come back to Westeros to die. I can’t fathom her death coming by any way other than some sacrifice that will aid in the war effort.

      I don’t suggest she will be Nissa Nissa to the letter, as it were, since she was never introduced to the show. But, her death has to matter; the protagonists have to benefit somehow so that her arc makes sense, too. She’s not the be-all to end-all, but it should have meaning and I guess that was the logical situation in which to place her.

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    116. awol,

      Yea. I think that is part of it. In the Nissa Nissa story Azor Ahai is clearly the hero and Nissa Nissa is passive. I can see Dany having a heroic death but I don’t see a heroic death being the same thing as playing a Nissa Nissa role. Also, it feels like we already mined that well. To the extent we need a subversion/ decontruction of the tale, i think we already got one with Stannis killing Shireen. Feels a bit confusing to have two Nissa Nissa subversions/ deconstructions that point in opposite directions.

      Also, i think we are at the point in the story where all the core characters we were introduced to at the beggining of the story need satisfactory conclusions to their arcs. For Dany, her arc is to return home to a family. If she gets pregnant and dies before childbirth that becomes a really tragic end to her story which I don’t think is what we are being set up for. But that could just be wishful thinking.

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    117. House Monty,

      awol,

      Basically, i think it comes down to the pregnancy. If Daenerys is pregnant I think she is safe. If she is not than she is probably a goner as her quest for home can end when she accepts Jon as her nephew and realizes that House Targaryen will continue after she is gone.

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    118. With all this talk of swords what about the possibility of the sword of House Targaryen, Blackfyre, showing up at some point? The sword hasn’t been given any build-up in the TV adaptation yet but it is a hand-and-a-half ‘bastard’ blade used by Aegon the Conqueror during his Conquest. (info about the sword here http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Blackfyre)

      Could be useful for our own favourite bastard Aegon? It would represent his ‘new’ found firey side alongside the icey Longclaw.

      A king needs a kingly sword in a show such as GoT methinks and also Longclaw has been bigged up it is not Jon/Aegon’s ancestral sword.

      Another argument in favour of an appearance of Blackfyre is that the Golden Company is apparently on its way to Westeros and all I can remember about the Company from GGRM’s work is their links to House Targaryen and Blackfyre. If, as I believe they will, the Company abandons Cersei and joins in the Battle for the Dawn, then the ancestral sword of House Targaryen may well find itself right next to its rightful owner.

      Thoughts? Am I just convincing myself here or is it possible?

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    119. House Monty,

      And be reunited with Drogo and Rhaego in death.

      I find the whole idea of a pregnancy a bit saccharine and unnecessary.

      She lost the only child she was ever going to have and became mother to the dragons instead.

      The thought of them trying to credibly shoehorn a pregnancy into the last six episodes, especially if she were to die in either battle or childbirth, fills me with dread.

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    120. ABlueEyedGiantNamedMacumber:
      With all this talk of swords what about the possibility of the sword of House Targaryen, Blackfyre, showing up at some point? The sword hasn’t been given any build-up in the TV adaptation yet but it is a hand-and-a-half ‘bastard’ blade used by Aegon the Conqueror during his Conquest. (info about the sword here http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Blackfyre)

      Could be useful for our own favourite bastard Aegon? It would represent his ‘new’ found firey side alongside the icey Longclaw.

      A king needs a kingly sword in a show such as GoT methinks and also Longclaw has been bigged up it is not Jon/Aegon’s ancestral sword.

      Another argument in favour of an appearance of Blackfyre is that the Golden Company is apparently on its way to Westeros and all I can remember about the Company from GGRM’s work is their links to House Targaryen and Blackfyre. If, as I believe they will, the Company abandons Cersei and joins in the Battle for the Dawn, then the ancestral sword of House Targaryen may well find itself right next to its rightful owner.

      Thoughts? Am I just convincing myself here or is it possible?

      In the books, Faegon probably has it to use as a legitimizing tool. There’s a cut dialogue where Illyrio says in Valyrian to give the boy the sword more or less. It was lost after the Blackfyre rebellions, last seen with Bittersteel. Seems that Illyrio and Varys used their considerable resources to acquire it.

      I don’t know if it will show up in the show. They’ve cut most references to the Blackfyres and have embraced the idea of the dragons marking true Targaryens.

      Important history of the sword, it was very rarely used in combat. More of a ceremonial blade. Aegon used his dragons to conquer and was not known for his hand to hand skills. In its time, it was not seen as particularly important as what is a sword when you command dragons? It was after they died out that people began seeing the sword as the icon of the dragon Lords. If you could ask Torrhen Stark why he knelt to Aegon, very much doubt it would be because of Blackfyre.

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    121. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      House Monty,

      “And be reunited with Drogo and Rhaego in death.”

      I think the chances of this being how she returns home declined significantly this season. Being reunited with Drogo and Rhaego in the night lands made sense when Drogo was the love of her life. Now that she has found love again and with a Targaryen to boot, I don’t think Drogo can compete in terms of a home coming with another Targaryen.

      “I find the whole idea of a pregnancy a bit saccharine and unnecessary.

      She lost the only child she was ever going to have and became mother to the dragons instead.”

      George wants his Targaryen Restoration I guess. Her being able to have a kid again comes straight from the end of ADWD.

      “The thought of them trying to credibly shoehorn a pregnancy into the last six episodes, especially if she were to die in either battle or childbirth, fills me with dread.”

      Yea. Thats why I think if she is pregnant she will live. There is not enough time for her to have a kid before the fight with the white walkers so she can’t have a kid then die in battle. And as I said, I don’t think she will die before giving birth.

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    122. My personal belief is that the showrunners changed Jon’s name from X in the books to Aegon on the show for two reasons, which aren’t mutually exclusive:
      1) Avoid potential audience confusion from having two characters on the show with the same name (similar to Asha being changed to Yara)
      2) To use Jon’s new name as a marketing tool for the planned GOT-prequel series, which will inevitably focus on one of the five Aegon Targaryens. Ensuring that GOT evolves into a multi-property asoiaf franchise is a strategic priority for HBO. The best way to achieve this is to ensure that all current GOT fans are interested in the future prequel series. No better way to do that then changing the name of GOT’s main protagonist to Aegon.

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    123. House Monty:
      House Monty,

      awol,

      Basically, i think it comes down to the pregnancy. If Daenerys is pregnant I think she is safe. If she is not than she is probably a goner as her quest for home can end when she accepts Jon as her nephew and realizes that House Targaryen will continue after she is gone.

      Whether or not it would be accepted by the audience, I think it’s entirely possible that Daenerys could also die in childbirth, like her mother did.

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    124. House Monty,

      The whole concept just feels insufferable to me. There’s no situation where a magic Targcest baby benefits the resolution of this story, in my opinion.

      If they have a kid and either Jon, Dany or both of them dies then it’s just a pointless tragedy, with the potential to reduce the characters to either incubator or sperm donor. Like creatures whose lifespan exists merely to mate and then immediately die.

      And if they have a kid and rule together then it’s all too nauseatingly happily-ever-after.

      Just thinking about what Season 8 may hold is already filling me with trepidation.

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    125. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      House Monty,

      And be reunited with Drogo and Rhaego in death.

      I find the whole idea of a pregnancy a bit saccharine and unnecessary.

      She lost the only child she was ever going to have and became mother to the dragons instead.

      The thought of them trying to credibly shoehorn a pregnancy into the last six episodes, especially if she were to die in either battle or childbirth, fills me with dread.

      I don’t think it would be a “shoehorn” at all. I believe it’s going to end up being canon if we ever get the damn final books as I think it’s going to be a major final part of “The Song.”

      Most people already believe she’s begun menstruating again in her last released chapter. Mirri’s ‘cursing words’ must have meant something.

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    126. Mr Derp,

      Its certainly possible. If we just look at how many women in this world die of childbirth we would have to conclude the chances are not insignificant.

      By safe i meant dying in battle specifically. If she is pregnant, she is safe until at least having the kid.

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    127. House Monty:
      Joemagician,

      What do you make of the dragons are Lightbringer theory?

      Thought about it based on what you wrote and how a sword can’t compete with dragons.

      My personal opinion is it is close to aegon and blackfyre. Everyone remembers the famous sword while forgetting something important like a dragon or an army. Even with Aegon and only 300 years, many people forget that Visenya and Rhaenys were key parts of their success along with Aegon’s bastard half brother Orys Baratheon. Or with the show with how Jon is credited for winning the battle of the bastards despite it was actually Sansa and the Vale Knights. Basically, Azor ahai and lightbringer are symbols, important ones, but not the whole truth.

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    128. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      If her arc is to return home, then a kid does make sense as a resolution to the arc although its not the only way to resolve it.

      Do you think the talk of her being infertile this year was foreshadowing for the pregnancy or just reiterating that she cannot in fact have kids?

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    129. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: And if they have a kid and rule together then it’s all too nauseatingly happily-ever-after.

      That’s really your problem with it isn’t it. You desire tragedy in your ending. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that, but really, most people don’t want endings like that. Regardless of what George says about anything I don’t think he’s planning to finish his tale with an unsatisfying ending. While it may not happen I would be happy with that happily-ever-after. I’ve already written that my perfect ending has Jon and Daenerys sitting on Drogon and Rhaegal side-by-side on the edge of (Preikestolen) surveying their kingdom. 😛

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    130. Joemagician,

      Thanks for the info!

      I guess Aegon was too busy holding on to his dragon to be wielding Blackfyre! 🙂

      Whether J-Aegon gets the sword or not isn’t really important of course but I thought it could be part of the scene where he is told he is a Targaryen and could create a narrative of putting Jon Snow aside (and his sword) and becoming who he was born to be (in a moment reminiscent of Aragorn in Return of the King).

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    131. Clob,

      I’m referring to the limited remaining screen time when I talk of it having to be shoehorned in.

      House Monty,

      Sadly, I think they were probably foreshadowing it.

      If they were just trying to reiterate the impossibility of her producing an heir then they wouldn’t have had Jon question whether she’d been reliably informed.

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    132. There should be no question at this point about whether or not Dany will get pregnant. She obviously will.

      The real question is what will happen as a result.

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    133. Clob: That’s really your problem with it isn’t it. You desire tragedy in your ending.

      You did notice that I wrote this…

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: If they have a kid and either Jon, Dany or both of them dies then it’s just a pointless tragedy…

      …in the same comment you selectively quoted, right? 🙂

      I just don’t really want the nauseating fairytale ending. Not to this story.

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    134. Mr Derp:
      There should be no question at this point about whether or not Dany will get pregnant.She obviously will.

      The real question is what will happen as a result.

      I’d like to add that I don’t think Dany will have problems with this inevitable pregnancy except perhaps initially when she learns who Jon really is.

      Cersei is the one in trouble. The prophesy said 3 children. If she survives the pregnancy, the child will not, just like the first born from Robert she mentioned in the show.

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    135. House Monty:
      awol,

      Yea. I think that is part of it. In the Nissa Nissa story Azor Ahai is clearly the hero and Nissa Nissa is passive. I can see Dany having a heroic death but I don’t see a heroic death being the same thing as playing a Nissa Nissa role. Also, it feels like we already mined that well. To the extent we need a subversion/ decontruction of the tale, i think we already got one with Stannis killing Shireen. Feels a bit confusing to have two Nissa Nissa subversions/ deconstructions that point in opposite directions.

      Also, i think we are at the point in the story where all the core characters we were introduced to at the beggining of the story need satisfactory conclusions to their arcs. For Dany, her arc is to return home to a family. If she gets pregnant and dies before childbirth that becomes a really tragic end to her story which I don’t think is what we are being set up for. But that could just be wishful thinking.

      Your assumption here is that the myth is accurate and complete, when absolutely everything about how myth and prophesy works in this series tells us it is not.

      Yes, the myth constructs NN as passive and practically absent really. But that is my point: That is what such myths and histories do to women and there is absolutly no reason whatsoever to believe that is true.

      Noone was looking for a woman, Aemon directly states. Sexism distorts myth and history. I say that is where we will be surprised by how the Nissa Nissa thing plays out: Nissa Nissa will rurn out to be no more passive or less dangerous than the Night King.

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    136. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: You did notice that I wrote this…

      …in the same comment you selectively quoted, right? 🙂

      I just don’t really want the nauseating fairytale ending. Not to this story.

      Oh I know you wrote that. I was just pointing out that that is your ‘problem.’ You don’t want for it to end with something as positive as a baby Targaryen, or overly happy at all. You may want it to end with everyone dead… Maybe not. The scenario you’re saying you don’t want because it’s too fairy tale doesn’t have to be attained and completed that way though. A lot of death and destruction is likely to lead to the final scenes so that alone would make it different. The ending doesn’t have to be of them riding off in a wagon toward the sunset. I don’t think them both being alive and together at the end after leading the living through the seven hells makes it a fairy tale.

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    137. Oops, I posted my Nissa Nissa comment in the wrong thread. Here it is where it belongs.

      I don’t understand the obsession with a “Nissa Nissa moment”. The show, as far as I can remember, has not recounted the full Azor Ahai LEGEND, of which Nissa Nissa is part. (In the books, Salladhor Saan tells it to Davos.)

      Both show and books, Mel has recounted the Azor Ahai Reborn PROPHECY. Born amidst salt and smoke, bleeding star, wake dragons from stone yadda yadda, and pull a sword = Lightbringer from fire. Mel even staged a little show for Stannis to pull a sword from one of the burning statues of the Seven (the Mother, IIRC). Not a Nissa Nissa in sight.

      The Azor Ahai Reborn prophecy sounds a lot like the Arthurian legend: pull a sword from stone. Excalibur was already made, Arthur just needed to pull it out. We don’t know who made Excalibur or how. For Lightbringer, we even have the origins story.

      The way I see it, Lightbringer has already been made (with the help pf Nissa Nissa), now somebody just needs to claim it. No need for a second Nissa Nissa moment, it isn’t mentioned in the AAR prophecy.

      Also, I don’t think Lightbringer need to be a literal sword (that was Mel’s interpretation, and we all know how wrong she can be). Lightbringer is obviously a crucial “weapon”, literal or metaphorical, to defeat the NK/Long Night. Could be knowledge, dragons, an alliance of “Lightbringers”, what have you. Even a literal weapon. We’ll have to wait and see.

      (Also, this Long Night won’t be very long. We only have 6 episodes (or 2 books) left! Everything has to be resolved by S8E6/end of book 7. Maybe it won’t end with spring and sunshine and flowers but we need to know this winter won’t be any worse than a normal Westerosi winter. Maybe this Battle for Dawn will even end the wonky seasons so you’ll get all four in a year, like we do in our world. GRRM has said the reason for extended, irregular seasons is “magic”, so maybe some “magic” – or cessation thereof – can put the seasons to rights.)

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    138. Wimsey: Arya and Yara sound very different.

      Ah now, you see, I don’t think they do. They sound very similar to me. As you say, different accents can have quite an effect. And the names use exactly the same letters!

      If they felt they needed to drop Asha because of the closeness to Osha, then why not go for something that bears no resemblance to the name of any other character. There are literally hundreds of names that could have been chosen that are totally different.

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    139. talvikorppi,

      I don’t think there is any particular obsession with a Nissa Nissa moment. And I don’t think it matters in the slightest to what extent it has been mentioned or not in show and books. This is what we DO have:

      1. A Bran vision specifically showing the Night King being made, via a stabbing in the heart. It is a form of sacrificial magic to create something that was supposed to help the CotF in their war against men, at a time in that war when they were desperate.

      2. A legend that mentions a stabbing in the heart, and a religious cult, equiped with powerful magic, who take as their symbol a flaming heart.

      3. A situation that is now clearly quite desperate in the latest “Great War”. The NK has an ice dragon, at least three zombie giants, and his army is past the wall. The living have nothing to bargain with. The NK is on the verge of winning. So what are the living going to do?

      4. A promise in the show that the Red Priests will return and their role is not over. So what is that role? IMO, the use of their magic to defeat the NK, which of course must come at some cost and be vaguely disturbing in nature. This is where it frankly becomes extremely significant that the very symbol of their cult is a flaming heart.

      I am not obsessed with Nissa Nissa per se. I just think dismissing it as an irrelevant detail is a mistake given the above facts.

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    140. Clob,

      Jon and Daenerys sat on the throne, with a child she thought she could never have, having chosen love over the taboo of their incest, having defeated the evil (Night) king and queen, and overseeing a healing kingdom is pretty much the default for a fairytale ending to the show at this stage.

      Nothing can water that down unless they’ve somehow come to despise each other, like Robert and Cersei. But that ain’t gonna happen.

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    141. talvikorppi,

      I disagree that Lightbringer has been made, but of course we will see.

      I frankly think we would not have a legend of the forging if we were not meant to witness history repeating itself (in modified form) and so we are witnessing the story of the forging via the events of the story. I fail to see the point of the legend at all otherwise.

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    142. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Clob,

      Jon and Daenerys sat on the throne, with a child she thought she could never have, having chosen love over the taboo of their incest, having defeated the evil (Night) king and queen, and overseeing a healing kingdom is pretty much the default for a fairytale ending to the show at this stage.

      Nothing can water that down unless they’ve somehow come to despise each other, like Robert and Cersei. But that ain’t gonna happen.

      Perhaps a fade to black ending, Sopranos style instead?

      Jon Snow sits at a table at the Inn at the Crossroads while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” plays in the background. he looks through the menu, occassionally looking up at the door to see when Dany will appear to meet up with him. Suddenly, someone wrapped in a cloak appears behind Jon, a brief turn in position allows the audience to see that the cloaked figure is Lady Stoneheart, then everything fades to black forevermore.

      That’d be a great way to piss off the fandom 🙂

      Derp!

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    143. The more I read about Rhaegar the more I am convinced he was a loony. It may be that Daenerys was the one sane child of the Mad King.
      I have nothing against Aegon (plus it kind of sounds like Jon), but one has to admit that a name that is shortened to “Egg” is not exactly hero material. The only one to blame is GRRM, however.

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    144. awol,

      Sorry to have implied you, or people in general here on WotW, are obsessed with Nissa Nissa. I was thinking about some other corners of the internet where lots of people want various characters quite literally get Nissa Nissaed (as in: stabbed through the heart by a sword) by various other characters, depending on who’s each commenters favourite. Pick any name among the main two dozen or so named characters, pick another in the same pool and you can find a Nissa Nissa theory. ( Ten Bears beware, I’m sure the “Sandor Clegane stabs the only person he’s ever truly loved, Arya, through the heart to forge Lightbringer to become Azor Ahai” theory exists somewhere. 😉 )

      I think I mainly object to the literal interpretation of the legend and then just copypasting to the current story, ignoring a specific prophecy mentioned in both show and books, with no Nissa Nissa moment.

      I like your idea about the parallel of the creation of the Night King and the Azor Ahai legend (though… doesn’t that lead to the NK being Nissa Nissa? :O ) and thinking in metaphorical terms.

      There’s the idea of history repeating itself, with subtle changes, so second time around you do something slightly differently and get it right. (The first lot obviously didn’t do everything right because the NK/Long Night etc. is back… though, what held them back for 8000 years? Why now?)

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    145. awol,

      The other thing that is problematic with the Dany is Nissa Nissa idea is that Cersei survived the season.

      I don’t think Cersei has yet to lose everything she holds dear yet to the younger more beautiful queen. Given that Dany remains the most likely YMBQ candidate, it is likely the Cersei/ Dany confrontation is not over yet and that Dany will survive the Great War.

      The only other viable YMBQ candidate at this point is Sansa so i guess thats possible. Just not the most likely outcome.

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    146. I’m not into any Nissa Nissa stuff either (the very name is cornball and I feel like punching myself just for saying it), but I do think it’s interesting that Sandor made a point to show Arya “where the heart is” back in season 4. I feel like that’s a gun that has to be fired at some point, whether it involves some Nissa Nissa thing or not.

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    147. House Monty:
      awol,

      The other thing that is problematic with the Dany is Nissa Nissa idea is that Cersei survived the season.

      I don’t think Cersei has yet to lose everything she holds dear yet to the younger more beautiful queen. Given that Dany remains the most likely YMBQ candidate, it is likely the Cersei/ Dany confrontation is not over yet and that Dany will survive the Great War.

      The only other viable YMBQ candidate at this point is Sansa so i guess thats possible. Just not the most likely outcome.

      I’ve always preferred Sansa for that role anyway. To me Dany never made sense for YMBQ because she had nothing whatsoever to do with Cersei’s loss of her children, which was far more significant a loss than anything she has left.

      Sansa may not have known she was involved with Joff’s death, but she was all the same. And I think the books may well give her an indirect and subtle role in Tommen and/or Myrcella’s deaths as well even if the show version couldn’t manage that.

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    148. awol,

      Preference is different from what is most likely.

      For Sansa to end up Queen and strip Cersei of the last thing she cares about – power – either she is going to have to marry someone or she is going to have to conquer it. The best person she could marry to become Queen is Jon since he is the “rightful” heir and that feels very low probability at this point for obvious reasons. Her conquering it also seem very low likelihood since she has no army, no dragons no nothing with which she could realistically mount a conquest.

      Of course, anything can happen, but looking at the chess board right now a lot would have to change over 4-6 episodes to make this realistic.

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    149. fdr,

      Certainly, but it seemed like an important detail that wasn’t put out there just to give Arya some idea of how to kill Rorge. She already killed at that point. She didnt need instructions on how to kill. The fact that it was all about “where the heart is” tells me it’s more than just about killing Rorge. Rorge was practice.

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    150. awol,

      Yes, I broadly agree with you. History repeating itself in slightly modified form, as you said.

      I’ve never taken the original Azor Ahai legend literally. AA plunging the sword through the heart of his most beloved, I think, is a metaphor (or “legendified” explanation of what happened). I think the point is that you have to make huge personal sacrafices to combat the threat.

      I firmly believe that “Lightbringer”, whatever it is (I hope not just a magical sword) has been “forged” but is now forgotten, in hiding, and it takes “Azor Ahai Reborn”/”The Prince that was Promised”/”the new Last Hero”/(insert your favourtite prophecy here) to rediscover it, its secret, and use it in this round 2.

      Uugh, I’m not very good at explaining my ideas. I think we broadly agree, maybe disagree in details.

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    151. House Monty:
      awol,

      I don’t think Cersei has yet to lose everything she holds dear yet to the younger more beautiful queen. Given that Dany remains the most likely YMBQ candidate, it is likely the Cersei/ Dany confrontation is not over yet and that Dany will survive the Great War.

      What Cersei holds most dear is power. Power to escape the cage she was put in as a highborn daughter of a great lord. In adolescence, daddy and aunt Genna promised her she’d marry Crown Prince Rheagar and she wanted him and becoming Queen way more than she ever wanted boring old Jaime. But that plan didn’t happen. Instead, she was shipped off to marry the new king, boorish Robert.

      Maybe she had some maternal feelings towards her incest babies that she passed off as Robert’s. But these kids were also her ticket to power, so she did her best to manipulate them. Every time I saw Cersei with Tommen on the show, I immediately thought: manipulation!

      Remember the Cersei/Jaime hug after she tells him she’s pregnant. She finishes the “tender” moment with a reality check and a threat: never betray me again. Jaime’s face was a picture.
      Then, in the S7 finale, Jaime FINALLY ditches Cersei, rides north on a black horse, dressed in black, having ditched shiny Lannister armour and the white charger (obligatory to all knights in shining armour).

      Jaime has finally seen the light. He’s going north to join Dany and Jon and the Great War. So you could argue that the younger, more beautiful queen (Dany) has taken one of the things Cersei holds dear.

      Except, Cersei doesn’t actually hold Jaime very dear. He’s useful but nowhere as important, or dear, to Cersei as her power. She understands nothing about the real Jaime, she’s not interested because she thinks Jaime is her with a cock. She completely misses the point that she and Tyrion are actually the more alike, both power-hungry schemers and Jaime is the odd one out, desperately trying to be the honourable good guy. They have such different mindsets. The Lannisters are interesting. It’d be really boring if all the Lannisters all agreed and were as wonderful as the Starks, who apparently are the perfect family and soon sing Kumbayah around a camp fire in Winterfell. (I hope not.)

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    152. House Monty,

      That’s the thing though. Sansa does have something Jon needs: a claim to the North. The Targ alliance is not going to go over easily there, particularly once Jon’s identity is known. But Jon is still part of the wolf pack, and they will be looking to stick together.

      I don’t see it taking all that long. There is some sort of drama involving Tyrion and Jon’s identity complicating the new love affair between him and his aunt. Dany heroically lets go of her sustaining dream of ruling Westeros in order to confront the greater threat. Once that threat is somewhat contained, Jon and his sisters tame rebellion in the North by marriage, and together they settle the issue of Cersei.

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    153. awol,

      There’s still potential going into the final season for a fairly unexpected resolution, such as that which you describe.

      Jon’s parentage could cause shockwaves politically and problems between he and Daenerys. And the White Walkers still exist as a means to remove any piece from the board at this late stage, without it feeling like a total cop-out.

      It’s hard to predict whether there’s still some great ironic twists left in GRRM’s ending for the producers to tell, or whether we’re on course for a pretty predictable ending now that Jon and Daenerys seem the most obvious answers to all remaining questions.

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    154. For me the bigger question is why did jamie get such a shit name? “Cersei”- cool name bro. “Tyrion”- great name, kinda similar to Ol’ dad “Tywin”. And then there is “Jamie”- really? so lame.

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    155. LAJuice,

      It’s not ‘Jamie’.
      It’s spelt Jaime, as in the Spanish/Portuguese version of James. But pronounced differently.
      So it’s one of the GOT names which is almost an English name, but not quite. Like Eddard, Robett, Samwell, Rickard, Jeyne ….

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    156. LAJuice:
      For me the bigger question is why did jamie get such a shit name?“Cersei”- cool name bro.“Tyrion”- great name, kinda similar to Ol’ dad “Tywin”. And then there is “Jamie”- really? so lame.

      “Jaime. My name is Jaime.”

      Have you stopped to think why this Lannister perhaps has an ordinary, “soft” name?

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    157. House Monty,

      Yeah, but it’s only fairy tale if they’re just so madly in love that they don’t care about being aunt and nephew.

      If they’re not happy about it, but marry out of duty or personal sacrifice for the good of the realm and perhaps end up kinda miserable (like Robert and Cersei), then it’s not so fairy tale.

      Presentation counts.

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    158. Grrm confirmed it was Elia and her son in the HoTU vision many years ago…So no it’s not lyanna and jon

      I don’t have any problems with jon being named aegon .If we just go by that name was given by lyanna ….He is always going to be jon snow whatever name he was given by anyone…

      The problem only comes when people bring rhaegar and him believing aegon to be the name of TpTwP..

      Because people forget that Elia birthed aegon after the tourney of harrenhall which means rhaegar has already seen lyanna and he still believed Elia son to be tPtwp by Dany’s vision..So it doesn’t make any sense rhaegar changing his mind all of a sudden …Of course I am a firm believer that this whole annulling thing is show only for a simplified version of getting across that jon is legitimate..

      Speaking about light bringer ….People are forgetting to separate NK and WW …
      We haven’t seen WW walk through dragonfire only NK ..

      It’s pretty much given that dragons are lightbringers when GRRM had jon read about the story of AA fighting a monster and dany killing kraznys at astopor match word for word …

      About Nissa Nissa…It’s clearly drogo…I mean GRRm had both dany and drogo call each other moon of my life and sun and stars. ..He also have the story of how if both got together dragon will birthed from the moon ..Here dany just reverses the gender..

      I have a doubt I don’t know whether people already came up with this or not …If bran saw lyanna named jon as AEgon targaryen last season shouldn’t he know by that time
      That jon is legitimate …

      Things like this are why we need to stop analysing or over analyze things from the show because they are just ticking the boxes at the moment from one plot to another and we should just enjoy the entertainment it provides and the summary of an ending it provides which we will not be getting from GRRm

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    159. LAJuice:
      For me the bigger question is why did jamie get such a shit name?“Cersei”- cool name bro.“Tyrion”- great name, kinda similar to Ol’ dad “Tywin”. And then there is “Jamie”- really? so lame.

      Hey! That is my husband’s name you are talking about!

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    160. FictionIsntReal:
      The show has changed character names before, like Asha becoming Yara. Robin Arryn is never referred to as “Robert”, though that is his real name. It’s possible they didn’t want Jon to have a Targaryen name the show had already used.

      I think this is it exactly. The show may not have wanted to introduce a second Aemon. The character names are hard enough for some viewers. They may remember hearing the name Aegon before in reference to Aegon the Conqueror, but the fact that Rhaegar had already used the name isn’t widely known.

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    161. Mr Derp,

      Who knows, her skills should have some effect on the plot (in the books the Freys are probably exterminated by LSH so Arya will have something else to do).

      I think the Hound simply gave her a lesson on “where the heart is” (a particular quick kill). Then Arya applied it immediately to Rorge by piercing him through the heart (hence “you’re learning”). I know the show doesn’t have a good record on lethal versus nonlethal wounds, so yeah, maybe she missed the heart but the script prescribed that Rorge died anyway, then my argument is void. And maybe she will indeed apply the lesson more than once.

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    162. House Monty:
      awol,

      We will see. I don’t think Sansa and Jon are getting married.

      But we will find out which way it goes in a short 18 months…. 🙁

      Well there are other possibilities as well even if they don’t. I think it is very unlikely, given GRRM’s lack of interest in writing a fairy tale ending, that both Jon and Dany will survive until the very end and beyond. It is even entirely possible that both of them will die.

      So if they both die, who is left? Top contender is Sansa. And if Sansa dies, then Arya. A marriage to Jon is not the only way one or both can become queen because Jon is not invincible.

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    163. fdr: I always thought it was a reference to “J’aime” (French for I love, which is his theme) and Cersei to Circe in Odysseus.

      Could be, nice thought.

      Cersei as far as I know is not a recognised name anywhere, so it does seem to be a conscious reference to Circe.

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    164. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      They might not end up madly in love.

      I think there is foreshadowing for Daenerys to sit the iron throne:

      s6e10: Dario tells her she will get that crown she wants and he just hopes it makes her happy.

      There is foreshadowing for her dying with an arrow through the heart:

      Tyrion in s7e6, Jorah in s7e7

      Then there is foreshadowing that can cut both ways

      Dany e7e6 “we will talk about the succession when I wear the crown.

      At first glance I thought one of these is clearly false foreshadowing. But one way they could both be accurate foreshadowing is if the arrow through the heart is not an actual arrow but a broken heart. So she ends up sitting the throne but with a heavy heart in some way.

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    165. This is my first comment ever. Over this weekend while rewatching some of my favorite scenes and thinking about other theories on the web, I had a thought and just ran with it.
      Jon and Meera Reed are Rhaegar and Elia’s children. The Mountain didn’t kill them. They were orphans and with Lyanna by the time she gave birth to Dany. Yes, Dany is Rhaegar and Lyanna’s child not Jon. Lyanna telling Ned “his name is Aegon Targaryen.” Ned could have easily asked her about the other children with her at the Tower of Joy. Rhaegar had three children. Aegon (Jon) and Rhaenys (Meera Reed) Elia’s children and Dany, Lyanna’s child. The three dragons. Jon and Meera fit the description of the Dornish people. Apparently Dany remembers lemon trees as a child. Look up House Dalt of Dorne sigil.
      Jon (Aegon) goes to the north with Ned, Meera (Rhaenys) goes north with Howland Reed and Dany (Visenya) stays in Dorne until she eventually leaves Westeros. But my whole theory is based on the Mountain never actually killing Elias children. I haven’t read the books yet. Is it possible that the Mountain didn’t kill the children? I suppose the writers could change that in the show. I just felt R+L=J was just too obvious and not very exciting.
      So unless someone says there is no possible way because…, this is the story that will happily sit in my head for the next two years. Please let me know 😊

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    166. I know we have fAegon in the books and the trolls on Westeros.org were up in arms but I’d be amazed if Jon’s real name on the show is not coming directly from George given everything we know.

      That said, what his real name is makes no difference he’s Jon, been called that all his life so very unlikely to change. The only two things that matter is that he’s a) the true heir to the throne and b) a Stark and Targ.

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    167. Violator:
      The name could be significant or it could not be.

      If not, then Dan and Dave may have chosen to give Jon the name Aegon because it’s more familiar to the TV audience and they haven’t included Young Griff in the show.

      I mean, has the show ever actually named Rhaegar and Ellia’s children? If not, then there’s no harm in calling Jon, Aegon and everyone unfamiliar with the books is non the wiser.

      We’ll know if Jon finds out his given name is something else if and when George actually reveals it to us.

      I suspect that regardless, he will end up wanting to be called Jon regardless.

      In hindsight, I’d imagine the show cut Young Griff purely because they knew Aegon is Jon’s name and that fAegon will die in Winds of Winter (Cersei is taking him down I suspect).

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    168. House Monty:
      Erica,

      I was optimistic until i read this. I had noticed this during the year but seeing it laid out like that kinda sucked

      http://screenrant.com/game-of-thrones-foreshadow-predict-daenerys-death/

      Thanks for sharing I hadn’t see this article however both James Hibberd and Kim Renfro (two of the most informed GOT journalists) have done predictions for S8 where they both predict one of Jon or Dany will die and the dragon queen is the most likely. It makes sense to me given the narrative but I wouldn’t totally rule out Jon dying.

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    169. pbro:
      My personal belief is that the showrunners changed Jon’s name from X in the books to Aegon on the show for two reasons, which aren’t mutually exclusive:
      1) Avoid potential audience confusion from having two characters on the show with the same name (similar to Asha being changed to Yara)
      2) To use Jon’s new name as a marketing tool for the planned GOT-prequel series, which will inevitably focus on one of the five Aegon Targaryens. Ensuring that GOT evolves into a multi-property asoiaf franchise is a strategic priority for HBO. The best way to achieve this is to ensure that all current GOT fans are interested in the future prequel series. No better way to do that then changing the name of GOT’s main protagonist to Aegon.

      Sorry but have to debunk your marketing tool theory, S7 was written well before the prequel discussion came out in the media and D&D are not running that.

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    170. Jon Snowed: Thanks for sharing I hadn’t see this article however both James Hibberd and Kim Renfro (two of the most informed GOT journalists) have done predictions for S8 where they both predict one of Jon or Dany will die and the dragon queen is the most likely.It makes sense to me given the narrative but I wouldn’t totally rule out Jon dying.

      Love Kim Renfro’s content. But I saw an interview with her where she talked about reading the season 7 leaks and being surprised at Jonerys.

      Made me lose any confidence in her ability to predict anything. If you couldn’t see Jon and Dany getting together a mile away than not sure what story your watching. Between the name of the book series, all the foreshadowing from the books, all the parralells between them in the show and episode 6×10 this couldn’t have been clearer.

      Literally in 6×10 Dany tells Dario I am breaking up with you in order to make myself available for a marriage alliance right before Jon becomes a King and the only person it would make political sense for Daenerys to marry. The only way they could have made it more obvious is if they had named the series after them or something. 🤔

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    171. I think, that even with all the comparisons that have been made between Jon and Aragorn here (and they do mirror one another in a lot of ways, as some characters and storylines do between ASoIaF and LotR), the linguistics have been missed.

      To me, one compelling bit of evidence for Aegon being Jon Snow’s Targaryen name simply the fact that, like the characters, the names mirror one another, especially when using the Æ sound established on the show.

      Aegon and Aragorn could almost, linguistically, be variations on the same name.

        Quote  Reply

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