House of the Dragon revealed some of Game of Thrones’ most important lore in its first episode

Dragon Housethe new show that succeeds HBO game of thrones, is all about the Targaryen family, so it’s no surprise that it delves into their past. But in its first episode, the series already jumps beyond its source material, Fire & Blood, to reveal previously unknown details about one of A Song of Ice and Fire’s most important characters. And according to the showrunners, the revelation comes directly from George RR Martin himself.

[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for all eight seasons of Game of Thrones and the first episode of House of the Dragon.]

Dragon HouseThe first episode revolves around King Viserys’ eventual choice to name his daughter Rhaenyra as his successor to the Iron Throne of Westeros. This goes against the precedents of the kingdom, especially the decision of the Grand Council of 101 AC which solidified in the minds of most that male heirs had priority for the crown over female heirs. None of this is new to viewers familiar with the story of the prequel series, but what King Viserys says to his teenage daughter should come as a welcome surprise to die-hard A Song of Ice and Fire fans.

Rhaenyra Targaryen from HBO's House of the Dragon spinoff series, Game of Thrones

Picture: HBO

Inside the Red Keep, Viserys tells Rhaenyra a bit about Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen king in Westeros and the man who united the continent’s seven warring kingdoms into one he could rule. More importantly, Viserys reveals that Aegon first sought to conquer Westeros because he had a vision of the end of the world:

And just as Daenys saw the end of Valyria, Aegon foresaw the end of the world of men. It is to begin with a terrible winter, blowing from the far north. Aegon has seen absolute darkness roll over these winds, and whatever dwells within will destroy the world of the living. When that great winter comes, Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must stand against it. And if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must sit on the Iron Throne. A king or queen, strong enough to unite the kingdom against cold and darkness. Aegon called his dream “A Song of Ice and Fire”. This secret has been handed down from king to heir since the time of Aegon. And now you have to promise to keep it. And wear it.

This prophecy is both unique and significant for its place in the series. While prophecies in modern fantasy stories, especially A Song of Ice and Fire, are often used ironically or as misdirection, this one is presented to us as almost unambiguously true.

By being positioned next to Daenys’ correct prophecy of the end of Valyria, which saved the Targaryen dynasty from the Doom that destroyed Valyria and sent them to Dragonstone and Westeros first, Aegon’s dream gets a boost. little more credibility. We also know it’s (mostly) true because…we’ve already seen the end. We know that the return of a Targaryen to Westeros and his dragons is essential in the fight against the White Walkers and in saving the men of the Long Night. We even know that it is a Targaryen named Aegon who saves, since it is the real name of Jon Snow. (As a fun tidbit, this also gives us our second explanation of the series name A Song of Ice and Fire, which most fans normally assume refers to Jon as the child of a Stark and Targaryen – representing the ice and fire.)

While this all seems like a handy replacement by showrunners Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, it’s not. In an interview with Polygon before Dragon House‘s, Condal confirmed that this specific dream came directly from Martin.

Caraxes, a dragon from the House of the Dragon

Picture: HBO

“It actually comes from [Martin], at least the origin of this point,” Condal said. β€œHe told us very early in the play – just as he does, he just casually mentioned that Aegon the Conqueror was a dreamer who saw a vision of the White Walkers coming through the wall and sweeping the land with the cold and dark. […] So with his permission, of course, we worked that into the story because it was a great way to resonate with the original series.

It’s already a huge reveal about one of the most important characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, but with a bit of speculation it’s also easy to see how it could give us a clue as to how which Martin’s book ends for the series. could deviate from the one we saw in HBO game of thrones.

According to Viserys, to save the world, all of Westeros must be united against the threat from the north, and a Targaryen must sit on the Iron Throne. Both are somehow vaguely alluded to by the HBO series, but aren’t actually true. Neither Dany nor Jon are actually on the throne by the time the long night arrives, and the final battle at Winterfell really only involves a small force rather than all of Westeros.

Daenerys and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones stand in a large stone room facing each other

Picture: Helen Sloan/HBO

If Aegon’s prophecy is correct – and turns out to be in the books – then it’s possible we could see Jon or Dany (note that Viserys says King Where queen) take King’s Landing and the Iron Throne long before the arrival of the Long Night. It also means we could see the Army of the Dead marching much further south, threatening Westeros much more than they did in the show.

For now, though, like most A Song of Ice and Fire questions, we’ll just have to wait for the books to find out if any of this happens. But at the very least, this tiny bit of dialogue proves that Dragon House has more new information to share with viewers and die-hard fans than its prequel status and Fire & Blood adaptation might suggest.

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