40

Spoilers for the Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones, "The Dragon and the Wolf".

At the end of the episode through one of Bran's visions we learn that:

Jon Snow's real name is Aegon Targaryen.

While we knew that Jon was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark why would

he be named Aegon, as Rhaegar already named his first son Aegon

"House Clegane was built upon dead children. I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne." - Thoros of Myr, Season 3 Episode 5 "Kissed by Fire"

This just seems confusing...

  • 20
    Seems like they are combining the stories of the two for the TV series. Since the other Aegon has never been mentioned on the series so far. – eshier Aug 28 '17 at 13:16
  • 2
    @eshier He was, by Thoros n Season 3. – Skooba Aug 28 '17 at 13:22
  • 4
    Relevant: Do books and Show match up on Aegon Targaryen – Aegon Aug 28 '17 at 13:24
  • 4
    New theory: she had just heard about Aegon's death so decided to name her child in his memory. (Not sure of the timing of that, though.) – eshier Aug 28 '17 at 14:51
  • 4
    If it is good enough for George Foreman it is good enough for a Targaryen :) – Jason K Aug 29 '17 at 15:21
39

Rhaegar did not name his son

and

It's not unusual in royalty

Rhaegar died before naming his unborn son. The name was chosen by Lyanna, and Lyanna alone (and the writers, but that's something else), because in the end, Rhaegar was dead and she had the final word.

She probably chose a name she liked and that "sounded" Targaryen:

  • Maybe she liked Aegon, the first son of Rhaegar, and she wanted to give him the same name.
  • As a Northerner, Lyanna knew of Aegon V, who was the last respected king before the Mad King started all the troubles in Westeros. Knowing that she was pregnant of the last Targaryen, she wanted to name his son like the last "good" king as a symbol of hope.

There are a lot of inspirations for a given name.

  • 12
    The whole reason that Rhaegar is with Lyanna is partly because of a long plan... "there must be one more, the dragon has three heads". It seems odd that during the 9 month gestation that the couple had not picked out a name... a name that was not already given to a (half) brother? – Skooba Aug 28 '17 at 15:07
  • 6
    Why should we assume Rhaegar didn't name his son? It's not uncommon for parents to look for names even before the birth of the kid. And I don't think real royalty case applies here. Our royalties have huge names so two brothers Karl Johann Ludwig von Hohenzollern and Karl Gustav Leopold von Hohenzollern would easily be distinguishable, unlike Westeros where royalty has just a first name and dynasty name – Aegon Aug 28 '17 at 15:08
  • 1
    In any case, I don't think there is a case in real royalty either where two brothers shared exactly the same name – Aegon Aug 28 '17 at 15:09
  • 13
    @Aegon Belgium would like a word with you: Joséphine of Belgium and Joséphine of Belgium were sisters, though one was born the year after the previous died. They don't share the same second name, but they do share their first and family name. Granted, they're not... brothers. – Olivier Grégoire Aug 28 '17 at 15:18
  • 5
    @Aegon In the custom, if Joséphine Marie had not died, Joséphine Caroline would have not been named Joséphine at all. You're being pedantic, I can accept that, but you're being just a tad too rigorist as well, because you don't know all the customs of all European houses, do you? I'm quite sure that Joséphine Caroline was never ever referred to as such by anyone except her parents. Everybody would call her Joséphine. Names are complex and you're currently saying that you master them all. You might master Martin's customs, but those of every house in the real world? I doubt it, sorry. – Olivier Grégoire Aug 28 '17 at 15:31
28

Aegon Targaryen is a common name in the family.

The name "Aegon Targaryen" has been used seven times now, in GoT history. The last one before Jon was his half brother, Prince Aegon (presumably VI), who was killed by The Mountain as an infant. Aegon I was the head of the family when they conquered Westeros, famed for riding Balerion.

Targ Family Tree

As recurring names are common among royalty (as pointed out in Oliver's answer), and the "Xth of his name" postfix has been used explicitly with all but the last two Aegons, one would assume that Lyanna was merely trying to give Jon a historied name.

  • 4
    I have to comment as what I have commented on everything else.... the same name as his brother???? – Skooba Aug 28 '17 at 17:54
  • 18
    @Skooba She was 15-16 years old. Teen moms aren't great at naming. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 28 '17 at 17:55
  • 2
    @Aegon. Wonder if it's worth taking into consideration that by the time Jon/Aegon is born, the other Aegon and Rhaenys have already been killed. It might be that this name was chosen to commemorate his other children, or because he specifically wanted a child with that name? – Ben Green Aug 29 '17 at 7:37
  • 1
    Needs more free-hand circles... – Mat Cauthon Aug 29 '17 at 8:30
  • 1
    @Aegon In the real world, Edward III of England had two sons called William and two sons called Thomas. In both cases the first had died before the second was named, but that's the case here as well. – Mike Scott Aug 29 '17 at 11:51
9

Rhaegar wanted his sons to be named Aegon due to prophecy

The Targaryen family was big on prophecy and destiny since they boasted of magical and supernatural elements themselves (namely, their dragons and the unique relationship they had with the magical beasts).

This is elaborated on in the novels that Game of Thrones adapts, where Rhaegar Targaryen was particularly obsessed with the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised, who may also be Azor Ahai reborn. Aegon is an important name in the Targaryen family because the first Targaryen king was Aegon the Conqueror, who unified six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros (the seventh joining years later on its own terms).

The explanation may be as simple as Rhaegar wanting his son, who he believed to be The Prince That Was Promised and/or Azor Ahai reborn, to be named Aegon Targaryen.

It's not clear if this will be true in the novels, but there is a possibility, considering the showrunners have said that they are following an outline that the author of the novels, George R. R. Martin, has provided them despite taking some liberties. There are some hints to Jon being a Targaryen in the novels too, and perhaps his name even being Aegon.

There is an excerpt in the novels where Daenerys has a vision of Rhaegar discussing with Elia about their son Aegon being, well, the chosen one. This shows how Rhaegar likely believes that the chosen one should be named Aegon, and Rhaegar could believe that his son with Lyanna is this chosen one, not with Elia (or they all are together, but the sons should still have the name Aegon regardless.)

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.

"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."

  • 1
    But he already had his Aegon.... he also said there must be three heads to the dragon. So if he knew he first son was dead the prophecy had already failed. – Skooba Aug 29 '17 at 2:43
  • @Thomas, Apparently, he was reforming the original trio. He already had an Aegon and a Rhaenys. He needed a Visenya, the third head of the dragon. Instead he got another son. So he named the child Aegon 2.0? – Aegon Aug 29 '17 at 6:43
  • He annulled the first two. Does annulled Agon become a bastard then? Either way, I think this is the most likely answer, and not just saying "it was Lyanna and she's dumb" – Edlothiad Aug 29 '17 at 7:22
  • 2
    @Edlothiad In real Westeros (Irrelevant to TV Westeros) annulment can be granted only if the marriage was unconsummated precisely to avoid situations like this. Rhaegar would be sowing seeds of a new Dance of the Dragons that way. Elder Aegon would never have stepped aside as a bastard just because Daddy liked a Northern girl, especially since the Iron throne was his by right. Elder Aegon had powerful allies in form of his uncles, the Princes of Dorne. It would have just meant new war of succession between the two Princes. – Aegon Aug 29 '17 at 7:59
  • 1
    @Aegon I wonder if we'll see GRRM go along with this annulment in real Westeros – Edlothiad Aug 29 '17 at 8:26
8

I think the TV show is trying to recycle names and/or changing them to make it relatable. We know that Aegon is a "Targaryen Name" so, in order to make Jon look more Targ-related. Its not the first time the show changes up names of the characters in order to make the names stand up in some way.(Asha changed to Yara for example)

Its unlikely that they will use (f?)Aegon storyline with Jon, its probably just an aborted arc that will not see the light in the series, just like Victarion or Quentyn.

  • 4
    Sadly I think this is probably the case with how D&D are going about the story. Personally I thought Jaehaerys would've been a better fitting name. – Virusbomb Aug 28 '17 at 14:21
  • 2
    In-universe, the same argument can be made: Lyanna was the one naming Jon, and she was very busy dying at this moment, so she apparantly went with the most prominent Targaryen name that came to her mind in a split-second decision, to emphasize that Jon is a real Targaryen to her, not just a bastard. – Annatar Aug 28 '17 at 14:22
  • 7
    Yara was change as to not confuse people with Asha/Osha... by making Jon=Aegon you are not making him stand out, your making it more confusing. – Skooba Aug 28 '17 at 14:31
  • 2
    @Skooba what i mean is that Aegon is a standing out Targaryen name. In the show, we have not been introducet to (f?)Aegon, so the only Aegon Targaryen we know is Aegon the Conqueror and Maester Aegon. Both are prominent Targaryen figures, they are in the mind of the audience, so Aegon sounds like a fitting name. – Bruno Gutierrez Aug 28 '17 at 14:50
  • 5
    @BrunoGutierrez I think you mean Maester Aemon. Maester Aemon's brother was Aegon. – Harris Aug 28 '17 at 15:25
4

There is precedent in companion books for Targaryens naming close living relatives (and potential heirs apparent) "Aegon"

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.)

From The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother, which predates the events of Game of Thrones by about 200 years.

It may be that the name is important to the Azor Ahai prophecy, which we still don't know in its entirety.

0

This is speculative, but I suspect the hint is in the annulment to Elia. It's not like it was unusual for Targaryens to have multiple wives. There was no reason to annul his marriage to Elia just because he wanted to marry Lyanna.

But we also know that Rhaegar was very interested in the prophesy about the Prince Who Was Promised. He knew that the prince that was promised's song would be "the song of ice and fire". After meeting and falling in love with Lyanna, it probably occurred to him that it made more sense that the prince that was promised would come from their union rather than the union with a woman from Dorne. So he wanted to move his children with Elia out of the line of succession so that the prince would actually be the crown prince and eventual king of Westros. Naming him Aegon was a way to make it clear that his son with Lyanna was replacing the one he had with Elia, this new Aegon was his heir and the heir to the Targaryen throne.

  • 2
    Multiple wives were uncommon after the Targaryens adopted the Faith of the Seven... IIRC wars were fought over it which eventually settled and the Faith Militant was disbanded by Jaehaerys the Conciliator. – Skooba Aug 29 '17 at 16:48
  • Also removing people who would otherwise be heirs to the throne is how you create civil wars like the Dance of Dragons and Blackfyre Rebelions. – Skooba Aug 29 '17 at 16:50
  • So is running a way with a woman when you're already married, annulling that marriage and marrying the new girl. And if he thinks the prince that was promised needs to be king, even if it's not a great plan, doesn't mean there's a better option. – sandbun Aug 29 '17 at 16:57
-1

The most likely conclusion is that the writers used the name of the aborted Aegon(?) arc from the books instead of coming up with a new one: they have already changed names and characters before (Asha/Yara; Aeron Greyjoy turned into a random Drowned God priest in the series, Barristan dying for nothing, etc) so it seems the simplest explanation.

It's not meant to confuse viewers for having both (half-)brothers with the same name, since the other Aegon(?) doesn't appear in the series. All we know from watching the series is that Elia had two children that, according to Oberyn, were both murdered by The Mountain (where's Amory Loch?), but their names are never mentioned.

My guess is that he'll be named differently in the books, and that the name won't matter much, since I bet Jon will still use the name he's been using to honor both Ned and Jon Arryn, leaving his birthname as a mere bureaucratic formality.

Also, "Aegon's the name of Aegon the Conqueror, how cool is that??!!1!1!", might have something to do with the naming as well.

  • 2
    Thoros confirmed Elia's children's names in Season 3 as my question states. – Skooba Aug 29 '17 at 3:35
  • 1
    No other attributes of FAegon are given to Jon but to Dany. Jon is largely unchanged from the books.... at least to where the two diverge. – Skooba Aug 29 '17 at 3:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.