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Jon Snow knows nothing about a lot of things, least of all the secret side of his family tree.
In the Game of Thrones season finale, the newly anointed King in the North’s parents were finally revealed as Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen — a plot twist that casts Jon as the song of ice and fire at the heart of this tale. It’s anyone’s guess as to how Jon will learn this information, or what it will mean moving forward, but it already means one thing: Jon comes from a long line of legends, both for very good and very bad reasons.
Here’s a rundown of some of the more prominent figures in the Targaryen line.
— Aegon the Conqueror, the first to sit upon the Iron Throne. He and his sister-wives conquered the Seven Kingdoms on dragon back, kick-starting almost three centuries of Targaryen rule.
— Maegor the Cruel, the third king following the mysterious death (see: suspected murder) of his predecessor, Aenys. As Maegor’s moniker implies, he was a tyrannical ruler, killing enemies and innocents with ruthless efficiency, and eventually inspiring a rebellion against him.
— Jaehaerys the Old became the next king following Maegor’s death, ruling over the realm for more than 50 years with kindness and wisdom. A new theory states Jon Snow’s actual name is Jaehaerys Targaryen, named in part after the fourth Targaryen king.
— The next two Aegons, father and nephew, were key figures in a Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Incidentally, it was not the last civil war within the family.
— Baelor the Blessed, the ninth king of Westeros, should be a familiar quantity in name alone. He’s the creator and inspiration for the Sept of Baelor, site of Ned Stark’s execution, recently destroyed in the season six finale.
— Aegon the Unlikely, the fifteenth Targaryen king and fifth of his name, earned his nickname due to the incredibly improbable odds of him earning the Iron Throne, as the fourth son of a fourth son. Some fun facts about Aegon: He’s the star of the “Dunk and Egg” novellas written by George R.R. Martin, often speculated as a possible Game of Thrones follow-up series. He’s also the younger brother of …
— Aemon Targaryen, the wise old maester who served the Night’s Watch for decades and decades … and the only Targaryen relative Jon has ever known, up until this point. But Aemon was not the only Targaryen in the North during Jon’s lifetime.
— The Three-Eyed Raven also hails from the Targaryen line, at least in the books. There, it’s strongly implied that he’s Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers, the legitimized bastard son of Aegon the Unworthy. He served as Hand of the King and later as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, with a reputation for using sorcery in his causes. In the show, the Raven claimed that he’s been waiting for Bran for over a thousand years, which doesn’t fit the Bloodraven timeline; just one of many differences between the books and the show.
— Jaehaerys the Weak, another potential namesake for Jon Snow, if theories bear out. The sixteenth king of Westeros earned his nickname not because of his weak resolve, but because of the short length of his reign. He died from illness after only three years on the throne, but not before receiving the prophecy that the fabled Prince Who Was Promised, a hero destined to save the realm from darkness, would be born of his bloodline. (Here’s looking at you, Jon Snow.)
— The Mad King Aerys, who succeeded his father Jaehaerys, and served as the final Targaryen king, at least up until now. His brutal reputation speaks for itself. Aerys is Rhaegar’s father, and therefore Jon Snow’s grandfather … as well as the grandfather to yet another potential contender for the throne, at least in Martin’s novels.
— Yes, yet another Aegon, yet another contender for the throne, and yet another change between the books and the show. In both stories, Rhaegar’s infant son Aegon was killed during the end of Robert’s Rebellion … but in the books, a young man steps forward claiming to be Aegon, raised in secret. Strong evidence suggests Aegon is a pretender, if not an intentional one. But with only a handful of episodes remaining in Game of Thrones, don’t expect the so-called “Faegon” story to take flight. Which isn’t to say there won’t be a clash of dragons in the imminent future, thanks to Westeros‘ newest arrival …
— Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and rightful queen of Westeros … or so she claims. With Jon now identified as her older brother Rhaegar’s son, Lord Snow boasts a strong claim for the Iron Throne. Most viewers expect Jon and Daenerys to work side by side, but a history of contentious civil wars within the Targaryen bloodline suggests that there will be fireworks between the two, at the very least … and, potentially, at the very best.
Watch the video below for more season seven predictions:
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