Aegon’s Conquest and Aegon The Conqueror would be the terms you would have probably heard many times if you had listened to the conversations between characters in Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. A lot of characters have talked about him because he is one of the famous Targaryen, or should I say one of the most famous people to date. Aegon was the one who dreamed about and Conquered the Seven Kingdoms.
This will be my Aegon’s Conquest Explained article. You probably heard the news, they announced they do have plans to do a show based on Aegon’s Conquest and other moments in the Targaryen’s history. So I’ll explain how that’s going to work and how they’re going to do it through the House of the Dragon show.
I and most of the other Game of Thrones fans are really excited about this show. We all want to see him riding his Balerian, The Black Dread Dragon, and Conquer The Seven Kingdoms.
Here is Aegon’s Conquest Explained:
Plans For Aegon’s Conquest Series
The way the showrunner explained their plan for covering Aegon’s Conquest, the Blackfyre Rebellions, Tales of Dunk and Egg, and other major events in their family’s history from Fire and Blood is that they treat the show like an anthology.
So like, they have three to four seasons planned for the Dance of the Dragons, and after that, it’d be like Season 5, for instance, it’d be Aegon’s Conquest, and it’d be a completely new cast in a new time period. They cover Aegon’s Conquest for a couple of seasons, and then they do the same thing by jumping to a different time period, covering a different event.
So for instance, there might be like 10 to 12 seasons of House of the Dragon, but it’ll cover several different eras with different casts along the way. So for instance, when they get to Robert’s Rebellion, they would just call it House the Dragon Rebellion or something like that.
Reconning Aegon’s Story In House Of The Dragon
During the current episodes on House of the Dragon, they’ve actually recontextualized a lot of the lore around Aegon’s Conquest. Why it happened, what he did during the conquest, and how that connects with what was happening during the events of Game of Thrones later in the timeline.
One of the reasons why it seems like they’re retconning things is because George RR Martin helped them develop House of the Dragon like he’s helping them write episodes. He said that most of the Fire and Blood book that we’re actually adapting for the events of House of the Dragon was written by Maesters of the third parties who just weren’t privy to all the information.
In the way that Viserys explained it to Rhaenyra, it was a secret that was passed down from King to successor, and eventually, it was lost. So that’s why during the events of the main series, The Only Way the characters start learning about it is through these ancient texts that were thought lost inside the Citadel. It also sounds like that’s how Rhaegar learned about the prophecy later too, before he died, he found it by combing through the Citadel.
Many Aegons In Game Of Thrones Universe
Quick history, the Aegon who conquered the Seven Kingdoms was the first of his name, Aegon Targaryen. He had a couple of main nicknames that the realm later gave him: The Conqueror for obvious reasons and Dragon. As a result, whenever you hear a Targaryen refer to himself or another Targaryen as The Dragon, as in “oh, you seem like the dragon today,” they are equating them with Aegon the Conqueror.
The way that later members of their family in the realm viewed him is sort of like a superstar. So as you’d expect, over the 300-plus years after his Conquest, in their history ruling over Westeros, up to the events of the main show ending with Jon Snow. Many, many members of their family were named Aegon, for instance, on the show right now, we have Aegon II, they call him second of his name. If Jon Snow had actually sat on the Iron Throne, he would have been called Aegon VI. Aegon V is actually the younger brother of Maester Aemon.
Here’s where we start with the conquest, they’re like some important backstory. Aegon the Conqueror was born on Dragonstone many years after the Targaryens had fled ancient Valyria and the Doom happened. They had taken five dragons with them when they sailed for Dragonstone, but only three survived to the time of Aegon.
Balerion The Black Dread who’s already died before the events of House of the Dragon and the two dragons that his sisters eventually rode. Vhagar, who we just saw on the show written by Laena Velaryon, and Meraxes who was written by his other sister Rhaenys. On House of the Dragon, princess Rhaenys, the queen Who Never Was, is named after Aegon’s sister Rhaenys.
Even though people mostly think about the conquest when they think about Aegon. That wasn’t the first war that he actually fought in. On the House of the Dragon Show recently, in this past episode, they actually referenced the century of blood, and that was about the hundred years after the Doom of Valyria when everyone in Essos was fighting over the territory that was left in the wake of the Doom.
Aegon the Conqueror used Balerion The Black Dread to pid Pentos list some of these other cities in the East over here. This is what the Prince from the East here was talking to Damon about in House of the Dragon Episode 6. He said: “Your ancestor Aegon the Conqueror aided us in the century of blood, won’t you do it again now in present-day”.
During House of the Dragon, we’ve recently learned from Viserys that Aegon was born with the ability to Dragon Dream just like he was, and now we’ve learned that Helaena Targaryen has his daughter with Alicent.
Those are Dragon Dreams that we see Helaena’s reciting in House of the Dragon Episode 6. They’re about two different members of their family. The one where she says “the last ring will have no legs” is about Aegon the Second. I don’t want to explain exactly what it means because it’s kind of a spoiler, and I think that they’re going to pay it off in a future season.
The other one is about Aemond Targaryen, and when she says “he’ll have to close an eye”, that’s all about him claiming a dragon. Like he’ll claim a dragon, but he has to close an eye to doing it, and they’re going to pay that off in episode 7, I believe. So I don’t want to talk too much about that because it’s kind of a spoiler right now.
Dragon Dreams are basically the gift of prophecy, visions of the future that are specific to the Targaryen family or people of Valyrian descent. Daenerys Targaryen also has a version of Dragon Dreams on the main show in the House of the Undying, seeing visions of her future but not totally understanding what they mean at the time.
Aegon’s Prophecy And Valyrian Dagger
So that took place way before the actual war of Conquest. But at some point when this was happening, Aegon Targaryen eventually had the Dragon Dream about the long night, and someone from his bloodline eventually stopped it. He called it “A Song of Ice and Fire”, which is the title of George RR Martin’s main novel series, and he had the prophecy etched on the Valyrian dagger which he had come into possession of, using Valyrian pyromancers.
They’re kind of like the ancient version of The pyromancer’s guild in the present day. They’re the ones who eventually will create Wildfire. I think the idea is that the Valyrian pyromancers eventually morphed into the pyromancer’s guild, and at some point, they just lost a lot of the knowledge of ancient Valeria, or it wasn’t passed on, or it was destroyed during some big conflict.
We’ve learned over time that a lot of prophecies and a lot of things wind up getting lost in rebellions and insurrections. Viserys also says that they don’t have records of where the Valyrian dagger came from before Aegon came into possession of it, he probably got it from his father before him. But he does confirm that it came from ancient Valyria before that. It sounds like what eventually happened is that, after he etched the prophecy on it when he would tell the prophecy to each new successor in the successor after that, they would pass the dagger along to each new king.
And I think that’s why Viserys walks around everywhere with the dagger on his belt. So we’re still many years before the actual Conquest. When Aegon actually had the Dragon Dream, Westeros at that point was full of many Petty Kings, each ruling over their seven different kingdoms each warring with each other on the regular. And Aegon knew that unless they were all United under a single banner, the realm would never be able to stop the long night.
So he decided the only way to achieve that would be if he conquered the Seven Kingdoms and essentially forced them to work together. But remember, he had no idea when the long night would actually come, and none of his successors did either. Each one thought that it could happen at any moment.
So in addition to all the infighting in the realm that would happen, across the many years, across the many Targaryen Kings, you have to imagine each one that knew about the prophecy was low grade paranoid about that in the background.
The Map Table
On the House of the Dragon show, in the trailers, we’ve seen the upgraded depiction of the famous Map table. It’s the same map table that Daenerys uses later in Game of Thrones, they just kind of reskinned it and made it look a little bit cooler during House of the Dragon, but it’s meant to be the exact same one Aegon is the one who created that table, and he had it done before he had the Dragon Dream.
So when he was younger, dealing with all the problems in the century of blood, he had taken his Balerion, The Black Dread, also flying all over Westeros. So we spent a lot of time visiting the main Realms, it was during this period that he had the map table commissioned.
War Of Conquest
The actual war of Conquest took about two years and then a little bit of time after that before he was actually crowned King of the six kingdoms. But after his Conquest, they changed the way the calendar works, and they would refer to dates before the conquest as BC in and after Conquest as AC. When he completed the conquest, he was crowned King by the High Septon of that day. His crown was made of Valyrian steel, it still exists during the events of House the Dragon, like the episodes we’re watching. They’ll bring it back eventually because it does play a role in the episodes that are coming up.
Everyone’s always talking about the Iron Throne, which was made from the melted swords of all the people during the war of Conquest who refused to bend their knee. He would take his and his sister’s dragons around to each of the Seven Kingdoms, in the different Realms and demand that they bend the knee. It’s not clear if he revealed the prophecy of the long night to each of the seven different Realms when he was trying to conquer them. It sounds like he did not though, like the way that Viserys talks about it, it was meant to be a secret that only each new successor learned about.
Aegon Fort Or Kings Landing
And when Aegon literally started the War of Conquest by flying his Dragon, sailing his troops from Dragonstone to the mainland. The place where he made landfall is at King’s Landing, but at the time, the area didn’t have a name. They just named it after Aegon (Aegon Fort), because Aegon turned the area into a small town for his forces and built a small wooden fort there.
Later, when he finished the war and was crowned King, they moved the capital to this area in Aegon Fort and renamed it King’s Landing. Before that, previously for many, many thousands of years back to the time of the first men, Old Town had always been the biggest Port town. So that was always viewed as sort of like the unofficial capital of Westeros.
The Red Keep that’s become so famous, the actual city of King’s Landing as you see it today like the larger City didn’t get built till many many years later like Maegor built the Red Keep. So for most of Aegon’s life, he ruled from that smaller Fort that they tore down to build the Red Keep.
Burning Of Harrenhal
The most famous battles during the War of Conquest were the burning of Harrenhal, the conquest of the Stormlands, the conquest of the Westerlands, and the reach and the invasion of Dorne. There were only a couple of Realms that actually bent the knee. One of his first engagements was the actual burning of Harrenhal. So Harrenhal ruled over the Riverlands in this area here at the time, and it took about 40 years to build the castle.
It’s literally the largest Castle in all of Westeros, way bigger than the Red Keep. What wound up happening is that the day that the castle was completed was also the day that Aegon made landfall. And when Harrenhal refused to bend the knee, Aegon took Balerion The Black Dread and melted the castle (so that’s why they call it the burning of Harrenhal).
And forever after, people said that there was a curse on Harrenhal because each new Lord that would take possession of the castle in these lands would meet some untimely fate like they would die some mysterious but gruesome death. The latest is Harwin strong and his father Lyonel Strong (House of the Dragon Episode 6), and that same curse continues to the events of the Game of Thrones series later in the timeline.
Conquest Of The Stormlands
The Conquest of the Stormlands actually led to the creation of House Baratheon. Orys Baratheon, the first member of their house, was actually Aegon’s bastard brother by his father. So they were actually good friends growing up, and after they conquered the Stormlands, he gave them to Orys Baratheon and basically named him Lord Baratheon. Many years later into the events of the main series, The Baratheons eventually intermarried with the Targaryens back and forth across the years.
So, for instance Robert Baratheon had Targaryen blood in his veins through his grandmother, who herself was a legitimate full Targaryen. So he actually had a small claim that came to the Iron Throne after Robert’s Rebellion which is why the realm was so quick to support his claim to the Iron Throne. Like “oh well you’re part Targaryen, so you kind of belong on the Iron Throne”. He would have been like Rhaegar’s cousin.
Lannister, Dorne, And Starks
One of the major battles against the Lannisters of that day was called the “Field of Fire” they did a version of that during Game of Thrones season 7 where you see Daenerys basically roast Jaime Lannister’s loot train. There wasn’t an actual battle, Aegon basically just took Balerion The Black Dread and burned a giant portion of their army, and then they bent the knee after that.
The invasion of Dorne is important because during Aegon’s Conquest, it was unsuccessful, he did not conquer Dorne, it was until like way later in the timeline. Even during the events of House of the Dragon right now that we’re watching, Dorne has not been conquered yet. So it’s still the six kingdoms and Dorne during House of the Dragon.
A few of the Realms that actually did bend the knee it didn’t require any real fighting at the time were Torrhen Stark, King of the North at the time, and Sharra Arryn, ruler of the veil at the time
After The Conquest
It’s important to note that after the actual War of Conquest and after Aegon was crowned, that wasn’t the last war or battle that he fought in the Seven Kingdoms. The Maesters recorded that he and his sister, Visenya and Rhaenys, spent most of the rest of their lives on their dragons or going around the slow way, putting down small rebellions, and dealing with each of the seven different kingdoms.
So it wasn’t like he conquered Westeros, and then it was all quiet in the realm for hundreds of years later. After Aegon died, he would have passed the prophecy of A Song of Ice and Fire to his son Aenys who then ruled and was viewed by most as a Weak King, the realm wasn’t huge fans of his. Because knowledge of the prophecy was passed down from Jaehaerys to Viserys.
I’m also assuming that Maegor probably knew the prophecy, too, because there was a lot of infighting in the Battle of Succession that took place when Aenys and Maegor were alive. So there were probably a couple of members in their family that knew the prophecy at that time.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Popular Game Of Thrones Characters: Jon Snow Is Not On The Top