The penultimate season of Game of Thrones was full of major revelations, but perhaps none is more important than the final, official confirmation of Jon Snow’s true heritage. Sure, Bran and Sam figured it out at exactly the same time as Jon was sleeping with his aunt, but the knowledge that he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne is probably going to cause some problems in Season 8. Another problem, though, is his real name: Aegon Targaryen.
It’s a problem because Rhaegar Targaryen already had a son with literally the exact same name.
Thrones fans have known since Season 6 that Jon was really Lyanna Stark’s son, not Ned’s as everyone had believed. His father was correctly presumed to have been Rhaegar. In the Tower of Joy flashback last season, Lyanna whispers Jon’s real name to Ned, but we couldn’t hear it. Lipreaders alleged that she’d said “Jaehaerys,” a historical Targaryen name with thematic connections to Jon, or “Aemon,” the same name as Castle Black’s maester and Jon’s Night’s Watch mentor. However, the Season 8 finale threw these theories out the window.
Aegon is, in some ways, a fitting name for Jon. The first Targaryen king, the man who created the Iron Throne, was also named Aegon, as was Maester Aemon’s brother, Aegon the Unlikely, aka Egg. But, there’s another Aegon Targaryen who would have been much closer to Prince Rhaegar. Remember, Jon’s a true-born heir because Rhaegar annulled his earlier marriage to Elia Martell. They had two children together prior to the annulment: Aegon and Rhaenys. These kids (and Elia) were later killed when the Mountain attacked them, which is why Oberyn Martell wanted revenge back in Season 4.
An annulment would delegitimize Rhaegar’s children with Elia, but it wouldn’t erase their existence entirely, so it’s kinda messed up that he just named his son with Lyanna Aegon, too.
The smallfolk apparently loved Rhaegar, and he was praised for being everything his father, the Mad King, wasn’t. But, like, Rhaegar kinda seemed like he sucked? Ending your relationship with the mother of your children because you want to run away with a new woman you’ve fallen in love with is one thing, but to just straight-up call a do-over on a child is some fuckboy shit.
For what it’s worth, there’s a plot from the Song of Ice and Fire books that hasn’t been adapted for the HBO show that involves another Aegon. Over in Essos, there’s a character named Young Griff who is purportedly Rhaegar and Elia’s son Aegon, who somehow escaped death at the hands of the Mountain. He’s almost certainly an imposter, based on evidence from the books, so fans have taken to calling him “Fake Aegon.”
If Jon’s name is actually Aegon in the books, which haven’t gotten to this revelation yet, then there are entirely too many Aegons.
Let’s just keep calling him Jon.