Still, there’s a reason why the episode is called “Second of His Name.” The baby poses a significant threat to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), who was named Viserys’ heir after he lost all hope of fathering a son. Apparently, he spoke too soon.
Though Viserys seems steadfast in his belief that Rhaenyra is still the Targaryen for the job, there are lords and ladies within the Red Keep and beyond its walls that would rather be burnt alive by a dragon than see a woman take the Iron Throne.
Does Aegon II Targaryen ever become king? Here’s how the dynasty shapes up after Viserys’ demise. Major spoilers ahead.
How does Aegon II take the Iron Throne?
The campaign for Aegon II’s claim to the Iron Throne began in his infancy. His mother, Alicent Hightower, wrangled supporters after her relationship with step-daughter Rhaenyra soured. Otto Hightower, Alicent’s father, and Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (who also falls out with Rhaenyra), were also instrumental in persuading citizens to turn their backs on Rhaenyra, despite Viserys’ request that she be his heir. Aegon II’s supporters were known as “the greens,” the color of House Hightower.
Aegon II’s young adult years are rumored to be portrayed in House of the Dragon by Tom Glynn-Carney. They’re going to be eventful: Aegon grows up to be an agile dragonrider and master of his scaly steed, Sunfyre. He was known for being handsome but impetuous, promiscuous, capricious, and for imbibing too much alcohol. He also detests his three nephews, the children Rhaenyra will have with Laenor Velaryon, despite being raised alongside them.
Viserys’ eldest son is crowned King by Criston soon after Viserys’ passing, which officially kicks off the conflict known as The Dance of the Dragons. Aegon II is able to upend the succession plan because his father’s demise is kept secret, and Rhaenyra is away at Dragonstone, the original seat of House Targaryen. At first, Aegon II was hesitant to take the throne from his half-sister, but Criston convinced him that he and his brothers would be executed if they didn’t seize power.
Naturally, this usurpation is not taken well by Rhaenyra, and she disputes her brother’s ascension. Without giving away some of the biggest twists in House of the Dragon’s source material, much bloodshed and backstabbing ensues. While both Targaryen siblings have their chance at the Iron Throne, their respective reigns are fraught with peril and paranoia, tarnishing their legacies.
The Inverse Analysis — Given how closely House of the Dragon has followed show co-creator George R.R. Martin’s prequel texts so far, it seems likely that the lead-up to The Dance of the Dragons and its aftermath will remain unchanged. What happens during the epic conflict, however, may be subject to creative liberties. Aegon will sit on the throne for a while, but what comes next is anyone’s guess.
House of the Dragon Episode 4 premieres Sunday, Sept. 11 on HBO.