Game of Thrones season 8: What is the significance of Jon Snow's real name Aegon Targaryen?

Given to him by his real parents, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark 

Jack Shepherd
Monday 15 April 2019 08:00
Aegon Targaryen: The significance of Jon Snow's real name

During the final moments of Game of Thrones’s seventh season, viewers learnt Jon Snow’s real name: Aegon Targaryen.

That name should sound familiar as the Targaryen family has a long history of naming their sons Aegon.

Aegon I Targaryen was the first Targaryen king of Westeros and became better known as Aegon the Conqueror, the Unifier of the Seven Kingdoms.

With such ancestry, many of his descendants named their children after him – including Jon Snow’s parents Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (read more about them here).

While Jon Snow takes on the name of one of the most powerful Targaryens to have ever lived, there is also a more immediate family connection that has a bittersweet resonance.

Jon’s older half-brother (the son of Rhaegar and his former spouse Elia Martell) was also named Aegon. However, Aegon and Elia were brutally murdered by Ser Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane during the Sack of King’s Landing.

One of the possible reasons Rhaegar named both his sons Aegon could be to do with the Prince That Was Promised/Azor Ahai prophesy. In the books, Rhaegar was obsessed with prophecies and may have been convinced this prince was called Aegon.

Had the first Aegon lived and ascended to the Iron Throne, he would have ruled as “Aegon VI”. Jon Snow could also use this title as he, we now know, has a better claim to the Iron Throne that his aunt/romantic partner Daenerys.

Being both male and the son of the Mad King’s firstborn, Jon (Aegon) has a better claim to the Iron Throne. During season seven, we discovered that Rhaegar and Lyanna’s were married, therefore legitimising Jon’s claim. However, Robert Baratheon’s son, Gendry, arguably has an even stronger case.

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How exactly this will pan out during season eight is anyone’s guess. You can read more about Jon Snow’s parents and his claim to the throne here.

Game of Thrones returns to TV screens 14 April. The show will be available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK. Read everything you need to know about the forthcoming season here.

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