Where is Aegon Targaryen on House of the Dragon?

Olivia Cooke as "Alicent Hightower" and Rhys Ifans as "Otto Hightower" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Olivia Cooke as "Alicent Hightower" and Rhys Ifans as "Otto Hightower" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

HBO is currently hard at work on House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones set nearly two centuries before the original series. It tells the story of the Dance of the Dragons, a brutal civil that pit different factions of the ruling Targaryen family against each other. Brother will fight sister, mother will fight step-daughter, and dragon will fight dragon until Westeros runs red with blood.

It’s a good story, and like Game of Thrones before it, it involves a lot of characters. We already know who’s playing several of them. Paddy Considine is King Viserys I Targaryen, who rules at the start of the story. Matt Smith is his hot-blooded brother Daemon and Emma D’Arcy is his first-born child Rhaenyra, who he brought up from an early age to inherit the throne. Meanwhile, Olivia Cooke plays his second wife Alicent Hightower, who feels it should be her son Aegon who inherits the throne instead. That’s the crux of the conflict: when King Viserys dies, who takes the throne: the older daughter who was promised the honor since childhood, or the younger son? And……fight!

But there’s a question: while we’ve met the actors players a lot of these major figures — and even some playing more minor ones — we haven’t heard anything about Aegon. And that’s weird, because Aegon isn’t just some small character who will have a walk-on role; he’s a major player. So why has HBO introduced us to so many other important characters but not Aegon?

Honestly, we don’t know, but it’s a big enough hole that places like Los Siete Reinos have wondered about it, and we’re curious too.

Is Aegon II Targaryen in House of the Dragon?

We know that House of the Dragon will take place over a period of several years. There’s a lot of backstory: the enmity between Team Rhaenyra and Team Aegon (who come to be known as the blacks and the greens respectively) takes a long time to develop. The very fact that King Viserys is a main cast member in the first season tells us that the show isn’t going to jump right into the war; clearly it wants Viserys to stick around for a while as we learn who these people are and how they relate to each other, before he dies and all hell breaks loose.

King Viserys dies in the year 129 AC (129 years after the invasion of Aegon the Conqueror). We’ve seen glimpses scenes that seem to be set as early as 120 AC, at the funeral of Daemon Targaryen’s wife and Rhaenyra’s friend Laena Velaryon, who dies in childbirth. That’s what we think these beach shots are from:

House of the Dragon
Emma D’Arcy as “Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen” and Matt Smith as “Prince Daemon Targaryen” in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

In 120 AC, Aegon Targaryen is 14 years old. His half-sister Rhaenyra is 23. While Aegon does go on to have a huge role in the war, at the beginning, he’s not as prominent; his mother Alicent Hightower does the bulk of the scheming at this time.

So maybe we haven’t heard about Aegon because the first season of the show doesn’t cover the period of time when he’s be important. I have a hard time believing he hasn’t been cast at all given how important he’ll become, but it’s possible he’s not in the first season enough for HBO to think it worth formally making an announcement, especially if they intend to replace him with another actor as the in-universe years march on and the characters get older. When the war breaks out in 129 Aegon is 24, now with a wife and several children. If I were writing this series, I think ending the first season with the death of King Viserys would make a lot of sense.

But we don’t know when the show will start, or end. We don’t even know if it will follow a linear timeline. One wrinkle is that HBO has hired two actors — Milly Alcock and Emily Carey — to play younger versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower respectively. Does that mean we’re going to get flashbacks? Will it start very early on, with Alcock and Carey playing Rhaenyra and Alicent for the first few episodes until time advances enough for D’Arcy and Cooke to take over? If that’s the case, maybe time won’t advance quite enough for whoever’s playing a younger, less important version of Aegon to age out of whatever actor is playing him. Or maybe House of the Dragon is doing some kind of multiple timeline thing, with the younger and older actors stepping in as needed. We just don’t know!

Personally, I think Aegon Targaryen will be in the first season of the show — he’s too important not to be — but he’ll be played by a younger actor (for now) and HBO has decided he simply doesn’t have enough screentime (yet) to formally announce.

Whatever is happening, HBO can’t clear it up soon enough. House of the Dragon premieres on HBO sometime in 2022.

Next. All the actors in House of The Dragon, and who they’re playing. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels