Throughout the 8 Episodes of the “House of the Dragon,” one thing that clearly comes out is the fact that Viserys Targaryen has a lot of reverence for the age-old philosophies and dreams. Viserys always felt that he was never able to add another chapter to the history of his great house, and maybe that was the reason he wanted to preserve what was already there. He always felt that, unlike his ancestors, he had never fought any great battles. But he found solace in the legacy of his name. He knew that his children, who bore his name, would carry it forward with the same respect and dignity. That is why when he chose Rhaenyra to be the heir to the Iron Throne, he expected her to understand her responsibilities. He told her about a secret that had been passed from king to heir from many generations. It was a moment where Viserys completely believed in the capabilities of his daughter. He knew that she would be able to lead the Seven Kingdoms. Though he was a man of tradition, he wanted a woman to sit on the Iron Throne, even when he knew that in a male-dominated society, it wouldn’t be an easy task for her. He knew that people would raise questions and object to it. But he had faith in his daughter. He knew that from her blood would come the Prince who was promised, to save the world from darkness.
What Was Aegon’s Dream?
When Viserys decided to make Rhaenyra his heir, he told her about the dream of Aegon the Conqueror. The king knew that it would be difficult for a young mind to understand the significance of the dream, but he knew that his daughter was astute beyond her years. He said that Aegon’s conquests were not solely driven by ambition and desire to rule the Seven Kingdoms. In his dreams, Aegon had seen the end of the world. He saw that there would be a terrible winter that would rise from the North and, if not stopped at the opportune moment, would lead mankind to its end. Aegon saw that after the winter came, the world was enwrapped in darkness. He didn’t know what dwelled within that darkness. He didn’t know what creature or being was capable of such a monstrosity. But he knew that it had the potential to destroy everything that came its way. Aegon had said that if mankind had to have a chance, then a Targaryen King or Queen had to be seated on the Iron Throne and unite the realm under one banner. Aegon’s dream was called “The Song of Ice and Fire.”
During Aegon I Targaryen’s reign, there were very few magicians left who could conjure and control fire. He asked one such Valyrian magician to hide his dream in a dagger made of Valyrian steel. Viserys kept the dagger with him all the time. Alicent had used the same Valyrian dagger when she had assaulted Rhaenyra. She had slashed Rhaenyra’s hand with the same dagger. It could be said, metaphorically, that the dagger was marked with the blood of the one true heir. The blood bond forged a mystical connection between Rhaenyra and the dagger. It also corroborated the fact that Viserys was right in thinking that Rhaenyra’s blood would save the world from the wrath of the winter that Aegon had mentioned about in his dream.
Were Rhaenyra’s Actions Influenced By The Song Of Ice And Fire?
At the very beginning, when Viserys told Rhaenyra about the dream, maybe she didn’t completely understand the responsibilities that came with it and how it was the most important and crucial part of the kingship that she was eventually going to acquire. The whole process of her being made the heir was so overwhelming, and so many other developments were happening in such quick succession that maybe she didn’t pay much attention to the prophecy at that point in time, though she never undermined the tradition. She had her doubts about it but never directly asked her father about its legitimacy until “House of the Dragon” Episode 8, where we see her asking Viserys if he believed the prophecy to be true. Some might feel that Rhaenyra’s motivations were driven only by greed and lust for power and had nothing to do with Aegon’s dream. So, this narrative implies that she was not wanting to sit on the Iron Throne because she knew that she was the chosen one, but because she was seeking more immediate gratifications. The other narrative might be that she was solely driven by the “Song of Ice and Fire” and knew that it was imperative for her to sit on the Iron Throne because otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to save the world.
We believe that Rhaenyra may have gone through a transition and, from a point where she solely thought about materialistic pleasures, she reached a place where she started believing in the power of eternal magic that was omnipresent in the whole of Westeros. The two narratives overlapped each other time and again, and at times, even Rhaenyra couldn’t differentiate between them. Sometimes her actions were driven purely by greed and insecurity, but other times she did it because she felt it was a great responsibility that had been vested in her by her father. It is also to be noticed that Viserys felt the closest to Rhaenyra, among all his children. He didn’t feel so attached to Aegon, Aemond and Helaena as he felt with his first born. He had always favored Rhaenyra. Even when she was found with Daemon in Fleabottom, Viserys got mad at her, but the thought of removing her from the position of heir to the Iron Throne never crossed his mind. On the other hand, Aegon always craved validation, but he never got it from his father. It’s not like Viserys hated his other children, but he always prioritized Rhaenyra over everybody else. We don’t deny that a lot of it stemmed from the fact that he believed that she was the rightful heir, but there was a very strong emotional attachment too.
Did Alicent Misunderstand Viserys’ Last Words? What Will Happen To The Dagger?
Towards the end of the 8th episode of “The House of the Dragon,” we learn that Alicent completely misunderstood whatever Viserys mumbled and thought that he was talking about their son Aegon II. She interpreted the whole situation in her favor. She so desperately wanted Aegon to sit on the Iron Throne that she heard only what she wanted. Maybe that’s how human beings’ function. We hear things that we want to hear. We see things that we want to see. She knew nothing about Aegon’s dream. She didn’t know that the Valyrian steel that was kept in the private chambers of Viserys had the Song of Ice and Fire engraved on it. When she attacked Rhaenyra with the same dagger, she had no clue about how sacred that dagger was or what significance it held. Maybe Alicent just wanted to find some legitimacy for her intentions. She wanted to be in a state of delusion and feel that whatever she was doing was the most virtuous thing in the world.
What Viserys wanted to say was that he believed in the prophecy. He believed that Rhaenyra was the chosen one. He believed that the Prince who was promised would come and save the world. According to the accounts of George R.R. Martin, it seems that Viserys was right after all and that prophecies worked in their own mysterious ways. Rhaenyra’s blood was reinstated on the Iron Throne after the reign of Aegon II Targaryen had ended. Rhaenyra and Daemon’s son, Aegon III Targaryen, was crowned as the king. It is to be noted that he was of pure Targaryen blood. Also, it is almost certain that Aegon III Targaryen would have the Valyrian dagger in his possession and, unlike his predecessor, would know the significance it held. The prophecy is well on its way to coming true. A few more decades to go before it fulfills its rightful purpose, as we know from “Game of Thrones.”