House of the Dragon creators explain Aegon “Song of Ice & Fire” reveal

A still from House of the Dragon in the "Song of Ice and Fire" scene.HBO

The showrunners on House of the Dragon have explained Episode 1’s major bombshell regarding Aegon the Conqueror and his “Song of Ice and Fire.”

Game of Thrones began with three men of the Night’s Watch being picked off by mysterious creatures with blue, glowing eyes. Later, they would fully descend upon Westeros as White Walkers, the Army of the Dead led by the Night King, culminating in The Long Night: the final battle between man and monster.

House of the Dragon, based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, unfolds 172 years before the death of the Mad King and the birth of Daenerys, chronicling the civil war which brought the Targaryen dynasty to its knees.

The Targaryen lineage is hugely significant to the Iron Throne, particularly with Aegon I Targaryen. In the opening episode of the prequel series, the creators confirmed a big fan theory concerning his conquest.

Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 1 to follow…

House of the Dragon: The Aegon “Song of Ice & Fire reveal”

Towards the end of Episode 1, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) selects Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) as his successor and shares a secret passed through generations of Targaryen rulers dating back to Aegon’s reign – one which redefines their seemingly selfish intentions.

Viserys explains how a dream sparked Aegon’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, in which he foresaw the “end of the world of man.”

“It is to begin with a terrible winter, gusting out of the distant north,” he says.

“Aegon saw absolute darkness riding on those winds, and whatever dwells within will destroy the world of the living.

“When this great winter comes, Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must stand against it. And if the world of man is to survive, a Targaryen must be seated on the Iron Throne. A king or queen, strong enough to unite the realm against the dark. Aegon called his dream the Song of Ice and Fire.”

This is in reference to the White Walkers, who’d later be defeated by Daenerys and Jon Snow, aka Aegon Targaryen.

House of the Dragon creators explain Aegon “Song of Ice & Fire” reveal

In an interview with Den of Geek, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik credited the retcon to Martin. “That came from George,” Condal said.

“I don’t think we would’ve plunged into that without talking to George about it, but that was something George, as he often does, just said in casual conversation very early on in development of the story.

“He told us that Aegon was a dreamer and that was the reason he decided to go and conquer, and unite, Westeros. He’s remembered as a conqueror, but he really meant to be a uniter, which is why he approached things the way he did.

“George is very coy about that part of the history and what people know. And of course if it is a secret, the chroniclers that were writing the [historic sources] of Fire & Blood, they wouldn’t necessarily know it.

“But yeah keeping it alive, at least as far as this generation goes, was a really compelling thing for Miguel and I because it had resonance. We were looking for ways, despite there being a 170 years of history [between them], to create resonance with the original series.

“And we don’t have any characters that can crossover; there’s nobody you can meet. Young Old Nan is not going to show up in the series, even 170 years is too much… so that core mythology of the original series, keeping that alive and this idea that somebody has been aware of this or seen this as a vision 300 years before it happens was really compelling to us and made it feel really epic and appropriate for the world of Game of Thrones.”

House of the Dragon Episode 2 will air on August 28 in the US and August 29 in the UK.