‘House of the Dragon’ just added a major element to the lore of ‘Game of Thrones’. At the end of the first episode, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) officially names his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), as his heir. She would be the first queen in the history of Westeros. He also apologizes to her for being obsessed with having a son instead of valuing and training her for this moment.
Next, Viserys shares key information with her about Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen King who united the seven kingdoms of Westeros under his rule. He tells her that Aegon dreamed of what “Games of Thrones” fans call the Long Night, culminating in the Battle of Winterfell. Here is what he says:
“Ambition alone is not what drove him to conquest. It was a dream. And just as Daenys foresaw the end of Valyria, Aegon foresaw the end of the world of men. a terrible winter, gusting from the North. Aegon has seen utter darkness roll over these winds, and all that dwell within will destroy the realm of the living. When that great winter comes, Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must go to it oppose. And if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must sit on the iron throne. A king or queen, strong enough to unite the realm against cold and darkness. Aegon called his dream the Song of ice and fire. This secret has been handed down from king to heir since the days of Aegon. Now you must promise to bear it and protect it.”
During his speech, Viserys also gestures to a Valyrian steel dagger from his belt – the same one that Arya, hundreds of years later, uses to kill the Night King. The cast and showrunners of “House of the Dragon” share with POPSUGAR the meaning of the prophecy and where the idea for including it in the show came from.
Was the prophecy of ice and fire chant in “Game of Thrones” or in the books?
A Song of Ice and Fire is the name of the book series “Game of Thrones” is based on. Aegon’s dream isn’t mentioned in “Game of Thrones” or George RR Martin’s books, but it was Martin’s idea. Co-showrunner Ryan Condal told POPSUGAR, “That’s the detail that George gave us at the start of the story, the idea that Aegon the Conqueror was himself a dreamer, and that’s what motivated the conquest, which [George] casually mentioned in conversation, as he often does, with huge information like that.”
“It really changed the way we think about how we viewed Targaryen Reign and what it was all about,” Condal said. “[Aegon] went on the conquest thinking it was an imminent problem. We have dramatic irony. . . that it takes a while for this prophecy to come true.”
The idea of passing on the dream and its prophecy from king to heir came from the showrunners. “The way we took George’s idea and spun it dramatically for ‘House of the Dragon’ was this idea that at some point in Aegon’s life as he got older and matured, he must have realized that one day the White Walkers weren’t coming to dinner in his lifetime,” Condal says. “And then we decided that… [if] he believed in it enough to conquer Westeros, surely he would have believed in it enough to pass on the idea. So we’ve made it the legacy of the Targaryens, and they pass it down from king to heir as . . . a reminder that the Iron Throne is a privilege and it’s a duty and a responsibility, and you have to do it. . . improve the kingdom and make it stronger and more united and do not use it as a pursuit for selfish gain. And we’ll see how that holds up as our story develops.”
What do Rhaenyra and Viserys think of the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy?
Considine tells POPSUGAR that Viserys is “a bit of a dreamer, and he believes in prophecies.” He explains that this is a big reason he thinks Rhaenyra should be the heir. “Viserys is a lot like, ‘Who can I trust this prophecy to? I can’t trust Daemon. I can’t trust Otto Hightower, or anyone,'” he says.
Alcock says: “Reading that scene, ultimately for me, was about how [Rhaenyra] was eventually seen by her father. And I think that’s what she wants. She does not want to sit on the throne. She wants change. And if the throne is used as an agency of change, then she’s going to take it by the balls.”
Emma D’Arcy, who plays the former Rhaenrya, reflects on how the “huge moment” stays with her for the rest of her life. “Receiving that from your father is something like feeling chosen and feeling seen by him,” they explain. “It ties him to the heritage of his family and a ruling family, and that for Rhaenyra is completely tied to his individual identity.”
Why does Viserys have Arya’s dagger?
The show doesn’t go into detail about the exact origin of the Valyrian steel dagger, but it’s presumably a Targaryen family artifact from before the family fled Valyria. It is unknown if Aegon specifically saw that the dagger would be the end of darkness.
Considine tells POPSUGAR how he played Viserys’ connection to him. He says: “The knife was a real sacred object for me. Viserys wears it at all times, and even when I’m not wearing it, it’s never more than a few feet away from me. It is a very important artifact for him. “
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