How Does Jon Snow Stack Up With The Others Who Share His True Name?

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It's time for the bastards to meet on the battlefield in 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 episode 9.
It's time for the bastards to meet on the battlefield in 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 episode 9. Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones Season 7 revealed that Jon Snow is not a bastard, but the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and that his true name is Aegon Targaryen. While I don’t think this will be his name in the books, it is now canon in the show. Jon is, of course, not the first Aegon, with his ancestor Aegon the Conqueror frequently mentioned in both the TV and book versions of the series. But there were actually five Targaryen kings that shared his name. Let’s see how he stacks up against each one.

Aegon I, ‘The Conqueror’

Jon gets one of his toughest matchups first. Jon may be King in the North, but Aegon was King of six of the Seven Kingdoms, unable to take Dorne in his lifetime. In fact, Aegon created the concept of political unity in Westeros and founded a dynasty that lasted nearly 300 years until Robert the Usurper, cursed be his name, overthrew the glorious dynasty.

Aegon also had three Dragons; all Jon has managed to do Dragon-wise is get one of his aunt’s children killed. Speaking of Dany, Jon may think he’s hot stuff for bedding his aunt, but Aegon married both of his two sisters, so he’s got Jon beat there too.

He also ordered the construction of the Red Keep, founding the city that would become King’s Landing, the greatest city on the continent. All in all, Jon has some work to do to catch up to his first namesake.

Aegon II, ‘The Usurper’

Jon might have a better time stacking up to the sixth Targaryen king, Aegon the Usurper. This Aegon earned his epithet by declaring himself King, even though his father’s will named his older sister Rhaenyra his heir. With both rulers backed by different factions, this conflict led to the most destructive civil war in the history of the Targaryen rule (until the War of the Usurper, that is). With Targaryen pitted against Targaryen, many branches of the great house were extinguished, and many dragons died fighting other dragons. The house would never fully recover from this.

Aegon eventually captured his sister and had her fed to his dragon has her son watched. He then ordered his nephew’s ear cut off as a threat to the houses still loyal to his sister’s line. He was killed by poison, the poisoner is unknown, but Aegon II is remembered as one of the worst Kings of Westeros. Jon wins by the sheer fact that he hasn’t murdered much of his family.

Aegon III, ‘The Dragonbane’

Remember the wee little child orced to watch his mother devoured by dragons? That’s Aegon III. Needless to say, the boy had some demons. He came to power after his Uncle’s poisoning. Though he never ended up losing his ear, he carried the weight of his childhood traumas with him forever, and was never known to smile.

Jon may pride himself on his broodiness, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Dragonbane. Aegon was regarded as a broken King; he would brood, locked in a room, for days at a time. Though Westeros was at peace during his reign, it was hard to really get excited by the guy. The most notable part of his legacy is that he was King when the last of the Targaryen dragons died, thus his moniker ‘The Dragonbane.’ Jon may have gotten one dragon killed but Aegon got the last dragon killed. I give this one to Jon.

Aegon IV, ‘The Unworthy’

Here we have another easy victory for Jon. Like his namesake Aegon II, Aegon the Unworthy is considered one of the worst kings to rule Westeros. Aegon IV was a corrupt glutton who caused much distress for the realm, valuing his immediate pleasure over all else. In doing so, he caused great strife and harm throughout Westeros. He’s basically the Trump King.

He also sired countless bastards and legitimized them on his deathbed. A choice that led to multiple rebellions against the crown for generations to come.

Aegon V, ‘The Unlikely’

Finally, we get another tough challenge for Jon. Aegon V was never meant to be King. He was the fourth son of a fourth son, and so far down on the line of succession that his coronation earned him the moniker ‘the Unlikely.’ Aegon spent his youth wandering around the Seven Kingdoms serving as a squire for a hedge Knight. He did all this in the disguise of a peasant named ‘Egg.’ His youth along with the knight Dunk’s, make up the stories of The Hedge Knight. As King he instituted a series of laws and reforms designed to help the small-folk of Westeros.

He loses some points for the Tragedy at Summerhall, a failed attempt to hatch new dragons that left him, Dunk, and many others dead. (I think we will eventually learn that it wasn’t his fault, but until then we don’t have too much to go on.) In Aegon’s defense Jon also died, but unlike Aegon, he came back. If Jon ends up ruling and ruling well he’ll edge out Aegon V to be become the second coolest Aegon to ever sit on the Iron Throne.

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