Jon Snow Will Not Be Named Aegon In The Books

also his name doesn’t make any sense
  • Cable
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7 HBO

One of the ‘big reveals’ of Game of Thrones Season 7 was that Jon’s true parents, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, were secretly married before Rhaegar’s death at the Battle of the Trident. Thus Jon is neither Snow nor Sand, but Targaryen. Through Bran’s vision, it is also revealed that his true name is Aegon, meaning he will be Aegon VI if he ever sits on the Iron Throne.

This name doesn’t really make sense, and it’s very likely it will not be Jon’s name in the book series. To understand this, we have to dig a little into Westerosi history. When Rhaegar Targaryen eloped with Lyanna, he already had a wife and two children. He had been married to Elia Martell for some time and had fathered a daughter called Rhaenys and (more importantly, for our purposes) a son named Aegon. Now let me ask you, what sort of father would give the same name to two of their children? Even in a family known for polygamy and incest, this sort of thing was not done.

According to the show, Rhaegar’s other son Aegon died during the war, but he died long after Jon would have been named. It was Rhaegar and Lyanna’s elopement that started the series of events that led to the War of the Usurper, or Robert’s Rebellion. But during the early stages of the War, Rhaegar was at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna. Rhaegar and Lyanna would have had plenty of time to name the child before Rhaegar was called away to fight for the crown. At that time, his son Aegon was alive and well at the Red Keep and the war was far from over. Rhaegar left believing that he would crush the rebellion, and even planned on taking power from the mad King once it was all over. The first baby Aegon did not die until after Rhaegar died at the Trident and King’s Landing was sacked. So if he had not have died at the Trident, Rhaegar would have had two children by different women, both named Aegon.

You could also argue that maybe Lyanna named Jon that after Rhaegar and his son had perished. But if this is the case, and her desire to honor someone was strong enough to change the name of the child that her husband and her had already named, wouldn’t she choose Rhaegar as a name instead of the name of his dead son?

It just doesn’t track. So we must ask:

Why did the show do this?

The key lies in one of the largest continuity differences between the show and the books. In the books, Aegon did not die as an infant at King’s Landing. He was switched with the pisswater prince and smuggled to Essos. In A Dance with Dragons, he actually returned to Westeros before Dany and has besieged Storm’s End. The show has cut him as a character; they must have felt freed up to use the Aegon name without really thinking through the timeline. Maybe it is significant that an Aegon Targaryen is back in Westeros, so the show decided to combine those traits with Jon.

Either way, I believe that when Jon’s parentage is revealed in the books he will be not be Aegon Targaryen. We will have to wait until The Winds of Winter to know for sure.

Game Of Thrones
Too Much Is Never Enough
Once you start watching Game of Thrones, you won't be able to stop.
  • Fully realized, intricate world
  • Compelling characters
  • Plot twists you won't see coming
  • Lots of ground to cover if you're new to the series
  • Don't get too attached to anyone
  • Two words: Sand Snakes
Join the Discussion
Top Stories