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House of the Dragon: Why Aegon II Targaryen should not be hated



House of the Dragon: Why Aegon II Targaryen should not be hated

House of the Dragon delivered a heart crunching episode in its latest release, but amidst the thrills, the episode holds huge significance to Tom Glynn-Carney’s character of Aegon II Targaryen.

Though the current season is all about the family going to war over the Iron Throne, this season is much about Aegon as it is Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower.

So far, the Green side of the family have been painted as the antagonists of the story, but a particular scene in the latest episode, shows why fans should have more sympathy for Aegon II Targaryen as they do Rhaenyra. The scene in question comes in the episode’s first arc with Tom Glynn-Carney’s character sharing a scene with his mother, Alicent Hightower.

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Now, normally fans tend to hold a certain hostility towards the character of Aegon, especially for readers of the book; Fire and Blood, knowing what the character goes to do in the latter stages of the series. However, House of the Dragon has given Aegon the Elder as he would later go on to be known, a new layer. He is more a victim than he is a King or a villain.

Remember when Aegon never had any intentions being King and was okay with his sister, Rhaenyra being Queen?

Aegon II Targaryen all his life as shown in the series has been a victim of ‘child neglect’ both by his father, his mother and even everyone in the story, including Rhaenyra. And the latest episode as well as episode 2, not only shows it, but also puts him as a mascot of a war he has no hands in.

Aegon II Targaryen did not start the war that has divided the family; his brother Aemond did when he killed Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys Velaryon in season 1. To even go back to the earlier season of the show, Aegon initially never had any problems with the Blacks or Rhaenyra’s children as he was shown playing with them in his younger years until his mother, Alicent drew a wedge between them. And why did she? Alicent and her father, Otto Hightower in their own schemes, forged a lie they allowed themselves to believe in. And this was heightened after Aemond lost an eye in a fight he himself started on Dragon Stone.

Instead of Alicent acting the parent, she chose to punish Aegon for not taking sides and fighting his siblings to defend Aemond in a quarrel that should never have happened if Alicent and King Viserys had not neglected their duties as parents.

Years later, this trend will repeat itself, with Aemond starting another conflict, and Aegon forced or perhaps used once more to this time, allow for total chaos.

The scene in episode 4 of the new season in question, shows his mother, once more neglecting her son’s feelings to chastise his actions, even querying him for thinking he was fit to be King when in fact it was none other than her idea for him to wear the crown when he never wanted to.

House of the Dragon: Why Aegon II Targaryen should not be hated

A victim of parental neglect…

Aegon Targaryen as much as the series would want to front him as the face of the war or divide, is in reality just a pawn for the Hightowers to usurp the throne and tear down the Targaryen dynasty rather than fight for a s0-called ‘birthright’.

King Viserys Targaryen never wanted him to be King, everyone in the realm knew that, and Aegon himself was okay with it. He was okay being a Prince and doing whatever Princes do. And even when the burden was placed on him, he tried very much to be good to the common folks as shown in the first episode of season 2. But Otto Hightower wanted to rule the Seven Kingdoms, without the threat of Rhaenyra.

Instead of advising his grandson to sue for peace with his sister, Rhaenyra, Otto was busy imbuing the fears of a looming war into Aegon’s head. Otto stood in the best position to tell Aegon to send Aemond to the wall for killing Rhaenyra’s son, and then seek for common grounds that would have led to little or no bloodshed, but Otto as the hypocrite that he is, saw only war in his greed for the Seven Kingdoms.

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A victim of society…

Episode 4 of House of the Dragon season 2 in its focus on the character, has shown that Aegon is only a victim of so many vices that he had little to no control of, yet he is blamed for, which is of course, relatable to everyone in society.

He is forced into a role he tried very much to run away from; begged even when he pleaded his brother to let him run away so he wouldn’t sit on the Iron Throne. The character loses a son, thanks to the reckless actions of his brother, Aemond, yet his quest for revenge is slammed when he hanged the perceived perpetrators.

Last, but not the least, his brother tries to kill him on the field of battle by burning him alive. If there is anyone who deserves sympathy and not hate, it is Aegon II Targaryen. This isn’t his war, nor one he started. This is a war of the Hightowers that has his face as the mascot.

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