Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon introduces many new characters as the timeline of the series moves forward. Among these is Prince Aegon Targaryen, referred to as Aegon II to distinguish him from his namesake, Aegon the Conqueror. This article explains the actors who portray Prince Aegon and explains how he is a pivotal character in the series.
SPOILER ALERT: The article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon. Consider yourself warned.
Who is Prince Aegon II Targaryen in House of the Dragon?
Prince Aegon is the eldest son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower. His role in the series becomes more important as the plot progresses. As the firstborn son of King Viserys, Aegon has a claim to the Iron throne after his father. Some consider him the rightful successor of King Viserys, being his first male heir.
However, Viserys named Aegon’s half-sister Rhaenyra his heir, making the lords of the kingdom swear fealty to her. Despite the birth of Aegon and his siblings, King Viserys did not remove Rhaenyra as his heir, to the frustration of Queen Alicent. Viserys also rejected the proposal of Alicent’s father, Ser Otto Hightower, of marrying Prince Aegon to Rhaenyra. Instead, he accused the former Hand of seeking advancement of House Hightower and his own self-interests.
Aegon appeared similar to Prince Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones, as an uptight and entitled prince. He seemed unaware of the political turmoil brewing around him, focusing more on seeking pleasure and amusement. Betrothed to his sister Helaena Targaryen, he showed no interest at all in the betrothal. He said as much to his brother Aemond, showing more interest in flirting with the serving girls. At the funeral of Laena Velaryon, he displayed a penchant for drinking heavily. This is a habit he would carry into adulthood. At the funeral, he collapsed from drinking too much, requiring his grandfather Otto Hightower to rouse him from his stupor.
In the aftermath of the funeral, Lucerys Velaryon accused Aemond of referring to himself and his brother as bastards. Aemond said he had this from Aegon. Rather than denying it, Aegon simply stated that it was the truth, as everybody could plainly see. As a young boy, Aegon appears to show little interest in challenging Rhaenyra for the throne. We know from Fire and Blood that this is likely to change as he grows older and plays a much more active part in the battle for succession.
Who plays Prince Aegon II Targaryen in House of the Dragon?
A number of actors portray Prince Aegon Targaryen in various episodes of House of the Dragon. After an uncredited actor played him as an infant, two other actors play him as an adolescent and an adult.
Actor Ty Tennant plays the teenage version of Prince Aegon. Ty Tennant has a strong connection to the British sci-fi series Doctor Who. His adoptive father is David Tennant, who played the 10th incarnation of the Doctor in this series. His mother Georgia Tennant played the role of Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter, in one episode of the series. In addition to this, his maternal grandfather Peter Davison also played the 5th incarnation of the Doctor. Ty Tennant has previously appeared in Doom Patrol and War of the Worlds.
As an adult, actor Tom Glynn-Carney portrays Prince Aegon. Glynn-Carney has already shared a role of the same character with Ty Tennant. They both played the role of historical figure Christopher Wiseman at different ages in the film Tolkien. Carney has previously appeared in Dunkirk and the Netflix film The King.
Speaking about his character to Wonderland magazine, Glynn-Carney said:
“It’s definitely one of the darker roles I’ve played. It’s a very, very complex character. One minute we love him, then the next we hate him, but I’m really enjoying that sort of back-and-forth aspect of the role. It’s a tricky thing to play, but it’s rewarding in so many ways.”
What is Prince Aegon II Targaryen like in Fire and Blood?
The book ‘Fire and Blood’ describes Prince Aegon as quick to anger and slow to forgive. At the age of fifteen, he was lazy and sulky, tending towards gluttony and consuming large amounts of ale and strongwine. His drinking habit was something he carried into adulthood, using it to drown his fears and dull the pain of his injuries. He was promiscuous even at a young age, flirting with the serving girls and fathering many bastards as an adult.
By the time he was thirteen years old, Prince Aegon had become a dragonrider, having bonded with the young dragon Sunfyre. The dragon’s nickname was ‘Sunfyre the Golden’ for the colour of his scales. During the Dance, Aegon took a three-headed golden dragon as his personal sigil rather than the red dragon of House Targaryen. Aegon’s supporters used this sigil as their personal heraldry and flew it as their battle flag during the war. Prince Aegon married his sister, Princess Helaena Targaryen, in King’s Landing. Their first children were twins, named Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Jaehaera.
When King Viserys I Targaryen died, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen was still the heir to the Iron Throne. Since she was pregnant at Dragonstone when her father died, the greens in King’s Landing hid the news of Viserys’s death. The small council agreed to crown Aegon after meeting some resistance from Ser Lyman Beesbury. Aegon was in bed with a paramour when he heard the news of his father’s death. At first, he refused to be a part of his mother’s plans to crown him, insisting Rhaenyra was the heir. However, Ser Criston Cole convinced him that Rhaenyra would execute Aegon and his brothers if she took the throne. This persuaded him to take the crown. Ser Criston the Kingmaker placed the crown of Aegon the Conqueror upon the prince’s head, proclaiming him King. Aegon maintained the appearance of legitimacy in comparison to Rhaenyra. He wore the Conqueror’s crown, the Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre, and sat upon the Iron Throne
Aegon II Targaryen during The Dance of the Dragons
Early in the war, Prince Aemond killed Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys. Seeking revenge, Daemon ordered two assassins known as Blood and Cheese to murder Aegon’s heir, Prince Jaehaerys, in the Red Keep. His sister-wife, Queen Helaena Targaryen, began to sink into depression and madness, due to the role she had played in Jaehaerys’ death. While soldiers captured Blood and tortured him to death, Cheese was not found. In his fury, Aegon ordered the hanging of every rat-catcher in the city. While the greens suffered a series of defeats in the Riverlands, Ser Otto attempted to win allies with letters. Aegon mistook his efforts for inaction and his caution for cowardice. Because of his grandfather’s delays in waging war, Aegon stripped Otto of the Handship and awarded it to Criston Cole.
Aegon took the field in a trap set by Cole at Rook’s Rest, where he and Aemond fought and killed Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon Meleys. However, Meleys maimed Sunfyre in the process, and Aegon suffered from burns that covered half his body, a broken hip, and many broken ribs. His armour melted into his left arm, and it took him a year to recover, his mind clouded by the milk of the poppy. He did not rise from his bed for the rest of the year, and some say he prayed for death. Prince Aemond took over the rule in his stead as Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm. Aegon remained bent and twisted for the rest of his life, half his body covered in burn scars. During the fall of Dragonstone, Aegon fought Princess Baela Targaryen, with both of them mounted on their dragons. When Sunfyre and Moondancer fell to the earth during the fight, Aegon tried to jump off his dragon’s back, shattering his legs. He carried great pain with him for the rest of his life, but refused milk of the poppy, due to his experience with it during his recovery from Rook’s Rest.
The Death of Aegon II Targaryen
In 130 AC, Aegon captured Rhaenyra, judged her as a traitor, and fed her to Sunfyre, as her son watched. The war continued as Rhaenyra’s supporters continued her cause, supporting Rhaenyra’s son. Though Rhaenyra was dead, the Dance of the Dragons was not yet over. While on Dragonstone, Sunfyre died from his wounds and Aegon wept. In 131 AC, Aegon climbed into his litter and travelled to the royal sept after a meeting with his small council. The king had his customary flagon of sweet Arbor red along the way to ease his pain. When his escort arrived and Ser Gyles Belgrave of the Kingsguard lifted the litter’s curtains, he found Aegon II lying dead with blood on his lips. The cause of his death was poison in his wine, but it was never found out who exactly poisoned him.