'Game of Thrones' Reveals Jon Snow's Real Name: What It Means and Why It's Bad News for Daenerys

Game of Thrones 7x07 — "The Dragon and the Wolf"
"Game of Thrones" Season 7, Episode 7: "The Dragon and the Wolf." Macall B. Polay/HBO

This story contains spoilers about "The Dragon and the Wolf," the final episode of Game of Thrones Season 7. If you don't want plotlines spoiled, click away now.

"His name is Aegon Targaryen."

Sunday's Game of Thrones revealed Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) real name, and with that key piece of information now out in the open, the series, which is winding down with just six episodes left in Season 8, is reaching a poetic full circle.

In GoT and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Aegon is a popular name in the Targaryen dynasty. It brings to mind the man who forged the Iron Throne and united six of the Seven Kingdoms: Aegon I Targaryen, aka Aegon the Conquerer.

So, if Martin's sprawling and meticulously detailed fantasy world began with an Aegon, what better way to end the story than with an Aegon?

Let's take a look at what it all means.

The significance of Aegon

Aegon the Conqueror was the first of the Targaryen dynasty to rule the Iron Throne. As Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is trying to do now, he used his three dragons—including Balerion, the iconic dragon whose skull appeared earlier in Season 7—to take most of Westeros. As Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) told Dany in Season 1, he had no claim to the Iron Throne; he conquered Westeros because he could.

Aegon would begin what would go on to become three centuries of Targaryens as the ruling monarchy of the Seven Kingdoms until, of course, Dany's father, the Mad King Aerys, was overthrown during Robert's Rebellion.

After Aegon, there were four other King Aegons, the last of which was Aegon V, the father of the Mad King Aerys: Daenerys and Rhaegar's grandfather and the brother of the now dead Maester Aemon.

So, being named Aegon is pretty much a ticket to being king one day.

There is another piece of curious history here. Aegon also was the name of Rhaegar's other son, with his first wife, Elia Martell. Baby Aegon, his mother and his sister Rhaenys were killed during Robert's Rebellion by the Mountain. Even for a family of inbreeders, having two sons with the same name is pretty confusing.

Why this is bad news for Dany

Daenerys believes she is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne as the last living Targaryen. Of course, as the viewers, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) now know, Jon Snow is a Targaryen too—and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, considering his father, the crown prince, would have been king now if not for Robert Baratheon usurping the Iron Throne.

All of this spells trouble for our fearless Khaleesi, because, well, Jon being named Aegon could also be seen as a massive spoiler as to how the show and Martin's books will end.

First, there's that poetic gratification of ending the series with an Aegon as king, especially since that's where Martin's story began.

Second, it just makes a better story, right? The unlikely hero who thought he was a powerless bastard at the beginning of the series ends up being the most important figure in all the Seven Kingdoms and has royal blood.

Finally, there's the title of the book series. We previously believed that A Song of Ice and Fire referred to Jon and Dany. But really, it may be just Jon: His mother, a Stark from snowy Winterfell, represents ice, and his father, a member of the dragon-commanding Targaryen dynasty, represents fire.

For more Game of Thrones coverage on Newsweek, click here.

'Game of Thrones' Reveals Jon Snow's Real Name: What It Means and Why It's Bad News for Daenerys | Culture
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