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House of the Dragon: ending of episode one explained - what was Aegon’s dream?

Warning, major spoilers for Game of Thrones seasons one to eight and House of the Dragon episode one 

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
August 23, 2022
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House of the Dragon’s first episode has been a huge hit with fans, but what was King Viserys’ warning to Princess Rhaenyra in the closing moments of the first instalment all about? The prophecy he passes down to her is actually related to the events of Game of Thrones - find out everything you need to know here…

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In the episode, Viserys has named his daughter as his heir and revealed a secret that has been passed down from every King to their Heir. He explained: "Our histories, they tell us that Aegon looked across the black water from Dragonstone, saw rich land ripe for the capture. But ambition alone is not what drove him to conquest. It was a dream. 

WATCH: King Viserys explains the song of ice and fire

"Just as Daenys foresaw the end of Valeryia, Aegon foresaw the end of the world of men. 'Tis to begin with a terrible winter gusting out of the distant north. Aegon saw absolute darkness riding on those winds and whatever dwells within will destroy the world of the living.

viserys throne

A dream passed from King to heir...

"When this great winter comes Rhaenyra, all of Westeros must stand against it. And if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must be seated on the Iron Throne, a King or Queen, strong enough to unite the realm against the cold and the dark. Aegon called his dream the song of ice and fire. This secret has been passed from king to heir since Aegon’s time. Now you must promise to carry it and protect it. Promise me this Rhaenyra. Promise me."

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The dream alludes to the Army of the Dead

Viserys is referring to the events of Game of Thrones, which saw the White Walkers return to Westeros after thousands of years and build an army, with a single goal to end the world of men and plunge the world into darkness. During the speech, he is even holding the knife eventually used by Arya to kill the Knight King. However, there was never a mention that the Targaryens were aware of the great evil coming to the world, with the knowledge perhaps even dying with Daenerys and Viserys’ father, the Mad King. 

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MORE: House of the Dragon review: a return to Westeros fit for a king… or queen? 

Speaking about the writing the dream into the show, Ryan Condal told Den of Geek: "That core mythology of the original series, keeping that alive and this idea that somebody has been aware of this or seen this as a vision 300 years before it happens was really compelling to us and made it feel really epic and appropriate for the world of Game of Thrones."

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Rhaenyra now holds the secret 

Discussing the moment, one person wrote: "Viserys Targaryen name dropping 'A Song of Ice and Fire' to Rhaenyra Targaryen, in the premiere no less, is the last thing I expected, and has my hype for this series skyrocketed," while another added: "The reveal about Aegon's dream of the Song of Ice and Fire, how the Targaryens ALWAYS knew about the Long Night and how they shared the secret from Heir to Heir, so thrilling!" 

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