Beware: Game of Thrones Season 7 finale spoilers ahead. There was a lot going on during the Season 7 finale of HBO's insanely popular series Game of Thrones. The episode, which was nearly an hour and a half with no commercial breaks, was full of shocking moments and big revelations including the truth about Jon Snow's real name. Towards to end of the episode, Bran reveals to Sam that Jon was actually the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen (son of the Mad King) and Lyanna Stark, and his real name isn't Jon Snow at all, but Aegon Targaryen. However, he wasn't the first Targaryen to be named Aegon. In fact, Rhaegar named two of his sons Aegon Targaryen. Although it's not exactly clear why, it seems certain that Rhaegar wanted a child named Aegon to sit on the Iron Throne.
The revelation of Jon's true parentage was shocking enough on it's own — especially considering it happened just as Jon and Daenerys (who are related by blood, as Daenerys is technically Jon's aunt) were seen consumating their relationship — but there's more to Jon's background than the fact that he's really a Targaryen. That's right, we're shelving the whole hooking up with your aunt conversation for another day, since odds are neither of them know yet that they're related to each other.
The name Aegon probably sounds familiar, right? Well, Aegon was apparently quite a popular family name among members of House Targaryen before they were defeated in Robert's Rebellion. Going further back, the first Aegon was Aegon the Conquerer, who (along with his three dragons) originally united all of the Seven Kingdoms.
As Bustle's Caitlin Gallagher noted, the fifth, and most recent Aegon to sit on the Iron Throne was Aegon V. He was called "Egg" by Aemon, the maester of Castle Black, and the connection here is significant. Maester Aemon mentored Jon during his time and the Night's Watch and went on participate in Jon's trial after returning from north of the wall. See, everyone is connected!
Before marrying Lyanna (remember, Jon wasn't a bastard after all but was legitimately born to married parents), Rhaegar had another son that he had named Aegon. Weird right? Naming two sons Aegon. But maybe not. You see, when Lyanna gave birth, Rhaegar's other son (with Elia Martell) had already been murdered.
In the GoT world naming your son Aegon is definitely considered a bold move. Some have even compared the decision to naming a kid George Washington, so yeah, the name holds importance. But it's an even more interesting choice considering the fact that Rhaegar already had another son with the same name. Imagine it — would you be comfortable naming your newborn child the same name as your partner's now deceased kid from a former marriage? But again, let's just shelve that conversation and focus on what matters. Why would Rhaegar name two of his children the same name?
It seems pretty certain that he knew a son of named Aegon was destined to sit on that Iron Throne. And since names carry value, perhaps he knew that by naming his new son Aegon it would help him some day become King. As Paul Tassi of Forbes noted, it is actually Jon who is the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms, and not Daenerys.
Now that we've got all of that cleared up, it's time to start focusing on fan theories for Season 8, which will be the final season of GoT. Jon — or Aegon — doesn't yet know the real story about his identity, but if his scene with Theon accurately foreshadows how he'll react, then it seems likely he'll have no problem coming to terms with his true parentage.
This post was originally published on Aug. 28, 2017. It was updated on Aug. 22, 2019.