Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II presides over the small council in House Of The Dragon season 2 episode 1

‘House of the Dragon’: There’s Some Twisted Foreshadowing Behind Aegon ‘the Magnanimous’

Yeah ... too soon!

House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1, “A Son for a Son,” has some unintentionally funny moments, and the new king, Aegon II Targaryen, has to do with a couple of them—especially the scene where one of the Lords in his entourage tries to name him Aegon the Magnanimous.

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Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1!

In the world of Game of Thrones, we’ve now had enough practice to know that when people make lofty, ambitious statements, they almost always come crashing down. And the names and epithets of people, places, and things do often foreshadow their fate. For Aegon II Targaryen, the freshly minted Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, this is definitely going to ring true.

As you know, monarchs and powerful figures are often given nicknames, and George R.R. Martin did the same thing in Game of Thrones/House of the Dragon’s source material, A Song of Ice and Fire, as well. Aegon II’s namesake was called Aegon the Conquerer, and the Conqueror’s son Maegor the Cruel. Robert Baratheon, after he claimed the Iron Throne and ended the Targaryen rule, was nicknamed Robert the Usurper, and so on. Even the dragons have them—remember Balerion the Black (Dread)?

In HOTD season 2 episode 1, after the first time Aegon II held court and listened to the petitions of his people, one of the Lords responsible for heralding his arrival decided to call him Aegon the Magnanimous.

Tom Glynn-Carney as King Aegon II on the Iron Throne and Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower Hand of the King presiding over court in the throne room in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1

What does ‘magnanimous’ mean?

For those who’ve read both a dictionary and Fire & Blood, the book House of the Dragon is based on, this name is sure to make you snort. Here’s why: “magnanimous,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, means “someone who is generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or a less powerful person.”

Why Aegon being nicknamed magnanimous is a joke

One could argue that it’s understandable (even if hasty) that Aegon is called “magnanimous,” as it follows the scene were the king enthusiastically promises to restock one of his subjects’ flock of sheep, even though the crown had taken the sheep away as tithe, to feed their dragons and ready for war. So, the Lord Hand Ser Otto Hightower reminded his king and grandson that the crown needed to tax its people due to the impending war, and Aegon had no choice but to take back his generosity. 

That’s Strike One on that whole magnanimous business.

Now, if you’ve read Fire & Blood, or watched the sneak peek for the upcoming House of the Dragon episodes, you know where Strike Two falls. Once Aegon hears of his firstborn son and heir Jahaerys’ murder, orchestrated by the Blacks (well, just Daemon), he isn’t going to be as forgiving toward his step-sister Rhaenyra. We see him, in the trailer, screaming for blood and war. 

It’s funny when you go back to the scene and see Aegon being unsure of the nickname “magnanimous.” This is the guy who, it is indicated in season 1, sexually abused a maid and even enjoys watching his own illegitimate children compete in the fighting pits. Perhaps he knows himself too well to go with the name “Aegon the Magnanimous.”

Perhaps, that’s why he suggested Aegon the Dragonc*ck?

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.