A new report from Variety says HBO is “actively” discussing an Aegon Targaryen Game of Thrones spinoff. This isn’t the first time the network has contemplated doing a series about the man who started his family’s dynasty in Westeros. It was among the original group of spinoff ideas HBO considered as far back as 2016. That version would have presented the legendary Conqueror as a “drunken lout.“
It’s a long path to go from an idea to an actual television show. That’s a road only House of the Dragon has
walked flown in Westeros. But should you root for this Aegon series to be the next one to make that journey? That depends on whether you think the pros outweigh the cons.
The Cons of a Game of Thrones Spinoff Series About Aegon the Conqueror
1) There’s not a lot of mystery around the events of his invasion
Aegon’s Conquest is one of the most transformative events in Westeros’ history. That’s why his victory is so well-chronicled, both in-world and in George R.R. Martin’s books. There’s very little we don’t already know about the two-year Conquest’s biggest events. Even Aegon’s failures in Dorne, the one kingdom he never brought under his rule, are well-established.
2) Aegon’s battles were one-sided affairs without much drama
Tywin Lannister once explained to Arya Stark that “Aegon Targaryen changed the rules” of warfare forever. He did that by easily defeating all of his enemies. (Either on the battlefield or when they surrendered before the fight even began.) As fun as it would be to see three dragons sweep over the continent together, almost all of the actual Conquest’s biggest moments are anti-climactic. Even Aegon’s most visually stunning battle, the Field of Fire, would be a letdown. We’ve essentially already seen it on Game of Thrones when Daenerys wiped out the Lannister forces in the Loot Train Attack.
And while Aegon still had wars to fight after being crowned, they’re not as exciting as what we saw on Game of Thrones or what awaits on House of the Dragon.
3) There are maybe too many Targaryens and dragons already
How many Targaryen centered stories do we need or want? Daenerys was a main character on Game of Thrones. And House of the Dragon covers the era of House Targaryen when the family had the most dragons ever under its control. Westeros’s history goes back tens of thousands of years and involves countless families, heroes, and villains. There’s also an entire world of stories beyond its borders. Do we really need yet another series about that one clan of surviving Valyrians? At what point do even dragons get boring?
4) House of the Dragon already revealed the most important secret of Aegon the Conqueror’s story
Why did Aegon suddenly turn his attention west one day? Why did House Targaryen spend a century on Dragonstone before anyone thought to unleash the greatest weapon in history on the Realm? House of the Dragon already told us: Aegon’s Dream drove his conquest. That prophecy convinced him a unified kingdom under his family’s rule was the only thing that could save the world from a White Walker invasion someday.
That was a monumental, franchise-shattering revelation on House of the Dragon. It completely reframed everything we knew about House Targaryen and Aegon the Conqueror. There’s nothing else we could learn about Aegon that would be anywhere near as important.
The Pros of a Game of Thrones Spinoff Series About Aegon the Conqueror
1) An Aegon series could explore what it’s like to truly have power
Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon are about the fight for power. Aegon’s story is about truly having it. That’s a very different perspective to explore. What are the burdens and pitfalls of really ruling the world? How did Aegon avoid the fate that befell someone like Robert Baratheon after his own conquest? And how did Aegon shape the way history remembers him and his legacy? Those questions, and all the possibilities for storytelling that come with them, would come to the forefront in a story about the most powerful figure in the history of Westeros.
2) We don’t know the real Aegon
For all its battles, magic, dragons, and shocking moments, Game of Thrones worked because it always centered its story around its characters. From their desires and failures, to their personal relationships, the show mattered because we cared about the people in it. The same is true on House of the Dragon, and it would be true on an Aegon spinoff.
While we know much about the big events in his life, we know very little about the man he actually was. What did he care about when no one was around? What was he afraid of? How did he get along with others? Did he relish his Conquest or bemoan the awesome responsibility that launched his invasion? Even the legendary, larger-than-life Aegon the Conqueror was a real person. Meeting that man in an intimate setting would be fascinating in the best tradition of the franchise.
3) Aegon isn’t the Conquest’s most interesting figure. His sisters are.
History calls it Aegon’s Conquest, but as Arya reminded Tywin, it did not solely belong to him. Aegon’s two sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, helped him take the Realm and ruled alongside him. That’s why House Targaryen’s sigil is a three-headed dragon. Centering all three of them equally would make for a compelling spinoff that could tell a captivating story about family, power, legacy, and love. Aegon didn’t do this alone. His sisters, both very different in personality and in their relationship to their brother-husband, were conquerors, too. There’s even more to learn about them.
4) Family Drama, with a capital “D” for dragons
If you love nothing more than seeing Westeros’s most powerful families engage in some good old-fashioned infighting and drama, a Game of Thrones spinoff series with Aegon and his sister-wives will provide plenty of that. He truly loved one but only married the other out of duty. One was also a fierce and imposing warrior, the other a charming beauty adored by all. Seeing the three of them interact together while currying favor at court would make this spinoff worth it. Far more than the actual invasion.
So do the pros outweigh the cons? Is this a Game of Thrones spinoff idea HBO and Warner Bros. should make a reality? Or is it time to stop focusing on House Targaryen? Not everyone will agree. But if Aegon’s Conquest does come to life, we doubt anyone will complain about seeing Balerion take to the sky.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.