House of the Dragon Explains A Game of Thrones Plot Hole

The story of the catspaw dagger and the important prophecy it carries takes the next step forward in House of the Dragon episode 9.

Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke)
Photo: Liam Daniel | HBO

This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 9.

What would a normal day in King’s Landing be like if a building wasn’t been blown up or a dragon wasn’t crashing a coronation? We imagine it would be pretty boring. Thankfully, it was business as usual in House of the Dragon season one’s penultimate episode, as “The Green Council” saw Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) crowned as king of the Seven Kingdoms. While a full-blooded Targaryen sitting on the throne should be good news for everyone, we know this is the beginning of the end for the doomed dynasty.

With House of the Dragon being set 172 years before for King Aerys II Targaryen earns his unfortunate nickname of “The Mad King,” there are still a few Targaryens ready to rule until we get to Daenerys’ daddy dearest. House of the Dragon has done its best to fill in the gaps between itself and Game of Thrones, but more than just deviating from George R.R. Martin’s source material, one of the show’s big swings made it seemingly contradict the sister series. Don’t worry though, episode nine just cleared up that prophecy plot hole.

We’re all about prophecies in House of the Dragon, and if Helaena Targaryen (Phia Saban) ruining all the big twists ahead of time wasn’t enough, it seems that Dreamers run in the family. The dearly departed King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) predicted his son would sit on the Iron Throne while wearing the crown of Aegon the Conqueror, which we now know is Ageon II. There’s still one dangling prophecy that needs addressing, and ticking another one off the list, “The Green Council” seemingly explains why Aegon the Conqueror’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” prophecy is lost to the ages.

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Heading back to Game of Thrones, you’ll remember all that musing about the Prince That Was Promised and how this fabled hero would save us from death and destruction. Despite the White Walkers and the Night King being pitched as the saga’s big bad, they were unceremoniously dispatched during season eight’s Battle of Winterfell. There’s plenty of debate about who the Prince That Was Promised really was, and with the Valyrian word for prince being gender-neutral, the jury is out on whether Jon Snow or Arya Stark is the one who can claim the title. 

We’re still a long way off from Arya plunging the catspaw dagger into the Night King and ending the war with the undead, but in House of the Dragon, Viserys explained the importance of Aegon’s prophecy to daughter, Rhaenyra. When Vis named a young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) his successor, he explained how Aegon’s prophecy has been passed down through the generations of Targaryens. Without going into spoiler territory, it’s likely the prophecy is lost before Rhae can pass it down her side of the family tree – which eventually reaches Jon Snow. many generations later.

In House of the Dragon’s eight episode, a dying Vis reiterated Aegon’s prophecy to an older Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy). Things got muddled at the end of the episode when he misidentified Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and presumably thought she was Rae. Incorrectly saying “It’s you,” he mentioned the name Aegon and confused Alicent into thinking he wanted Aegon II to sit on the throne instead of Rhaenyra. Jump forward to “The Green Council,” an unknowing Alicent hands Aegon II the Valyrian steel dagger without so much as a mention of what it means or the prophecy inscribed on it/ This wannabe Joffrey Baratheon probably thinks he’s got another boring heirloom instead of the ultimate weapon in saving the Seven Kingdoms. 

With Alicent, Aegon II, and the rest of her brood having no idea about Aegon the Conqueror’s prophecy, it’s doomed to be just another story lost to the wind. There’s a glimmer of hope that Helaena could use her dreamer abilities to bring it back into fashion, but none of this really matters anyway. The Targaryen civil war is heating up, with the famed Dance of Dragons sure to be taking up everyone’s attention in the upcoming seasons. Even if the prophecy vanishes for a while, we know it resurfaces by the time Rhaegar Targaryen is around because he’s obsessed with having three children to fulfil the three heads of the dragon element. It sort of works, as Rhaegar has a son with Lyanna Stark – who grows up to be another Aegon Targaryen, a.k.a Jon Snow. 

Given that so few people know about Aegon I’s prophecy, it’s obviously absent from Martin’s Fire & Blood novel. House of the Dragon has already had some big wins deviating from the source material, and alongside the likes of Laenor’s escape and Rhaenys (Eve Best) crashing Aegon II’s coronation with her dragon, the fact Alicent misheard her late husband adds another dimension to the story. With the doting mother thinking Vis named their son as heir, she genuinely believes it’s his right to sit on the Iron Throne, rather than a simple thirst for power like in the book. Still, it’s frustrating for viewers to watch the prophecy plunge us into a civil war. If only Aegon II was better at learning Valyrian, he might’ve been able to read the dagger for himself. 

New episodes of House of the Dragon premiere Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. and Sky Atlantic in the U.K.

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