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falcotron

Why is Jon's name Aegon?

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6 hours ago, J. Stargaryen said:

There are lots of clues in the story about Jon's name being Aegon. At least as many as there are for the most popular choice, Aemon. The biggest obstacle is actually a clue. The fact that Jon's older half brother is already named Aegon. (Btw, recall that GRRM has promised us a second Dance of the Dragons, and that in the first there were two Aegons. Now, I don't believe YG is really Rhaegar's son, but his name is Aegon, and that's all that really counts here.) Think of it like this, when we read that Ned Stark is Jon's father, the first woman most people logically would have ruled out as a possibility for his mother was Lyanna Stark. It's almost like there's a pattern to how GRRM lays out his mysteries. He's using the same trick in both instances to hide an otherwise obvious truth.

So, because Jon's older half-bro is named Aegon, it's the one and only name that we automatically rule out as a possibility. But imagine for a second that this wasn't the case. We all know that Aegon is the Targaryen name. With that in mind, it's very obvious that this should be Jon's real name. Unless GRRM provided some pretty strong reason for us to think otherwise. Which he does in the form of Jon's older half brother by Elia. However, Rhaegar and his other family are all dead by the time Jon is born, and it's pretty obvious from Ned's ToJ dream that everyone at the ToJ knows this. It's why the fight takes place, and it's why Lyanna extracts the promise from Ned. Because she knows that Rhaegar's other children have been murdered simply for being Rhaegar's children. 

What is the exact reason Lyanna chooses the name Aegon? I can't pin it down for certain, but I'm sure she was influenced by Rhaegar. In the HotU scene, he asks Elia, "What better name for a king?" Which he had already answered by naming his son and heir Aegon. Perhaps Lyanna wanted to honor his wishes by naming Rhaegar's only remaining son and heir Aegon. Perhaps it had something to do with the prophecy, which Rhaegar is describing in that scene. 

Speaking of, has anyone ever noticed how often people mistakenly believe that scene is of R+L=J? There's a reason for that. It's because of the prophecy stuff, PtwP and SoIaF, which better fits Jon than R+E=Aegon. I do not believe that is a coincidence. I believe that GRRM was hinting at Jon's true name here. That is, also Aegon.

I've given some other answers and evidence in my recent posts if anyone wants to check them out.

I have a few problems with this logic -- biggest being that Jon's name has no reason to be viewed as a GRRM mystery. Keep in mind that from GRRM's point of view, the readers are still supposed to believe that Jon is Ned's son (and presumably GRRM picked out Jon's name when he wrote the first book, and at that time GRRM did not believe that a lot of people would figure out RLJ before being revealed in the books). Only people who have figured out RLJ will think to ask Jon's real name -- and GRRM is not going to consider something to be a mystery when it is only a mystery after someone has uncovered another mystery.

Presumably, around the time that RLJ is confirmed, Jon's name will be revealed. I consider his "real" name to have some significance in the "reveal" -- but not as a mystery for readers to try to figure out. There is no reason for GRRM to consider Jon's name ever to be a mystery that readers are supposed to figure out -- just a name that after being revealed, a reader can go back and see the clues and understand the significance. But because a reader cannot be expected to be looking for any clues until RLJ is revealed, I doubt GRRM is trying to misdirect on this issue be "excluding" Aegon as a possibility. The misdirect is the "fact" that Jon is Ned's son and Ned named his son Jon.

But even if GRRM does consider the name to be a mystery -- the clues for Aemon are deeper than for Aegon -- and make more sense (you know all the clues -- and the only one you have for Aegon is the Aemon statement about needing an Aegon and not an Egg).

Basically, there are two reasons that Aegon as Jon's name is not persuasive to me. First, the explanations for how Lyanna would decide after finding out the Elia's son, Aegon, died that Lyanna would name her son as Aegon seems incredibly strange and unlikely. Why would Lyanna name Jon after he husband's child by another woman? How is GRRM going to make this decision seem plausible? Why would GRRM want Jon to have the name Aegon in this context?

The second reason is the impact on Jon himself. Finding out his real name is Aemon seems like it would have a bigger impact on Jon's internal view of himself and his role as a Targ than Aegon. Jon admired Aemon -- Jon never knew any Aegon.

So while possible that GRRM has planned Jon to be Aegon -- I find the evidence weak and unpersuasive -- but I acknowledge the possibility. 

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10 hours ago, JordanJH1993 said:

I believe his real name may actually be Aegon in the books, too, though. 

I feel Rhaegar was so obsessed with the prophecy of the prince that was promised that the name of his child would be massively important. The fact he named his first child Aegon shows he feels there is something in that name.

After he realised that he needed to have a child with a Stark woman, that didn't change; the child still needed, for some reason to Rhaegar, to be named Aegon. It makes sense that he would expect his child to need to be named after maybe the most legendary of all Targaryens, Aegon the Conqueror.

Rhaenys was his first child, Aegon was his second. 

I don't think they (the writers) should have named him Aegon. Rhaegar already had a son named Aegon, doesn't make sense to have two sons named Aegon (also makes it really confusing). Also, there were other options, like Jaehaerys, after Jaehaerys the Conciliator to give an example, or Aemon the Dragonknight. Perhaps if Daenerys conceives and dies and Jon is left to raise the child if it's a boy, he will name him Aemon.

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58 minutes ago, WSmith84 said:

Then again, was it ever actually established in the show that Rhaegar's son was called Aegon?

Yes, it was established, as said in the very first post in this thread. For example, in S3E04, Thoros says "I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne".

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14 hours ago, falcotron said:

Why not Jon Targaryen, or Jaehaerys Targaryen, or Rickard Targaryen? Or, since it seems like he was never going to get an official naming ceremony and Ned was going to put him in hiding right away, why not just (unnamed boy) Targaryen, who will have to choose his name if he's ever revealed as Rhaegar's heir?

They've already told us that Rhaegar's first son—who, as far as I know, Lyanna should at this point believe is still alive and well—is named Aegon. At least Thoros referred to him by name in season 3, and I think there are a couple of others.

If there were some compelling reason for D&D to reuse the name, maybe it would be worth it anyway, but I can't figure out what that reason might be. Are they drawing a connection to one of the five kings named Aegon? Or planning to drop a prophecy next season that names Rhaegar's son Aegon by name, and the big secret is that it means Jon rather than his brother? All I can think is that they deliberately wanted us—and by us, I mean the book readers—to connect him to the other Aegon as a winking nod to the Little Griff story they cut. But they have to know that book snobs will be unhappy with that, and nobody else will get it.

In-universe, it's much the same question, but I suppose there might be a different answer to "what were D&D thinking" and "what was Lyanna thinking".

Yes, the other Aegon (the child) had been named before in the show, I think that more that once.

So it's so cheap, unless ther name has a thing to do with the prophecy, which I highly doubt.

It's cheap and forced. And bad.

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6 minutes ago, tugela said:

If Rhaegar annulled his marriage the earlier Aegon would become a bastard.

No, he probably wouldn't. That's not the way annulment works in most modern countries, it's not the way it usually worked in the medieval world, it's not the way it seems to work in the few examples we have from Westeros, and it's not even a common idea in other fantasy or historical fiction. If you actually want the kids to be delegitimized, you generally get a separate decree to that effect, in addition to the annulment.

Why do so many fans assume otherwise, and seem so dead certain of something they clearly didn't do even basic research into? I'd like to believe there's a better answer than "blinded by burning partisan hatred of Rhaegar" or "blinding by burning hatred of the show and need to find a 173rd thing to criticize in the episode", but I can't come up with one, and nobody I've asked has responded.

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5 minutes ago, falcotron said:

No, he probably wouldn't. That's not the way annulment works in most modern countries, it's not the way it usually worked in the medieval world, it's not the way it seems to work in the few examples we have from Westeros, and it's not even a common idea in other fantasy or historical fiction. If you actually want the kids to be delegitimized, you generally get a separate decree to that effect, in addition to the annulment.

Why do so many fans assume otherwise, and seem so dead certain of something they clearly didn't do even basic research into? I'd like to believe there's a better answer than "blinded by burning partisan hatred of Rhaegar" or "blinding by burning hatred of the show and need to find a 173rd thing to criticize in the episode", but I can't come up with one, and nobody I've asked has responded.

I agree with you entirely, but I have one more possibility to explain some of the people asserting that annulment makes Elia's children by Rhaegar bastards:

They are trolls.

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What makes the most sense is that Rhaegar and Lyanna discussed that the Prince to save the world must be named Aegon, she knows his other children are dead, and thus decides to name the baby Aegon. 

What's a little less likely is that Rhaegar believes this child to be the one and not his other son so they decide to name him Aegon assuming that they somehow know that a boy will be born

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5 minutes ago, Verily said:

What makes the most sense is that Rhaegar and Lyanna discussed that the Prince to save the world must be named Aegon, she knows his other children are dead, and thus decides to name the baby Aegon. 

What's a little less likely is that Rhaegar believes this child to be the one and not his other son so they decide to name him Aegon assuming that they somehow know that a boy will be born

While I still think Aemon is more likely in the books, the supporters of Aegon as Jon's name in the books have a good answer to this particular objection. Lyanna named Jon as Aegon only after Rhaegar and his first son Aegon died. Lyanna would have figured out from her discussions with Rhaegar that Rhaegar thought his first son Aegon would be TPTWP and that TPTWP would have the name Aegon, but after Aegon's death, Lyanna figured that it had to be Jon as TPTWP, so Jon had to be named Aegon to fulfill Rhaegar's belief that TPTWP would be named Aegon.

I am not really convinced by this argument -- but it is a plausible argument for how Jon would be named Aegon even if Rhaegar never selected that name for Jon.

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55 minutes ago, falcotron said:

Yes, it was established, as said in the very first post in this thread. For example, in S3E04, Thoros says "I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne".

Thanks. Then it does seem incredibly crass in the show to name Jon 'Aegon.' Especially considering that there's no reference (thus far) about Rhaegar being interested in any prophecy (in the show). Though it wouldn't be the first time the show has retconned something previously established.

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Isn't it better to exhaust all possibilities before jumping to a conclusion that D&D just threw it in there for spite, or stupidity?  Martin did collaborate with D&D, after all, and to dismiss theories or plots on the assumption that the show writers changed it for no good reason seems to be painting oneself into a corner.

IMHO, it's better to operate under the assumption that if it's in the show (and not clearly debunked by the books) then indeed it could very well be apart of Martin's story. 

So if Martin writes it that way, how can he write that Lyanna (& possibly Rhaegar) naming their child Aegon when there supposedly already is an Aegon (or was and he died), while keeping people like Rhaegar and Lyanna in character?

From what we know of Rhaegar he would not disinherit his children, or father a bastard, or potentially start a succession crisis.

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28 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

Isn't it better to exhaust all possibilities before jumping to a conclusion that D&D just threw it in there for spite, or stupidity?  Martin did collaborate with D&D, after all, and to dismiss theories or plots on the assumption that the show writers changed it for no good reason seems to be painting oneself into a corner.

IMHO, it's better to operate under the assumption that if it's in the show (and not clearly debunked by the books) then indeed it could very well be apart of Martin's story. 

So if Martin writes it that way, how can he write that Lyanna (& possibly Rhaegar) naming their child Aegon when there supposedly already is an Aegon (or was and he died), while keeping people like Rhaegar and Lyanna in character?

From what we know of Rhaegar he would not disinherit his children, or father a bastard, or potentially start a succession crisis.

But D&D already changed some names for fairly flimsy reasons (Yara, for example). So D&D could have changed the name on the show because they thought it would be more dramatic for Jon to be named after Aegon the Conqueror than named after Maester Aemon (and not want references to Aemon to be confused, as Aemon existed as a character in past seasons while the show never had an Aegon). I cannot really know why D&D changed the name (assuming that they did), but the plausibility that D&D would change the name is there.

Might Jon as Aegon be in the books as well -- of course it is possible. But given other changes that D&D have made, both big and small, and some involving name changes, a difference between the books and show seems quite plausible. If the arguments for Jon as Aegon in the books were stronger -- and if the arguments against Jon as Aegon in the books were weaker -- then I would be more convinced of the likelihood of Jon as Aegon in the books. But given my assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments, I tend to believe Jon as Aegon in the books still to be unlikely (not impossible, just less likely than other contenders, principally Aemon).

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9 minutes ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

But D&D already changed some names for fairly flimsy reasons (Yara, for example). So D&D could have changed the name on the show because they thought it would be more dramatic for Jon to be named after Aegon the Conqueror than named after Maester Aemon (and not want references to Aemon to be confused, as Aemon existed as a character in past seasons while the show never had an Aegon). I cannot really know why D&D changed the name (assuming that they did), but the plausibility that D&D would change the name is there.

Might Jon as Aegon be in the books as well -- of course it is possible. But given other changes that D&D have made, both big and small, and some involving name changes, a difference between the books and show seems quite plausible. If the arguments for Jon as Aegon in the books were stronger -- and if the arguments against Jon as Aegon in the books were weaker -- then I would be more convinced of the likelihood of Jon as Aegon in the books. But given my assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments, I tend to believe Jon as Aegon in the books still to be unlikely (not impossible, just less likely than other contenders, principally Aemon).

Fair enough, and really good points, especially about Yara/ Asha - presumably because of Osha?  And thinking Aemon would get confused with the Aemon on the wall.

I don't like to think they would change Jon's Targaryen name for such a flimsy reason, but I'll admit your right, the plausibility is there that they would.

I like the show (and admit they don't hold a candle to the books), and try to give it the benefit of the doubt where cuts/changes are made.  

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29 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

Fair enough, and really good points, especially about Yara/ Asha - presumably because of Osha?

Yes, and Elia Sand->Tyene because of Elia Martell, and Lyn Corbray->Vance because Lyn sounds like a girl's name, and Jaehaerys II->nobody to make it easier to explain Aemon's relationships to Dany and Aerys.

It's definitely something they would do if they were worried about Jon being confused with old Aemon—but I'm not sure they would be worried about that. I think even casual viewers could understand that Jon was named for the same guy who ended up being his mentor. (I think in the books, if he's Aemon, he and the Maester will both end up named for the Dragonknight, but I could see the show simplifying that.) So, I don't know how compelling this argument is for book!Jon=Aemon in the end.

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2 hours ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

While I still think Aemon is more likely in the books, the supporters of Aegon as Jon's name in the books have a good answer to this particular objection. Lyanna named Jon as Aegon only after Rhaegar and his first son Aegon died. Lyanna would have figured out from her discussions with Rhaegar that Rhaegar thought his first son Aegon would be TPTWP and that TPTWP would have the name Aegon, but after Aegon's death, Lyanna figured that it had to be Jon as TPTWP, so Jon had to be named Aegon to fulfill Rhaegar's belief that TPTWP would be named Aegon.

I am not really convinced by this argument -- but it is a plausible argument for how Jon would be named Aegon even if Rhaegar never selected that name for Jon.

The big problem with this is, if we're going with the "Lyanna was in on the prophecies and that explains everything" angle for the books, then the entire point of R+L is that the dragon must have three heads, and if Lyanna has learned that the first two children are dead, that kind of blows the prophecy out of the water.

ETA: Of course you could suggest that maybe Rhaegar and Lyanna had discussed the prophecies so much that she could see a way that the PtwP could work even without the three heads, even though Rhaegar hadn't seen it, and she was actually salvaging everything. But piling on assumptions to try to save something that turned out wrong isn't the same as piling up evidence for a prediction.

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So is the consensus that 1) L knew that the first Aegon was already dead; 2) R+L wanted a R to have two sons called Aegon; or 3) the writiers messed up?

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2 minutes ago, falcotron said:

Yes, and Elia Sand->Tyene because of Elia Martell, and Lyn Corbray->Vance because Lyn sounds like a girl's name, and Jaehaerys II->nobody to make it easier to explain Aemon's relationships to Dany and Aerys.

It's definitely something they would do if they were worried about Jon being confused with old Aemon—but I'm not sure they would be worried about that. I think even casual viewers could understand that Jon was named for the same guy who ended up being his mentor. (I think in the books, if he's Aemon, he and the Maester will both end up named for the Dragonknight, but I could see the show simplifying that.) So, I don't know how compelling this argument is for book!Jon=Aemon in the end.

It might not have been to avoid confusion with Maester Aemon. Maybe D&D simply thought that the Aegon would be more dramatic than Aemon given how Aegon the Conqueror has been referenced in the show and show watchers might be more excited by Jon having "the" Targ name rather than the name of a character that died many seasons ago. But what is important, as you demonstrate, D&D have changed names (or eliminated characters in line of succession) just to streamline the story or for other relatively unimportant reasons. So a change to Aegon could have been done for many reasons peculiar to D&D.

As to who Jon is named after in the books if his name is Aemon -- almost certainly Maester Aemon (and that the Targs have commonly named a son Aemon when another brother is named Aegon -- so it is part of a Targ tradition). Rhaegar in the books was in close communication (by raven) with Maester Aemon and they discussed the prophecy extensively. Rhaegar was born long after Aemon the Dragonheart died. So Rhaegar might have been following a general Targ tradition that goes back to before Aemon the Dragonheart (Jaehaerys I had sons named Aegon and Aemon) but more likely, Rhaegar also would want to honor the Targ he seemed to admire the most, Maester Aemon. The text provide no indication that Rhaegar had a particular admiration for Aemon the Dragonheart and would want to name a son specifically after him.

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3 hours ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

The second reason is the impact on Jon himself. Finding out his real name is Aemon seems like it would have a bigger impact on Jon's internal view of himself and his role as a Targ than Aegon. Jon admired Aemon -- Jon never knew any Aegon.

Also, the in-universe reason (Rhaegar not only admired the same Aemon, he's the guy Rhaegar discussed the prophecies with that led to Jon in the first place) coincidentally matching the out-of-universe reason seems like the kind of thing GRRM would do.

Anyway, I agree with you that Aemon makes more sense for book!Jon, and I still suspect that the show changed show!Jon to Aegon in a mistaken attempt to appeal to book snobs unhappy about Little Griff's removal, but, as I said earlier, I want to read up on J. Stargaryen's arguments and reread the relevant stuff before declaring myself convinced.

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8 minutes ago, falcotron said:

The big problem with this is, if we're going with the "Lyanna was in on the prophecies and that explains everything" angle for the books, then the entire point of R+L is that the dragon must have three heads, and if Lyanna has learned that the first two children are dead, that kind of blows the prophecy out of the water.

ETA: Of course you could suggest that maybe Rhaegar and Lyanna had discussed the prophecies so much that she could see a way that the PtwP could work even without the three heads, even though Rhaegar hadn't seen it, and she was actually salvaging everything. But piling on assumptions to try to save something that turned out wrong isn't the same as piling up evidence for a prediction.

Keep in mind that I am not a fan of this theory and think that Jon is Aemon in the books. But if Jon is Aegon in the books, then Lyanna does not need to know who the other two heads happen to be to believe Jon to be TPTWP. At one point Rhaegar thought that he himself was TPTWP, and he had no idea at that point who the other two heads might be. Maybe the other two heads would be Jon's children. Lyanna would not have known -- but identifying all three heads is not a requirement for Lyanna to believe Jon to be TPTWP.

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