Why didn’t Prince Aegon want to be king? Warning, spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 9 ahead. In Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, everyone has something in common with the Disney character Simba; they just can’t wait to be king. Well, almost everyone.
We learned in the penultimate episode of the fantasy series that Prince Aegon Targaryen does not want to be king. In fact, he has to be literally dragged back to the Red Keep by his brother and the Kingsguard before his coronation. Even on the day he was crowned, he spent the entire morning sulking and moaning to his mother about his duty.
It’s pretty shocking, as most Game of Thrones characters normally spend their entire lives plotting to plan their bottoms on the Iron Throne, so what’s wrong with Viserys’ firstborn son? Why doesn’t Prince Ageon want to be king?
Why didn’t Prince Aegon want to be king?
Earlier in the episode, Aegon tells Aemond that he does not want to be king because he does not like “duty”. He’s not lying. We’ve in the TV series that the young prince prefers wine, women, and debauchery to statecraft, something that irritates his younger brother, who’s far more interested in ruling.
Aegon’s distaste for responsibility, however, goes beyond simply wanting to have fun. On the way to his coronation, his confident mask slips slightly, and he admits he was never trained for this by Viserys because, in Aegon’s words, his father didn’t like him. Aegon admits he’s not even sure his mother loves him.
This potent combination of low self-esteem and a hedonistic lifestyle has led the prince to presume he’s simply not fit to be king. As the episode drew to a close, however, we saw King Aegon II Targaryen come around to the idea of being king, and he clearly loved the crowds cheering his name.
Unfortunately, Aegon’s belief that he’s not meant to be king is true. Viserys never prepared his son to rule, as he wanted Rhaenyra to sit on the Iron Throne. Aegon knows nothing of the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy, nor was he trained in the intricacies of politics. All of this will result in Aegon II going down as one of the least popular monarchs in the history of Westeros.