With House of the Dragons set to arrive on August 21st, many fans have been catching up on the A Song of Ice and Fire books as they try to get more familiar with the titular family. Given how long and complicated Targaryen family history can be, there have been a lot of conflicting takes about the characters.
After all, was Daenerys really a hero? Did Rhaegar really have to die? Was Aegon the Conquerer a monster or the rightful king? As these debates have continued to rage within the fanbase, there have been some topics that fans have come to agree on. Still, there will always be some fans who go against the consensus, and their unpopular opinions are always interesting.
10Rhaegar And Lyanna Are Overrated
While often regarded as one of the most impactful relationships in Game of Thrones, Rhaegar and Lyanna aren’t universally beloved. “They died years before the series started, they have no screen time whatsoever, and the only source of information we have on them are those few occasions when other characters (biased, unreliable narrators) talk about them,” says TrollHumper on Reddit.
It’s a good point that speaks to how much the fanbase has overwhelmingly approved of a relationship with surprisingly little development. Though it produced the beloved Jon Snow, fans haven’t seen anything else from the two that really make them look like the extraordinary pairing the fanbase would have viewers believe they are.
9Daenerys Should Never Have Been In Slaver’s Bay
While Daenerys has always been a character that focused on ending slavery, some think her stay in Slaver’s Bay was a mistake. Instead, they argue that she should have visited the Free Cities, instead, especially since they are some of the most beautiful locations in Game of Thrones.
“Volantis, unlike Meereen, actually has elements that are thematically relevant to the story,” says AllSeeingEye70 on Reddit. “Slavery, but also the Valyrian Freehold, the Red Temple and relative geographic proximity to other important parts of the story.” It would have helped to connect Daenerys to the Westerosi storyline as well, as the Red Temple could have driven her to the conflict at the Wall, rather than wasting away in Slaver’s Bay for years.
8Who Aegon Is Doesn’t Matter
While only die-hard fans of Game of Thrones know it, there is a character in the books that claims to be a secret Targaryen. Young Griff, who is supposedly a son of Rhaegar named Aegon, is often speculated to be a Blackfyre, rather than the Targaryen he claims to be.
But some fans claim it doesn’t matter. “Whether Aegon is a Targaryen or a Blackfyre will make no difference to the story going forward. His purpose as a character is just to be another form of conflict for Daenerys and others,” says themysteryknight7 on Reddit. It’s actually an extremely good point. Regardless of his true identity, the conflict he creates will remain the same. In that light, Blackfyre or Targaryen, it just doesn’t make a difference.
7Jon Should Be A Bastard
While there are many fans who believe his parents married before their demise, some book fans hope to see Jon Snow remain a bastard, even after his lineage is revealed. As TralosKensei says on Reddit, “Jon being a bastard is a core part of his character and still being a bastard, albeit a royal one, would make his conflict with Aegon and Dany more interesting.”
Given that so much of Jon Snow’s character revolves around his status as a Snow, it would be more impactful to see the character retain that status. Though his parentage reveal could still hold significance for Jon, a bastard making a difference for Westeros would mean more for the anti-nobility themes of the story than a secret prince doing the same.
6Viserys Should Have Had More Screentime
While Viserys was one of many characters whose stupid decisions got them killed, there are some fans who believe that Viserys should have had more opportunities in the series, before his death.
“Renly and Viserys are both engaging villains and needed more screen-time,” says Redditor Bennings463. That screentime likely would have only made fans revile Viserys more, but it isn’t really necessary. His treatment of Daenerys was sufficiently cruel that fans didn’t need to see more of him. Everything the character needed to accomplish, he did. Anything more would just be filler.
5Daenerys Was The Weak Part Of The Show
While many fans fell in love with the live-action Daenerys Targaryen, others found the character and her storyline lacking. “Daenerys and her dragons are and always have been the weakest point of the show,” says Vasquerade on Reddit.
It isn’t a bad assertion, and it’s one that some fans of the books echo as well. Given how far away Daenerys often is from the bulk of the action in Westeros, even being one of the most powerful Game of Thrones characters couldn’t make her interesting. Her lack of involvement in the overall plot just made detours into her storyline feel like distractions, rather than relevant developments.
4Aegon II Was Right
A major player in the Dance of the Dragons, Aegon II fought Rhaenyra Targaryen for the throne. While many fans believe that Rhaenyra was right to try to claim the throne, other fans believe that Aegon was within his right. “Had I been a noble during the Dance of the Dragons, I would have supported Aegon II’s claim over Rhaenyra’s,” says zajazajazajazajaz on Reddit.
As the firstborn son, it was typically understood that Aegon would claim the throne, even though his sister had a better claim. Still, that is hardly an argument when the previous king had ruled that Rhaenyra ought to take the throne after his death. Aegon was simply power-hungry, and it led to countless needless deaths.
3Jaehaerys Was Horrible
Though often considered one of the best Targaryens, some fans believe that Jaehaerys wasn’t the just monarch he is so often depicted as. “Jaehaerys was an appalling person for the way he treated his wife Alyssane and daughter Saera,” says Reddit user We_The_Raptors.
Given how misogynistic Jaehaerys could be since the monarch refused to consider his firstborn and daughter his successor, he hardly deserves the extreme acclaim he often receives. He even risked his wife’s life by trying to force her to have more children, even after she expressed her fear of doing it. He certainly doesn’t deserve the high opinion most fans have of him.
2Maegor The Just
Given that Maegor built the Red Keep and helped remove the extreme strength of the Faith, Some fans are under the impression that Maegor the Cruel ought to have a different monicker. “Maegor wasn’t entirely wrong in his crusade against the Faith of the Seven given how they act now,” Reddit user Squiliam-Tortaleni.
Though the Faith was one of the cruelest villains in Game of Thrones, that doesn’t retroactively make Maegor a good king. His cruelty toward the smallfolk who built the Red Keep or towards his own squire was despicable. For a king who ought to have been serving the people, he was hardly a hero.
1The Blackfyres Deserved Support
A line born from a Targaryen bastard, the Blackfyres led numerous civil wars against the ruling Targaryen dynasty. The exiled House is often considered monstrous and cruel, but some fans think it’s gotten a needlessly bad reputation.
“One needs to remember that Aegon the Unworthy was king before the first Blackfyre rebellion and that guy sucked. Also, Bloodraven was well known for being creepy and cruel,” says Redditor scarlozzi. “There were a lot of good reasons for supporting the early Blackfyres.” While it is true that later Blackfyres were extremely corrupt and overly malicious characters, their original justification for deserving the throne wasn’t wrong. Besides, most fans usually agree that bastards deserve better rights, and that’s what the Blackfyres represented.