Why Did Aegon Marry His Sister Helaena In 'House of the Dragon'?

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Aegon and Helaena in House of the Dragon

In House of the Dragon Season 1, fans learned that Alicent Hightower's son, Aegon, was married to her daughter (and Aegon's sister), Helaena, with the question in Season 2 being why.

Season 1 of the Game of Thrones spin-off featured multiple time jumps, with a fairly major one taking place between Episodes 7 and 8.

This specific time jump brought multiple recasts and revelations, including new actors for characters such as Aegon II Targaryen, Aemond Targaryen, Lucerys Velaryon, and Helaena Targaryen among others.

Why Is Aegon Married to Helaena in House of the Dragon?

Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon II Targaryen and Phia Saban as Halaena Targaryen in House of the Dragon

"The Targaryens wed brothers and sisters for three hundred years to keep bloodlines pure. Jaime and I are more than brother and sister, we shared a womb, came into this world together, we belong together." - Cersei Lannister ('Game of Thrones' Season 1, Episode 7)

In Season 1, Episode 8 of House of the Dragon, fans learned that Olivia Cooke's Alicent Hightower's son, Aegon II Targaryen, had a wife.

While it was not explicitly explained at the time, Aegon had married his sister, Helaena, at some point during the time jump between Episodes 7 and 8.

Aegon and Helaena's marriage didn't become a very important plot point in Season 1 aside from Halaena becoming queen after Aegon II was named queen (and the fact that Aegon fathered multiple bastards around the Flea Bottom area of King's Landing).

However, due to Season 2, Episode 1's shocking ending and how it related to Helaena and Aegon's children, it is important to understand why and how the siblings came to marry each other.

According to George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood and his A Song of Ice and Fire series, many Targaryens were wed to their own flesh and blood, and, more often than not, their own siblings.

Looking at the Targaryen family tree, it can become a bit confusing considering so many people within the family married one another and then had children who also married each other.

For example, just as Aegon and Helaena were married and also siblings, Rhaenyra and Daemon were also wed despite being uncle and niece.

The answer to why Aegon and Helaena are married (and a lot of Targaryens in general) is actually very simple. Due to the house being so dominant and powerful, they often want to keep their bloodline as pure as absolutely possible.

Therefore, to ensure that, they marry each other. In their minds, their descendants can't be diluted if they marry their siblings or another pure-blood Targaryen in their family.

It is also important to remember that in Season 1, Episode 6 of House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra presented the idea that Helaena could marry one of her sons. So, by Helaena marrying Aegon, that proposal was thrown out the window.

[ House of the Dragon Family Tree Explained: Which Targaryens Have Dragons and Which Don't? ]

Why It Was Even More Important For Aegon and Helaena to Marry

It was especially important for Aegon and Helaena to be married since Aegon eventually became king.

To elaborate, after Aegon was officially named King of the Seven Kingdoms, he and the rest of his family would want to make certain that his children (especially his eldest son who would one day take the Iron Throne) would be of pure Targaryen blood.

At the time of their marriage, Viserys was still alive and serving as king, meaning that Rhaenyra was still the heir to the throne. However, it is possible that their marriage was proposed by someone such as Otto Hightower, who was likely already plotting for Aegon to become king after Viserys' death.

In Season 1, it is Alicent who sets up Aegon's marriage to his sister, but Otto could have been (and probably was) in her ear for a long time about making sure that they were wed.

Since Aegon did become king, the decision to have Aegon and Helaena marry definitely paid off, especially since they have two children as of Season 2, Episode 1 (with one being a boy).

However, after the shocking ending of that episode, who knows what will be next for Aegon and Helaena?

House of the Dragon Season 1 is available to stream on Max, and new episodes of Season 2 are released every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and on Max.

Read more about House of the Dragon:

The Dragons of House of the Dragon: Visual Guide to Every Dragon and Their Rider (Photos)

Helaena Targaryen Explained: Her Prophecies, Dragon Dreamfyre, Children and Everything Else You Need to Know

Who Becomes King If Aegon Targaryen Dies? House of the Dragon's Line of Succession Explained

House of the Dragon Season 2 Release Date Schedule of Episodes Revealed

- In This Article: House of the Dragon (Season 2)
Release Date
June 16, 2024
Emma D'Arcy
Matt Smith
Olivia Cooke
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.