How Did Aegon II Targaryen Die? (& Who Killed Him)

Episode 6 of House of the Dragon is set to reveal a teenage version of Aegon II, who is the eldest son of Viserys Targaryen to Alicent Hightower. For those who know their Westeros history, Aegon II will be the one left standing between him and Rhaenyra Targaryen in the Dance of the Dragons. Nevertheless, his reign as the king didn’t last too long because he died shortly after killing Rhaenyra. So, how did Aegon II die?

Aegon II died while he was on his way to the royal sept in his carriage. He was drinking his favorite wine of sweet Arbor red along the way. However, when one of the Kingsguard lifted the curtain of his carriage upon arriving there, Aegon II was already dead as he was poisoned by an unknown assailant.

At this point, no one knows who killed Aegon II, but that fact was overlooked because Corlys Velaryon admitted his involvement. Of course, Aegon II wasn’t a good king and wasn’t even remembered well enough for the things that happened during his reign. In that regard, let’s talk more about how Aegon II died and who possibly killed him in the writings of George RR Martin.

How Did Aegon II Targaryen Die?

We all know that House of the Dragon will be about the upcoming Targaryen civil war, which is also called the Dance of the Dragons. This war, of course, will involve two different Targaryen factions that have a claim to the Iron Throne. We already know that the first one is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. But we also know that Queen Alicent Hightower also has her own plans regarding the succession.

As we’ve all seen in episode 5 of House of the Dragon, Alicent was ready to go to war against Rhaenyra. This war will see its foundations in episode 6 onwards as Alicent is seemingly preparing to take away the Iron Throne from Rhaenyra. But because Alicent herself can’t ascend to the throne, the only one that could do so is her first-born son to King Viserys, Aegon II. Take note that there will be massive spoilers from here on, as those who don’t want the entire storyline to be spoiled should stop reading.

When King Viserys finally kicked the bucket, Queen Alicent and Ser Criston Cole declared Aegon II Targaryen as the king of the Seven Kingdoms, all while Princess Rhaenyra was on Dragonstone, giving birth. When Rhaenyra learned of this, she declared herself queen as the Dance of the Dragons raged on.

There were many different battles during the Targaryen civil war, but Rhaenyra had a bigger army and the support of more lords. This allowed her to deal a massive blow to Aegon II’s forces, as she was able to march into King’s Landing and take it by force from her younger half-brother, who was already a weak and battered man at that time due to the wounds he sustained in the battle against Princess Rhaenys and her dragon, Meleys.

RELATED: Why Is Alicent so Angry at Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon? Explained

Nevertheless, Aegon II escaped King’s Landing when Rhaenyra took it by force, as he went into hiding while his half-sister ruled. Rhaenyra’s reign, however, was short due to the fact that she went mad and was paranoid about the possibility of her allies betraying her. In that regard, she had to escape King’s Landing when the people revolted and rioted.

Aegon II, however, had the last laugh because he was able to win a knight of the Kingsguard over to his side. Rhaenyra was betrayed by one of her knights, as she was apprehended when she escaped to Dragonstone. Aegon II won his war against his half-sister when he allowed his dragon, Sunfyre, to devour Rhaenyra. As such, Aegon II was now the uncontested king of the Seven Kingdoms, as he even released a decree that his sister was never officially a queen.

Still, while he may have been king, Aegon II’s reign was not peaceful because the remnants of Rhaenyra’s army still marched on King’s Landing and decimated his Green forces. But Aegon II was oblivious about what was happening because the only thing that he cared about was that he was getting married to Lady Cassandra Baratheon. On top of that, he cared more about the things that didn’t matter, such as the statues of his brothers. 

Corlys, however, said that there was no way Aegon was going to win this battle. He told the king to surrender and then join the Night’s Watch so that he could forsake all claims he had on the Iron Throne. But the reason why Aegon II didn’t care about the Black forces marching on King’s Landing was the fact that he had Aegon III as a hostage. The Black forces continued their march anyway.

On his way to the royal sept, Aegon II rode his carriage while drinking his favorite sweet Arbor red wine to ease the pain of his wounds. When the carriage got to the sept, Ser Gyles Belgrave opened the curtains, only to find out that the king was already dead, with blood on his lips. It was clear that his wine contained the poison that killed him.

Aegon II dead within his litter, as depicted by Douglas Wheatley

Lord Colrys Velaryon and Aegon III marched to meet the Green armies to tell them of the king’s death. Aegon III, being the only surviving male Targaryen, was proclaimed king and was married off to Aegon II’s daughter, Jaehaera Targaryen, to unite the two branches of House Targaryen and put an end to the war once and for all.

Who Killed Aegon II?

At this point in history, no one actually knows who killed King Aegon II Targaryen. But there were suspects in his poisoning. Lord Velaryon, Lord Larys Strong, and Ser Perkin the Flea were arrested by Lord Stark, who believed that they conspired to kill the king because they thought that the fighting would never stop while Aegon II was on the throne.

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Meanwhile, Grand Maester Orwyle was sentenced to death because he was the one who provided the poison that killed King Aegon II, even though he didn’t know what the poison was for. Meanwhile, Ser Gyles Belgrave was also executed because he allowed his king to die. Lord Cregan Stark, the new Hand of the King, decided to spare Corlys, who confessed to his involvement but had Larys executed while Perkin was sent to the Wall.

While Corlys did admit that he was involved in the assassination of the king, he wasn’t the one who poisoned him. That means that the true assailant was never revealed, and that didn’t matter too much to Lord Cregan stark, who already handed the king’s justice to the ones who were believed to have been involved in Aegon II’s death.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.