When we last saw House of the Dragon, King Viserys Targaryen died while telling Alicent about the Song of Ice & Fire and Aegon’s Dream. Of course, Alicent thought that he was talking about Prince Aegon and how he wanted him to be the next king. That’s why the entirety of episode 9 was dedicated to the search for Aegon, who was missing in King’s Landing and was actually looking to escape his responsibility. So, why didn’t Aegon want to be king?
Aegon didn’t want to be king because he grew up knowing that he wasn’t going to be king and was never groomed to be one. He also said that he just simply wanted to live a life without any responsibilities whatsoever. However, he also revealed that he felt that his father never truly liked him.
The fact that Aegon didn’t want to be king is a huge development in the storyline because it makes him a relatable character compared to his smug and arrogant nature in the book. This makes him someone that the audience members could actually relate with, especially those who just want to live a simple life. Now, with that said, let’s look at why Aegon didn’t want to be king.
Why Didn’t Aegon Want To Be King?
One of the things that we learned in episode 8 of House of the Dragon was that King Viserys died while telling Alicent (who he mistook for Rhaenyra) about believing in Aegon’s dream. He was talking about the Prince that was Promised that he believed would come from Rhaenyra’s line. But Alicent, who didn’t know anything about the Song of Ice and Fire, believed that the king was talking about Prince Aegon and how he wanted him to be king instead of Rhaenyra.
In that regard, episode 9 opened up with the news of King Viserys’s passing and how both Alicent and Otto Hightower were trying to manipulate the pieces they had to make sure that they were playing their cards right. But the problem was that Aegon was missing from the Red Keep, as a mad scramble for the prince began, with both Alicent and Otto sending their own men to search for him.
There were other reasons why Aegon was out in King’s Landing at that time, but the fact is that when they found him, he still didn’t want to return to the Red Keep due to the reason that he simply didn’t want to be king. So, why didn’t Aegon want to be king?
He Was Never Groomed To Be A King
Out of all of the different characters that Aegon grew up with, the only person that thought that he was going to be king was his mother. However, other than Alicent, no one ever thought that he was going to be king because of the fact that the realm had already accepted Princess Rhaenyra as the heir that King Viserys chose to succeed the Iron Throne. That meant that not even Aegon, the firstborn son of the king, was groomed to be a king.
As such, Aegon spent his entire life enjoying his youth by having fun out in King’s Landing and being as promiscuous as anyone can be. He didn’t even care about whether or not he was going to be king because he knew deep inside that he was never groomed to be king. And the only person that was making him believe that he would be king was Alicent, who eventually accepted that Rhaenyra was going to be the successor of King Viserys.
In that regard, Aegon simply grew up knowing that he could live an entire life of luxury without the responsibility of being king. He was never kingly because of the fact that he wasn’t even groomed to be one at all. That explains his behavior and his overall approach to the way he lived his life.
He Felt That King Viserys Never Liked Him
On their way to the Dragonpit, where Aegon was going to be crowned the new king of the Seven Kingdoms, he told Alicent that he didn’t believe that his father would change his mind regarding who he wanted to succeed him because he understood that King Viserys never liked him.
This was a fair realization on the part of Aegon, as it was indeed true that Viserys favored Rhaenyra over his other children. We hardly ever saw Viserys spending time with Aegon or his children with Alicent, except for the time when they were still very young. However, Viserys hardly spent time being a father to his other children, as it might have been true that he never liked Aegon.
Regardless of that, this was probably one of the reasons why Aegon often acted out, as he believed that his father didn’t like him. His behavior was probably his way of rebelling or, at the very least, gaining the attention of his father, who was hardly ever there to notice or give him the support that he needed when he was still growing up.
He Just Wants To Have A Life Without Duties And Responsibilities
Simply put, Prince Aegon grew up in a life of luxury and was never someone who actually wanted to take on any responsibilities. It was probably the fact that he grew up spoiled and the fact that Viserys focused more on rearing Rhaenyra to be king that made Aegon understand that he could get away with life just loafing around without carrying any responsibilities whatsoever.
He said this when Aemond was taking him back to the Red Keep, as he said that he didn’t want the duties of a king. Of course, he does have a point because the duties of being the king of the Seven Kingdoms can stress anyone out. It was already a heavy burden to be the lord of one of the Seven Kingdoms. But being the king of all of the Seven Kingdoms was going to stress anyone out.
As such, due to his happy-go-lucky nature, Prince Aegon naturally didn’t want to take on any kind of responsibilities that would have made it more difficult for him to enjoy a life of whoring, drinking, and sleeping.
Will Aegon II Learn To Love Being King?
Although he was reluctant to take on the responsibility of being king, Aegon II had no choice but to attend his coronation so that he would officially become the king in front of the eyes of all of the people of King’s Landing. And after he was crowned, that was when he saw the admiration coming from the smallfolk.
Aegon grew up feeling unloved by both his father and mother. Viserys barely gave him any attention. Meanwhile, Alicent was always disappointed in his actions. As such, he never felt like he was ever loved by anyone at all, as even his own wife was chosen for him.
In that regard, when he saw how hard the people of King’s Landing were cheering, that was when he eventually realized that being king wasn’t so bad at all. As such, in the book, Aegon II eventually began to learn to love his role as the king of the Seven Kingdoms, although he wasn’t necessarily good at the job. Had he not loved being king, he would have easily given the Iron Throne to Rhaenyra.