Balerion is Coming: Aegon’s Conquest Considered at HBO

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| April 15, 2023

THIS IS NOT A DRILL! I repeat: this is not a drill. Variety recently reported that another Game of Thrones prequel featuring Aegon’s Conquest is being considered at HBO.

When my friend sent me the original tweet, my first thought was, “Balerion is coming.” For those new to A Song of Ice and Fire lore–the lore GOT is based on–Aegon’s Conquest happens around 300 years before Daenerys Targaryen. As confirmed by House of the Dragon, Aegon has a dream foreseeing the return of the Long Night. This event happens hundreds of years after his lifetime, but he theoretically set the events in motion that enable Jon (ahem, also known as Aegon), Daenerys, and Arya to beat the Night King in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

In preparation for this prophecy, Aegon conquers six out of seven kingdoms to unite Westeros against the oncoming threat, which would have annihilated them otherwise. I don’t know if the kings he conquered knew he was doing it because “Winter is Coming,” but regardless, everyone but Dorne bends the knee at that point in Westerosi history, and thus begins the Targaryen Dynasty that ended when Jaime Lannister killed Dany’s father Aerys II Targaryen, and Robert Baratheon took the throne.

Aegon and Balerion burn Harrenhal

Why is the possibility of this show exciting? Maybe even more exciting, to some, than House of the Dragon? There’s Aegon, who fought to unite Westeros against a danger he never saw–the reason the Long Night ended once and for all. There are Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys’ dragons–Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes, respectively. The Conquest would also feature the Valyrian steel swords we saw in HOTD, Blackfyre and Dark Sister, wielded by the hands of Aegon and Visenya in battle. We’d watch the destruction of Harrenhal, see the Field of Fire, meet the King Who Knelt. . . and bear in mind that this is a time before the Iron Throne existed. At Aegon’s request, Balerion’s fires forged the fabled seat of power that ruled with an iron fist over Westeros. The throne is made of the swords laid down by Aegon’s enemies because, as Aegon himself said, “a king should never sit easy.”

Balerion forges the Iron Throne

In addition to Aegon and his sister-wives–yes, the Targaryens intermarried for a long time, so buckle up for the ick–we may also be seeing the one thing we as a fandom have been waiting for since he became the stuff of legends in the lore. Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon’s dragon and the last living creature to have seen Valyria may be coming to the screen. We saw Visenya’s dragon Vhagar in House of the Dragon, and if this show comes to fruition, we’ll meet his second sister-wife, Rhaenys’s dragon Meraxes as well. 

Balerion’s skull

Variety also reports we may be getting a feature film leading into the series. This film could cover the Doom of Valyria and set up for the Century of Blood, which would then lead into the Conquest. In my opinion, this would work perfectly because there’s just enough source material for the Doom to make a movie, we’d get the backstory on the Targaryen family, and momentum would be established for the Conquest. We’d also meet Aegon early if they cover the Century of Blood.

Now, none of this is officially confirmed. Though the news is popping up all over the internet, there’s no guarantee that “talks” will turn into TV and we’ll actually see Aegon and Balerion on the screen. However, if we do–and of course, if it’s done well–it’ll be a dream come true for me and many other fans.

Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys Targaryen

What are you most excited about if the live-action Conquest becomes real? We’d finally get to see the Valyrian swords Blackfyre and Dark Sister together, again, in the hands of their original wielders. . . and Aegon’s crown will be where it belongs.

Yes, that is absolutely shade at the Greens

Anywho, until then, geros ilas (“goodbye” in High Valyrian).

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