Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon and spoilers for Fire & Blood.
As House of the Dragon has proven throughout the season, the HBO show is not afraid to play around with time jumps. Episode eight of the Game of Thrones spin-off is no different and is set six years after the events in episode seven. Viewers are bound to get confused as they watch characters grow from children to adults and with different actors playing the same characters at different ages, who could blame them?
We’ve watched Rhaenyra and Alicent grow up and at this point in the season, we’ve even seen their children transition into young adults. By episode eight Prince Aegon Targaryen, the son of Alicent and King Viserys has become a young adult and we discover that during the gap between episodes he’s even gotten married. The show isn’t totally clear on who Aegon is married to and there is understandably some confusion over who Aegon’s wife is.
Who is Aegon Targaryen’s wife?
In episode eight, Alicent discovers that Aegon has sexually assaulted a maid and the queen mentions his wife. Viewers might be surprised to hear that Aegon even has a wife and even more shocked when they realize he’s married to his younger sister Helaena. The episode doesn’t make it too clear that the siblings are married so you’d be forgiven for not realizing the two are together (unless you’ve read the source novel Fire & Blood) but it becomes more obvious during the family dinner scene. Helaena tries to ease her cousins Rhaena and Baela’s marriage concerns by telling them marriage isn’t too bad and implying her husband isn’t interested in her unless he’s drunk… yikes.
While one might assume an incest marriage would be shocking, marriages between siblings are fairly common for House Targaryen. The family is well-known for marrying within their extended family and Aegon and Helaena are no exception. The Targaryens have long married within the family as they believe it keeps their bloodline pure and enables them to control their dragons. Even in the beginning of House of the Dragon, we see this tradition is still being followed as Viserys’ first wife is also his cousin and they share the same grandfather.
In Fire & Blood, the two siblings have three children together and Helaena mentions them in the episode. In the source material, none of the children make it to adulthood. The couple’s sons, Jaehaerys and Maelor both die during the Targaryen Civil War and their daughter Jaehaera dies in the years following the war.