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Why Did Aegon Fly Into the Battle?

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You know, maybe everybody should’ve listened to Aegon when he first told us who he was. When Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) enacted her coup to install her son as king in “House of the Dragon” season 1, the young heir went on a drunken bender in an attempt to avoid his destiny. To the amazement of his younger brother Aemond (Ewan Mitchell), he admitted he had no taste for power and no interest in taking charge of the realm. That unwillingness to serve has since curdled into an outright inability to rule, as season 2 has emphasized again and again. This began with Blood and Cheese murdering his young son and heir Jaehaerys and his horrific decision to have every rat-catcher in King’s Landing hanged, turning public opinion against himself during what should’ve been his most sympathetic moment. Not to be outdone, his then banished Otto as second in command and left himself bereft of the only voice of reason in King’s Landing.

But all that pales in comparison to what truly sets Aegon on a course for self-destruction. We see this final straw earlier in the episode, when his prior humiliation of Aemond in a brothel comes back to haunt him. While at a Small Council meeting to discuss their military strategies, the king’s lack of experience is further exacerbated by Aemond intentionally leaving him in the dark about his and Criston Cole’s (Fabien Frankel) plans to take Rook’s Rest. Undermined and embarrassed in front of his closest advisors, Aegon turns to his mother Alicent. “They don’t care what I think,” he grouses to her. Instead of sympathy, however, he receives a stinging rebuke of his many failings: “Do simply what is needed of you: nothing.”

So, naturally, that’s the exact opposite of what he does.



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