Season 8 of Game of Thrones is almost here, and with one of Daenerys' dragons still without a rider, there's plenty of reason to believe Jon Snow will mount Rhaegal - the dragon named after his father. There's never been a question that Dany herself would climb onto a dragon and learn how to fly with it, and this happened in season 5, when Drogon rescued his 'mother' from the fighting pit. However, the "three heads of the dragon" prophecy suggested that there would be two more riders for Viserion and Rhaegal.
In season 7, Viserion's rider was revealed, and it came as quite a shock - it's none other than the Night King himself who is flying on the undead Viserion's back for season 8. However, that still leaves one dragon riderless, and now it looks like there has been the first hint that it could be Jon Snow who mounts Rhaegal in the final season.
Vanity Fair first suggested that a single scene in a new promo for Game of Thrones' final season could point to this outcome - so what's the evidence that Jon (sorry, Aegon) is going to fly before the finale?
- This Page: Jon Snow and the Three Heads of the Dragon
- Page 2: How Game of Thrones' Trailers Point to Jon Riding a Dragon
What Are The Three Heads Of The Dragon?
First of all, it's important to take a step back and look at why there needs to be another dragonrider at all - which comes down to the Three Heads of the Dragon. The three heads of the dragon is one of the things that is assumed to be true for the series, despite only being mentioned the books (much like the valonqar prophecy). It refers to a vision that Daenerys has while in the House of the Undying, where the magic of the place causes her to see prophetic visions. In the show, she sees several things that come to pass (or may still come to pass) including a hint at the Red Wedding, and the Throne Room covered in snow. In the book, however, her visions are different. They include a vision of Rhaegar naming his baby son, Aegon. In this vision, Rhaegar says "He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire. There must be one more. The dragon has three heads." This echoes an old Targaryen prophecy that says the same thing.
This isn't the only reference to three dragons/Targaryens in the books or the show, either. The original conquest of Westeros by the Targaryens was by Aegon the conqueror, riding a dragon, with his two sisters/wives beside him on dragons of their own. The Targaryen coat of arms is a three-headed dragon. And, of course, there are three dragons on Game of Thrones. The true meaning of this vision/prophecy is hotly debated in the fandom, with some arguing that it means that there are three Targaryens who will ride the three dragons, and others arguing that it simply means there are three living Targaryens, whether they ride the dragons or not. Whether or not it means anything at all has also been debated, as Game of Thrones is chock full of prophecies, and that doesn't mean that they are all going to come true. However, the majority believe that there are three heads, and that means three dragonriders.
Is Jon Snow The Third Dragonrider?
At this point, it's theoretically possible that anyone could be the third dragonrider - but Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen is definitely a frontrunner. There are plenty of theories, of course, that other characters are Targaryens too; everyone from Meera Reed to Tyrion Lannister have been theorized to be secret Targaryens. In addition, dragonriders don't actually have to be Targaryen. Although the Targaryens are the house famous for taming and riding dragons, in Fire And Blood it's revealed that others have been known to tame dragons as well. However, all signs point to Jon as the third head at this point.
For one thing, while other characters could still turn out to be secret Targaryens, Jon/Aegon is the only other confirmed Targaryen in the show. He's also one of only a couple of people who has been able to get up close with the dragons without being barbecued. Tyrion was also able to manage this, when he released them from their chains in Meereen, but Jon was able to actually walk up and pet Drogon's nose - something that clearly shows he has some dragon-taming talents. He's also now both romantically involved with Daenerys and pledged to her as Queen, and he's the child that Rhaegar spoke about in Daenerys' vision. The latest promo also points to Jon being a dragonrider - if that promo has been digitally altered, that is!