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Transcript of House Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen, the First of His Name, also known as Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon the Dragon, was the conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms and the founder of the ruling Targaryen dynasty of Westeros.
Aegon was clearly ambitious. He is described as tall, broad shouldered and powerful in appearance with purple eyes and cut short silver-gold hair. He was very charismatic and commanding. During the Conquest he typically wore a shirt of black scales into battle and wielded his Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre. His crown was a simple circlet of Valyrian steel, set with big square-cut rubies.
Aegon was seen as an enigma. He was a solitary person whose only friend was Orys Baratheon. He was a great warrior who wielded a sword called Blackfyre but only rode his dragon for battle or travel and never entered tourneys. He remained faithful to his sisters and left governance in their hands and only took command when necessary. While he was harsh with those who defied him, he was generous to those that bent the knee.
Aegon was nearly as mysterious to his era as he is to the current era.
War of Conquest
Eventually Aegon decided to go west to Westeros, and for years he planned his conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. He made a huge table map of Westeros painted without any borders to signify that it should be one realm alone instead of many. This map later became known as The Painted Table. His plan was ambitious but eventually successful.
When he was ready, he and his two sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya, landed with his army on the east coast of Westeros at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. With the aid of their three dragons (Vhagar, Meraxes, and Balerion the Black Dread) Aegon led the Targaryen army to victory after victory, conquering or subjugating six of the seven kingdoms of the Westeros continent and establishing the Riverlands as a separate region. He failed to conquer Dorne, however, and eventually was forced to respect their autonomy.
During the invasion Aegon converted to the Faith of the Seven as a political maneuver . Through the conversion he won the Faith's support, and dated the beginning of his reign from the day the High Septon anointed him in Oldtown.
Balerion the Black Dread
Balerion, called the Black Dread, was one of the three great dragons of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters, that were used to conquer much of Westeros during the War of Conquest. Balerion died, at least before 101AC, of old age some time during the reign of King Jaehaerys I, around two hundred years old.
Balerion was the largest of all the Targaryen dragons, his teeth were as long as swords and his jaws big enough to swallow a mammoth whole. His fire was as black as his scales, his wingspan so vast that entire towns would fall under his shadow when he passed overhead.
Balerion was named after the ancient god of the Valyrian Freehold. He was born in Valyria. Balerion was one of the five dragons Aenar Targaryen brought with him when he fled to Dragonstone to survive until the War of Conquest.
He gained recognition as the 'Black Dread' during the War of Conquest, when Aegon rode him to victory and conquered Westeros. He became notorious in the battle that became known as the Field of Fire, the only time in history that all three of the fabled Targaryen dragons took to the sky at the same time. Between Vhaghar, Meraxes and Balerion, four thousand men were burned to death. King Mern died, and with him House Gardener. The army was broken and Aegon I was victorious.
According to song, at the end of the war Balerion helped to forge the Iron Throne by melting the swords of Aegon's enemies.Aegon the Conqueror only rode Balerion to battle or for travel.
Along with other Targaryen dragon skulls Balerion's huge skull used to hang on a wall in the Red Keep's throne room. After the War of the Usurper King Robert had Balerion's skull removed and stored in a dank cellar along with the others.
There is a rather nice picture of Balerion the Black Dread done in coloured inks in the book Dragonkin, Being a History of House Targaryen from Exile to Apotheosis, with a Consideration of the Life and Death of Dragons written by Maester Thomax.
The first king of Westeros was Aegon the Conqueror who, riding with his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys on their three dragons from their seat, Dragonstone, won the War of Conquest. This memorable war marks the beginning of the timeline (AL for Aegon's Landing) and the Targaryen Dynasty that ruled Westeros for more than 250 years. Aegon established the Targaryen tradition of marrying siblings and other close relatives by marrying both of his sisters and having a child by each. House Targaryen was overthrown by the Robert Baratheon of Storm's End, who made House Baratheon the new rulers of Westeros during Robert's Rebellion.
Balerion the Black Dread at the Battle of Fire
Legacy of Aegon the Dragon
Although Aegon I appears to have been a successful ruler, it appears that there was a belief that upon his death the realm would splinter apart and a return to the old independent kingdoms would take place. When this did not happen, there was rebellion and war that took a generation to put down.
Aegon's principle legacy was ensuring that Westeros was considered to be a single land without borders or division, and it could be ruled through strength of arms, will and character, a belief that became so successfully engrained in the people that even when the dragons had all died out and the realm splintered by several more civil wars, the belief in the authority of the Iron Throne would remain strong.
The Iron Throne of Aegon The Conqueror
Aenys was the son of Aegon the Conqueror by his sister-wife Rhaenys. He was not a warrior and was not considered a strong successor to Aegon the Dragon.
Reign and Death
Aenys ascended the throne upon Aegon I's death in 37 AL, but whilst the Faith of the Seven had proved able to stomach Aegon's bigamy and incest due to his strength, they sensed Aenys was not as resolute. As the product of an incestuous union, they considered him to be an aberration and launched a full-scale uprising against him.
Aenys proved weak and indecisive during this crisis, and was unable to effectively take action against it. As the rebellion gathered momentum, he appointed his half-brother Maegor to the position of the Hand of the King and left him to deal with the matter. The result was a total bloodbath as Maegor's tactics were disproportionate, cruel and merciless.
Aenys died in 42 AL after only ruling for five years and was succeeded by Maegor. After Maegor's death without issue in 48 AL, Aenys' eldest son Jaehaerys took the throne.
Maegor was the only son of Aegon the Conqueror by his sister-wife Visenya and the half-brother of Aenys I. Unlike his half-brother, Maegor was more like his father and grew up to become a strong warrior.
As Hand and as King
Upon his half-brother Aenys' ascension to the Iron Throne, the Faith of the Seven launched a major uprising against the Targaryen dynasty. Whilst they accepted Aegon on the throne due to his strength and his conversion to the Faith, they could not stomach the thought of his sons, born of incest, following him.
Aenys I proved too weak and indecisive to handle the crisis and appointed Maegor as the Hand of the King, with responsibility for putting down the rebellion. Maegor's answer was to massacre those found rebelling against the crown, unleashing a wave of violence rarely seen in Westeros before or since. Tens of thousands, maybe more, died as Maegor set out to crush the rebels with every ounce of force he could muster. He accepted no parley and no pleas for mercy. When Aenys died in 42 AL, Maegor took the throne (despite Aenys having a son) and continued the oppression wherever he could, earning him the name 'Maegor the Cruel'.
During his reign Maegor began the construction of a new keep within the main castle complex in King's Landing. Completed after his death, this fortressed was dubbed Maegor's Holdfast.
Maegor died in 48 AL, allegedly bleeding to death after injuring himself on the Iron Throne. The smallfolk whispered that the throne itself had rejected and killed him for his crimes. He was succeeded by Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Aenys' son, who made peace with the Faith and ended the war.
Character and appearance
Maegor was a resolute, firm and commanding warrior who expected immediate and total obedience. He was not a diplomat and did not believe in concessions or negotiations. He was merciless. He had a dissolute side, taking multiple wives both within and outside his line, but had no children. The Targaryen tendency towards madness which emerged in later generations may have touched him.
Maegor was very tall, even taller than his father, but with a thicker, broader appearance, although this was due more to muscle than fat. He had short hair and a short beard closely matched to his jawline. He rarely laughed or smiled, and often looked angry, suspicious and sometimes paranoid. His entire reign as Hand and King was a period of warfare, and he took to wearing a breastplate covered by a surcoat prominently displaying the Targaryen symbol and colours to remind people of the authority of the ruling house. He inherited his father's sword and crown.
Presumed to have married Jane Westerling of the Crag.
Jaehaerys I Targaryen was the fourth king of the Targaryen dynasty to sit on the Iron Throne.
Jaehaerys was the eldest son and heir of King Aenys I, but upon Aenys I's death in 42 AL his half-brother Maegor I took the crown rather than Jaehaerys. It is unclear if Maegor actively usurped the crown or if Jaehaerys was considered too young to become king during a time of war.
Jaehaerys I took the throne in 48 AL upon the death of his uncle. Whilst Maegor the Cruel had brutally suppressed the Faith of the Seven during the uprising, Jaehaerys adopted a path of negotiation. In return for the Faith's surrender and the disbanding of its militant orders, the Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows, the Faith would suffer no further oppression and the Targaryens would return to being their staunch supporters. However, Jaehaerys also made it clear that the Targaryens would continue to not being bound by the laws and morality of mainstream Westeros when he married his sister, Alysanne. The Faith agreed to these terms. For ending the war peacefully and restoring the relations of the crown and church, Jaehaerys was dubbed 'Jaehaerys the Conciliator'.
Jaehaerys ruled for fifty-five years, more than any other king in modern history, outliving his own son and heir. In later life Jaehaerys also became known as the 'Old King', but this was meant respectfully. He set to work on many great deeds and was a skilled negotiator and peace-maker. He and his sister-wife Alysannae worked as a formidable team, setting the realm to rights and ending outdated practises (such as the old tradition of first night). Alysannae was also a great believer in the Night's Watch, and at her urging Jaehaerys supported the Watch, sending them more men and helping reinforce the castles along the Wall, as well as funding the construction of Deep Lake castle to replace the Nightfort when it was abandoned. Alysanne was also a great supporter of the commons, sponsoring many charities to help the lot of the smallfolk.
Jaehaerys and Alysanne were beloved by the people and respected by the nobility for restoring Westeros to peace and plenty after decades of turmoil and war. Upon Jaehaerys' death, he was succeeded by his grandson Viserys. He rode the mighty Dragon Vermithor, nicknamed the Bronze Fury, the beast refused to be riden after the death of the king, remaining in a semi-wild state for decades, until he was finally re-tamed and perished in the Dance of Dragons.
Viserys I Targaryen was the fifth king of the Targaryen dynasty to sit on the Iron Throne of Westeros.
Viserys was the grandson of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Queen Alysanne. Jaehaerys lived to such an old age that he outlived his own son and heir, and upon his death in 103 AL it was Viserys who inherited the crown.
Reign and marriages
Viserys ruled during a time of peace and plenty. His grandparents had spent most of their lives and reigns ordering the realm, encouraging peace and diplomacy between the kingdoms. His rule was remarkably free from incident, and may be the most peaceful of any king of the unified Seven Kingdoms to date.
Viserys' first marriage to was to an Arryn of the Vale, who gave him a daughter, Rhaenyra. When Viserys' wife died without further issue, it was expected that Rhaenyra would succeed him as the first ruling queen of Westeros. To this end, he kept her close during council meetings and audiences, schooling her in the art of rulership.
Some years later, Viserys remarried to a younger, healthier lady of House Hightower who gave him three sons and a daughter in rapid succession. Rhaenyra, ten years older than her eldest half-brother Aegon, did not anticipate them disputing her succession, and neither did Viserys, for he continued to treat Rhaenyra as his heir.
Viserys died in 129 AL and it was anticipated that Rhaenyra would inherit. Instead, Ser Criston Cole of the Kingsguard instead took King Viserys' crown and gave it to his son Aegon, who claimed the Iron Throne as Aegon II. Rhaenyra disputed this, triggering the civil war known as the Dance of Dragons.
Character and appearance
Viserys was a pleasent man, raised in a time of great prosperity. He was plump, friendly and fair, known for his sense of humour. He doted on his children, particularly his eldest daughter.
Viserys was not a warrior, and tended to wear silks in dark colours reflecting his house sigil. He had a bushy silver-gold moustache, but no beard. He wore his grandfather Jaehaerys' simple crown.
The Dragons of House Targaryen
Dragons are magical creatures, which existed on the continents of Westeros and Essos, and up until recently were considered to have been extinct for over one hundred and fifty years. The only remaining traces of the dragons were skeletal remains and dragon eggs which were thought to have turned to stone, until Daenerys Targaryen managed to hatch three of these dragon eggs.
Dragons are scaled, reptilian creatures, with two legs and two wings . They use their wings as forelegs like bats, though some A Song of Ice and Fire artwork shows them with four legs and a detached pair of wings. They have sharp teeth and claws, leathery wings and long necks and tails, with spiny crests running down their backs. As hatchlings, they are around the size of a cat, but continue growing and can reach sizes large enough to swallow a mammoth whole. The polished skulls of the Targaryen dragons look like glittering onyx, and their teeth like curved daggers of black diamond. Their bones are black due to their high iron content. Dragonbone is a highly sought after crafting material.
A dragon's scales are largely but not entirely impervious to flame; they protect the more vulnerable flesh and musculature beneath. As a dragon ages, its scales thicken and grow harder, affording even more protection, even as its flames burn hotter. Whereas the flames of a hatchling can set straw aflame, the flames of Balerion and Vhagar at their prime melted steel and stone.
Great heat emanates from dragons' bodies, to the point that they steam during cold nights. They breathe extremely hot flame which they use to cook their meat before eating it. Dragons are essentially immune to fire. It is said that they are fire made flesh.
Dragons are capable of forming strong attachments to humans who raise them. They have a reasonably high level of animal intelligence, and can be trained to serve as battlemounts and receive vocal commands. Dragons are said to be capricious in nature. Dragons bend easier to their rider's will after they have been fed and their stomach full.
Dragons grow throughout their lives, but it is unknown how long they can live or how large they can grow. The largest and oldest Targaryen dragon, Balerion, lived about 200 years and could swallow a mammoth whole, but dragons raised in captivity are thought to be smaller than their wild brethren.
Dragons have no fixed gender differentiation - according to Maester Aemon dragons are “but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame” presumably meaning that they are able to change from one sex to the other for whatever reason.
The dragon Syrax is referred to as a she-dragon by Tyrion Lannister and the last Targaryen dragon that died during the reign of King Aegon III, has also been referred to as female, so presumably some dragons can remain a defined or fixed sex. There appears not to be sexual dimorphism in dragons as towards the end of her life Vhagar grew to be almost as large as Balerion.
Barth, Munkun and Thomax hold markedly divergent views on the mating habits of dragons. Dragons lay large, scaled eggs to reproduce. Over the eons un-hatched eggs can become fossilized.
Dragons are believed to be intrinsically tied to magic and the seasons of the world. Since dragons became extinct from Westeros, the power of magic dwindled and winters grew colder.
Tales of ice dragons with cold breath were told in Winterfell by Old Nan. It is undetermined if such dragons are entirely fictional.
Dragons are native to the continent of Essos. Daenerys recalls hearing that the first dragons had come from the east, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea. There were dragons all over, once.
Dragons were discovered some five thousand years ago by the Valyrians in the Fourteen Fires, a ring of volcanoes on the Valyrian peninsula. The Valyrians mastered the art of raising dragons and used them as weapons of war to carve out a massive empire. After the Doom of Valyria, the only dragons known to have survived were the three dragons belonging to the Targaryens, on Dragonstone.
The Targaryens used them to conquer and forge the Seven Kingdoms. Over the course of one hundred and fifty years the Targaryens rode their dragons as symbol of power, King Jaehaerys I, used Jaehaerys took six dragons with him to the North to visit the Warden of the North. They built the Dragonpit in King's Landing to raise and house their dragons and at one time had at least nineteen dragons (the number of dragon skulls stored by the Targaryens in the Red Keep cellars).
Over the centuries, the Targaryen dragons died out, most of them were killed in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons and in later generations did not grow as large as their parents. It has been suggested by maesters that dragons were meant to be beneath the sky rather than cooped up in cages or cells in the Dragonpit, however massive. Archmaester Marwyn, however, holds the Order of Maesters, and their secret goal to suppress magic was responsible for the extinction of dragons.
The last dragon was a stunted, sick and misshapen thing, and died young during the reign of King Aegon III, the Dragonbane. She had been a green female, small, stunted with withered wings. She laid a clutch of five eggs, which never hatched.
After their extinction, the only remnants of dragons that remained were their skulls and a few petrified eggs. The eggs were highly valuable, both for their beauty and exotic nature as well as their potential to hatch dragons.
Many futile attempts were made to hatch dragons from petrified eggs. The Tragedy of Summerhall resulted from Aegon V's attempt. Aegon III, known as the Dragonbane, had nine mages cross the narrow sea to use their magics in attempt to hatch eggs. Baelor I the Blessed took a different approach, praying over eggs in attempt to hatch them. The art of taming and commanding dragons enough to ride is considered lost, aside from a few exceedingly rare books.
Soldier on fire
Drogo, the Black and red Dragon of Daenerys Tagaryen
The Great Dragons of the Targaryen Dynasty
A dragon egg is an egg laid by a dragon as a means of reproduction of the species . Dragons have been known to lay eggs in a clutch of up to at least five. If an egg has to be fertilized by a male dragon in order to be fertile is not known. Dragons may have brooded their eggs.
Princess Elaena Targaryen holding an egg
Dragon eggs come in various colours. Judging from the colour of Dany’s dragons the colour of the eggshell appears to indicate the colour of the dragon within.
Fossilized dragon eggs are worth a fortune. Before the lighting of Drogo’s funeral pyre Ser Jorah tells Dany that one of her dragon's eggs could buy a ship to take her back to the Free Cities. Sell all three and she could be a wealthy woman all her days. If any of Daenerys dragons were to lay an egg presumably it would be beyond price.
The last Targaryen dragon laid a clutch of five eggs. What happened to them is not known. If there are any dragon eggs left over amongst the smoking ruins that were Valyria is not known. On Dragonstone there is supposed to be a fabled hoard of dragon eggs.
Attempts to hatch dragon's eggs
After the extinction of dragons the Targaryens made numerous attempts to hatch the dragon eggs left behind. Baelor the Blessed had prayed over his eggs, the other Targaryens had sought to hatch theirs with sorcery. All they got for it was farce and tragedy, death, disaster, or disgrace. Only Daenerys Targaryen has succeeded in hatching dragon eggs after the death of the last dragon.
Alysanne Targaryen, known as Good Queen Alysanne, was a Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She was the daughter of Aenys I and Alyssa Velaryon. Following the customs of the Targaryens she married her brother Jaehaerys I the Conciliator. Like her brother-husband she lived a long life, although she did predecease him by several years . Alysanne was a dragonrider. Her dragon was Silverwing.
Appearance & Character
According to semi-canon sources, Alysanne was slim of waist and small of breast, with a long neck, a fair complexion and a high forehead. She was tall and straight, unbowed by time. She had clear, blue eyes and high cheekbones. In old age her hair turned white as snow. She wore it in a bun, pulled back and pinned behind her ears. Age left crow's feet around her eyes and laugh lines about her mouth, but her face never lost its strength. She often wore a slimmer, more feminine version of her brother-husband's crown at court. GRRM has compared Alysanne to Eleanor of Aquitaine.
In her youth Alysanne was a fine archer and hunter, and loved to fly atop her dragon to all the distant parts of the realm.
Good Queen Alysanne had great influence over Jaehaerys. She convinced him to abolish the lord's right to the First Night.
Later, when the couple visited the North, the queen travelled to the Wall on her dragon Silverwing. According to stories she was so impressed by the bravery of the Night's Watch that she asked Jaehaerys to double the size of the Watch's land. The acquired land was called "the New Gift." During her visit she stayed in castle Snowgate, which was re-named Queensgate in her honour. She also convinced the Night's Watch to build a new castle, Deep Lake, as a replacement for the Nightfort.
According to semi-canon sources, she was very close to her husband, his most trusted counselor. She had many charities and was loved by the people.
Together with her husband, Alysanne had 9 children. Two of those children were Prince Aemon and Prince Baelon. Alysanne had at least 3 grandchildren.
Rhaenyra Targaryen, cheered as the Realm's Delight when she was young and later called the Half-Year Queen, was the first-born child of King Viserys I Targaryen. Her claim to the Iron Throne was challenged by her younger half-brother, Aegon II Targaryen, sparking the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. She was the mother of two kings, Aegon III and Viserys II.
Character and Appearance
Pampered from an early age, Rhaenyra was a pudgy girl and a stout woman, with a thick waist and a large bosom. She was very proud and stubborn, and there was a certain petulance to her small mouth.
Rhaenyra had her family's Valyrian looks, wearing her silver-gold hair in a long braid in the manner of Aegon I's warrior wife, Visenya, though Rhaenyra was no warrior herself. She always dressed richly, favoring purple and maroon velvets and golden Myrish lace in intricate patterns. Her bodice often glittered with pearls and diamonds, and there were always rings on her fingers. Whenever she was anxious, she would turn them compulsively, round and round.
Though Rhaenyra could be charming, she was quick to anger and never forgot a slight. During the Dance of the Dragons, she wore her father's crown.
Rhaenyra was King Viserys I's only living child by his first wife, a lady of House Arryn. She grew up expecting to become the first ruling Queen of Westeros.
When the second of her brothers died soon after being born, Viserys I himself began to treat Rhaenyra as his heir, keeping her by his side in court and at council meetings. Many of the nobles of the realm took note, so the young princess was surrounded by flatterers and favor-seekers all throughout her childhood.
Her mother's death and her father's second marriage to Alicent Hightower did little to disturb Rhaenyra's expectations, but when his new queen gave the king three healthy sons (Aegon, Aemond, Daeron) and a daughter (Helaena) in rapid succession, the seeds of the Dance of the Dragons were sown.
Rhaenyra wed Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. They had three sons together: Jacaerys 'Jace' Velaryon, Lucerys 'Luke' Velaryon, and Joffrey 'Joff' Velaryon. All were near adulthood and had dragons of their own when Rhaenyra's father, Viserys I, died. It was rumored that those sons of Rhaenyra's were actually fathered by her lover, Ser Harwin Strong.
Rhaenyra's other sons, the future Aegon III and Viserys II, were fathered by her second husband, her uncle Prince Daemon Targaryen, the most experienced warrior of his time. Her father's intention that she should follow him on the Iron Throne was confirmed by proclamation and the will of Viserys I.
In 111 AL, a great tourney was held at King's Landing on the fifth anniversary of King Visery's marriage to Queen Alicent. At the opening feast, the queen wore a green gown, whilst Princess Rhaenyra dressed dramatically in Targaryen red and black. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to “greens” and “blacks” when talking of the queen's party and the party of the princess, respectively. In the tourney itself, the blacks had much the better of it when Ser Criston Cole, wearing Princess Rhaenyra's favor, unhorsed all of the queen's champions, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower.
Rhaenyra gave birth to a deformed stillborn girl, Visenya, at the time of Viserys's death.
Aegon II was the sixth Targaryen monarch to sit the Iron Throne, succeeding his father, Viserys I Targaryen. He was married to his full sister Helaena Targaryen. His dragon was Sunfyre. His personal sigil was a golden dragon instead of a red one.
Aegon II resembled his father in appearance, though not in personality. He had only a wispy mustache and a sullen look to his face. He wore the crown of Aegon the Conqueror and carried Blackfyre, the Conqueror's blade.
Dance of the Dragons
Aegon's father, Viserys I, died in 129AC. Viserys had intended for his daughter and Aegon's older half sister, Rhaenyra, to sit the Iron Throne. However Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, later known as the Kingmaker, defied the late king's wishes and backed Aegon instead, having Aegon crowned king. Rhaenyra refused to be denied her crown, disputing Aegon's ascension. The realm split into two factions known as the greens and the blacks, dragon riders took to the skies, and a Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons began. As his Hand, Aegon retained his learned grandfather Ser Otto Hightower, who had served his father Viserys and grandfather Jaehaerys I.
Early in the war, Aegon's heir Prince Jaehaerys was murdered in the Red Keep by Blood and Cheese, agents of Prince Daemon's go-between. His sister-wife Helaena quickly began to sink into depression and madness.
Because of his grandfather's delays in waging war, Aegon stripped Ser Otto of the Handship and awarded it to Criston the Kingmaker. Ser Criston immediately took to the offensive. Aegon himself took the field in a trap set by Cole at Rook's Rest, where he and his brother Aemond One-Eye fought and killed Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was. Aegon and his dragon Sunfyre were badly maimed, he suffering burns and broken bones. His armor melted into his left arm. It took him a year to recover, his mind clouded by milk of the poppy, and sleeping nine hours out of every ten. Only his mother Queen Alicent and his Hand Ser Criston were allowed to disturb his rest. Prince Aemond ruled in his stead as Prince Regent. Aegon remained bent and twisted for the rest of his life, half his body covered in burn scars.
When his half sister Rhaenyra took King's Landing and the Iron Throne in 130AC Larys Strong secreted him away. Disguised as one of the dragonseed smallfolk, Aegon hid on Dragonstone and convinced several blacks to defect and help him take the island. During the coup, he fought Baela Targaryen, both mounted on dragons. He shattered his legs in a fall during the fight. He carried great pain with him for the rest of his life, but refused milk of the poppy because of his experience with it during the recovery from Rook's Rest. Meanwhile, his wife Queen Helaena had ended her grief by suicide in the capital.
In 130AC, Rhaenyra chose to flee to Dragonstone where she was captured, judged a traitor, and eaten by Aegon's dragon Sunfyre as he and Aegon III watched. The war continued, however, as Rhaenyra's supporters continued her cause supporting her son, also named Aegon. Some time in this period, for unknown reasons Aegon II had Grand Maester Gerardys fed to his dragon. The war and Aegon II's time as king ended half a year later in 131AC with his death under unknown circumstances. Aegon II had no male heirs left, which led to his nephew Aegon III Targaryen (Rhaenyra's son) ascending to the throne and marrying Aegon II's daughter, Jaehaera.
Aegon III Targaryen, also known as Aegon the Younger, and later Aegon the Dragonbane, was the seventh king of the Targaryen line. He succeeded his uncle, Aegon II Targaryen, at the conclusion of the Dance of the Dragons. With Aegon II leaving no male heirs, the ascension of Aegon III is a possible dynastic vindication of the claim to the Iron Throne of his mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen. When he was a child his dragon was Stormcloud.
Aegon always dressed in black. He was pale, lean and never smiled, because of the grief he carried from seeing his mother devoured by his uncle's dragon. He wore a short beard but no mustache. His crown was a slender gold band. Not much more is known of his character, although he does seem to have successfully kept the kingdom reunited following the divisions of the civil war.
The Dance of the Dragons
Aegon was the son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen and was the grandson of King Viserys I Targaryen. His mother was expected to inherit the throne upon Viserys's death but instead her younger half brother was crowned as Aegon II. The resulting war of succession is known as the Dance of the Dragons.
In 129AC, at the behest of their half-brother Jacaerys Velaryon, Aegon and his younger brother Viserys were sent to Essos while their mother Rhaenyra secured the Iron Throne. During the journey their ship, the Gay Abandon, was captured by ships of the Kingdom of the Three Daughters. Aegon escaped by flying for the first time on his dragon, Stormcloud, but Viserys was captured by Sharako Lohar. The experience was so frightening Aegon returned to Dragonstone pale, shaking, and having lost control of his bladder. Aegon never flew again, as Stormcloud died after reaching Dragonstone.
When Rhaenyra took King's Landing in 130AC, she named Aegon her cupbearer after he joined her from Dragonstone. Aegon hardly spoke a word during this time. After the storming of the Dragonpit he and his mother were forced to flee the capital. Rhaenyra, nearly mad with grief from losing her dragon Syrax and all her children except Aegon, refused to be parted from him at any time, and he became a "small pale shadow" to his mother.
When they returned to Dragonstone, they arrived at the castle to see the charred corpses of the castellan and some others who had been loyal to Rhaenyra hanging from the gates. Aegon was the first to realize what it meant and cried "Mother, flee!" but it was too late. They were brought into the coutyard where Aegon II was waiting. Young Aegon watched in horror as his uncle's dragon, Sunfyre, devoured his mother. Aegon was forever scarred, and this event cemented his later fierce hatred and terror for the creatures. After Rhaenyra's execution Ser Alfred Broome advised King Aegon II to kill the young Aegon, but the king decided to keep his nephew captive in the dungeon of Dragonstone. The death of his mother did not end the war; presumably her followers carried on under the banner of young Aegon and when Aegon II died not long after, Aegon inherited the throne as Aegon III in 131AC.
As king, Aegon III ruled long and well in the Seven Kingdoms, though he is often blamed for the death of the last dragon, having had a great distaste for the creatures since he witnessed his mother being devoured by his uncle's beast.Although the maesters may have played a part in the death of the last dragons, Aegon III became known as "Aegon the Dragonbane", despite his later efforts to obtain dragon eggs. At some point he had nine mages cross the sea to attempt to hatch his remaining cache of eggs.
Aegon had two sons, Daeron, called the Young Dragon, and Baelor, called Baelor the Blessed. His daughters were the three "Maidens in the Tower," Daena the Defiant, Rhaena and Elaena. Upon his death in 157AC, Aegon III was succeeded by his young son Daeron. Aegon was said to have always walked with a great grief, and the folly of his sons nearly tore the realm apart.
Viserys II was the tenth member of House Targaryen to be the King on the Iron Throne. He was the brother of Aegon III Targaryen and was the son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen, and the father of King Aegon IV Targaryen, Queen Naerys Targaryen, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight.
According to a semi-canon source, Viserys II was clean-shaven with long hair. He had a prominent nose, bushy eyebrows and a shrewd, calculating look to him. He wore the simple crown of Aegon III.
In 129AC, at the behest of their half-brother Jacaerys Velaryon, Aegon and Viserys were sent to Essos aboard the Gay Abandon to be fostered by a prince of Pentos until their mother, Rhaenyra, secured the Iron Throne. However, the fleet of the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, who were allied with the greens, captured the Gay Abandon during the voyage. Aegon flew away atop his dragon, Stormcloud, but Viserys had only a dragon egg. Remaining behind, the clever Viserys hid his egg and disguised himself as a common ship's boy, but his identity was revealed by one of the crew. A Tyroshi captain brought Viserys to Sharako Lohar, the Triarchy's admiral. Viserys's fate through the remainder of the Dance of the Dragons is as yet unknown.
Viserys later served as Hand of the King to his brother and his nephews and was instrumental in keeping the realm intact while King Daeron I warred and King Baelor I prayed. It was rumored that to spare the realm embarassment, Viserys used his position as Hand to order the poisoning of a stonemason whom Baelor had appointed as High Septon.
Viserys II ascended to throne later in life after the death of his nephew, Baelor I Targaryen, also known as Baelor the Blessed. Viserys is not remembered fondly in Westeros, as some accuse him of poisoning Baelor to gain the throne and doing nothing once he gained it. Viserys reigned for only a year, but in his previous role as Hand of the King he had ruled and preserved the land for much longer.
Daeron I, known as the Young Dragon, was the eldest son of Aegon III and the eighth king to sit the Iron Throne from 157-161 AC. A member of House Targaryen, he ascended to the throne at the age of fourteen and is famous for conquering Dorne, which he wrote about in his Conquest of Dorne.
Character and Appearance
Daeron was a warrior and conquerer, self-confident and very charismatic. He was young and very handsome, being clean-shaven with long hair. He wore the crown of Aegon the Conqueror. He was noted to be very brave on the battlefield, where he wore an elaborate suit of gold and black plate.
Aegon III died when his son was only fourteen, making Dareon I the youngest king to sit on the Iron Throne, for which he was called by some the "Boy King." Daeron named his uncle Viserys as his Hand of the King.
Daeron had long felt that the continued independence of Dorne represented unfinished business for the Targaryens, and upon his ascension he vowed to rectify his ancestors' mistake. Upon taking the throne he set to conquer Dorne, which he succeeded in, becoming the first Targaryen king to conquer Dorne and unite all Seven Kingdoms for the first time.
Following his conquest he wrote the book Conquest of Dorne about his achievement. The book was known for its style and simplicity but in it Daeron exaggerated the numbers of his foes to make his conquest seem greater.
Unfortunately for him, Daeron's conquest did not last. It was undone in a fortnight when a clever trap killed the steward that Daeron had left to rule Dorne, Lord Tyrell. His death sparked a great uprising that overthrew most of the conquest. Daeron lost fifty thousand men trying to hold Dorne, culminating in his own death during the uprising. At that time he was only eighteen. He may have died in the Prince's Pass, as Alester and Ser Olyvar Oakheart were killed there at the side of the Young Dragon.
Although married, Daeron died without issue and was succeeded by his brother, Baelor the Blessed.
In the city of Oldtown, there is a statue of King Daeron the First astride a tall stone horse, his sword lifted toward Dorne.
“ Jon: Daeron Targaryen was only fourteen when he conquered Dorne.
Benjen: A conquest that lasted a summer. Your Boy King lost ten thousand men taking the place, and another fifty trying to hold it. Someone should have told him that war isn't a game.
- Jon Snow and Benjen Stark
Rhaena Targaryen was the daughter of King Aegon III Targaryen. She was the second daughter, younger than only Daena.
Rhaena was a feminine beauty, soft and sweet, more rounded. She loved lace and gold trim and often embroidered depictions of faith on her clothing. She had silver-gold hair, more gold than silver.
Rhaena, along with her sisters Elaena and Daena, was one of the infamous sisters of Baelor I Targaryen housed in the Maidenvault, becoming known as the "Three Maids in the Tower." Baelor imprisoned them in comfortable confinement so the sight of them would not tempt him or others in his court to mortal lusts. Rhaena, unlike her two sisters, never chaffed at her confinement. She was heavily influenced by her brother Baelor and became a Septa of the Faith.
Princess Elaena Targaryen was the youngest daughter of King Aegon III Targaryen.
According to semi-canon sources, Elaena was not as pretty as her sisters, but her beauty matured as she got older. Her eyes were soft lilac and as a child, she wore her hair in a braid. However, after cutting it off in retaliation against her brother, she wore her hair short for a while. Her hair was platinum-white with a gold streak down the middle, which she wore long, pulled back and in a braid. She liked to dress in black.
Elaena and her sisters Rhaena and Daena were the infamous sisters of King Baelor I Targaryen who were housed in the Maidenvault, known as the "Three Maids in the Tower." Baelor imprisoned them in comfortable confinement so the sight of them would not tempt him or others in his court to mortal lusts.
She was locked away at age of eleven. Unhappy with her brother, she cut off her famous braid in protest. She married three times, twice at a king's behest and once for passion, and gave birth to seven trueborn children. She then declared that if seven was sufficient for the Gods, it would do for her as well. Although she had three husbands during her lifetime, the great love of her life was her cousin, Alyn Velaryon, with whom she had two bastard children, Jon and Jeyne Waters.
She was known as shrewd and intelligent, to the point that even though her husband sat on the king's small council as Master of Coin, it was widely known that she was the one performing the duties.
Baelor I, known as the Beloved and the Blessed, was the ninth Targaryen king to reign on the Iron Throne. Known for his piety, Baelor was a septon as well as a king. He was the second son of Aegon III and ruled after the death of his brother Daeron I Targaryen. The Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing features a statue of him. None of the Targaryen dynasty's kings are as beloved as Baelor, he loved the smallfolk and the gods in equal parts - yet imprisoned his own sisters.
Apearance and Character
Baelor was a peaceful, devoted and pious man. He was very thin and frail looking from his repeated fasts. He wore a long beard and hair of typical Targaryen silver-gold color. His crown was made of flowers and vines.
Some remember Baelor as a great and holy man, given to deep prayer and fasting to experience religious visions, and honor him for his contributions to the Faith, including the construction of the Great Sept in King's Landing. Others regard him as a weak, simpering fool, prone to hallucinations and bad decisions brought about by excessive zealotry.
Baelor was quiet and bookish, and strong in the Faith of the Seven. He wished to become a septon, but his father refused to indulge this whim, instead insisting that he marry his sister Daena in the traditional Targaryen manner. Baelor obeyed, but extremely reluctantly and refused to consummate the marriage and put her aside as soon as he was crowned.
Upon his brother King Daeron's death, Baelor is said to have begun his reign by walking the Boneway barefoot to make peace with Dorne. It is also said that he saved his cousin Aemon the Dragonknight from a snake pit, where he was bitten many times by the vipers whose venom could not kill him because of his faith in the Seven; this tale may simply be a metaphorical version of his visit to Dorne, referring to Dorne itself as a "snake pit," and the Dornish, "vipers." Whatever the truth, Baelor returned home having negotiated the marriage of his cousin Daeron to Myriah Martell as a means of making peace with Dorne after Daeron I's failed conquest. Later, when Daeron was king, he negotiated the marriage of his much younger sister Daenerys (who was born after he had already had a son of his own) to the Prince of Dorne, thereby uniting the realms.
Baelor's reign was spent in prayer and piety. He would fast to the point of fainting to tame the lusts that shamed him. His uncle Viserys continued to order and run the realm as the King's Hand.
Baelor earned the contempt of his nobles by forcing Lord Belgrave to wash the feet of a leper. He tried to replace all the ravens that delivered messages with doves, and confined his sisters, Daena Targaryen (to whom he was married), Rhaena, and Elaena in the Maidenvault so they did not tempt him with carnal thoughts. Cersei recalls Tyrion saying that King Baelor was terrified of his own cock.
He attempted to birth new dragons by praying over the dragon eggs but his prayers went unanswered. He had the books written by Septon Barth burned because he was more a sorcerer than a septon. Baelor once banished all the whores and sex workers from King's Landing. He prayed for them but did not look at them. Baelor decided not to re-arm the faith, as Baelor was a man of peace who believed the only weapon the faithful should have is prayer.
During his reign he had a stonemason named as the High Septon, a man that could carve stonework so beautifully that Baelor believed him to be the Smith in human form. While a fantastic stonecarver, the new High Septon could not read, write or recite any prayers. Rumour spread that Baelor's Hand had him poisoned to end the embarrassment to the realm. Baelor then raised a boy of eight years to High Septon, who Baelor claimed worked miracles, although the boy could not save the king's life on his deathbed. History says Baelor starved himself to death by the prolonged fasting to cleanse himself of lust, but some believe he was poisoned by his Hand and uncle, Viserys. Tyrion is less than impressed by him and thinks of him as Baelor the Befuddled.
Quotes about Baelor I
"The realm would have been better served if he had closed his eyes and fucked her. I know enough of history to know that."
- Jaime Lannister, to Lancel Lannister
"He was a rare spirit, pure and brave and innocent, untouched by the evils of the world.”
- Lancel Lannister, to Jaime Lannister
"The feeblest king who ever sat on the Iron Throne."
- Ser Eustace Osgrey
Daena Targaryen, also known as Daena the Defiant, was the eldest daughter of King Aegon the Dragonbane. She was the sister-wife of King Baelor I Targaryen, the lover of King Aegon IV Targaryen, and mother to Daemon Blackfyre.
Character and Appearance
Daena was wild almost from birth. She was strong, beautiful, and willful. Like the rest of her siblings she had Valyrian looks, her long silver-gold hair was thick and curly, framing her heart-shaped face. Her eyes were purple. She was lithe and athletic. She was an expert horsewoman and also a hunter and a fine archer with her short recurved bow. She had a a fearless "I'll dare anything" smile.
She worshipped her father and idolized her brother Daeron, the Young Dragon. Daena's dress was often as dramatic as she was. As a child, she always wore black in emulation of her father. After her brother Baelor failed to consummate their marriage, she changed to all white, and vowed to wear nothing else until she had been properly bedded, in hopes of shaming him - this did not work. Baelor liked her in white, feeling that it made her look more innocent. Later, as a pampered prisoner in her brother's court, Daena made several escapes, usually by dressing as a washerwoman or serving girl (once with the connivance of her cousin, Aegon).
She always wore the golden three-headed dragon pendant she had inherited from her father. At court she wore it on a fine golden chain; when in disguise, she hung it on a leather thong and hid it beneath her clothes. Supposedly she even wore it when bathing, and when making love.
Daena was the eldest daughter of Aegon III, and was born around 145AC to Daenaera from the House Velaryon.
At a early age, Daena was married to her brother Baelor, by her father, in the Targaryen tradition. Daena and Baelor's marriage was an unhappy one, with her pious brother obsessed by the Faith of the Seven. Baelor refused to consummate their marriage and had it dissolved when he ascended the Iron Throne, after Daena's elder brother King Daeron I died in Dorne.
After Baelor's ascension, Daena and her sisters were confined to their own apartments in the Red Keep (which soon became known as the Maidenvault), so the sight of them would not tempt Baelor or others in his court to mortal lusts. Daena was sixteen at this time.
According to semi-canon sources, during her time of confinement at the Maidenvault, Daena escaped several times and had an affair with her cousin Prince Aegon, despite his marriage to his own sister-wife Naerys. When she became pregnant she refused to name the father and became known as "Daena the Defiant." Her son was born robust and healthy, with the purple eyes and silver-gold hair of the Targaryens. Daena named him Daemon and raised him alone. The father was only revealed years later when King Aegon IV Targaryen gave Daemon the ancestral Targaryen sword Blackfyre, acknowledging him as one of his bastards, while also legitimizing him.
Aegon IV, known as Aegon the Unworthy, was the eleventh Targaryen to sit the Iron Throne and is considered to be one of the worst Targaryen kings. He sired numerous bastards, legitimizing them on his deathbed, an act that started the Blackfyre Rebellion and almost ripped the Seven Kingdoms apart.
Character and appearance
Aegon began his reign when he was young, vigorous, robust and handsome but ended it old and corrupt. By the end of it he was bloated and fat. His eyes were almost lost in the fat of his face, his legs too weak to support his belly. He had a small mouth and a large beard used in an attempt to cover the fat of his neck and face. He had a new crown made, huge and heavy, red gold, each of its points a dragon head with gemstone eyes. On his coinage, he was depicted with a beard.
Aegon was the eldest son of the King's Hand, Viserys, and grew up during the rule of his cousin Daeron I and married his sister Naerys. Their marriage was an unhappy one, and once his son Daeron was born, she asked Aegon to release her from her vows so she could join the Faith, but he refused her.
When Baelor I became king, he dissolved his marriage to his sister-wife Daena and imprisoned her in the Maidenvault so the sight of her would not tempt him to carnal thoughts. Aegon was not under any such prohibition and developed a fondness for his cousin Daena. On one occasion he helped Daena escape from the Maidenvault and they conceived a child. Daena refused to say who the father was, and was dubbed 'Daena the Defiant' for her wilfulness. In time she gave birth to a son, Daemon Blackfyre, and Aegon noted with approval that he was growing up to be a strong warrior.
Eventually Baelor starved himself to death during one of his pious fasts and Viserys only ruled for a single year before passing himself, so the throne passed to Aegon, Fourth of His Name.
Aegon IV is generally considered to be one of the worst kings in the history of Westeros, and is dubbed 'Aegon the Unworthy' in history texts. Aegon's behavior caused great strife at court, especially with his brother Aemon, who was then the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and his son Daeron.
He was a decadent, corrupt ruler who indulged his passions and whims at every opportunity. Being attractive, he was popular with women both highborn and lowborn. He had as many as nine mistresses and many bastards. Supposedly, he had any woman he wanted whether they were married or not. People often joked that the Targaryen words might be "Fire and Blood" but Aegon IV's motto was "Wash her and bring her to my bed."
From a young age, Aegon indulged himself with women and continued to do so after his marriage, even during his own reign. He quite openly flaunted his mistresses at court, to the distress of his wife. As an example, on one of his many trips he gifted a dragon's egg to Lord Butterwell, after guesting at his castle and allegedly impregnating his host's three maiden daughters. On another occasion he caught one of his Kingsguard knights, Terrence Toyne, sleeping with one of his mistresses and had both executed. This led to the death of his brother Aemon, who, despite their conflicts and Aegon's hatred and disrespect for him, sacrificed his life to protect Aegon from Terrence's brothers' assassination attempt.
Blackfyre, the Valyrian steel sword of Aegon the Conqueror, was traditionally carried by the Targaryen kings who succeeded him. Aegon IV, however, gave Blackfyre not to his heir, Daeron, but to one of his bastards, Daemon, when he knighted Daemon at the age of 12. Talk of Daemon becoming Aegon's heir instead of Daeron began after this point.
Like many other Targaryen kings, Aegon was obsessed with regaining dragons for his house. Instead of trying to resurrect the dead dragons of his ancestors, Aegon tried to build new ones out of wood and iron, which he used to try and conquer Dorne. However, the attempt failed and his dragons burned.
On his deathbed, Aegon legitimized his many bastards, causing five generations of strife as they and their descendants tried to claim the throne of Westeros.
Bellegere Otherys, the Black Pearl of Braavos
Melissa (Missy) Blackwood
Serenei of Lys
Beside those nine "official" mistresses, Aegon had an affair with his cousin Daena in his youth, and took many other women to his bed. Per stories, they included the three daughters of Lord Butterwell.
Male Great Bastards.
Great Bastards: Bittersteel, Daemon, Bloodraven and Shiera
Among Aegon's bastards, several were of noble mothers, becoming known as the "Great Bastards." At present, there are only four known Great Bastards:
Daemon Blackfyre Aegon's son from Princess Daena Targaryen.
Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers Aegon's son from Lady Barba Bracken.
Shiera Seastar Aegon's daughter from Lady Serenei of Lys.
Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers Aegon's son from Lady Melissa Blackwood.
While on his deathbed, Aegon legitimized his bastard sons and placed them in his line of succession after his firstborn, Daeron II. A few years after Aegon's death, Daemon Blackfyre rose against his half-brother and attempted to take the throne in the Blackfyre Rebellion. He was defeated, but the Blackfyres continued to trouble the Targaryens for almost 100 years.
Among Aegon's other bastards was the daughter he fathered on Bellegere Otherys, who became the next Black Pearl of Braavos after her mother. Her daughter and granddaughter have been Black Pearls too.