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Characters: A Song Of Ice And Fire House Targaryen

This is a listing of members of House Targaryen that appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.

For the main Crownlands entry, see here.

"Fire And Blood"
Targaryen House Words

The former ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms from the capital city of King's Landing. Also known as the Dragon Kings, because they used to ride dragons and had a strange bond with them. Under the historical leadership of Aegon The Conqueror, they unified Westeros with their dragons as weapons and ruled there for 300 years. They often married brother to sister throughout their rule despite the laws of their religion, which probably accounts for their history of mental instability among the later rulers. Their rule ended when Robert Baratheon overthrew Aerys II Targaryen and his surviving children fled into exile in the Free Cities. Their sigil is a three-headed dragon. All reigns dated after the arrival of Aegon I in Westeros.

See this character page for the many ancestral members of House Targaryen.

See this one for their antagonistic, primary cadet branch, House Blackfyre.

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     Tropes related to House Targaryen 
  • A House Divided: During the Dance Of The Dragons, The Blackfyre Rebellion and possibly between Daenerys and Aegon VI.
  • The Alcoholic: Underplayed, but... it does seem to crop up a fair bit in the line. Over repeated generations. Somebody is bound to reach for the drink as a solution to their woes at some point in each generation we get to hear anything much of.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The greatest is Aegon the Conqueror's sword Blackfyre, lost after the Blackfyre Rebellion thought to be in the hands of the Golden Company mercenaries. Another is Dark Sister, the sword wielded by Visenya Targaryen and by Bloodraven. Its current whereabouts are unknown.
  • Animal Motifs: Dragons, of course.
  • Arc Number/Arc Words: "The dragon has three heads" and Rheagar's Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Badass Family
    Catelyn Stark: "Like their dragons, the Targaryens answered to neither gods nor men."
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Their house dates back to old Valyria, and due to centuries of practicing incest (not to mention massive entitlement complexes that get passed along), more than a few members end up unhinged.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: The family custom is to marry brother to sister whenever possible to keep the bloodline pure.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Targaryens were still formidable without their dragons.
  • The Chosen One: "The Prince who was Promised". The one who will bring back the dragons.
  • The Clan: Oh, yes. Like most Westerosi Great Houses. But, like almost everything, Targaryens to it the hard way... and, the more complex.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Members often have silver-blond hair and unusual purple eyes.
  • Color Motif: Their house colors are red and black, representing the skin tones of Balerion the Black Dread as well as their potential for great passion and total darkness.
  • Cool Crown: The Dragon Kings have worn their fair share from the iconic iron circlet of Aegon the Conqueror, the simple gold band of Aegon III, to Baelor's crown of flowers, to the evil-looking pointy iron crown of Maekar.
  • Cool Sword: The Targaryens had two Valyrian Steel Sword as heritage weapons.
    • Blackfyre, the sword of Aegon the Conqueror and traditionally wielded by heirs and rulers of the Iron Throne. It formed the source of a Succession Crisis when bastard pretender Daemon Blackfyre received it from his father, King Aegon IV, "The Unworthy". Upon being legitimized by the Crown, the sword formed the name of Blackfyre's cadet house which then went in open rebellion against the reigning Targaryens. The sword was passed down to Daemon's descendants but it's current whereabouts are unknown. The general presumption by most in Westeros is that the Golden Company keeps it in trust in some way. But, that is speculation.
    • Dark Sister was the sword of Aegon's sister-wife, Visenya. It tends to be wielded by the most Badass and interesting of the Targaryens - Prince Daemon Targaryen, Aemon the Dragonknight and the bastard loyalist, Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers. It is unknown what happened to it upon Bloodraven being banished to the Wall.
  • Culture Clash/ Values Dissonance: The family's culture and values still clash with rest of Westeros, as they share some traits in common with people you find in Valyrian-influenced Essos. This Essos-like culture might explain the repeated interaction with House Martell and House Velaryon beyond just In the Blood. Paramours (and the resulting bastards) are fairly well accepted within the family as a feature (if not so great a one as found in Dorne). Most are, if not bilingual, then something near it, as speaking and reading High Valyrian is used as a family tongue, not just as a language of learning, but of songs, legends and stories not always shared with their Kingdom at large. Which means, of course, being able to understand many related languages at a pinch. Although they were markedly less patrilineally-based earlier, there are still shades of accepting assertive women rather easier than Westerosi society in general manages — although that has eroded a lot over the years, so is not saying much. Even the incest has cultural roots. Where they could give up the many official husbands or wives thing to placate the Faith, that was non-negotiable. But, the family also is no longer as Valyrian as they once were, either. As well as losing their dragons, their old gods and pretty much all of the lore surrounding them both, most of the more modern ones of the main-line wouldn't tolerate the idea of slavery, for example. They are of Essos... and Westeros, too. And, that's led to problems and solutions in both places.
  • Dragon Rider: The earlier Targaryens, before the dragons became extinct. Dany is growing into this.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Targaryens called their psychic dreams "Dragon dreams".
  • The Exile: Twice! Once from Valyria (they were the original lords of Dragonstone, Stannis' seat), and then again from Westeros.
  • Expy: Of the House of Normandy and also, The House of Plantagenet, the longest ruling dynasty of England.
  • Foil:
    • Definitely the Fire to the Starks' Ice.
    • Targaryens are of Valyrian descent. Martells are Rhoynish descent.
  • The Good King: Has produced its share. Whether they were good men is another matter.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Aegon's army was inferior to the armies of the kings who eventually bent the knee to him, and wouldn't have conquered Westeros if it weren't for his and his sisters' dragons.
  • In the Blood: Though there's two sides to this coin. Some Targaryens shine with the family greatness, while others are stark raving mad.
  • The Madness Place: Both Targaryens and Blackfyres might as well have changed their names to "House Madness Place" and quit the feud before it went nuclear. What fuels the special? May well be a form of high-functioning bonkers even in the brilliant ones... which could explain why the wheels fall off so much on those who can't keep a grip on it as they go along. The general belief about Targaryens is that its hard to tell the difference between the great ones and the mad ones since madness and greatness are so near each other.
  • Meaningful Name: "Rhaen" is a common female Targaryen name prefix. It also sounds like the Latin "Rein" which means queen.
  • Mystical White Hair: While white hair naturally exists in this universe as a mark of Valyrian heritage, it's very rare in Westeros. The fact that Targaryens are one of the few families (others being the Daynes and the Velaryons) have them only contribute to their rare beauty. It helps that it's only stayed in their line for so long due to inbreeding.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Unnaturally beautiful? Comes from a mythical land now lost? Affinity with magic? Check, check and check. Add pointy ears and they're the closest thing Westeros has for a typical race of epic fantasy High Elves.
  • People of Hair Color: White. Justified as it's inbred.
  • Purple Eyes: Each Targaryen is said to have purple eyes, although the exact shade varies. It's a bloodline trait and specifically said to be unnatural (though there are a couple of minor houses who have them, too.)
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The current Targaryens are this out of necessity.
    • Daenerys Targaryen's group has consisted of an exiled knight from The North, Dothraki loyalists, a legendary Kingsguard, a Meereenese pit fighter, an intuitive child slave from Astapor, a flamboyant Tyroshi sellsword, an army of eunuch soldiers and several mercenary companies, as well as droves of devoted followers after her anti-slavery revolution in Slaver's Bay. And should Daenerys live through the rest of the books, she will likely gather many more to her cause.
    • The alleged Aegon Targaryen VI's group consists of an exiled Stormlands lord, a student at the citadel who never became a full Maester, a mysterious Westerosi septa, a lowborn hedge knight and The Blackfyres' Golden Company from Essos (which is itself a Rag-Tag Bunch Of Misfits with Blackfyre leanings and loyalties from its founding days). Ragtag? Doesn't do it justice.
  • The Remnant: Of the Valyrian dragonlords. And, The Remnant of Remnants for the modern ones.
  • Royal Inbreeding: Often between brother and sister, but if that could not be arranged, they married cousins.
  • Royally Screwed Up: See above. Provides the page quote, too.
  • Royalty Superpower: Well, the whole Royal Blood thing's not without some compensation: to hope to control dragons and benefit from a link to fire magic in general, you need the blood of old Valyria. Some seem to inherit the various aspects of it more than others. Some seem to suffer for it, too.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The fate of the Targaryen dragons sometimes mirrored that of their riders.
    • Maegor's inability to bond with dragons reflected his inability to have children.
    • Nettles won the trust of Sheepstealer. She would do the same to Prince Daemon Targaryen.
    • Sunfyre was crippled just like his rider Aegon II.
    • Stormcloud flew high and far but was broken by the ordeal like his rider the future Aegon III.
    • Daenerys loses control of her dragons much as she does of Slaver's Bay.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Respectively:
    • Rhaenys and Visenya.
    • Aenys and Maegor.
    • Viserys I and his son Aegon II.
    • Baelor and Daeron I.
    • Aemon the Dragonknight and Aegon IV.
    • Daeron II and Daemon Blackfyre.
    • Aerys I and Maekar.
    • Rhaegar and Viserys.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Aegon II looked like his father Viserys I, except he never smiled. Having said that: they all tend to look fairly similar. For some reason.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: In official proclamations or when a King is introduced. To wit: Insert name Targaryen, the Nth of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.
  • The Usurper: The family took the rule of Westeros by defeating the majority of the ruling kings already in Westeros. The surviving members of the family consider the Baratheons to be usurpers for doing the same thing.
  • Warrior Prince: Maegor, Aegon II, Daeron I, Aemon the Dragonknight, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar, Rhaegar.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Some of their members, most recently Aerys the Mad. Of course, it has magical connotations, too.

The Last Targaryens

     Aerys II 

King Aerys Targaryen, the Second of His Name; r. 262-283

The Mad King, Aerys the Mad, King Scab

"The traitors want my city ... but I’ll give them naught but ashes. Let Robert be king over charred bones and cooked meat".

The king of Westeros during the Robert's Rebellion, and the last Targaryen to sit the Iron Throne. He was known as "Aerys the Mad" behind his back due to becoming increasingly insane in the latter years of his rule. Though served ably by Tywin Lannister as Hand of the King and his own son Rhaegar, Aerys nonetheless managed to destabilize his own kingdom, eventually leading to Robert's Rebellion and his own death. Aerys was by all accounts sane during the early years of his reign, his later mental illness likely a consequence of generations of Targaryen inbreeding. He wore the elaborate dragon-emblazoned crown of Aegon IV.
  • Ax-Crazy: This guy basically oozed crazy.
  • Bad Boss: On a good day, he'd just find a way to dramatically complicate your work life. On a bad... well... You'd die warm, at least.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted someone to help put an end to Robert's Rebellion. Tywin Lannister did just that... in a way.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Some of his favorite activities include burning his own people alive.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Jaime remembers how Aerys soiled himself when he realised what Jaime was about to do to him. Oh Crap indeed.
  • The Butcher: Quite fond of having people maimed or put to death, often in excessive fashions. Jaime Lannister reveals that Aerys planned to burn King's Landing rather than allow Lord Tywin to take the city during Robert's Rebellion, which is the reason Jaime decided to kill Aerys.
  • The Caligula: He was called "King Aerys the Mad," or just "the Mad King," among other things.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: When Lyanna was kidnapped and Brandon arrested for threatening Rhaegar's life, Lord Rickard Stark tried to win them back through Combat by Champion with himself as champion. Aerys chose fire as his champion. Guess who won?
  • Domestic Abuser: Poor, poor Rhaella!
  • Evil Former Friend: To Tywin Lannister, before the series started. Yeah, Tywin was the good guy in that situation. Yikes.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: To his childhood friend Tywin and his son Rhaegar.
  • I Have Your Wife: Appointed Jaime Lannister to the Kingsguard and always kept him close so he can be used as a hostage to keep Lord Tywin in line. He also forbade Rhaegar's wife and kids from fleeing to Dragonstone to hopefully get Dorne's support against the rebels.
  • Karmic Death: Feared sharp objects and only allowed the Kingsguard to carry weapons. He is killed by a Kingsguard, after ordering said Kingsguard to kill his own father.
  • Kill It with Fire: And cackle all the while.
  • Madness Makeover: As he gradually slipped into insanity, he reached a point where he would allow no blades in his presence save the swords of the Kingsguard. This resulted in him growing long, filthy fingernails and a scraggly Wizard Beard.
  • The One That Got Away: according to Ser Barristan in aDwD, there was a woman Aerys would rather have married instead of his sister Rhaella: Joanna Lannister, who wed Lord Tywin and became the joy of his life.
  • Papa Dragon: As Brandon Stark found out, to his sorrow.
  • Posthumous Character: He died 14 years before the series begins.
  • Predecessor Villain: Before there was Joffrey (who is referred to by Tyrion as Aerys the Third) there was the Mad King Aerys.
  • Pyro Maniac: This guy loved fire. Jaime speculated Aerys believed that, if his plan of burning down King's Landing with wildfire was carried out, he would not die in the inferno but transform into a dragon and crush the Robert Baratheon and his followers.
  • Sanity Slippage: He is described as having been "a charming and generous man" in his younger days.
  • Start of Darkness: the Defiance of Duskendale, which he caused by ignoring his advisors. The debacle convinced him to ''keep'' ignoring them.
  • Taking You with Me: He wanted to burn down the entire city of King's Landing with wildfire just to spite Robert.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Well, "too mad to live" might be more accurate. He insisted on keeping Jaime Lannister, the son of his enemy, at his side to keep his father in check. He thought he would be safer. That didn't end well.
    • Ordered Jon Arryn to hand over Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon for execution. Yeah, Aerys, threatening 3 Great Lords is such a great idea.
  • Used To Be A Nice Guy: See Sanity Slippage.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: To his son Viserys and to the Alchemists Guild.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Was initially good friends with Tywin Lannister, right before his Sanity Slippage caused his jealousy of him to go out of control.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: A classic example.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Described by Martin as being in his forties, but looking much older, when he died.

     Queen Rhaella Targaryen 

Queen Rhaella Targaryen

Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys's mother, as well as Aerys's sister-wife who was pregnant at the time of the Rebellion. Before he Sack of King's Landing and Aerys's subsequent death, she and Viserys were spirited away to Dragonstone where she died giving birth to Daenerys.
  • Arranged Marriage: To her brother Aerys. Their marriage is described by Ser Barristan Selmy as "loveless" and also doubles as Unwanted Spouse, since neither of them were happy with the arrangement.
  • Death by Childbirth: Rhaella died giving birth to Daenerys during a storm on Dragonstone; hence the name "Daenerys Stormborn."
  • Domestic Abuse: Was on the receiving end of this, according to Jaime. Aerys would pay her visits every so often - usually after burning someone to death - to savagely beat and rape her to the point where it looked as though she had been savaged by an animal.
  • The Fettered: Rhaella is described as putting duty and honor first, even over her own personal wishes.
  • Good Parents: She is described as a good mother to Viserys, who tried to shield him from his father's insanity.
  • The One That Got Away / Star-Crossed Lovers: To Ser Bonifer Hasty, apparently. He crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty at a tourney, and according to Ser Barristan he had a passionate but ultimately doomed relationship with her.
  • Posthumous Character: She has died by the time A Game of Thrones begins.
  • Unwanted Spouse: To her brother Aerys, who would rather have more gladly married her lady-in-waiting, Joanna Lannister. The feeling was very mutual.

     Prince Rhaegar Targaryen 

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen

The Last Dragon, The Silver Prince

"Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name."

Son and heir to the Mad King, Rhaegar is a Posthumous Character. What readers know of him is filtered through Second-Hand Storytelling. Characters such as Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Barristan Selmy, and Daenerys Targaryen (who never met him) have a high regard for Rhaegar. He was despised by Robert Baratheon, who considered him an Arch-Enemy, due to Rhaegar's kidnapping and rape of his fiancée Lyanna Stark, whom Robert loved.
  • Abduction Is Love: Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna against her will. Some characters say he loved her.
  • The Ace: He's described as having been a highly respected and very handsome man who excelled at anything he put his mind to.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Tons In-Universe. The entire situation with Lyanna Stark is kept very ambiguous and accounts about it differ from character to character.
  • Antagonistic Offspring / The Evil Prince: Though it is debatable how evil he actually was, Word of God said the relationship between father and son was tense and bitter, as the king was increasingly paranoid and jealous of his Hand Tywin Lannister and his own son, to the point of going out for the first time from the palace to go to the tournament at Harrenhal because Varys told him that his son had arranged it to make alliances to overthrow him. Actually there are hints that Rhaegar was planning to overthrow him, or at least force his retirement from active ruling, though given his father's madness, one wishes he did this earlier.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Robert Baratheon. Well, he kidnapped his girlfriend...
  • Arranged Marriage: To Elia Martell.
  • Badass Bookworm: Rhaegar was more interested in scholarly pursuits than in being a fighter, until he decided that his destiny dictated that he become a warrior.
  • Because Destiny Says So: He had absolutely no interest in knightly training growing up, preferring to play the harp and study as a scholar. Until he read something that makes him show up in the training yard the next morning and tell the master-at-arms, "I shall require a sword and mail. It seems I must become a warrior."
    • The prophecy about The Prince Who Was Promised haunted his life, it seems. He first believed he would fulfill the prophecy, but changed his mind and decided his son Aegon would. Oh, and the dragon must have three heads.
  • Big Good: Almost universally loved. Targaryen supporters want to put Prince Aegon on the Throne because he is Rhaegar's son and not Aerys' grandson.
  • Black Knight: He was described as wearing black armor.
  • Bling of War: The Targaryen dragon coat of arms on his armor were made of rubies.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: According to Robert, the ASOIAF app, and the material released for the television series, Rhaegar kidnapped and raped 15-year-old Lyanna Stark.
  • The Chosen One: He believed he filled this trope before changing his views and deciding his son Aegon would fulfill this destiny.
  • Dead Guy Junior: "Rhae" is a common prefix in Targaryen names. His mother name was "Rhaella", think of this. Daenerys later names her son "Rhaego" and one of her dragons "Rhaegal" after her dead brother, which is sweet. One of the numerous Freys named his son Rhaegar, which is creepy.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: He could bring women to tears with his beautiful harp music.
  • Emo Teen: He is repeatedly stated to have "melancholy eyes". And he plays the harp. 'Nuff said. (Tropes Are Not Bad!)
  • Even the Guys Want Him: At least Jon Connington did...
  • Foil: Like Eddard Stark, Rhaegar was almost universally loved and their supporters are resorting to frankly insane measures to restore their children to their rightful place as rulers of the realm.
  • Idiot Ball: While he probably couldn't predict that his father was going to burn a Lord Paramount to death, he should have realised that kidnapping Lyanna Stark, the daughter of a powerful high lord, was never going to end well.
  • Last of His Kind: Often referred to as "The Last Dragon". Daenerys begs to differ.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: His kidnapping of Lyanna causes a civil war in which most of his family is killed.
  • Posthumous Character: Died before the series began.
  • Pretty Boy: Cersei and pretty much everyone who knew him considered him to be very attractive. Even golden-haired Jaime Lannister looked plain next to him.
  • Purple Eyes: Rhaegar had purple eyes like many in his family.
  • Second-Hand Storytelling: We only ever hear about Rhaegar though the reminiscing of other characters. Some of whom have glowing memories. Others... not so much.
  • Together in Death: With Lyanna Stark. Robert later remarks: "Rhaegar won, damn him. I killed him, Ned, I drove the spike right through that black armor into his black heart, and he died at my feet. They made up songs about it. Yet somehow he still won. He has Lyanna now, and I have her."
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Despite being infamous for kidnapping and raping a teenage girl, Rhaegar is thought highly of by Cersei, Jaime, Viserys, Dany, and Barristan. Mind you, Cersei, Viserys and Dany are pretty biased...
  • Warrior Prince: He participates in the Battle of the Trident.
  • The Wise Prince: The characters who had a high opinion of Rhaegar think of him this way.

     Viserys III 

King Viserys Targaryen, the Third of His Name; r. 283-298

The Dragon, The Beggar King, The Cart King, The Sorefoot king

You don't want to wake The Dragon, do you?

The exiled prince of House Targaryen and the older brother of Daenerys, who lives with her in hiding. Unlike Dany, he lived as a prince in his childhood and knew his family, but was still very young when he lost everything overnight. A young man with serious mental problems, Viserys has made it his goal in life to return to Westeros and take back the throne. Too bad he foams at the mouth, regularly pinches his sister's boobs and refers to himself as "the dragon".
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Subverted. Vowed to kill Robert himself, though he's never killed anyone.
  • The Alcoholic: Turned to drink more and more after everything he's gone through. It also caused his death.
    Daenerys: They fed him wine and promises, but they starved his soul.
  • Attempted Rape: According to narration in A Dance with Dragons, he tried this on Daenerys the night before her wedding. Fortunately Illyrio was Genre Savvy enough to have put guards on her.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Viserys aspires to be menacing and fearsome.
  • Break the Haughty: So very much.
  • Captain Ersatz: Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Cultural Posturing: Constantly disparages the Dothraki and their culture. In a language most of them do not speak, of course.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His repeatedly annoying the Dothraki with 'I will be crowned' leads them to 'crown' him with molten gold. Ouch.
  • Despair Event Horizon: According to Daenerys, when Viserys had to sell their mother's crown, all joy was gone from him, leaving only rage.
  • The Exile: Something he is not happy to admit.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Was very attached to his mother.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is bitter and abusive, but after his death, Daenerys names one of her dragons after him, and she admits that if it wasn't for Viserys, she never would have survived living on the run from Robert's assassins.
  • Evil Is Petty: Very, very petty. You know your schemes aren't big when you're plotting and, most importantly, failing to steal your sister's wedding gifts (and virginity) because others saw you coming a mile off without even squinting hard.
  • Foil: Because they interact with a completely separate set of characters, the similarity is never mentioned (and it may even be unintentional), but the reader may notice that Viserys acts a lot like Joffrey. They are both very arrogant, products of brother-sister incest, prone to acting irrationally (especially when they lose their temper), torment those weaker than themselves, and are cowards at heart. Viserys abuses Daenerys in some way in every scene he has, and it is implied that Joffrey abused his little brother Tommen. However, the most notable similarity is that both of them order a subordinate to beat their victim: during one of his humiliations, Viserys orders Mormont to hit Daenerys, and Joffrey does this all the time with his guards and Sansa. Daenerys tentatively saying that Viserys "wouldn't be a very good king" was always an understatement, but we see just how much of an understatement it was when we see how Joffrey turned out.
    • And like his archnemesis Robert Baratheon, Viserys never got over the loss of his loved ones, turned to drink to cope, and got killed for it.
  • Free-Range Children: A total deconstruction. It's probably safe to say that Viserys could give you an entire book's worth on what a stupid trope it is. The age of eight is not really the best age to be forced to look after an entire dynasty's worth of inheritance and expectations... with a baby in tow. Worse, in an alien environment, so you face growing further away from your roots as you age, however hard you try (and fail) to cling onto them. Jerkass though he is, you do have to feel for him a little bit.
  • Freudian Excuse: Part of how he turned out is due to this. He was raised as a prince, and when that was ripped from him in a rebellion he probably didn't fully understand (which his brother was a catalyst of, no less), he was forced to support his infant sister mostly by himself at the age of eight (well, maybe nine). Dany notes that when they were younger he was more of a caring brother to her, but the humiliations he had to undergo to support the two of them took their toll on him. She remembers that the last straw was being forced to sell off their mother's crown, after which all remaining kindness in him was gone.
  • Humiliation Conga: Already when he was young as eight, he lost his House's kingdom and was left alone with his sister. They wander the free cities, and sell all their possessions just to survive. The last straw for him was when he had to sell his mother's crown. When he was with the Dothraki Daenerys had his horse taken away when he tried to hit her, to the Dothraki a man who doesn't ride is no man, and named him "The Sorefoot King". Khal Drogo has him ride cart, this is an even worse insult for the Dothraki, as carts are for old men and cripples.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Despite coming from a line of kings and believing himself to be the true king of Westeros, Viserys is reduced to begging in order to survive. Unlike his sister, he is extremely haughty and acts like he is still royalty.
  • In the Blood: The other reason for how he turned out. Barristan recalls that even as a young boy he showed some signs of his father's instability.
  • In Name Only: A rare instance of this trope occurring in-universe and being applied to a character. Viserys insists that he is the rightful king of Westeros, and styles himself Viserys III Targaryen. Some characters, like Illyrio and Ser Jorah humor him by calling him "Your Grace," while everyone else (who has even heard of him) simply calls him "the Beggar King".
  • Jerkass: He is cruel to his sister and anyone else he is capable of abusing.
  • Karmic Death: "I am the dragon, the dragon, and I will be crowned!" Khal Drogo responds by giving him a crown of hot melted gold.
  • Kick the Dog: In almost every scene he appears in, he sexually assaults his sister.
  • Lean and Mean: He is described as being thin and gaunt looking in appearance, most likely due to his life of running from Robert's assassins, as well as having to live off the charity of others. This probably didn't help his temperament, due to his immense pride.
  • Promotion to Parent: After the death of their entire family, he raised his little sister Daenerys as a Parental Substitute. Too bad he was an abusive one.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Huge emphasis on the "psychopathic". If he wasn't so much the "child" and less the "man", though, he'd have a chance at seriously scary, rather than just sadly pathetic.
  • Smug Snake: Contemptuous to everyone, with an overinflated sense of his own abilities, and ends up dead due to his own stupidity and hubris.
    Ser Jorah Mormont: Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake.
  • Spanner in the Works: To Doran Martell's plan to help him regain King's Landing. Had he not been Too Dumb to Live, he would have had the army he desperately wanted.
  • Start of Darkness: Being forced to sell his mother's crown.
  • Stupid Evil: Oh so very much. See Too Dumb to Live below for details.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He shows up at a banquet in Vaes Dothrak (the Dothraki holy city) wearing a sword, which is forbidden, then not only threatens Dany's life but also to cut her unborn son out of her. Yeah, he's drunk and frustrated, but threatening the wife of a barbarian warlord while you're surrounded by 5,000 of his followers isn't too bright. Drogo melts down his own belt of gold medallions and dumps it on Viserys' head.
  • Tragic Villain: He's a major asshat, however: At the age of eight or so, everything he knew in life was ripped away from, him, in addition to undergoing a Promotion to Parent for his little sister. After that, years of living on the run from possible assassination, plus having to swallow his pride at every turn just to live, while probably coping (or failing to cope) with what must be massive PTSD.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Went batshit insane and got himself killed just like his father.
  • Unknown Rival: Viserys likes to imagine that he's the The Hero to Robert's Big Bad, but he belongs squarely in this trope.
    • Robert did want him dead, but he seemed much more concerned with the possibility of Daenerys having children.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Daenerys. According to Barristan, however, he showed signs of his father's instability even at an early age.
  • Values Dissonance: An in-Universe example. The way Viserys acts and the warlike traditions of the Dothraki don't mesh very well. Less "the dragon commands!" and more "please, Mr. Drogo" would have been wise.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Has the white hair of the Targaryens, and is a physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive asshat.
  • Wife Husbandry: Before he arranged her marriage with Khal Drogo, it's implied that he raised Daenerys until she's old enough to marry him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Though he wants to return to Westeros to claim the Seven Kingdoms, he lives in exile with his sister.

     Daenerys I 

Queen Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name; r. 298

The Queen Across The Water

    Princess Rhaenys Targaryen 

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's daughter with his wife Princess Elia Martell, Rhaenys is Aegon's older sister and Daenerys and Viserys' niece. Her gender and Dornish coloring were held in disdain by Aerys, who wanted a son to carry on the family name. She was killed in the Sack of King's Landing along with her grandfather, mother and brother.

     Maester Aemon Targaryen 

     **WALKING SPOILER WARNING** 

King Aegon Targaryen, the Sixth of His Name; r. 300

Young Griff

"I am the only dragon you need."

Aegon is the son of the late Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and his wife Elia of Dorne, and is thus Daenerys' nephew despite being two years older than her. He was killed along with his grandfather, mother and sister during the Sack of King's Landing. Had he grown up, he would have ruled as Aegon, the Sixth of his Name.

Or so most of Westeros believes. He was actually switched with a common child prior to the battle, smuggled across the Narrow Sea, and brought up in Pentos by Lord Jon Connington as his son, "Young Griff". Groomed to become a king who actually puts the people first for a change, Aegon is preparing an attempt to retake Westeros - with or without help from his kin.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Both in-universe and Word of God: When Varys mentions Doran Martell in the second book, he states that the prince "still mourns Elia and her sweet babe." When asked about the Sack of King's Landing, GRRM only definitively stated that Rhaenys was killed. Or maybe not.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His head bashed against a wall by The Mountain. Except that, according to Varys, that wasn't actually Aegon.
  • Death Faked for You: Varys had Aegon switched with a peasant baby so the realm would believe he died.
  • Expy: You could say that Varys and Illyrio have tried to produce another Aegon V for the modern age using the patented, Ser Duncan the Tall method of making a Prince learn un-princely things the hard way. Whether it'll work is up for debate, as they may have only managed to produce yet another sheltered, Targaryen bratling by not letting him mix with very many people outside a carefully selected few. Nor let him see much in the way of real danger and heartache (which... Egg saw plenty of).
  • Heir Club for Men: His general assumption, along with that of the Golden Company, is that he will be King with Daenerys as his Hot Consort. Tyrion pitilessly mocks him for his presumption, noting that why would a Young Conqueror with three dragons play second fiddle to a kid who lived in a hidey-hole.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Raised in Essos by Jon Connington, seemingly at Varys' instruction.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: Spirited away from King's Landing before Lannister forces sacked it.
  • Pretty Boy: Tyrion describes his good looks at length, even despite his blue hair.
  • Red Herring: Invoked. In Arianne's sample chapter for The Winds of Winter it is openly discussed that Ser Daemon thinks that Aegon died when Gregor killed him, and that this new Aegon is a fake.
  • Royal Brat: Shows some signs of this, perhaps because of the combination of family insanity and his sheltered upbringing. He's shown to become irrational during a cyvasse game with Tyrion, both due to Tyrion beating him at the game, and Tyrion casting doubt on his assumption that Dany would immediately accept him with open arms. Especially funny because Tyrion's reaction to his sudden freak-out is along the lines of, "Welp, at least we know for sure that this kid is definitely a Targaryen."
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite receiving all the standard education for a prince, Aegon's also been brought up as a relatively ordinary boy, learning the skills a commoner needs to survive, such as treating wounds and cooking. Varys thinks this will be good preparation for being a king who will do everything to help his people; whether he's right remains to be seen. He also insists on leading the upcoming attack on Storm's End from the front, which could very easily prove a foolish idea.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Despite being more educated than most of Westeros, Tyrion notes that Aegon doesn't really know people and has little actual experience in politics.
    Tyrion's thoughts: The perfect prince but still half a boy for all that, with little and less experience of the world and all its woes.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Either real or fake, he looks a lot like Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys by description. That is, when he doesn't have his hair dyed.
  • Switched at Birth: Varys switched him with a lowborn baby to save his life.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Tyrion, who manages to convince him to stop waiting for Daenerys and prove his own mettle by invading Westeros on his own.
  • Walking Spoiler
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: No, really, he honestly does need it. His real hair colour might just give the game away.
  • Young Conqueror: Now that he's got the Golden Company backing him up.


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